Summary: This message is meant to be used as preparation for communion, and looks at what our thoughts should be regarding this special meal.
NEW THINKING FOR A NEW YEAR
Setting Our Thoughts Regarding Communion
Matthew 26:26-28 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." 27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke 22:17-20 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you.
18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
1. Communion is Meal of Great Significance in the Scripture
a. Lord’s Supper or the Table of the Lord– 1 Corinthians 11:20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
i. Instituted a suppertime, as part of a meal
ii. Commemoration of the Passover Meal where it was first instituted.
b. Eucharist – “a giving of thanks” -- 1 Corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
i. Thanking God for the work He did in Christ
c. Communion or Koinonia – “participation” --
i. Time to commune with God
ii. Time to commune with other believers
iii. Time to reflect on the death of Christ
iv. Time to meet as the body of Christ
2. Communion is a meal that reminds us that Christ died for us
1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
a. Communion is a visible representation of the good news of the gospel
b. Communion reminds us the Christ died for our sins
c. Communion reminds us that Christ is returning for us
d. Communion strengthens our faith
3. Communion is a spiritual meal
a. Communion does not deal with physical hunger, but spiritual hunger
b. Communion was a meal meant to demonstrate the finest characteristics of the church – unity and love
c. Paul would condemn the church for making it a mockery
1 Corinthians 11:17-22 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!
i. Excess was condemned
ii. Dis-unity was condemned
iii. Lack of caring was condemned
4. Communion Celebrates our New Covenant in Christ
Jeremiah 31:31-34 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ’Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
a. The Old Covenant was meant to point the way to Christ