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Summary: A recent survey showed that most Christians aren’t quite sure about this practice handed down from Jesus to His disciples to the Church.

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Title: Communion: What does it really mean?

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23-27

By: Pastor Rick MacDonald

Date: February 28, 1992

1 Corinthians 11:23-27 - For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which 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 He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (27) Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

Introduction:

The first Sunday of every month, as we gather together in worship, fellowship and stewardship, we receive communion. Why? Is it some form of vain tradition that has become a means within itself? Or is it a significant practice, observed for the "building up of the child of God unto a mature man?" If you aren’t sure, don’t feel bad, your not alone. A recent survey showed that most Christians aren’t quite sure about this practice handed down from Jesus to His disciples to the Church. Today we will practice with a heart toward understanding communion.

Facts about the Communion Meal:

1. At the time they were observing the passover meal

I. An act of S U B M I S S I O N

(23) For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which 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 He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

A. Obedience is primary in our relationship with our heavenly Father.

B. Obedience always brings about promise.

II. An act of C O M M E M O R A T I O N

(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 He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

A. Until now the observation of the "Passover Supper", was done in remembrance of what God did to deliver Israel from the captivity of Egypt.

B. The feast was now to be a feast of covenant and remembrance. The covenant was that of fellowship. The items signifying the "Peace Offering" were not consumed by fire and were therefore for the consumption of the Priest and the people. Jesus was saying that their receiving of these portions were symbolic of their participation in His death. Furthermore, they were now to remember His death as deliverance from eternal captivity to eternal life.

C. Jesus picked up the cup, filled with wine, set aside for the anticipated messiah. He was proclaiming to them that He was the fulfillment of everything they had been waiting for.

III. An act of P R O C L A M A T I O N

(26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

A. Partaking of the settings of the Lord’s table is a proclamation on our part that we believe in Calvary, Jesus and everything fulfilled through both.

IV. An act of A N T I C I P A T I O N

(26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

A. We do not come to this table because it is the popular thing to do. We come because we show the anticipation of His return.

NOTE: A word needs to be said about the warning against "eating and drinking UNWORTHILY." Many who have misunderstood this has abstained from partaking. The unworthiness has nothing to do with the person, but the manner in which the portion is taken. The warning referred to the Corinthians greedy and intemperate manner as described in 1 Corinthians 11:20-22

1 Corinthians 11:20-22 - Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, (21) for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. (22) What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God, and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

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