Summary: It is not without purpose that the Lord gave us the ordinances of the church. Communion offers us a special time to refocus the inner man.
Title: Communion: A Time to Refocus
Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
Date: February 19, 2012
Place: Washington A/G
I. Revival & Communion
A. The Table is spread
1. What were your thoughts?
2. Will you stay?
B. Every communion ought to bring personal revival
1. Jesus said, “do this in remembrance of Me.”
2. As we remember our Lord; His sacrifice, through the receiving together the elements symbolic of His body broken for us and His blood shed for us it should be a time that ushers in for us a personal time of revival.
II. What Communion is not
A. It is not a religious incantation and ritual through which we earn, attain, or achieve salvation
B. It is not simply a form we go through to fulfill our religious duties.
1. To many communion has been reduced to this; it’s just a part of the routine
2. To many it has become like church attendance, church work and giving to the church of our time, talents and tithe without ever stopping to consider the true significance of the act.
III. A Time to Refocus
A. In every act of communion for us there is a call:
1. Back to our first love (looking backward)
a. We look back to the cross and behold the price, the great extravagant price that was paid for us
b. We are reminded in this that we did not love Him first, but the reason we love Him at all is because He first Loved us.
2. Repentance (looking inward)
a. It is a time to examine ourselves honestly before the Lord
b. It is a time with all sobriety to measure our lives and conduct against the price that was paid to redeem us and ask “am I living in a manner befitting of one who has been redeemed?”
3. Evangelistic Fervor (looking outward)
a. We behold the love extended us that declare, “Freely I have received”
b. We are reacquainted with the responsibility then to Freely Give
4. Expectation (looking upward)
a. We remember the Words of the angels
b. “This same Jesus, in like manner as you have seen Him go away, He will return again.”
B. I want us to take a few moments today before you are served these emblems of communion to refocus on these four perspectives.
I. Communion is a time for looking Backward
A. 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; 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." 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." (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NKJV)
B. Looking back to the cross
1. The Cross is the message of the church
2. Paul, earlier had written to this came church and said, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” ( 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 NKJV)
3. Make no mistake about it, in a day and hour when the messages pouring from pulpits across this land seem to sound more like a self-help pep talk than the preaching of the Gospel, the message of the church of the living God is still the cross.
a. It is not a message of worldly riches
b. It is not a message of finding the good life through positive thinking
c. It matters not how esteemed by this world a prophet is, His popularity in this world means nothing in the sight of Almighty God, and if His message does not in some way point you to the cross it is weightless in light of eternity.
d. The true message of the cross is life abundant, life eternal, that is only found in Christ Jesus and made possible through the finished work of Calvary.
C. Other messages are temporal
1. Through the years I’ve heard a lot of people say, “I came into the church during this movement or that…”
2. Thank God for movements, but movements are not the message
a. Movements move in
b. Movements move on
c. The message remains, and must continue as the bedrock of faith
3. The winds of doctrine blow and sometimes in strange ways, and it matters not what wind of doctrine you blew in on, if it did not blow you to the foot of an Old Rugged Cross there to repent and find forgiveness for your sins then the fate of your eternal soul rests in a passing fad for fashion that will gain nothing in eternity