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Do This in Remembrance of Me

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The ordinance of the Lord's Supper is a celebration of worship which proclaims our oneness with Christ, our oneness with each other, and is a visual display that remind us of His sacrifice for us.

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Text: I Corinthians 10:15-17
Theme: The ordinance of the Lord's Supper is a celebration of worship which proclaims our oneness with Christ, our oneness with each other, and is a visual display that remind us of His sacrifice for us.
Date: 07/29/2018 File name: Communion_Ordinance.wpd ID Number:
As you all know by now, I do not preach during the service where we are observing the Lord’s Supper. I came under conviction decades ago that the Lord’s Supper is the message and ought to be the focus of the service when we observe it. That said, we do from time-to-time, need to preach about the Lord’s Supper to explain it’s importance. Simply: It is a memorial that commemorates our loyalty to Christ and his Church.
In the Roman Empire, a soldier was obliged to take the sacramentum militare. It was his oath of allegiance the emperor and was administered annually, on January 3. The soldiers — regardless from which nation they considered home — were to salute the Roman colors , and pledge fidelity to the Emperor or be guilty of treason. It strikes me, that the Lord’s Supper is essentially our renewed oath of allegiance to the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. When Jesus took the bread, and took the cup and said, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me,” (Luke22:19), he was establishing a memorial that the church was to continue to observe until he returns. Attendance at the Lord’s Supper is the Christian’s salute to the blood-stained banner of the Savior.
This evening, I’d like to take a few moments to talk to you about some of the spiritual elements of the Lord’s Supper.

I. THE LORD'S SUPPER CELEBRATES OUR UNION WITH CHRIST

1. the Bible teaches us that we participate in the Lord’s Supper because we have received grace — not to get grace
a. the bread and the cup contain no mystical or saving properties
b. when you were born again, you got all the grace you’ll ever need in this life or the life to come
c. God does not divi out His grace piece-meal through various church rites or religious ritual
1) when I ask a deacon to bless the cup, when he’s done praying – it’s still juice
2) when I hold the bread up and invite you to eat it in remembrance of the Christ – it’s still bread
2. the spiritual significance of communion for the believer is three-fold ...
a. first, the believer is being obedient to the will of His Savior when they eat the bread and drink the cup — Jesus said, Do this ... it’s a command
b. second, the believer is worshiping the Savior when they eat the bread and drink the cup — Jesus said, Do this in remembrance of me ...
c. third, the believer is anticipating the second coming of the Lord — Jesus said, Do this in remembrance of me until I come again
d. that’s it — the bread and the cup contain no mystical or saving properties
3. when you received Christ through repentance and faith, God covered your life with the blood of His Son, and credited your spiritual account with the righteousness of Jesus Christ
“The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:23–25, NIV)
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)
ILLUS. The ancient legend of the Holy Grail tells how Joseph of Arimathea, who got permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus down from the cross and bury it, caught in a golden cup, the blood which flowed from the wound in our Savior’s side. The legend says that this was the same cup that Jesus had held at the Last Supper. Joseph of Arimathea then carried it to Glastonbury, an island in Somerset in England. There he formed an order of Knights whose work it was to protect the cup and the precious blood it contained. The bravest of these knights was made their king. At certain times the king unveiled the golden cup that held the precious blood, at which times a glorious and radiant light fell on the faces of all who stood about, filling them with rapture and enduing them with strength from on high. Only the pure in heart could look upon the cup and behold the wondrous light which streamed from the precious blood.
a. friends, the story of the Holy Grail is a myth, but there is a profound truth in the story — the precious blood of Jesus makes the sinner pure in heart
2. the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of remembrance — instituted by our Savior — as an act of worship that is meant to remind us of His substitutionary atonement, and our union with Him
3. when you participate in the Lord’s Supper you are preaching your own personal sermon of your relationship with Jesus
a. the question is, What are you preaching?
b. I m glad you asked, let me tell you
1) you are acclaiming your faith in the death, burial & resurrection of Christ
2) you are proclaiming that Jesus is Lord of your life
3) you are reclaiming your hope in being glorified with Christ

A. YOU ARE ACCLAIMING YOUR FAITH IN THE DEATH, BURIAL & RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

1. the word acclaim means to praise enthusiastically in a public way
a. when the believer participates in the Lord’s Supper, he is unashamedly telling everyone around him, “Praise the Lord, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He was crucified. He was buried, but he rose again. This is the core of my faith and I don’t care who knows it!”
ILLUS. One of the better contemporary hymns of our day is, "I'll Tell the World That I'm a Christian." The first verse rings out ...
"I'll tell the world that I'm a Christian – I'm not ashamed His name to bear;
I'll tell the world that I'm a Christian – I'll take Him with me anywhere.
I'll tell the world how Jesus saved me, And how He gave me a life brand new; And I know that if you trust Him, That all He gave me, He'll give to you.
I'll tell the world that He's my Savior, No other one could love me so; My life, my all is His forever, And where He leads me, I will go."
2. the Apostle Paul writes to remind us that the Lord’s Supper is our participation with Christ in his death
“Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16, NIV)
3. the historical background of Christian Communion is the Jewish Passover
a. you know the story — it is rich in symbolic meaning for us
b. during that original Passover in Egypt, each Jewish family was commanded to sacrifice a lamb
1) they drained its blood and applied it to their door mantels in anticipation of God’s judgment upon Egypt
2) the evening came and with it the angel of the Lord went throughout the land smiting the firstborn of every home that was not protected by the blood
3) the blood represented deliverance from bondage that comes only from God
4. Jesus gave new meaning to the Passover
a. Jesus communicates to his disciples that he is going to be the Passover Lamb
1) he is the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world
b. just as when the death angel passed over the homes with the blood on the door posts, so too does God pass over us in His righteous judgment when He sees the blood of the Lamb of God in our lives
5. when we participate in the Lord’s Supper we boldly acclaim to the world our eternal faith in Christ to save us from judgment

B. YOU ARE PROCLAIMING THAT JESUS IS LORD OF YOUR LIFE

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4–5, NIV)
1. all believers are worthy to participate in the Lord’s Supper not because of who you are, but because of whose you are
2. once we were dead in trespasses and sin, but now you have been made alive in Christ
a. because we are alive in Christ we are worthy in the sight of God
3. 1 Cor. 11:27 has always caused some difficulty for some believers
a. the word unworthy is an adverb and describes the way that some believers in the Corinthian Church celebrated the Lord’s Supper
ILLUS. In the early church, the Lord’s Supper was celebrated by the congregation coming together for a supper. In the church at Corinth this time of fellowship and worship had degenerated into an excuse for gluttony, drunkenness and self-centeredness.
b. now, I normally don’t use some of the more modern translations of the Bible, but let me share with you 1 Cor. 11:20-23 from The Message
1) it gives you an idea of what was going on at the church in Corinth
"And then I find that you bring your divisions to worship—you come together, and instead of eating the Lord’s Supper, 21 you bring in a lot of food from the outside and make pigs of yourselves. Some are left out, and go home hungry. Others have to be carried out, too drunk to walk. I can’t believe it! 22 Don’t you have your own homes to eat and drink in? Why would you stoop to desecrating God’s church? Why would you actually shame God’s poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I’m not going to stand by and say nothing. 23 Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. ... " (1 Cor. 11:20-23, The Message)
4. the focus of Paul’s warning in these verses is on the attitude we have when we participate in the Lord’s Supper
a. to partake of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner means ...
1) ... to have a divisive attitude toward others in the church
2) ... to discriminate against other members of the body of Christ (i.e. do you only fellowship with your own kind?)
3) ... to become board with the routine of Communion and fail to ponder its significance every time you participate
5. to partake of the Lord’s Supper proclaims that Jesus is Lord
a. that mean we ought to let Jesus be Lord

C. YOU ARE RECLAIMING YOUR HOPE IN BEING GLORIFIED WITH CHRIST

“Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”” (Matthew 26:27–29, NIV)
1. the Lord’s Supper is a memorial that not only looks back to Christ’s substitutionary atonement, but forward to His glorious appearing
a. the Apostle Paul said the partaking of the Lord’s Supper proclaims the Lord’s death till he comes again
b. in earliest Christianity the Lord’s Supper was pervaded by intense eschatological expectation
2. Jesus Christ is coming again and He’s coming for all those who faithfully confess his name in this world

II. THE LORD'S SUPPER CELEBRATES OUR UNION WITH EACH OTHER

“Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” (1 Corinthians 10:17, NIV84)

A. THE LORD'S SUPPER TESTIFIES THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST IS FAMILY

1. we is all related!
2. someone once said that you can pick your friends, but that your stuck with your family
a. some of you here that don't like me? That's ok. You don't have to like me, but you do have to love me!
b. and you've got to love each other too!
3. the early church was a fellowship of love
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34–35, NIV84)
4. to participate in the Lord's Supper means you are not embarrassed to call those in the pews around you brothers and sisters in Christ

B. THE LORD'S SUPPER TESTIFIES THAT WE HAVE UNITY OF SPIRIT AND PURPOSE

1. Paul urged the Corinthians to be like-minded
“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10, NIV84)
2. let's face it, much of what the world sees of Baptists is not always pretty
a. they’ve seen us fuss and feud and fight and split far too often
ILLUS. Years ago, when Linda and I were living in Adrian, a dear old Methodist lady told me with a wink of her eye and a smile on her face, "I just love to watch you Baptists. You're better than Saturday night wrestling!"
b. sometimes, that is true
c. but I’ve discovered something — there is usually a whole lot more that unites us than divides us!
3. when you participate in the Lord's Supper you are saying, "I'm willing to love and participate in the family of God for good or for bad."
a. it means working at loving each other when the other fellow is sometimes unlovely
“God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So always do these things: Show mercy to others, be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Get along with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Do all these things; but most important, love each other. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14, NCV)

III. THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATES!

1. there is a great word that the early church used to describe the Lord’s Supper that we just won’t use in Baptist circles
a. we won’t use it because it just seems “to Catholic”
2. it’s the word Eucharist
a. the word simply means thanksgiving
b. is not used in the New Testament as a name for the rite; however, the related verb is found in New Testament accounts of the Last Supper
“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23–24, NIV84)
3. Jesus gave thanks for the redemptive work of God that was about to be accomplished on the cross
4. Christians give thanks for the redemptive work of God that was indeed accomplished on the cross
a. and for that we are ... we must be ... a thankful people
“Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16, NIV84)
b. we express our thanksgiving to God for the unspeakable gift of grace that comes to us in Christ
ILLUS. “My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness” was written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend in 2002. The song of heartfelt thankfulness is structured into three verses of past, present and future salvation: the first verse reminds us of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross; the second verse of God’s day-today presence and power with us, walking alongside and providing us with all we need; and the third verse looks forward to the sure knowledge that His eternal rule makes our future assured in Him.
Verse 1
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me with His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With pow'r upon my heart
Verse 2
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace
Verse 3
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who reigns above
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace
Whose every thought is love
For every day I have on earth
Is given by the King
So I will give my life my all
To love and follow Him
The psalmist cries out, “How can I repay the Lord for all the good done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!” Among Christians, part of the answer to the psalmist’s questions is the celebration of the Lord’s Supper with deep thanksgiving for the one who ... plumbed the depths of my disgrace ... who walks beside me, and ... to Him who reigns above.
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