Summary: What is the Lord's Supper? How often should we celebrate Lord's Supper? The background of the church of Corinth, and other like-minded topics.
CHURCH SERIES #3:
DEVOTED TO THE BREAKING OF BREAD
BIBLE VERSE: ACTS 2:42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
TRANSITION: The book of Acts lays out the foundation of the early church, and quite honestly, the modern church as well. Specifically, these 5 verses here explain perfectly the role of the church and what the church is supposed to be and do. So this next series, which continues our Acts 2 series, will be a look at the specific role of the church breaking down part by part week by week.
A. Devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.
B. Devoted themselves to fellowship.
C. Devoted themselves to the breaking of bread.
D. Devoted themselves to prayer.
E. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs.
F. All believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
G. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
H. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
I. They praised God.
J. They enjoyed the favor of all people.
K. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
BIBLE CHAPTER: 1 CORINTHIANS 11:
A) Church of Corinth was found by Paul on his first visit, & a ton of people were added to it in his year and a half stay he had there (Acts 18:1-7).
B) Paul mentions that there are classes in this city and in the church here (though there shouldn’t be), a good term for this would be ordinary citizens & the upper class (1 Corinthians 11:22).
C) Corinth was wicked, especially in the area of sex (sort of like a country I know).
D) It was so bad, the word “Corinth” actually came to mean “Prostitute.” Men would travel into town to pay money for “Corinthian girls.” (leaders, probably avoid this when talking to MS students).
E) When people did join the church, they brought with them false ideas about God & religion (sometimes there are struggles for people to overcome previous misconceptions).
F) Many people came into the church believing in something called Antinomainism, which is pretty much the two-fold belief that the physical body should be fed anything it desires AND the idea that there is not nor can there be any resurrection from the dead.
G) Thus, these people believed very strongly in the motto: Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we should die. So I guess Corinth in my opinion was a lot like America combined with the Klingons off of Star Trek (trekkies like to point out that the alien race had this same motto). If I’m right, then it is safe to assume that these people also had a streak of violence in them as well.
H) Living life in this way is probably the reason why this church did nothing to punish church members who were committing incest as in 1 Corinthians 5, or even stopped the many lawsuits taking place between members.
I) There was also the abuse of spiritual gifts, as members were misusing the gifts of prophecy and tongues, this was done so badly that Paul actually has to lay out for them exactly how they are to be used.
J) People where having unnatural relations with each other, Paul states that even the women were having unnatural relations (for the record, Paul suggests they stop or be removed, which runs contrary to all the popular decisions churches make today regarding homosexuals in their church, the current temperature of our church nation in my opinion is one of “friendship apostleship.” However, Paul gives us a pretty clear cut example here in Corinth: change or leave, it’s a tough message, but it’s what he says).
K) Finally, the people were ABUSING THE LORD’S SUPPER. Which is what the rest of this lesson will entail.
What is the Lord’s Supper?
It’s a lot of things and I could write 10 pages here if needed, but in general, it’s a time of repentance and renewal before the Lord. A man’s heart must seek to be pure before God prior to approaching the Lord’s Table. Often times in church, men, women, and families will take a devoted time of prayer prior to taking of the offering. Why? Because there are some things of repentance a person has to admit to the Lord prior to taking part in a commemoration meal. In the Bible, 11 took the Lord’s Supper right, 1 did it wrong. Judas did it deliberately wrong. He was offered the Lord’s blood and body, he was offered the Lamb that could have stood before God in place of his sins, and all he could really care about was 20 silver coins. Looking back, it’s one of the most unbelievable things in history and ranks up their higher than Pearl Harbor, higher than 9/11, and even higher to Lori saying yes to going on a date with me. It’s unbelievable.