Holy Communion Poured out for many
… for many for the forgiveness of sins
(06 March 2005, am)
Doxology Hymn 293:5 (Tune 217 – only one verse, followed by “AMEN”)
Call to worship
Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. (Psalm 96:2-3)
Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. (Revelation 1:4-5)
Hymn No 24: “Sing to God new songs of Worship”
Prayer of Adoration, Invocation, Thanksgiving, and Lord’s Prayer
Tithes, offering and dedication
Remaining seated, all sing:
Hymn No 611: “Come, you thankful people, come”
(only as many verses as needed)
Prayer for others
Scripture Reading Matthew 26:17-30
We plead with you, O Lord, to enlighten our minds and to strengthen our wills, that we may know what we ought to do and be enabled to do it, through the grace of your Holy Spirit and through the merits of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN
Sermon Poured out for many for the forgiveness
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Our Saviour commanded us to celebrate the Holy Communion as a perpetual feast until He comes again. We most do it in his remembrance.
Gathered here this morning we believe that Jesus Christ is in our midst as He promised. We also believe that Christ is present as we read the Word and celebrate the sacrament. We don’t believe as the roman church that the wine and bread really becomes the body and blood of our Lord; but we on the other hand don’t see it as purely as hollow symbol without meaning. In these symbols we celebrate the actual presence of the Lord, and we understand the dynamic meaning of what these symbols symbolise.
; The actual presence of the Lord
In the everyday understanding of the word memory, or memorial, we think of something that is intended to remind people of a person who has died or an event in which people died, for example a statue, speech, or special ceremony. We think of these special people as people who do not live anymore. They lived in the past. We have good memories of them and we celebrate their lives because it might have a special influence on our lives because of the good example set by these people.
But when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper in memory of the Lord it is different. Our Lord did die on the cross, but the important aspect of this proclamation is that He rose again. ; He conquered death. We don’t have a monument of Jesus, or a cenotaph with an inscription of Christ on it. There is no grave to go to. That grave was opened and is empty now! ; Our Lord is alive! We worship a living Saviour.
And that is what we celebrate today. But more than that: God instituted the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion for his church as signs and seals of his ceaseless presence with his church. In very real terms we believe that ; the Lord is here today. At the table He is the host and we the guests. We don’t invite Him to be with us; He invites us to commune with Him!
As certainly as we take the bread in our hands and eat it, as certainly as we take the wine and drink it, so we know for sure that the Lord is the living Saviour. He is not present in body, but as surely as the disciples were blessed by his presence that night, so surely are we blessed by his presence this morning.
; The dynamic meaning of the symbols
Our verse this morning talks about the blood of our Lord poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
The Heidelberg Catechism helps us to understand what a sacrament is:
; The sacraments are holy visible signs and seals, appointed of God for this end, that by the use thereof, He may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the gospel, viz., that He grants us freely the remission of sin, and life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross.
; By the use of the sacraments God declares and seals to use visibly the invisible glories of salvation. Through these signs He declares more fully the promise of the Gospel. What are the promises of the Gospel? He grants us freely forgiveness of sin and eternal life! Why? Because of the sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross.
This is why we have to celebrate Holy Communion over and over again. ; This is salvation illustrated.
I see with my eyes, the bread of the Lord broken, and I drink from the cup. By faith I believe the promise that the Lord feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his crucified body and shed blood as assuredly as I receive and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.
I may know that when I take these signs in my hand and believe what they signify, it becomes a guarantee that God accepted the sacrifice of ; Jesus Christ in my place as if I was nailed to the cross to receive punishment for my sins. But the glorious truth is that Jesus stepped in for me because my sacrifice would not be enough. ; But now, looking back on the magnificent sacrifice, I accept the gift and I die at the feet of Jesus.
; Every time we come to sit at the table we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, our Lord, but here we also come to die more and more.
Here we celebrate; here we proclaim the glorious message: Our Saviour is in our midst. He is alive. He calls us to repentance and a new life. This message is not for the small band of disciples only: this message is for the lost in all parts of the word. It is for the forgiveness of sins of many.
May God continue his call to the lost even this day. If you hear his voice this morning, do not harden your heart. Don’t doubt is call: look at the bread and wine – it is the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Take it, eat and drink and believe that the Lord gave his life as a complete ransom for your soul. AMEN.
Prayer of Confession of sin
Almighty God, we confess that we all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way. We have followed the passions and desires of our own hearts, we have broken your good and just laws, we have left undone those things we ought to have done, and we have done the very things we ought not to have done. But we plead with you to have mercy upon all who confess their sins, restore those who truly repent, according to your promise declared to us through Jesus. Grant that for Jesus’ sake we may, from now on, live a godly, righteous, and holy life, to the glory of your great name. Amen.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
Hymn no 357: “And now, O Father”
Public Confession of Faith and Baptism
1. Hunt family:
a. Warren David Hunt
b. Roslyn Janice Hunt
1. Ashleigh Hunt (DOB 12/10/92)
2. Mitchell David Hunt (DOB 29/08/94)
3. Shannon McPherson Hunt (DOB 15/11/96)
4. Thomas Edward Terence Hunt (DOB 04/06/03)
* (Alex Hunt 27/04/2002 – now with the Lord)
c. Margaret Maud (mother of Leanne)
d. Leanne Margaret Petrofski and her children:
1. Lilly Frances Wells (DOB ?)
2. Thomas Isaac Wells (DOB ?)
3. Henry Ryan Wells (DOB ?)
2. Bernice Leslie Gradidge
3. Malcolm Matthew Finn
4. Amy Louise Bartholomew
· Do you acknowledge that the Bible, that is the Old and New Testaments, is the inerrant Word of God and the only rule of life and faith?
· Do you believe the Westminster Confession of Faith is a faithful summary of the doctrines of the Bible as they are taught in this Christian Church?
· Do you profess that you believe in the Creator of the universe, the Triune God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as He reveals Himself through creation in general, and the Holy Scriptures specifically?
· Do you believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only Mediator between God and man? Do you love Him and trust Him and embrace Him as Lord of your life?
(Baptism of Ros, Malcolm and children here)
We believe and confess that Jesus Christ, in whom the law is fulfilled, has by his shed blood put an end to every other shedding of blood, which anyone might do or wish to do in order to atone or satisfy for sins.
Having abolished circumcision, which was done with blood, He established in its place the sacrament of baptism. By it we are received into God's church and set apart from all other people and alien religions, that we may be dedicated entirely to Him, bearing his mark and sign. It also witnesses to us that He will be our God forever, since He is our gracious Father.
Therefore He has commanded that all those who belong to Him be baptised with water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In this way He signifies to us that just as water washes away the dirt of the body when it is poured on us and also is seen on the body of the baptised when it is sprinkled on him, so too the blood of Christ does the same thing internally, in the soul, by the Holy Spirit. It washes and cleanses it from its sins and transforms us from being the children of wrath into the children of God.
This does not happen by the physical water but by the sprinkling of the precious blood of the Son of God. In this way Christ is like the Red Sea through which we must pass to escape the tyranny of Pharoah, who is the devil, and to enter the spiritual land of Canaan, which is heaven.
So ministers, as far as their work is concerned, give us the sacrament and what is visible, but our Lord gives what the sacrament signifies-- namely the invisible gifts and graces; washing, purifying, and cleansing our souls of all filth and unrighteousness; renewing our hearts and filling them with all comfort; giving us true assurance of his fatherly goodness; clothing us with the "new man" and stripping off the "old," with all its works.
For this reason we believe that anyone who aspires to reach eternal life ought to be baptised only once without ever repeating it-- for we cannot be born twice. Yet this baptism is profitable not only when the water is on us and when we receive it but throughout our entire lives.
We believe our children ought to be baptised and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as little children were circumcised in Israel on the basis of the same promises made to our children.
And truly, Christ has shed his blood no less for washing the little children of believers than He did for adults.
Therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of what Christ has done for them, just as the Lord commanded in the law that by offering a lamb for them the sacrament of the suffering and death of Christ would be granted them shortly after their birth. This was the sacrament of Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, baptism does for our children what circumcision did for the Jewish people. That is why Paul calls baptism the "circumcision of Christ."
1. Roslyn Janice Hunt
2. Ashleigh Hunt (DOB 12/10/92)
3. Mitchell David Hunt (DOB 29/08/94)
4. Shannon McPherson Hunt (DOB 15/11/96)
5. Thomas Edward Terence Hunt (DOB 04/06/03)
6. Malcolm Matthew Finn
7. Lilly Frances Wells (DOB ?)
8. Thomas Isaac Wells (DOB ?)
9. Henry Ryan Wells (DOB ?)
· Do you accept the gracious promises of God sealed to you in your baptism as a sign of the Covenant of Grace?
· Do you promise to live a holy Christian life in obedience to that Covenant?
· Do you promise to do everything to your ability, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to share faithfully in the life of the church and its means of grace, submitting to its supervision and discipline, and do you promise to share with the people of God in doing the work of the Lord wherever you are?
Hymn 352: “The Lord bless you”
The Table of the Lord
2. Communion Tokens
God of all grace, we worship you for all the means you have appointed for building us up in faith. Teach us to see in them your loving purposes and to find joy and strength for our souls.
Father, you have prepared a table before us and, although not one of us is worthy to attend as an invited guest, yet we rest completely in the merits and mercy of Christ and hide ourselves under his righteousness. So when we hear your tender invitation and see your wonderful grace, we cannot help but come to you in love.
When we receive the symbols of our Saviour’s death, enable us to contemplate that death in which:
He gave his life to purchase ours;
He offered himself an atonement for our sins;
He shed his blood to blot out our guilt;
He was pierced that we might be made whole;
He endured our curse, that we might be set free;
He bore our condemnation, that all your justice could be satisfied.
Here, may we more firmly grasp the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of Christ. As we reach out to receive the bread and wine, may that act truly declare to all that we have received the Lord, who is our life, our strength, our joy and our delight.
Grant us your mercy to remember here something of his eternal love, boundless grace, infinite compassion, agony, cross, redemption and so receive assurance of pardon, adoption, life and glory.
As we take these elements into our bodies, so may your Holy Spirit give life to our souls, until the day when we shall hunger and thirst no more, but sit with Christ at his heavenly feast, the marriage supper of the Lamb, in whose name we pray. Amen.
We give thanks, our God, that we have again been privileged to sit at your table and to dwell upon your rich, undying love for us. We thank you too, for the testimony of those who have proclaimed your death in days gone by and who now feast at your table in that home with many rooms, which Jesus is preparing even now for those who love Him. By your Holy Spirit, strengthen us. Preserve us against all the assaults of the evil one. Rekindle within us a deep love for you.
Stir up our zeal for godliness and, in true spiritual fervour, may we serve you all the days of our earthly life until you call us home to see you face to face and to live eternally with all the redeemed saints in your heavenly kingdom.
Great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we bring you glory, thanks and praise, for all that we have seen and heard, tasted and handled of the Word of Life; for fellowship with you and with your Son, and with your people, too. We humbly ask you to accept us as we dedicate ourselves to you again. Help us with your daily grace, that we may continue in this fellowship, that our hearts may be filled with new courage and hope; that we may live to your glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Hymn No 335: “Saviour, again to your dear Name”
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)