The Lord's Supper

Communion  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:35
0 ratings

1 Corinthians 11:17–32


The Lord's Supper

1 Corinthians 11:17-32

By Pastor Jordan Hines

Anytime you talk about the cross, the resurrection, and what Jesus has done for us, it's amazing how small you feel when we think about all of the troubles and struggles that we go through every week. It's nothing compared to what Jesus did for us. It's nothing compared to what we celebrate and what we look back on when we see communion.

Today, we're going to be in the communion passage in one Corinthians chapter eleven, and we're going to look back on something much like when many of you pull out your phones, you can see there's an app called photos. And in the photos app, you can look back and you can see memories. Today we're looking back on a picture that's a very sad, mournful picture.

And yet this sad, mournful picture gives us hope, because someone laid down his life for us. Someone died for our sins. Someone did what we could never do for ourselves.

Communion is a picture. It's a memorial that we perform to remember the most important parts of our faith, our salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for our sins. It's a serious picture that reminds us of the reason that we have hope.

We have the hope of a risen savior. We have the hope of a savior who defeated sin and death. But it took a very dark, lonely road to get to that hope.

So today we're going to see in one Corinthians chapter eleven, the ignorance of communion in verse 17 to 22, and then the instructions of communion. It's a very common verses that we read every month, verse 23 to 25, and then the importance of communion, verses 26 to 32. Before we do that, let's look inward.

Normally, we do this during communion. This is going to be different. But let's just take a couple of moments and think back on our lives this week.

Have we been walking with God? Is there sin in our lives that we are allowing to get victory over us? Because as we look at this passage, one of the verses we're going to read tells us that basically, if you don't take communion seriously, some people are dying because of this, some people are weak because of this. God takes this seriously, and we should, too. Let's have a moment or a few moments of just meditation.

God, we come to this passage knowing that we could never save ourselves from our sins. We could never do what you did for us. We come knowing that this horrible, brutal picture of your death and your burial and resurrection just show us how weak we are.

Because we need you to do all this for us. I pray that we would come at this table today seriously, but also knowing the hope that we have in you because of this table, because of your broken body and blood for us, help us today to worship you in your son's name. We pray.

Amen. Join me in verse 17 of one Corinthians, chapter eleven. Now, in giving these instructions, I do not praise you, since you come together, not for the better, but for the worse.

For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And in part I believe it. For there must also be fractions among you that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

Therefore, when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What, do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

We begin here with the ignorance of these people, the ignorance of this communion service. They have come to a place in this church at Corinth which is known for having problems, and they've mishandled communion. They've come to a place where they've mishandled one of the most sacred things that they do as a church.

Remembering Jesus Christ, this is not the first time that Paul has addressed issues. If you look at one Corinthians, chapter two, verses 14, through chapter three, verse four, he talks about divisions. He talks about it in verse 14, he says, but the natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But he who. He who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him.

But we have the mind of Christ. And I, brethren, could not speak to you as spiritual people, but as carnal as babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food, for until now, you are not able to receive it.

And even now you are still not able. For you to are still carnal. For where there are envy and strife and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving more like mere men? And when one says, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Paul, are you not carnal? There's divisions in this church.

There's problems amongst the groups of this church, they're not united. Another issue that is addressed in this book is sexual immorality. In chapter five, verses one through two.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you. Chapter five, verse one through two. And such sexual immorality is not even named among the gentiles.

That a man has his father's wife. You are puffed up and have not rather mourned that he who has done this might be taken away from among you. This church has real problems.

But don't let the large issues of this church skew our view of ourselves, because we have problems too. May not be as public as this church's was or well known as this church's problems was, but we have problems too. Paul briefly talks about lawsuits in chapter six.

And he talks about marriage in chapter seven. He talks about food offered to idols in chapters eight through ten. He talks about long and short hair on men and women in verse eleven, verses one to 16.

And Paul is addressing all these things to correct them. Not to be mean, but to show them love. And Paul comes to an all important section here of verses 17 to 22 to show them the error of their ways so that they can walk with God.

He's not pointing it out as a tattletale. He's not pointing it out as someone who wants to make them look bad. He wants them to see who they really are and what they're doing.

See, the situation here is that rich believers were combining a bountiful feast with communion. They were just using it to feast, to eat as much food as they possibly could. And they weren't sharing this feast with the poor.

They were dividing between those who could afford to eat bountifully. They could afford to eat everything they could possibly purchase. And the poor were not getting enough.

They lost the point. It is not about the rich and the poor. It is about those who are in Christ.

The rich believers were performing two separate communion ceremonies, relating or relegating to the poor believers to a separate gathering. And the rich believers were feasting very selfishly. They weren't thinking about what God had done for them.

They were thinking about what they could get for themselves. They were consumed with themselves. That's the backdrop for where we come across this all familiar, all famous passage of communion.

And normally we just read this passage in verse 23 to 25, and we think, okay, this is exactly how we're supposed to do it. But we don't think about the fact that Paul is correcting them. They were making a mistake here.

Paul wants them to correct this so they can walk with God, so they can receive the blessing of God. Familiar verses in verse 23 to 25 say this, 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, 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. In the same manner, he also took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is a new covenant in my blood. This do as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.

These are the very specific instructions. Paul says, you were doing this completely wrong. This is what was delivered to me.

This is how communion ought to be done. Paul has received this revelation from the Lord and delivered it to the brothers. See, Jesus taught this to his disciples right before his body would be broken and his blood would be spilt.

And Paul received revelation on the road to Damascus. And he knew this savior face to face. He was an apostle.

This Paul wants this church to get it right. It's like receiving a letter in the mail. The mail carrier is not the one responsible for the content of that letter.

They're the one giving you the letter. But they didn't write that letter to you. They're the one just giving you.

This is exactly what is said. You can bring it up one more level. Say you get a letter from the president of the United States of America.

The weight and the importance of that letter is not in the fact that the mail carrier brought it to you. It's not. It doesn't matter.

It could be any number of people who ever happened to get that shift. What is important here is what's in the letter. It's from God to his people, to his church.

The importance of the source here is he is our substitute. He is our sacrifice. He is our savior.

He is the only credible source for this process, the only one. No one else could deliver this. There's also an important message here, because communion doesn't just picture, random thing the church should try to do every once in a while.

The communion pictures something that is the basis or the foundation for its existence, the foundation for the whole church. It pictures the greatest sacrifice ever made. It forces us to remember why we are free from sin and why we are free to live for Christ.

Allow me to refresh our memories in verse 24 and 25 again. 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. In the same manner. He also took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is a new covenant in my blood.

This do as often as you drink it in remembrance of me. There's some very powerful word pictures going on here. The first is that Jesus body was broken.

The bread is broken. And bread is a very interesting choice here. I think it's on purpose because bread is sustaining.

Bread is life giving. Give us this day our daily bread. He is our bread.

He is the bread of life, and he is broken for us. He took our sins. He was broken, so we did not have to be broken.

And Jesus blood is being pictured here. Jesus blood is being poured out for us. Paul speaks very similarly in two Timothy four six, for I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

It's a sacrifice. Once the blood has been poured out, it's gone. Now, Jesus, obviously, is the one distinction, the one difference in there, because he rose again.

But in this picture, this is a sacrifice, an offering that is given. Our sacrifice. Our great high priest is this Jesus, this one, this lamb of God, this holy, sinless one, lamb of God.

Jesus uses this simple, relatable lesson, this teaching, to give us an idea of just how blessed we are. And this is intimate, too. We, even as Americans, we can understand this.

We can understand that when you have someone over for a meal, when you go out to eat with someone, you don't just go out with any random person. You go out to eat with someone who you like, who you care about, who you want to spend time with, and get to know. And if Jesus had just said, eat this bread and drink this cup sometime when you're by yourself or when you feel spiritual, it wouldn't come across the same.

He wants to show them and demonstrate to them that he loves them by spending time with them and teaching them in this intimate setting, it's very personal. It's also very personal to you and to me, because he just didn't die for the sins of the apostles. He died for the sins of every person in this room.

He died for my sins. He died for your sins. Jesus left clear, concise instructions that were very purposeful so that we might remember them today.

Remember, these instructions are not from Paul. They're not exclusively for this church at Corinth. They are for us, from Jesus, as we also often read in verse 26 through 32, the importance of communion.

I think we'll just go a couple more verses, actually, maybe not the whole section, verse 26 and 27 28. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup. You proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. This will continue there.

For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks, judgment upon himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. We come across sort of something that seems almost stapled at the end of these instructions.

But really what it is, it's the importance of communion. It tells us why we ought to be doing this. We ought to be eating and drinking in a worthy manner, not an unworthy manner.

Why? Because those who are guilty of this, those who are guilty of looking at the blood of Jesus Christ, looking at the body that was broken, and doing it in a way that doesn't show any seriousness or any respect, some have fallen ill and died. And this is a concept that might be difficult for us to grasp. But we need to allow ourselves to see the seriousness here, that nothing else that we will do this week is as serious as the blood of Christ, as serious as his death for us.

We may have important things going on in our lives, but the fact that Jesus Christ is our savior, that he died, was buried and rose again for us. The fact that he is our savior is the most life transforming fact that we have. This is a self examination section.

It's vital to avoid the judgment of God. We ought to take sin very seriously. You could ask the question, do we take sin seriously? Do we.

Do we see the sin around us and the sin inside of us, and do we mourn over it, and do we hate it? Because until we absolutely hate sin, until we absolutely abhor and can't get far enough away from sin, we won't be able to truly confess. We won't be able to truly walk with God the way he wants us to. Until we get away from sin and see sin the way God sees it, we won't be able to confess our sins.

We are not able to properly judge ourselves. But by God's grace, he will not condemn us to hell. God is the judge.

God is the one who looks at us. God is the one who saves us. Although there are some here who may have perished, I truly believe.

I believe that you truly believe, if these people were saved, if these people were believers, that they went to heaven. But I would bet that there is some regret. And I would bet that when we go to heaven, if you are a saved child of God, we are going to look back on sometimes when we did communion and think we should have taken it more seriously.

Communion is not about the size of the feast that we can put on. It's not about the building. It's not about anything else.

It's about the unity of the body of Christ around the truth of the sacrifice of God, around who we are in Christ. Every year we celebrate holidays in this country. We celebrate Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

And those holidays are designed to force us to remember. What's interesting about those two holidays is that veterans day and Memorial Day picture a very dark time in our history. So why would we want to remember that? Why would the Jews want to have a Holocaust museum? Why would we want to remember those things? I think it's because we look at the sorrow.

We look at the pain, but we also look at the redemption. We also look at the resilience that we have because we're in Christ. We also look at the fact that we could not do this by ourselves, the fact that this sacrifice, this lamb of God, gave himself for us.

John 1513 says, greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend. Today we've seen a very serious picture, and it should force us to think about who we are in Christ, think about how we act every single week, even if we're having fun this week, even if we. And we're able to go enjoy our lives.

God wants us to have friends and have social lives, but he also wants us to share the gospel. He wants us to use those relationships to share the gospel. I pray that we would see every opportunity this week as an opportunity to evangelize, to disciple, to fellowship, to be a testimony.

Even the little things that seem meaningless are very meaningful to God. Let's ask the Lord for help as we close. God.

Thank you. Although we've looked at a very serious picture, we know that we have hope, and we know that we have confidence in this God who has died for us. Help us to take this seriously, but also help us to rejoice in knowing this God personally.

And as we do communion as a church, help us to love one another, help us to see one another as we are in Christ, in need of God together, and help us as a church to grow. This week and this year, in your son's name, we pray. Amen.

At this time, we'll do communion. Deacons could come forward I'd like to give you one more opportunity, as these verses say, to examine ourselves. Allow me to read verses 27 to 28.

Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. Verse 28 let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. Let's take a few moments to examine ourselves.

God, we come before you as humble people, people who have sinned, that you died for. And as we look at the cross, as we look at the grave and we look at your resurrection, we see that you are the one who did all the work. You're the one who bore the scars and the pain and crown of thorns.

You're the one who had your body broken for us and your blood spilt. Help us to look back on that in remembrance, in gratefulness, but also in hope that because you did these things for us, we can live, live for a future that's bright and glorious in heaven forever with you. Help us to do this well in the right way, in your son's name.

Amen. First Corinthians 1123 says, 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 the bread. It Thomas, would you thank the Lord for his broken body for us? Thank you, Lord, for the sacrifice of your son, that he came, lived a perfect life and died for us, and more importantly, that he rose again and provided salvation and grace to all of us, that we remember that, and we all live with that truth in our heart.

Verse 24 says, 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.

Let us eat. Paul continues in the same text, in the same manner, he also took the cup after supper.

Nathan, would you thank the Lord for his blood that was spilt for us? Dear heavenly Father, we're just thankful that you've allowed us to think under this new covenant that we don't have to do anything, turn your that you cleanse us of our sin. All we have to do is trust you and seek to live our lives out according to your word. I just pray that you allow us to continually put you first in our minds and allow us to just be focused on you throughout our lives.

In Jesus name. Amen. Verse 25 says, in the same manner, he also took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is a new covenant in my blood.

This do as often as ye drink it in remembrance of me. Let us drink, for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Let's close in prayer or let's pray.

God, thank you for your body and your blood. Thank you for this church. I pray that we would live in humility, knowing that we are not the ones who could pay this price.

And let us also live knowing that we have hope. Help us to move forward in that reality. Amen.

Jordan just read the passage where it talks about we proclaim his death until he comes. This song gets to that point and says, when we stand with him in glory and see his face will serve him forever. So that's what we're looking forward to.

Let's stand this thing. Number 308. There is a redeemer.

There is a redeemer. Jesus God's own son. Hash precious lamb of God.

Messiah. Holy one. Thank you, o my father, for giving us your son and leaving your spirit till the work on earth is done.

Jesus, my redeemer. Name above all names. Precious lamb of God.

Messiah. O for sinners slain. Thank you, o my father, for giving us your son and leaving receiving your spirit till the work on earth is done.

When I stand in glory, I will see his face there. I'll serve my king forever in that holy place. Thank you all, my father.

Father, for giving us your son and leaving your spirit till the work on earth is done.

Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more