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Summary: This message reiterates the fact that often the closest communion with God will also involve some fellowship some of the bitter betrayals of life.

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1 Corinthians 11:23 KJV For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

I. INTRODUCTION -- THE FIRST COMMUNION

I shall never the first time that I was able to take communion. For years, I had sat back and took far too much heart and thought into those who took on communion “unworthily.” The first time that I took communion was the Thursday of the preceding Easter Sunday of 1990.

I was at Texas Bible College and the custom then was to take communion prior to Easter Sunday. Honestly, I was nervous about it but we had spent the time leading up to the service in fasting and prayer. I am almost certain that Brother J. R. Ensey preached a message to us on “Loving Much” which was about the alabaster box of ointment that was broken in an act of worship.

After he preached there was a time of prayer and consecration around the altars and then we returned to our seats. I can remember the passing of the broken piece of cracker and the grape juice that accompanied it. Then Brother Ensey began to read the passage from 1 Corinthians 11 and then he went to Isaiah 53 and read that. Needless to say, the whole entire service still means something to me.

There were other times that I have taken Communion that really spoke greatly to me. There was a time on Sunday morning at Life Tabernacle in Houston that the Lord moved tremendously in my heart. I also took Communion one year at Because of the Times and felt the power of the Lord in the whole act of worship.

That is what I hope happens here every time that we take Communion. It is my desire for it to be a time of commitment, anointing, and spiritual refreshment for you and for this church.

II. 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23

A. The Passage of Scripture

-This very Scripture marks a passage in time. It is important to understand that when Paul wrote these words that he was under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. I am certain that the higher voice of the Spirit was beckoning Paul to illustrate a principle to a New Testament Church.

-The Principle: Communion with God is a very weighty issue and invariably where there is communion there will also be betrayal.

-Paul could have written to us, “in the same night in which he. . .”

• Washed the feet of His disciples.

• Spent the Passover meal with those closest to Him.

• He prayed in the Garden.

• He gave the Disciples a lasting message.

• He simply was present with His disciples.

-If Paul would have written that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, we could see the aspect of moral and spiritual cleansing.

-If Paul would have written that Jesus prayed the great prayer of John 17, we could see the Lord’s desire for unity and holiness in the Church.

-If Paul would have written that Jesus wrestled in the Garden, we would have seen the weight of redemption played out in tandem with the process of Communion.

-These events would have seemingly marked Communion with a greater glory.

-But now Paul writes:

1 Corinthians 11:23 KJV [23] For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

-He is not marking a point in history but rather he is setting a precedent for those who were at Corinth and those many that have followed throughout history.

B. The Communion Principle: Bread But Also Betrayal

-One of the Communion Principles: You will enjoy Bread. . . but you will encounter an enemy. It is always going to be like this until death or the Rapture. Communion has price tags.

-Yet Paul is displaying to us a power that says, “Betrayal is not the point, the glory of Communion rises higher than does the dilemmas of life.”

Rembrandt, the masterful artist, used this method with many of his paintings. He would paint a very decisive contrast of light and shadow. The backgrounds of his work are always dark. The face he paints stands out in strong relief to the darkness of the background.

-Paul puts the lamp in the feast. The background is dark with betrayal. But the foreground shows the patience, compassion, and steadfastness of the Lord in the midst of the greatest trial of His life.

William Clow -- “Those long and heavy hours of the night in which Judas sat by Christ’s side make the darkest background against which any character was ever set.”

• See the malicious glint in his eyes.

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