Summary: Sermon preached prior to celebrating the Lord’s Supper preached on the morning before a business meeting and the week before revival services.
Come To the Table
One of the things I love about the Christian faith is the fact that so little is required of us to be saved.
We aren’t good enough…so we can quit trying.
We can’t do enough good deeds…so that is out of the question.
You name it; it isn’t ever going to be good enough.
That is why Christ died on the cross, to pay the penalty for my sins and your sins.
He did all the work and for that reason He cried out on the cross, “It is finished” as a reminder to us that nothing else can or could be done, and nothing else was necessary.
All we have to do is believe and receive to be saved.
Now as for being saved, then the ante is upped a bit.
We don’t have to do anything to be saved, but we are expected to do a few things once we are saved.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Eph. 2:10 that we are saved for good works in Christ.
And in Phil. 2:12 he tells us to continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
And this is where we find the difference between a sacrament and an ordinance.
I grew up in a denomination that had 7 sacraments, you did as many of them as humanly possible to the best of your abilities in hopes of earning enough mercy to make it to heaven.
A sacrament is a tool of salvation.
On the other hand we as born again believers and as Baptists practice ordinances, 2 ordinances to be specific, as a testimony of our salvation.
We don’t practice these ordinances to be saved, we practice them because we are saved.
The first ordinance is baptism, believer’s baptism to be specific.
This is the public profession of faith to the local church and the world that you have surrendered your life to Christ.
Christ was our example when He went to John to be baptized.
John the Baptist, named so because he baptized, not because he liked fried chicken, baptized people by immersion…it was called a baptism of repentance.
People were testifying to believing and following his message and were making this public profession to show it.
Jesus had no reason to repent, therefore a baptism of repentance was unnecessary for Him.
His baptism came at the beginning of His public ministry, as an example to us that we should follow in His footsteps when we follow Him.
We also practice baptism by immersion as a church because this same Christ commanded us to do so in the Great Commission, Matt. 28:18-20.
But what about that 2nd ordinance, the act is expected of us as a result of our salvation?
That is the Lord’s Supper, and that is what I want is to consider this morning in preparation for our gathering at the Lord’s Table shortly.
Let’s read about the Lord’s Supper together.
Read 1 Cor. 11:17-34 and pray.
Once again, Jesus left us with 2 ordinances to observe as born again believers, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
With His instructions He simply said “as often” as you do this, we are to do it “in remembrance” of Him.
This morning as we prepare to gather at the Lord’s Table in celebration of the Lord’s Supper know these 4 truths concerning this ordinance:
1. The Pattern
Read. vs. 23-25
Paul begins by describing for us the original Lord’s Supper that was conducted by Jesus Himself the night before His crucifixion.
He took 2 very common items found there on their table as they ate as an object lesson.
• The Bread, vs. 23 (don’t describe it yet, just mention)
• The Cup, vs 25
But remember, he used these as object lessons.
a. The bread: vs. 24, represents His body that was to be broken for us.
b. The cup: vs. 25, represents the new covenant between God and man, sealed by the shedding of Christ’s blood for our sins.
The pattern was simple, but the meaning…not so much.
The pattern is to eat the bread and drink from the cup and remember, remember the price that was paid so that we don’t have to pay the penalty for our own sins.
And that takes us to our 2nd truth this morning about the Lord’s Supper
2. The Purpose
Why do we do this, what is the ultimate purpose of the Lord’s Supper?
We are told that we simply have to look to see the purpose.
Jesus tells us we need to look 3 ways, and Paul reiterates that for us.
We need to look…
a. Backwards to the cross, vs. 26a
b. Inward to our conscience, vs. 28
Conscience literally means “with knowledge”