Summary: Communion involves communication with God and with each other.
November 2, 2008
Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1-4; 14-17
Title: We’re In This Together
What a joy it is to see God bringing new people into the church and then for those people to take a step of faith and say I’m going to commit myself to this church and to what God wants to do through me in this church. That is what church membership says, “I am on board with the vision for the church and will do all that I can to see that vision come to pass.” One of the great things about a Holy Ghost anointed church is that we can all get on board and work together as we move forward with the same goal in mind and moving in the same direction towards that goal. I have talked to some pastors who tell me that it seems like the church has the same goals but everyone is going in their own direction to get there and they end up struggling against one another. But this church is unified in its purpose and direction and we will see the will of God and the promises of God fulfilled because we are all in this together.
This sermon will lead us up to a time of communion. The word communion has many companion words that define it; commune, union, unity, communication… Webster’s dictionary says that communion is an intimate or sublime exchange or communication of thoughts and feelings// a body of people with common faith. That is what I want you to see today. What God has called this church to is something that we must move towards in unity as a church in order to attain it.
In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn’t. "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.
"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."
"Which channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can’t you guys get organized like that?"
That’s a pretty good description of what God wants the church to be like.
I. THE PURPOSE OF GOD IN COMMUNION (17-22) In 1 Corinthians the apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth to correct mistakes and answer questions that have arisen. One of the complaints against the church that had come to him was the way that they were celebrating their “Love Feasts” or the Lord’s Supper. In the early church communion was a time of fellowship and a meal. It was intended to be a time of unity in the church. But look at what Paul says was happening in the church at Corinth. 17In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18In 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. Problem #1, There are divisions in the church. Paul had already addressed that problem early in this letter. In chapter 1 10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas“; still another, “I follow Christ.” Now Paul never says that there wouldn’t be differences in the church. The problem is that each one thought they were right. 19No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. Problem #2 They are not showing proper respect to the Lord. 20When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat… That is what it was supposed to be. But the pattern that Jesus gave at the Last supper was a pattern of servant hood – placing everyone else above self. John 13:12-15, 12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. Problems #3 They weren’t showing respect for one another. 21for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? By their lack of concern and respect for one another they had lost the true meaning of the meal that they were sharing. Problem #4 They brought reproach upon the church by placing themselves above one another. 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! What is the church supposed to look like? Look around you. Some are dressed in suits and ties and nice dresses. Others are more casual. Does that make one any better or less than another? No better or less – just different. As a matter of fact we welcome those who are not the same as the rest of us. 1 Samuel 16:7, But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”