The Lord’s Supper

16 Apr

You can listen to the podcast for this message here.

I encourage you to read Ps. 51:1-17 that details how David responded when Nathan confronted him about his sin. He was horrified at what he had done and begged God to cleanse him. Sometimes I believe we take for granted what God did through Christ for us. Sin is a horrible thing that separates us from God. Romans 6 is an incredibly foundational truth for us that are followers of Christ. Before we made the decision to be a follower of Christ, we were slaves to sin. One of the keys for this present day is found in verse 6. We are no longer slaves to sin. We were slaves to sin, but Jesus Christ has freed us from sin’s bondage. We should be actively engaged in serving Christ.

The Lord’s Supper is very significant on our lives and the life of the church. “And they continued steadfastly in the … breaking of bread.” (Acts 2:42) In the early days of the church the breaking of bread was part of a regular meal. Since then it has come to be known as the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. The importance of the Lord’s Supper should never be overestimated. It declares our fundamental beliefs about Christ and His church. It is not only a service of celebration, but of consecration. We not only celebrate the life, death, resurrection, and return of the Savior, but we dedicate ourselves afresh as we identify with the body He gave and the blood He shed, symbolized by the bread and the juice. 2 Cor. 13:5 says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test?” Paul says test yourselves. This test is specific. It’s a test to see if you are in the faith. There’s a test for that? The only way to pass a knowledge test is to demonstrate your knowledge. Does your life reflect the glory of the Lord? Is there evidence in your life to demonstrate that you are an authentic child of God? Participating in the Lord’s Supper is reserved for those that have made a decision to be a follower of Christ. There is no minimum age, but I would encourage parents to use this as an opportunity to teach younger ones.

The most common passage used outside of the gospels is found in 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. Just before saying this, Paul was talking about unity in the church. There were some divisions in the church between the haves and the have nots. Some who were better off would partake of the supper and perhaps others that were not so well off weren’t able to eat. That’s why in v. 22 Paul said, “Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink?” In this passage Paul uses a phrase that troubles many people.  It is, “eats in an unworthy manner” in v. 27. We can’t take this phrase alone; we must take it in context with the rest of the passage. It’s connected to the but in v. 28. There is no expectation of perfection . . . only examination. It’s a balance. If we really evaluate ourselves based on Christ’s standard, none of us is worthy to partake in the Lord’s Supper. That’s why we don’t partake in our own power, but in the power of what Christ did for us. We approach God because of the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. This supper is to remember that sacrifice.

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