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A Christian who keeps the ordinances is praiseworthy.
We’ve recently had the ordinance of baptism, and now, tonight, we’re going to have the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.
And, the New Testament church has two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
And, if you fail to keep these, you’re not praiseworthy; you’re blameworthy.
If you keep these ordinances, according to the Word of God, you are praiseworthy.
Now, in some churches, the Lord’s Supper is over-exalted, and in other churches, the Lord’s Supper is denigrated and lowly treated.
Some churches have doctrines that I believe are not taught in the Bible.
They have the doctrine of transubstantiation, where they teach that these elements—this broken bread and this blood of the grape—literally, actually, becomes the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus; and that each time we take the Lord’s Supper, that the priest in some way transforms or presides over the transformation of these elements; and, therefore, a sacrifice is taking place and that Jesus is being sacrificed again—that His body and His blood one more time are being sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins.
Now, not only do I believe that is a mistake; I reject that with all ...of my soul.
Jesus died once for all.
It is done.
It is paid in full.
“It is finished.”
(John 19:30) I believe that with all of my heart, all of my soul.
I believe it to be true.
That’s one side, and that is an error.
The other side is a grave error, also.
There are Christians who deliberately neglect taking the Lord’s Supper.
They stay at home when they could come or they’re casual or cavalier or indifferent about taking the Lord’s Supper.
They say, “Well, since it doesn’t save and it doesn’t help save, what difference does it make?
It’s only a ritual.”
Well, my dear friend, I want to tell you that taking the Lord’s Supper is more than a ritual.
It is necessary for obedience.
It is necessary for maturity.
It is necessary for testimony.
It is necessary for growth in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Place of Communion in the Christian’s Life (1 Cor.
A. To Remember - The Lord Is In the Midst of Us (1 Cor.
Now, when we say, “in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ,” we’re not talking about remembering someone who has died and has gone from us but to remember someone who is now present with us.
Jesus Christ was speaking to those who were in His presence, and He said, “This do in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24) It wasn’t that He was away from them when He said that.
He was with them when He said that to them.
Now remember this about the Lord’s Supper tonight: we are remembering His presence.
What we’re doing tonight is not a moment of silence for the dead; it is an act of fellowship with a friend.
Jesus Christ is here tonight.
This is His table.
He is the host.
We are fellowshipping with the Lord Jesus Christ.
And, therefore, we need to see beyond these symbols to the Savior.
Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist.
At the age of forty-two, the Duke of Milan said to Leonardo, “I want you to paint for me a painting of the Last Supper,” and Leonardo da Vinci painted that marvelous, marvelous painting of the Last Supper.
When he had finished, he felt it was a masterpiece, and he was grateful for it.
And, he asked a friend—he said, “I would like for you to look at this painting, and I would like for you to give me your honest evaluation.”
The friend looked at it for a while.
He said, “It is magnificent.”
He said, “I believe the most magnificent part of the painting is the cup, the chalice.”
He said, “I can’t take my eyes from it.
It is incredibly captivating.”
When he said that, Leonardo da Vinci took his paintbrush, according to the account that I read, and drew it across the cup, and said, “Nothing in this picture shall detract from the face of my Savior.”
Think about it.
Friend, it is not the cup; it is not the bread.
These are emblems and symbols, and we need to look past the symbols to the Savior.
B. To Remember - The Lord Died for Us (1 Cor.
11:24, 26).
Why did He do it?
He did it for you.
We say, “Christ died for my sins,” and that is true.
But, try saying it this way: “Christ died because of my sins.”
We say, “Christ died for me.”
Say it this way: “Christ died instead of me.” “This is my body, which is broken [because of] you.”
(1 Corinthians 11:24)
O to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
—Robert Robinson
How could I carelessly, or in a cavalier manner, take into my hands this cup and this bread that represents such provision without bowing my head in the greatest of gratitude, without a heart that leaps up in joy and praise to say, “Lord Jesus, I thank you”?
We are taking in our hands bread that represents wheat that has been crushed and ground fine and put in an oven and baked.
We take into and ingest into our mouths the grape juice, which speaks of the grape that has been pressed.
And, the Bible calls this very grape juice the “blood of the grape.”
(Deuteronomy 32:14) Yes, we need to anticipate.
Yes, we need to meditate.
Yes, we need to participate and think about what Jesus did.
And tonight, don’t be careless.
Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer,
Seems now I see Him on Calvary’s tree,
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading.
[They were] blind and unheeding, [but He was] dying for me.
—Avis Christiansen
C. To Remember - to Discern the Lord’s Body (1 Cor.
Now, what body is he talking about?
Is he talking about the body that walked with sandaled shoes on the shoes of Galilee?
Oh, no.
He’s talking about the Church.
You see, what had happened here was people had come to take the Lord’s Supper, and rather than taking the Lord’s Supper, they had made a drunken brawl out of it.
And, one would bring a big feast, and they would eat a feast.
And, some actually were getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper—not with the communion but with wine that they had brought along.
And, they would get drunk, and Paul said, “What you’re doing when you do such a thing is you are eating and drinking judgment and damnation because you have not discerned the Lord’s Body.” (1 Corinthians 11:29) What body is he talking about?
He’s talking about the Church—He’s talking about the Church.
That’s the reason that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance: it is here to bind us together, to say that we are one in the bond of love.
Go back to 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and verse 17; look at it: “For we being many are one bread”—that is, “one loaf of bread.”
All of the grains ground together make one loaf—“and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”
(1 Corinthians 10:17) And, the word partaker means “fellowshipping in that one bread.”
We—all of us, dear friend—are the Lord’s Body.
That’s what he’s saying.
Look in chapter 12, and you’ll see the same thing in verse 13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.”
(1 Corinthians 12:13) That’s why it’s so important that you come together when we take the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance.
It’s not something that individuals do.
It’s not something nice that some people might do at a wedding.
It shows that we are one in the bond of love.
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