Summary: Careless communion means spiritual weakness; let us take due care.
1st Corinthians 11:27-32
“Don’t be careless at the Table”
Careless communion means spiritual weakness; let us take due care.
Sunday morning Sermon
Intro: (Start with Text and Title)
We can be careless with many things in life -- and life will still go on. You could be careless with your driving -- and still arrive in good shape. You could be careless with your checkbook, and not file bankruptcy. You could be careless with relationships, car maintenance, a work or school project -- all sorts of things and not fall into a situation or problems that you couldn’t get out of. The Bible says whatever you do, in word or deed do it all for the glory of God -- Carelessness in anything should not be the standard for the Christian.
The problem occurs when we take that carelessness and we move it from work projects or car maintenance and we bring it to worship with us. Our carelessness affects our worship, it affects our prayer life, it affects the hearing of the word, and our fellowship.
Church you can be careless with many things in life -- and still go on, but don’t be careless at the Table.
The church in Corinth was careless -- they were reckless and it made them useless. Notice throughout the book of 1st Corinthians that Paul doesn’t ever hit on the evangelism of the gospel or tell them to go win the world. They had internal problems that needed to be fixed or addressed before they could be a witness to the world.
One of many problems were the issues concerning the Lord’s Supper and what we would consider a fellowship meal. Paul gives them and us a warning and some encouragement with this letter -- but his point is clear -- Careless communion means spiritual weakness; let us take due care.
Turn with me if you have your Bibles to (Advance) 1st Corinthians 11:27-32 (Read)
How can we keep from being careless at the Table? How can we keep ourselves in line with the will of God during the time of the Lord’s Supper? How do participate properly? All very good questions….and all will see some resolution this morning.
I see three things this morning -- three ways to keep ourselves from being careless at the Table. (Advance)
I. Eat and drink in a worthy manner (27-28)
a. Understand what you are doing
I used to think that the tray with the juice and bread was some sort of intermission, before the preaching, before the old boring guy got up front to preach his 7 point sermon, the church had to have a break first. I remember wanting to get baptized so I could take part in the intermission at church. But I didn’t understand – because it’s not intermission.
i. It is a time of remembrance
We remember what Jesus did for us through his self-sacrifice on the cross for our sins. We remember the grace offered to us over our lives that we could be free from sin and guilt and shame. We remember our commitment to the life that Jesus calls us to live. You come before God this morning – and you remember what he’s done for you, and all that he has given – through the person of Jesus. (Advance)
Romans 5:6-8 (NASB) 6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The NIV says that we were powerless.
We take time to remember this morning that this salvation thing is nothing we’ve done ourselves – we remember our powerless life – void of life, void of hope, void of grace – even while we were “ungodly”. That’s when Jesus died for you. When you couldn’t help yourself, he helped you. When you couldn’t save yourself – he reached out and offered his perfect salvation.
ii. It is a time for a reminder
1. We need reminders from time to time
If you honestly remember your powerless life, if you honestly remember all the things you’ve done, all the ways you’ve rejected and removed the power of God from your life, all the grace you’ve refused to embrace – You might not feel worthy to participate. “I’ve got something I’m dealing with, so I’ll refrain.” Listen church, Paul is not requiring a particular moral quality in the participants; rather he is looking for a manner of life that aligns itself to the gospel.
For some this is a time to apologize for all the bad stuff we’ve done during the week. We eat the bread and drink the cup thinking it’s a way to prevent the condemnation to hell for another week – that’s what the sermon is for.