Summary: An exposition of our need for the grace we can receive at God's Table of Grace - the communion table or the Lord's Supper
Sinners At The Table of Grace
TCF Maundy Thursday Sermon
April 1, 2010
It’s easy for us, looking around and seeing all the horrendous sin in our culture and in our world, to think we’re OK. It’s easy for us to look at the rampant sexual sin, the adultery, the moral free-fall our culture seems to be in, the awful crimes like rape, murder, sex-trafficking, even genocide, and think how much worse all these sinners are than we are.
It’s easy to look at the world, and note that according to some research, there are 27 million people in the world in slavery today, a very grievous sin to us and certainly to God…and though this reality grieves us, we think, I’d never do that.
After all, we’re Christians. We’re saved. We’re not like that.
And in many ways, of course, that’s true. But on this night when we remember Jesus initial institution of the what we call the Lord’s Supper, we remember perhaps most of all His grace and mercy, clearly illustrated by His sacrifice.
We remember, too, why His grace and mercy are so needed, so absolutely necessary, to each of us.
1 John 1:8-10 (NASB95) If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
Since I don’t want to lie to you tonight, I have to tell you this: I sin daily. Oh, only a handful of people closest to me ever see the sins I commit, because they’re sins of attitude, sins of the heart. But these sins are every bit as much an offense to a holy God, and are reason enough to condemn me to eternity in hell
apart from God’s saving grace in Christ…..every bit as much as those sins that I read about in the paper, or see on television, and shake my head and think “what a world we live in.”
Of course, there are some here who have committed adultery. Some of us have committed some grievous sins, or even visible sins. You know, it seems to me that those who have experienced God’s mercy in sins such as these, sometimes have a greater understanding of God’s mercy than those of us who haven’t.
I think that’s because, if we’ve never committed one of the “big” sins, one of those sins listed in one of Paul’s many lists in several different epistles, we have the tendency to think that somehow we’re more worthy, somehow we’re better than those who have committed those sins.
Many of us here have an amazing testimony of how we came to Christ. Some of us were drug abusers, some committed crimes. Some of us here can talk of God’s amazing grace from the standpoint of the awful sins He has delivered us from.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
When we read a passage like this, some of us can say God saved us from these kinds of things. Others of us read this and think, not so much.
But even in a list like this, almost all of us can find ourselves. For example, if we’re honest, we’ve all been idolaters in one way, shape or form. We may not be adulterers, prostitutes, thieves or drunkards. But are we slanderers? Are we idolaters? My testimony of my pre-Christian days doesn’t include things like many of you can claim.
I never got into any trouble. Never got drunk. Never used drugs. Never even had a cigarette in my mouth. I’ve never been in trouble with the law.
But my testimony is just as amazing. Because despite the absence of some of these kinds of sins in my life, my sinfulness still falls well short of the glory of God.
Outwardly, I might appear, and frankly almost always have appeared, more righteous than some of you. By the world’s standards, I’m a pretty good guy.
I love my wife and have never cheated on her. I pay my bills. I’ve gotten only two speeding tickets in almost 40 years of driving, and I have a good excuse for each one. Pretty good by most people’s standards of good.
Yet, our standing before God is not measured by the world’s standards. Inwardly, my righteousness is, as the Word tells us, like filthy rags. My righteousness is absolutely worthless before God. Only Jesus’ righteousness is sufficient to bring me true righteousness, the kind that God accepts, the kind measured by His holy standard.