Text: 1 Corinthians
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3)
Intro: The book of 1st Corinthians is broken down into two parts, the first part chapter 1 – 6 deals with the 8 corruptions in the Corinthian church. The last part of the book covers chapters 7 – 16 and the six questions submitted by the Corinthian Church. My message focuses only on one question: What about church conduct and to break it down even more; rules concerning communion. If there was ever a messed up church the Corinthian Church was that. It is very rare that any of the many problems that churches face today can’t be dealt with through the experience of the Corinthian Church. So what is so important about Guidelines for Communion?
The most important fact involved in the table of the Lord is the Lord of the table. It is his table. He sanctioned it and suffered for it.
1. Inward look to the Conscience: vs. 28
"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup."
The bread and wine are memorials and not sacraments. The first (a memorial) takes place because one has already obtained grace, while the second (a sacrament) is performed to obtain grace. The bread and wine are symbolic in nature and not changed into anything. "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." Vs. 29-30
This is a lot more serious than the local church realizes! I’ll make a simple statement; the Christian cannot take lightly the relationship with Jesus Christ nor afford to take the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner. Damnation is translated, judgment. (1 Peter 4:7) “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” The Corinthian Church was being judged with physical sickness and physical death, “and many sleep.”
The Christian must confess of their sins an allow Christ to forgive all unrighteousness because He is faithful and just to forgive. The Corinthians at their communion service were fickle and self-centered they had so involved themselves in the supper that they had totally ignored both other saints and the Savior. The point that needs to be made is "in remembrance of me" It is remembering the Lord.
The God Line for Communion places the believer with a clear conscience in the presence of the Holy Spirit sins forgiven and thankfulness for what Jesus has done!
That brings me to my next point, what has Jesus done?
2. Backward look to the Cross: vs. 26
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death.”
He died on the cross so our sins can be forgiven: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
Are you proclaiming the Lord’s death? Who have you told lately? Paul did not receive his information concerning the historical details of the Last Supper from any of the apostles who attended, but from Christ himself. This was also true concerning the details surrounding the preaching, death, and resurrection of the Savior.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
The God line for communion explains the backward look to the cross and the Christians instructions to take up their cross daily follow Him.
3. Forward Look to the Crown: vs. 26
"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes."
The backward look and forward look are very close in many ways; it is all about the cross and the reminder of the cup and the crown that is waiting for the faithful ones who follow God’s line!
- The purpose: at the Lord’s Table we are told to: Look backward. "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death." Look inward. "But let a man examine himself." Look forward. "Till he comes."
- The partakers: What group is invited to this table? The Lord’s Supper is only for believers, but it includes all believers.
- The prerequisites: Two kinds of individuals are forbidden to partake: the unsaved and the unclean. To the unsaved, he offers John 3:16, and to the unclean backslidden Christian, he extends 1 John 1:9.
- The penalty: "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." Vs. 29-30
God’s line gives us everlasting peace, let’s not forget!
In : Sermon
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