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Can We Become Physically Ill by Taking Communion Improperly?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 18, 2022 1:30 pm

Can We Become Physically Ill by Taking Communion Improperly?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 18, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 1012 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Is what happened to Israel in the Old Covenant happening to America now?

2. I have heard that some Bible scholars say that what Paul describes in Romans 7 is describing his pre-conversion experience rather than everyday struggles in the Christian life. What do you think?

3. There seems to be a lot of confusion about baptism. We should be emphasizing preaching the gospel rather than baptism, shouldn't we?

4. Paul warned us not to take communion in an unworthy manner, but I unfortunately used to take communion before I understood what it's significance was. Today, I have severe mental illness and diabetes and I struggle with knowing where I stand with God. I’m afraid God was angry and that he caused me to get sick. Are these things connected?

5. How do I respond to a Christian who thinks Eastern Medicine having to do with one’s energy can be infused with Christianity?

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Are physical ailments the result of taking communion improperly? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-22. You can also leave us a voicemail at that number anytime, or email us at First up today, let's go to Brian calling in from St. Louis, Missouri. Brian, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? I think that when they took Jesus' prayer and the Bible out of the schools, that's when the school system started going downhill, because they started teaching humanistic teachings to our young children. And I really think that if America doesn't wake up and realize what happened to the Jews in the Old Testament isn't happening to America now, America's in big trouble. Hey, Brian, thank you for that question.

So, a couple of things. One, just in terms of thinking about Israel under the old covenant, in covenant relationship with God, as this political body that basically, you know, you had this theocracy on earth where God is ruling over them. They're in a distinct situation in the history of redemption that isn't the same as what we're in right now. And I think that's really helpful when we're drawing these sort of one-to-one correlations between the covenant people of God in the Old Testament, Israel, and any particular nation of this world, including the United States of America. Really, Israel under the old covenant was a type of the church today. The church of Jesus Christ is the holy nation on earth today, the embassy of heaven, if you will. And local churches are kingdom outposts, embassies of heaven spread out throughout the whole world.

Not just the United States, but every single country of the world. And we're called to be salt and light where God has us to proclaim the gospel. And these nations that we're in, that we're a part of, they're called also to, I think, reflect that which is good and just on the basis of God's word, what he's revealed in his law. And when we don't do that, when they don't do that, they suffer the consequences indeed. That blood stains the ground, if you will, and it does call for judgment.

It calls for justice. And so I think that there is a serious warning that people need to heed today, calls to repentance. I'm right there with you, and I think we should be calling people, our neighbors, to repentance, to cling to the gospel and to the hope that we have, and to flee for refuge in Christ and in his kingdom. And to do good to the people around us and to benefit every nation where the Lord has us, whatever nation that might be here in the United States for us. In particular, praying for our leaders, seeking that which is good and just the good of our neighbors.

And so I think insofar as you long for that and you want to see that happen, you're on the right track. I would just caution against that one-to-one correlation between Israel as the covenant people of God in the Old Testament and the United States of America today. That's not a correlation that we want to make, or that we can make, biblically speaking, because the church of Jesus Christ is the holy nation of God's people, spread out throughout the whole world, not defined by one particular place. And wherever we are, calling upon the name of the Lord and seeking to do good to the people around us. So God bless you, and yes, may the Lord bring times of healing and times of repentance for us. God bless. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Nancy calling in from Iowa. Nancy, what's your question for Adriel? Hi Pastor Adriel and Bill, I appreciate you taking my call.

Thank you for giving us a call. Yeah, I appreciate your covenant perspective too. My question revolves around the last verses of chapter 7 of Romans. When I was young, I took comfort from these verses, just the idea that the great apostle Paul even battled the flesh nature, because I really feel that battle so strongly within myself.

I've been a believer as long as I can remember, but it's a rough life sometimes. But I've heard some Bible teachers say that what Paul is describing in these verses is his life before his conversion. And then other teachers say that he's describing the ongoing struggle within the Christian life. And I was just wondering if you could give me your perspective on those verses. And as always, your biblical reasons for those perspectives. Thank you.

Hey, well thanks for your encouragement, Nancy. And you're right, there is a debate among Bible scholars and people who are looking at Romans chapter 7. Is this Paul describing his pre-conversion experience, or is he talking about the struggle that we experience as Christians?

That battle. I want to do the things that are right, but I still struggle with the flesh. And I think all of us, myself included, we want to say, yeah, I feel that. It just seems like this rings true as I read this, because I think I can say alongside of the apostle Paul, I do not understand my own actions, he says in verse 15.

I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. And I think that, as you said, there's a real battle that we experience as Christians, and it's the fight against sin. But if Paul is describing his pre-conversion experience, well then can we really take comfort from those verses? I, and you've heard me talk about this I'm sure on the broadcast before, my view is that Paul is talking about his life as a believer. And I think one thing that confirms this, if you look at what I would say is sort of a parallel text, again, the writings of the apostle Paul in the book of Galatians, in Galatians chapter 5 verse 16, Paul said, I say, walk by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. In other words, the desires of the flesh are still going to be there for you as a believer. For the desires of the flesh, which he's assuming the Galatians still have, the desires of the flesh are against the spirit and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh. These are opposed to one another, to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. You see the sort of similarity and language there?

I don't do the things I want to do. There's this battle between the flesh and the spirit, and it seems like Paul is bringing this up, Nancy, to the Galatians as well, as a real experience that they're having. And so I think this confirms, at least in my mind, and this is one of the texts I'd go to, to say it seems to back the idea that what Paul is talking about in Romans chapter 7 isn't something that's foreign to the life of the believer, but something that we do experience as believers in the Christian life. Otherwise, why would he be saying these things to the Galatians, to a group of professing believers? And he continues there in Galatians chapter 5 verse 18, but if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. And he goes on to describe the works of the flesh and then the works of the spirit, and he concludes in verse 25, if we live by the spirit, let us also keep in step with the spirit.

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. So I think there are things internally in Romans chapter 7 that many people will point to and say, no, it seems like Paul is talking about his own life as a believer, but then I think there are other passages that corroborate and support the fact that, no, he's talking about the experience that we have as Christians, and that text in Galatians chapter 5 is one of them, and I find that to be convincing, Nancy. I hope you do too. God bless. I find it convincing because I deal with it every day, and so it's my real experience. Romans 7 is like, yeah, okay, that's me. I want to meet the Christian who says, oh, no, I don't have any battle with the flesh.

Let me talk to that guy because I feel like you're right. We read Romans 7 and we just think, yeah, boy, who will deliver me from this body of death? Thank you, Jesus.

You're my only hope, and that's the reality. This real battle, flesh, spirit, and we're called to yield to the spirit and to pursue the Lord, but we know there's a struggle involved there, and so we take comfort, I think, from the words of Paul in Romans 7. And of course the hope we have in Romans 8.1, right? There's no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. What a blessing.

Absolutely. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. We'd love to hear your call. You can leave us your voicemail anytime 24 hours a day at this number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. We also want to mention that we have a special group of people that support this ministry on a regular basis. We call them our Inner Core. Yeah, shout out to all of our Inner Core members. Thank you for your support.

It's a monthly donation of $25 or more, and it's part of the way you can partner with us. If you've benefited from the broadcast from Core Christianity, would you link arms with us as we continue to try to get the word out and encourage you with Bible teaching, with sound Bible teaching, digging into the Scriptures, and answering your questions about the faith. Our Inner Core is a group that supports us in that way. We also want to encourage you and continue to support you in your walk with the Lord. If you join the Inner Core, we'll send you a copy of the book written by Dr. Michael Horton, Core Christianity, which is an excellent book introducing the Core doctrines of the Christian faith.

Thank you again for your support. If you're interested in joining the Inner Core, Bill will let you know what you need to do. Go to our website forward slash inner core.

We have all the details there. Again, corechristianity forward slash inner core. We would really appreciate it if you would prayerfully consider supporting this ministry on a regular basis. Let's go to Rodney calling in from Fort Madison, Iowa. Rodney, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, Adriel, I love your show.

Hey, thanks, Rodney. Yeah, my question is, it's about water baptism. There was a lady that called in a couple weeks ago and she was kind of confused on her baptism if she got baptized too early or should she get re-baptized.

Well, my question is, it seems to be one of those things that's been carried over from Judaism into grace, and I'll tell you why I say that. After the cross, Jesus said, it is true that John did baptize with water, but I baptized with Holy Spirit. And then later on Paul says, and Paul did baptize two households, and he specifically says that later on in Acts.

He says that after that I know no other. He said I wasn't sent to baptize, I was sent to preach the gospel. And so it seems to me like there's this confusion about baptism, and I was kind of wondering what you thought about that, Adriel. Yeah, so it's Paul when he makes those statements, you know, minimizing baptism.

Baptism's not that big of a deal. I was sent to preach. Now, there he's speaking to the Corinthians, and he's really highlighting divisions that the Corinthians were having. Some of them were saying, yeah, I'm of Paul. Others were saying, I'm of Apollos. And they were sort of boasting in, you know, this guy baptized me or this other person baptized me, and Paul is trying to combat that.

He doesn't want them to act in this divisive way. And so that's part of the reasoning behind his statements. Of course, Paul does talk about baptism in the Scriptures. We were just talking about Romans chapter 7 earlier. I think of Romans chapter 6, the chapter right before, where he says, What shall we say then?

Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound by no means? How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. In other words, Paul is not minimizing baptism.

He's actually saying it's super important. He's saying, look, you are the baptized. You, through baptism and faith, have a new identity in Jesus Christ. Now we're called to live as those who are alive from the dead, no longer characterized by or defined by what we were apart from Christ and outside of Christ. We've died and been brought back to life again through Jesus Christ and holy baptism by faith.

And so I think it's really important that we realize that there's no confusion there. Paul, the apostles, they don't minimize baptism. I think of Peter also preaching on the day of Pentecost. He preaches the gospel. The gospel penetrates the hearts of his listeners. They say, what do we need to do?

What shall we do? And Peter responds in Acts 2, verse 38, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the promise is for you and for your children and all who are afar off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. And as a result, you had this massive baptism that took place there on the day of Pentecost. One of the things that I'm concerned with, and I see this in the church today, is I feel like the very ordinances, the sacraments that Jesus left for the church, we oftentimes treat as empty symbols. Yeah, baptism is not that big of a deal. The Lord's Supper, I don't know. But these are the very gifts that Jesus gives to the church to communicate his grace to us by faith, to show his good will, his love, the reality of the gospel for the people of God.

Just think about someone giving you a gift. You would never want to minimize that gift, especially if it's a gift like baptism or the Lord's Supper. And yet I think oftentimes in churches today, we do. We sort of say, in the ritual baptism or the Lord's Supper, that's not really that important.

It's more your personal feelings and relationship with Jesus. Friends, Christ himself gave us these holy ordinances, and he intends to communicate his grace, his word to the church through them. And so we should receive them with faith, with joy, with reverence, and with awe. And I think that's precisely how the apostles received them and talked about them.

They never minimized them, never minimized baptism. On the contrary, again, Paul in Romans 6 saying, remember your baptisms, remember who you are, that God has washed you by faith, that you belong to him. Live in light of that, and we need to be reminded of those things every single day, brothers and sisters, because it's so easy for us to forget the gospel, the goodness of God for us.

We have to have these pictures that Jesus gives to us, and we should rejoice in them as well. And so thank you for your question, Rodney, appreciate it, and thanks for being a listener to Core Christianity. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question for us about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always email us. Here's our email address. It's questions at

Adriel, here's an email from one of our listeners named Doug. He says, in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul warned us not to take communion in an unworthy manner. I was a seeker for a long time before I was a believer. When communion came around, I always felt uncomfortable taking it, but between my church friends encouraging me to partake and my own confusion, I would usually do it. Today, I have severe mental illness and severe diabetes, and I struggle with knowing where I stand with God. I'm afraid God was angry with me and that he caused me to get sick. I never wanted to mock the Lord, but as a seeker, I partook communion before I understood that he loved me.

My question is, does God do this to people, or do you think my sickness is not related to this? Doug, what I would say to you is, on the basis of 1 Corinthians 11, it does say that there is a judgment for those who take communion unworthily. In 1 Corinthians 11 specifically, the Corinthians were doing all sorts of things. Let's read the book of 1 Corinthians. There are all sorts of issues that the church at Corinth has. They're almost boasting in their sin at points. In 1 Corinthians 11, the focus is again on the divisions that they had within the church and not caring for the poor members of the church, sort of neglecting them. Paul says, you guys are coming together not for benefit, but for judgment because of how you're treating the holy gifts that the Lord has given to you. It wasn't so much a matter of their ignorance. They're just seekers. These are people who are within the church who have had the teaching of the apostle Paul himself and yet are living in these sinful ways. They're not dealing with judging the sin in their community. As a result, Paul says, look, you're going to be judged by God because you're not dealing with these issues. I say all that, but I don't think that it's right or good for you to conclude that because of your experience in that time as a seeker, not really understanding everything you took communion, that now God has cursed you with diabetes or any other sickness.

No. I think we come before God, obviously all of us, seeking to understand, to grow, to learn, to know more. The Lord is patient with us. Just think of the disciples of Jesus. I mean, how often is he teaching them and yet they still don't get it.

They're so unable to grasp at times, unable to understand. Jesus rebukes them, but he doesn't curse them. He doesn't abandon them. He continues to minister to them and to teach them. I think, Doug, that's what Jesus does with each one of us. We don't fully understand, especially early on when we're seeking, we're trying to understand, and the Lord is gracious to us. He's patient with us.

He brings us along. The Lord's Supper is for sinners, for people who know they need the grace of God. It sounds like that's you, Doug, like you realize now more than you did before even the love of God for you, the fact that Christ paid for the sins of all those who would believe in him.

You trust in Jesus, presuming you've been baptized, you've received the sign and seal of baptism. You should, as a part of the church and as someone who needs, again, these gifts that God gives to us, the Lord's Supper, you should come and receive by faith. The Lord's Supper is not for perfect people. It's for people who struggle and are fighting against sin and repenting.

Every single day even. They know they need the grace of God. Who is the Lord's Supper not for?

Well, it's not for those who don't believe. It's not for those who, you think again of the Corinthians here, who are clinging to their sin stubbornly, with hard hearts, not willing to depart from it. They're coming arrogantly to the Lord's Table in this sort of sacrilegious way, assuming that everything's fine and good, when in reality they're not clinging to Jesus, they're clinging to their sin. That's who Paul is talking about there, too, in 1 Corinthians 11. He's saying, look, judge yourselves, deal with these issues, confess your sins to God, and then come and receive his grace at the table.

But that's not what you're doing. You're holding on to your sins and you're continuing to be divisive and to harm the people in the church. And you're coming to the table in arrogance, in pride, and if you do that, God will discipline you as his children, because he loves you. And that's exactly what he goes on to say, that if we judged ourselves, verse 31, truly we would not be judged, but when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. And so God's discipline is not so much of a curse.

And this is so important for us to understand. When God disciplines us as his children, it's not to drive us away, it's to bring us in. It's to help us to see how much we need him, how futile and dark it is apart from him when we're clinging to our sins.

It's an act of God's love. As many as I love, God says I rebuke and chasten. So even that, I want you to realize that when we do experience the discipline of the Lord, it's a sign of God's love. But I don't think that you should conclude that because of your experience as a seeker, before you understood the love of God, you took the Lord's Supper, that the result of that is God cursing you with diabetes.

No, God is gracious and merciful and patient with us. And when we go to him, confessing even our ignorance, and we all have that, especially early on, God is merciful and he welcomes you in, Doug. And may you experience his grace in your life. Thanks for giving us an email. God bless. One more email before we go, Adriel.

This one's from Michael. He says, How should I respond to a Christian who believes that Reiki, Eastern medicine, has to do with one's energy and can be used with the Holy Spirit in our healing? Okay. Well, I have to confess that I haven't done a lot of research on Reiki specifically, but generally speaking, when people try to weave together sort of Eastern mysticism, together with the teachings of the Bible and Christianity, I have red flags go up. And so I would want to know, I mean, what specifically is this individual trying to say or trying to suggest? So often, with a lot of these, even with some of the Eastern medicine stuff, there's a highly religious element to it. And that's where we have to be discerning, I think, about what the Apostle Paul said, what fellowship has light with the darkness. There's a real danger of what's called syncretism. That's weaving together the truth, the teachings of the Bible with other religions that contradict so often the teaching of Scripture. And so I would be very cautious here and would give a warning, frankly, and say, no, we need to be discerning and wise when we think about the teachings of the Bible and other things as well. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-22 19:29:22 / 2023-03-22 19:39:05 / 10

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