Summary: A Communione service message emphasizing the need to continuously remember the effective work of the death of Christ to maintain a clear conscience with God and with man.
STARTING OUT RIGHT
(Uses multiple scriptures)
Today is the first Sunday of the New Year 2009 and in just a little while we will be taking communion together. Since this is the first Sunday I have entitled my message “Starting Out Right.” I’d like to start this new Year out the right way.
I’d like for all of us to have a “Good Start” at the beginning of 2009. Now a good start in no way guarantees a good finish, but you are more likely to come to a good conclusion if you start out right than if you have a bad start.
So often we hear the passage of 1Corinthians chapter 11 read when a communion service is conducted. Whether as a text for the message or as part of the instructions given during the Lords supper. 1Cor. 11:23 – 26 reads…
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
The observance of the communion is a Proclamation of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Why his resurrection is inferred by the words “till he comes” yet the intent is to give attention or focus to the death of Jesus Christ.
The death of Jesus Christ is a Substitutionary Sacrificial Atoning death.
1. He did not die for His own sins
a. The scripture clearly teaches that though he was tempted in all points as we are, yet he was without sin (Heb 4:15)
b. Again in 2Cor 5:21 speaking of Jesus it says “He (God) made Him who knew no sin”
2. His death was substitutionary
a. That verse of 2Cor 5:21 says “He made Him who knew no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us…”
b. He died in our place, he took the penalty of our sins
c. Rom. 5:8 says it very clear that “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
3. His death was sacrificial
a. Heb 10:12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God
b. 2Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
c. He sacrificed his life for ours – He who was without sin took the penalty of our sin upon him so that His righteousness could be applied to us by God.
4. His death was atoning
a. One aspect of the miracle of salvation is the cleansing and rejuvenating effect the new birth has on the conscience. At salvation, the believer’s heart is “sprinkled clean from an evil conscience” (Heb. 10:22). The means through which the conscience is cleansed is the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:14). That does not mean, of course, that Jesus’ actual blood has some mystical or magical potency as a conscience-cleansing agent. What does it mean? The theological concepts involved here are simple but quite profound. The Old Testament Law required blood sacrifices to atone for sin. But Old Testament sacrifices could do nothing for the conscience. Hebrews 9:9–10 says, “Gifts and sacrifices [under the Levitical system] could not make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.” Those sacrifices had no actual efficacy in atoning for sin, “for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). They simply demonstrated the faith and obedience of the worshiper while foreshadowing the death of Christ, who would shed His blood as the once for-all perfect sacrifice for sin.