Summary: An Encouragement to the church regarding the privilege of partaking in the Lord’s Supper.

Experiencing the Fullness of the Lord’s Supper

June 6, 2004

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Sunday AM

Intro: Initially I had intended for our series on the “I am” statements of Jesus to have concluded last Sunday so that together this AM we might partake of this special meal together in the full awareness that Jesus, our Savior and Lord, was the great I am of the O.T. who became flesh for us – shedding His precious blood on Calvary’s cross to make a satisfactory atonement for our sin. Yet as you are fully aware, we are in the middle of the series.

Trans: Nonetheless, this AM I want to invite you to reflect upon the sacred and revealing statements of our Savior as we come to this sacred table to remember the gift of His life broken and spilled out for each of us. I hope to assist you understanding the importance of this ordinance that each of us might experience the fullness and blessing found in this meal.

I The CONTINUITY of Communion vs. 17-19

Verse: 17 Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, to begin with, I hear that when you come together as a church there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 There must, indeed, be differences among you, so that the approved among you may be recognized.

Idea: Communion had degenerated in Corinth resulting in division and discord. Why? B/c the people were divided by truth and untruth – belief and unbelief. Yet while there is a marked difference b/w the saved and the lost, w/in the body we must never allow our differences to divide us. We are one body – called to serve our Lord, our world, and one another.

Note: As we gather each week, our objective must be to worship our Lord and to edify His people (Great Commission) – it’s not about you. You and I are apart of something bigger than ourselves. And when we put the body first, then all together, we minister and care for one another as others minister to us. The Corinthians had lost sight of this truth – it’s not about you.

Note: Communion is a time to reflect on our purpose in Christ.

II The COMMUNITY of Communion vs. 20-22

Verse: 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not really to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others, and one person is hungry while another is drunk! 22 Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on the church of God and embarrass those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you for this!

Note: Communion is a time to remember what Christ did for us and to force us to make sure that we are in a right relationship w/ Him and w/ our brother.

Note: Problem is, communion was anything but sacred to the Corinthians – it was self-centered gluttony. It was about self instead of about the Savior.

Note: It is a meal of remembrance of what Christ has done for all of us – which is a point of community. We who have received His grace by faith are family – we are a community of faith asked to remember what Jesus has done for us. We are united through His blood – we have a common DNA.

Note: Teaching children to wait to eat as a family.

Note: Communion is a time to be a family – encouraging and sharing w/ one another as one body – remembering our common call to be salt and light.

III The COVENANT to Communion vs. 23-25

Verse: 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: on the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, 24 gave thanks, broke it, and said, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He also took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Idea: When we partake of the elements, we symbolically eat His body and drink His blood as we remember the spiritual and eternal redemption we received when we accepted God’s forgiveness purchased through the work of Christ on the cross where His was broken and spilled for each one of us.

Idea: Jesus told the disciples to do this in remembrance of His sacrifice. Communion is not an option, but a privilege – as we remember God’s grace covenant w/ us.

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