Summary: Biblical reasons for the frequent (weekly) observance of the Lord’s Supper.
The New Testament Church; Its Memorial I Cor. 11: 17-26
INTRO.: One day while donating blood, a nurse asked me, "Does your church observe communion each Sunday?" When I told her "yes," she said, "I think every church should. I’m thinking of joining a Christian Church just for that reason."
Thru the years I have found folk who believe the Lord’s Supper should be observed weekly even though their church does not.
As we think about the suffering of Jesus, it is appropriate we think about the memorial of the cross. The Lord’s Supper is supposed to turn our thoughts to the cross and what it means in our lives.
Four Biblical names: 1. "Breaking of Bread." A. 2:42 2. "Table of the Lord" I C. 10:21 3. "Communion" I C. 10:16, and 4. "Lord’s Supper" in the current passage.
Our Churches have made a great contribution to the religious world in general by restoring the Lord’s Supper to its proper place at the center of each worship service. After many years of teaching and explanation, many folk still want to know why we observe it each week.
A few reasons we observe weekly communion:
I. The Scriptures teach the early Church did it weekly:
A. Corinthians sternly rebuked for not doing so: 20.
1. Turned it into a "carry in" banquet.
2. It became a contest to see who could bring the best food and eat the most.
3. Their irreverence had made the Lord’s Table a mockery. It wasn’t possible for them to please God with such and abusive practice.
4. Therefore, the apostle had nothing good to say about it. 22
B. Other Scriptures indicating this:
1. Acts 2:42. They were steadfast (strong) in their observance.
2. In at least one instance, it was the purpose of their meeting. Acts 20:7
3. I Cor. 16:2. All churches have weekly offering. The same words "on the first day of the week," are used in reference to the Communion.
II. Weekly communion is logical:
A. Makes for a well rounded service:
1. Provides a time for confession of sin. This is a quiet time for personal self-examination and confession.
2. Also provides a time for Christians to reaffirm faith.
3. Allows each Christian to proclaim Christ’s death and reaffirm trust in His sacrifice for our salvation..
4. It provides an additional opportunity for every Christian to participate in worship.
B. Makes for a balanced emphasis in worship:
1. We celebrate His resurrection by meeting on the first day of the week.
2. The Lord’s Supper celebrates His death. Why have one without the other? Heb. 9:27, 28
3. If not weekly, we can’t learn how often from Scripture.
III. The Lord’s Supper came from the Lord Himself: 23
A. Paul was not present when Jesus instituted the memorial.:
1. He did not learn it from apostles, Christians, etc.
2. God revealed it. He saw fit to make a special revelation to Paul.
3. Paul faithfully proclaimed it recognizing its importance and solemnity.
B. So, it is an institution of Divine origin:
1. Jesus, Himself, gave the Lord’s Supper, commanded His apostles to observe and teach it.
2. So, we should do it His way.
3. God gave time, frequency for Sabbath, Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles, etc. Certainly, He would not leave His Church without instruction in regard to this memorial.
IV. Consider what the Lord’s Supper represents:
A. It is a memorial to the death of Christ. This makes it extremely important.
1. It is in the death of Christ we find all hope for forgiveness and eternal life.
2. The Lord’s Supper is the only way He has officially authorized us to memorialize the events of Calvary.
B. Memorials have functions: "This do in remembrance .."
1. A loving gesture:
2. Refreshes the memory.
3. Stirs our imagination to make us think of His sacrifice.
4. Inspire us to better living.
5. We should do this each time we meet.
V. Opportunities for spiritual growth, witnessing:
A. Growth for the Christian:
1. Self-examination is essential to improvement.
2. Confession and forgiveness must precede spiritual growth.
3. We are drawn closer to Him as we think of His love, sacrifice.
B. An evangelistic opportunity:
1. Those who see may ask questions about the meaning.
2. Memory of Jesus’ death is kept fresh so we can witness more effectively.
3. It is a spiritual object lesson. "Jesus loves you."
4. Modern tendency to minimize Lord’s Supper and avoid mention of blood in order to not offend visitors is wrong. Gal. 6:14. Why invite them if not to hear of the death of Jesus?
VI. We are warned against neglect and abuse: 28-30
A. Clearly, abuse is as serious as neglect:
1. Corinthians were abusive.
2. Claimed to observe the Lord’s Supper but could not because of their faulty attitude