09-04-05-Communion Our Covenant Memorial
Last week in our study about being children of God we ended by saying that we have a great inheritance in Christ. Rom 8:17 says “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” A part of our inheritance that we can have right now is the privilege of taking communion.
Have you ever been reading Genesis and noticed that everywhere they went they were building altars out of rocks or doing something like planting a tree? Why did they do that? They were leaving memorials behind them. The Bible is full of these memorials.
A favorite subject that I have studied for many years is the Blood Covenant. In my studies of the Blood Covenant I discovered that all 6 Redemptive covenants in the Bible have a memorial. The purpose of the memorial is to remind us of the covenant.
1. Adamic--Skins of animals (Gen 3:21)
2. Noahic--Rainbow (Gen 9:12-17)
3. Abrahamic--Circumcision (Gen 17:9-13)
4. Mosaic (Law)--2 primary memorials:
A. Priesthood and Sacrificial system--constant reminder of sin and redemption (Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, Day of Atonement, etc.)
B. Passover (Ex 12:2-14) Type of Christ's death:
1) Changed month (7th to 1st), so important---Order of week changed--Sunday, 1st day
2) Lamb—male, 1yr old, without blemish--Set apart for 10th-14th day---"Lamb slain before the foundation of the world" Jesus was set apart from this world
3) Blood placed on sides & top of door---His blood was shed on the cross
4) Cooked & ate all of meal--no bones broken---No bones of Jesus were broken
5) Deliverance from Egypt---Redemption from sin
5. Davidic--Sun, moon, stars (Psalms 89:34-37; Jer 32:35)
6. New Covenant--Communion
1 Corinthians 11:24-26 (NIV) 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.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Communion (also called The Lord’s Table or the Lord’s Supper) is our covenant memorial as the children of God. It shows that we belong to Him and reminds us of the fact that we have a covenant with God and all the benefits that go with it belong to us because of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
There is debate over how often we should take communion. Actually, you can never take it too often. The early church “broke bread” daily (Acts 2:42), which probably was the Lord’s Supper as well as a meal. My wife and I celebrate communion at home on the first of each month as a reminder that we are in covenant with God and that He is in covenant with us throughout the month. I would like to establish a tradition at New Prairie that we take communion on the first Sunday of each month. To do so will remind us each month that we belong to God and He is in covenant with us.
Communion is one of the 2 Holy Sacraments of the church (Baptism being the other). The Book of Discipline says: “¶125 The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death. To those who rightly, worthily and with faith receive it, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ. The supper is also a sign of the love and unity that Christians have among themselves.”
Traditionally, communion is more like a funeral service than a celebration. Today, I would like to show you the great inheritance that communion is to a believer and how it is truly a celebration of our life in Christ Jesus. (Read passage from Blood Brothers in Christ, pp.117-118).
While communion should be a time of rejoicing (not a funeral service), it is also not a time of irreverence!! (1 Cor 11:20-22, 27-34) So before we can actually share in communion we need to look at a few truths.
1. Examine our attitude--don't look for self condemnation, but if there is sin it needs to dealt with (1 John 1:9)
A. Irreverent to take of the Lord's body (being in covenant relationship and union with Christ) and still walk in sin
1) 1 Cor 11:27-30 many were sick and weak because they had treated the covenant union as a light thing
2) If we judge ourselves, we will not be judged by God
a. God sees this memorial as sacred and does not want it treated as unholy or unimportant—Why?
b. It cost too much—His very own Son!
2. Recognize that when you take communion you are showing (declaring to) devils, angels, and men that you are in union with Christ
A. You have been forgiven of all your sin and have His nature in you—we are new creatures and righteous in His sight (2 Cor 5:17-21)
B. You are in covenant with Almighty God; therefore all that He has is yours
C. You are His covenant partner—His friend (John 15:15). Abraham—friend James 2:23), David not called friend. He will protect and care for you—nothing can harm you
3. When we eat the bread and drink the wine we are proclaiming that we are blood covenant heirs and all the blessings of the covenant are ours
A. We are ratifying (confirming) the covenant—making it real to us personally
B. We are saying He is my God, and I am His child
C. Know that because of this union with God we can reach into the spirit realm and appropriate the realities that are ours through the covenant—healing, love, joy, peace, prosperity, victory, etc. (The blessings of the covenant are ours)
1) We can receive healing for our bodies because the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in us (Rom 8:11)
2) We are partakers (sharers) of His divine nature (2 Pet 1:4)
5. We are showing our loyalty and love to:
A. Jesus—being obedient to His Word and fellowshipping with Him
B. Body of Christ—we are reminded that through our union with Christ we are also united to one another—there should be no divisions in His body (1 Cor 12:25)
1) We are to bear one another's burdens and not criticize each other (Gal 6:1-2)
2) We are in covenant relationship with each other just as much as we are to God—bound by His covenant of love
6. There are 4 Things to Remember:
1. Back—Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus—what He has done—faith—past
2. Ahead—Second Coming of Jesus—hope—future
3. Around—The Body of Christ—brothers and sisters—love—present
4. Within—Our Identification and Union with Christ—who we are in Him—victory—present
The Lord's Table (Communion) is a confession of our:
1) He died, was buried, and rose from the dead--our confession of this brought our salvation
· Romans 10:9-11 (NIV) That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
· Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
2) God was faithful when He saved us, He will be faithful now!!
1) He is preparing a home for us now and will come back to take us with Him (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess 4:13-18)—this is called our Blessed Hope
Titus 2:13-14 (NIV) while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
2) He has not forgotten about us, but is interceding for us daily
Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) 5 Therefore he is able to save completely c those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
1) We have His love in us (Rom 5:5)
Romans 5:5 (NIV) . . . because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
2) We know that our brother's and sisters love us through His love
1) We are new creatures in Christ and are identified with Him (2 Cor 5:17)
2) "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4 KJV)
To take Communion with an enlightened understanding is to know what is written in His will to you, and as an heir to take what is legally yours!!!!! What do you need from the covenant today? Healing, Peace, Joy, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy—it is all there and all you have to do is believe it and take it.
c Or forever