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Summary: Communion message

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Communion: A Time to Look…

1 Corinthians 11:23-32

August 9, 2009

NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."

NOTE: MUCH OF WHAT I SHARE IN THIS MESSAGE IS FROM "THE NIV APPLICATION COMMENTARY."

Me: Most of you know that before coming to this church, I served as the temporary pastor at our Bristol church.

When the District Superintendent called to see if I was willing to serve, he mentioned that it had been about a year since they had been served Communion.

In the Wesleyan Church, we’re required to have Communion at least quarterly, and more often as each church decides.

Anyway, I had just begun my ministerial studies and had no idea how to serve Communion.

In fact, because I was just getting started and wasn’t yet a licensed minister, I didn’t think I was even allowed to serve Communion.

But, Rev. Smith assured me that he would take care of that, and that the church in Bristol was more than willing to take Communion from me.

And in the back of my mind, I was going, “So? What’s the big deal if you miss Communion once in a while?”

Well, I came to find out that it really is a big deal.

Not because our salvation hinges on it, because it doesn’t.

But because this sacrament has tons of meaning attached to it, and for the serious follower of Jesus, it’s not something to just be blown off.

And truth be told, until that time I was generally of the opinion that Communion was something I could take or leave and it wouldn’t bother me either way.

We: And so as I was praying about how to approach this message about Communion, I got the idea that it might be a good for us if we all examined just how we approach it.

And maybe we’ll all walk out of here today with a fresh perspective, or at least a reinforcing of a perspective you’ve held onto for years.

God: Communion is also called the Lord’s Supper, of course. I prefer Communion because the “supper” was actually a Passover meal during which Jesus gave us the sacrament of Communion.

There are three “directions” with which we can look at Communion, according to 1 Corinthians 11:23-32

Verses 23-25 give us the first way to look at communion:

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

Communion is a time to look…

> Backward.

Communion is a time of remembrance of a couple things:

First, it’s a reminder that God has always been there to deliver His people, even before the Passover that Jesus was celebrating and about to fulfill.

Adam and Eve had to have the blood of an animal spilled out to provide skins to cover their sin and shame.

Noah and his family were delivered during God’s judgment on earth.

The Hebrews, of course, were delivered out of bondage and slavery during the first Passover – when God’s angel passed over those who had the blood of the lamb of goat on their door frames.

And there have been other times when God delivered His people, all looking forward to the day when Jesus would bring the ultimate deliverance by shedding His blood on the cross for you and me.

And that’s the second thing to remember: God’s ultimate deliverance from sin and its penalty, as well as its power over us if we’ll choose to live in Him.

Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we no longer have to be slaves to sin. Because of the new covenant of life that He brought, we can break the chains that hold us slaves to sin.

When we share in Communion, we proclaim not just His death, but everything His death brought – salvation, cleansing from sin, the breaking of sin’s power over us, the promise of eternal life when we die, and the promise of a full life on earth while we live.

Communion is a time to look backward – and to say, “Thank You, Lord.”

Verse 26 tells us direction we can look:

26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

This verse tells that Communion is a time to look…

> Forward.

The Scriptures say that Jesus is coming back some day. Not just this Scripture, but many, and even Jesus Himself said so.

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