Another question perhaps more often asked, “Who is worthy to partake of the Lord’s supper?”
Our brief answer would be, “No one!” We do not know, nor have we ever known, any who claimed to be or were “worthy” to partake of the Communion, or for that matter “worthy” of any act of worship we practice!
Neither do we know of any who are “worthy” to obey and become children of the Lord (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-3). We must rather come to the Lord for His mercy with the attitude of the Prodigal Son: “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants” (Lk 15:18-19).
Commanded to honor
While it is true that people in transgression, who refuse to be obedient to Christ (Lk 6:46), should not sit at the Lord’s table, nor approach in any way except in repentance, the Lord’s redeemed people are commanded to assemble and partake in “the breaking of bread” on the first day of every week (Ac 2:42; Hb 10:25; 1Co 10:14-22; 2Co 6:14-17).
It is not because we are “worthy” that we come to the Lord’s table, but because we honor him who made us worthy by forgiveness (Ep 1:7).
The problem of being “worthy” to partake generally arises in a misunderstanding of the term “unworthily” (1Co 11:27). This does not take into consideration those who are “worthy” and who are not!
Rather this verse has reference to the manner of partaking the Supper. The word “unworthily” is an adverb of manner.
Paul speaks to the spiritually weak and sickly Corinthians, who came to the Communion in an unholy, careless, irreverent, frame of mind, thinking of this memorial with no more thought than they would a common meal! He teaches them, and us, that the proper manner of partaking must be reverent, thoughtful, and remembering our Lord’s sacrifice for us, as well as His coming again!
This is the worthy manner that will keep us from partaking “unworthily” wherein we would cast contempt on Christ!
—Excerpt of an article by Gary Colley, published in Wadsworth OH church bulletin.