Approaching the Table with Discernment & Joy

stand alone for Communion  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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We are called to the Table for Worship, be there is a need for discernment


Open: One of these things doesn’t belong with the others

Transition: Much, much more serious when the discussion focuses on persons who are living with a false sense of security regarding salvation.
READ the Text: Mark 14:17-25

It is possible to participate at the Lord’s Table without having a genuine relationship with Jesus (Mk 14:17-18)

Explanation: The setting is the Jewish feast of Passover. In this sacred event, the Lord Jesus transformed the feast of Passover into what Christians would henceforth observe as Communion. This is a turning point in the history of the faith and Jesus is at the table with His closest companions.
Can you imagine the shock when Jesus declared, “one of you will betray Me, one who is eating with Me.” Table fellowship was an incredibly intimate and personal occasion in the ancient near East, and it was unthinkable for the others to even consider the possibility of such a thing.
We have read the Gospels and we already know that Judas was the Betrayer. The other 11 did NOT KNOW who Jesus meant. Notice their confusion by their question, “is it me?” Sadly, Judas had been living a lie - it was a convincing lie to onlookers and even to the other disciples, but it was still a lie.
God knows the heart, and Jesus knew that Judas had always been a false follower. The Lord gave a somber and serious judgment against Judas for his betrayal. This was a one-time condemnation that was directed specifically to Judas; it was not to be repeated.
Application: The point of application for us is to realize that participation at the Lord’s Table is reserved for those who are in relationship with Him.
READ TEXT from 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 and heed the warning! Self-examination is a good thing.

Participating at the Table indicates we are identifying with Jesus as our Lord (Mark 14:22)

Explanation: This is the point in which Jesus transforms the Passover. All the other previous Rabbis or leaders of the service would have referenced the Exodus event and the haste which called for unleavened bread. No one else had ever made a statement such as “Take, eat: this is my body.”
No longer were the faithful to look back to the Exodus and leaving the slavery of Egypt. Now the believers were to look to the sacrifice of Christ that brings freedom from the slavery of sin.
Jesus also declares that the New Covenant He is instituting is to be sealed with His blood. Just as the Mosaic covenant of the Law was sealed with the blood of an animal sacrifice (Ex 24:8), so the New Covenant is is sealed with the blood of Jesus. The sacrificial death of Christ validated the Old Covenant and established a better one.
READ the TEXT of Hebrews 10:19-25
We are saved when we surrender to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit as He points out our need for Jesus. We can, and should, grow in our understanding of what it means to be a member of the New Covenant. Our joy will increase when we begin to realize we can approach God through Christ, and to know that we are in fellowship with other believers. We are on this journey together, and we CAN encourage and help one another as we serve together, worship together, and do life together. What a joy to know that we never walk alone!
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