Summary: What is communion? A covenant relationship between God and His people.
Communion is a Covenant: Luke 22:14-20
INTRO: Over and over again in the New Testament, Christians are reminded that we are not our own; we have been bought with a price.
• God has come to us ~ redeemed us by His Son ~ entered into our lives thru His Holy Spirit ~ and has voluntarily bound Himself to us with a COVENANT!
• In our modern thinking, a covenant is a formal agreement, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
• For the Christian, a covenant a conditional promise God made to His children (the Church), as revealed in Scripture.
• Basically, God has bound Himself, with an oath, to act on our behalf by fulfilling the promises He has given us in His Word.
• Jesus said, in verse 20, “The cup that is poured out for you, is the new covenant in My blood.”
So let’s look at Communion as a Covenant this morning:
I). First Aspect: Communion is a sign of God’s Grace.
A). The first thing I want you to understand this morning is that communion came from God and not man.
• Jesus alone created Communion.
• You can say it came as a result of the Passover, but who created the Passover?
B). In giving us Holy Communion, Jesus used things that are seen (bread & cup) as symbols of things that are unseen and eternal.
• He used the physical to direct our lives to the spiritual.
C). As a result these things are now a “means of grace”. What does that mean?
• The means of grace are the ways in which God works invisibly in His disciples, quickening, strengthening and confirming our faith.
• We use them to open our hearts and lives to God's work in us.
D). In communion, God seals that grace in us, and we are reminded that we are His.
• I want to think about it like this:
• In our nation, we have our flag (visible object) and our pledge of Allegiance (the word).
• In our marriages, we have our rings (visible) and our vows (the words).
• In Holy Communion, we have the bread & cup (visible) and the Bible (Word).
• None of those visible objects have the same meaning without the words!
II). Our Covenant Relationship with God involves a Sacrament of Love.
A). The word “sacrament” comes from the Latin use when a soldier took an oath of service to the emperor.
• The soldier gave his allegiance to serve the emperor to the death if necessary.
B). At communion we take an oath of allegiance (or loyalty) to Jesus Christ.
• It is here we renew our vows of devotion to Him.
C). In our prayer of Thanksgiving (United Methodist Hymnal, page 16) we “offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice…”
• It’s a sacrament of His love for us ~ and a response of our love for Him.
III). Finally, this covenant is a pledge and Commitment of Loyalty.
A). Communion brings us face to face with Jesus.
• We are reminded of the vows that we have taken at our baptism and our membership into the church.
• We are the people ~ the children ~ of God.