Summary: The Lord’s Table is a powerful occasion for faith’s confession. In partaking we not only confess before heaven that we believe, but also that we have not forgotten.

Title: A Look at the Lord’s Table

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

By: Pastor Rick MacDonald

Date: February 4, 1996

1. Conduct:

{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.

A. Factions . . . recognized

A visibility that gives the observer an ability to define immediately what is seen. Here Paul states that the only good that can come out of false brethren is the evident goodness of the true brethren.

Illustration: Aaron was an eleven-year-old boy whose behavior was described by Dr. William Glasser, his psychiatrist, as horrible. In his book, Reality Therapy, Glasser says Aaron was the most obnoxious child he had ever met. The boy would kick, scream, run away and hide, become withdrawn, disrupt his classes and make everyone disgusted with him. Dr. Glasser saw one problem with Aaron that no one else observed: "No one had ever told him that he was doing wrong." No one had ever set limits on what he could do and not do. The psychiatrist decided to try a completely new tack. The boy would have to behave, to act reasonable, or be punished. He responded remarkably. "Probably because he had been anxious for so long to be treated in a realistic way." Thus he became courteous, well behaved, and his miserable grades went to straight A’s. For the first time in his life Aaron began to play constructively with other children, to enjoy honest relationships with others, and to stop blaming his troubles on his mother or other people. Dr. Glasser calls this "reality therapy" and says one of an individual’s greatest needs is to be made to realize that he is personally responsible for what he does and that right behavior accomplishes more than wrong behavior.

2. Custom:

{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.

A. The Lord’s Table is a powerful occasion for faith’s confession. In partaking we not only confess before heaven that we believe, but also that we have not forgotten.

1. Remembrance involves more than just memory - it is an active calling to mind. It is reviewing the details as if we were giving an eyewitness account.

B. In proclaiming we confess to laying hold of all the benefits of Jesus Christ’s full redemption for our life

1. Forgiveness

2. Wholeness/Strength

3. Health

4. Sufficiency

The Lord’s Table is not a ritual, but an active confession. Right now you are calling to memory all that Jesus has promised and provided through the cross.

3. Contemplation:

{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.

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