Summary: This sermon looks at the Lord’s supper using colossians. It focuses upon communion is a time to thank God, it is a command of Christ and it is a reminder to confess our sins.
Colossians part 3
Tell me about the Lord’s Supper
This is the third week in a series on the book of Colossians
Week 1 we looked at how Paul was addressing the issue of Gnosticism. That is, the people were blending some Christian truths, Jewish legalism, Greek Philosophy and Eastern mysticism.
Week 2 we looked at Five strategies for knowing God:
1) to decide to accept Christ’ priorities for my life.
2) I must depend on Christ’s power as I spend time in prayer with him.
3) I must dedicate myself to a continuous process of getting to know God that will last for the rest of my life.
4) I must deepen my understanding of crucial principles.
5) I need to develop my connections with other people.
This week we are looking at Colossians and the Lord’s supper.
Some have approached me and asked for an explanation of the meaning of The Lord’s Supper, or at least to help better understand how it can help us in our spiritual walk. Today, I am again going to depend heavily upon scripture, John Wesley’s sermon “The Duty of Constant Communion” is also a good reference.
Every Christian ought to be ready to stand up courageously and unashamedly for the Lord.
In the 1700’s there was a great German empire called Prussia and it ruled most of northern Europe. Frederick the Great was the emperor. The German empire was so cruel and wealthy, people described it as Sparta during the day and Athens at night
On one occasion Frederick the Great invited some notable people to his royal table including his top-ranking generals. One of them by the name of Hans von Zieten declined the invitation because he wanted to take the Lord’s supper at his church. Sometime later at another banquet Frederick and his guests mocked the general for his religious sense of right and wrong and made jokes about the Lord’s Supper. In great peril of his life, the officer stood to his feet and said respectfully to the monarch, “My lord, there is a greater King than you, a King to whom I have sworn allegiance even unto death. I am a Christian man, and I cannot sit quietly as the Lord’s name is dishonored and his character belittled.” The guests trembled in silence, knowing that von Zieten might be killed. But to their surprise, Frederick grasped the hand of this courageous man, asked his forgiveness, and requested that he remain. He promised that he would never again allow such a mockery to be made of sacred things. In ways like this, the gospel is passed from one to another.
1) Communion is a time to thank God
2) It is a command of Christ
3) It is a reminder to confess our sins
Let us read
1) Communion is a time to thank God
“This sacrament awakens a holy memory of what Jesus Christ has done for us and for the whole world. It fixes our mind on the fact of our sin and on our need for forgiveness. It communicates God’s love for each soul. And mysteriously, through the bread and the cup, the Holy Spirit moves in our midst to bring home to us, both personally and in community, the effects of the great work of Christ in our behalf. Therefore this sacrament is a celebration of God’s redeeming love and empowering grace. It means our grateful acceptance of God’s gift of forgiveness and new life. It means renewed commitment and resolve.” (Bishop Mack Stokes, American Methodist Bishop)
When Paul wrote his letter to the people in Colossae, he was also in a roundabout way speaking of The Lords Supper. His statement “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God,” (verse 2) calls us to reconsider where our priorities are. If we are indeed “hidden with Christ in God” then we have the duty to communicate with Him constantly.
A back drop for this passage is:
1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let the redeemed (those bought and set free) of the LORD say so,
whom he has redeemed (purchased) from trouble
3and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south. Psalm 107
What do you suppose the Psalmist was referring to when he wrote these lines? If we consider these words, we can readily see that we are to thank God constantly.
A true story, a friend of mine ‘John’ was new at a company. He was told be careful with the new photocopier it gets hot and can melt overheads when you put them through the photocopier. So treat it carefully.