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One of the unique things about Scripture is that it does not cover up failures.
In fact, the entire Bible, is about God’s plan to restore His relationship with mankind after the original failure of Adam and Eve.
We could say that all of Scripture is about failure and redemption.
Failure is a fascinating study.
As we look at the failures recorded in Scripture we find something interesting.
Let me list some names.
Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Jonah, Peter, David, Lucifer, and Demas.
What these have in common is failure.
Some of them failed in what we would consider massive ways.
When Scripture reveals their failure to us we find a common theme.
That theme is a loss of focus.
Adam and Eve stopped believing in the goodness of God.
They took their eyes off of Him and put them on a perceived lack in their own lives.
Abraham took his eyes off of God’s promise and past provision and instead looked at the impossibility of his present circumstances.
Moses didn’t obey God because he allowed himself to focus on His frustration!
Jonah refused to consider his own need of God’s mercy and instead wanted God to punish Nineveh.
Peter, oh Peter.
Over and over again he looked at his own desires, his own need for affirmation and acceptance instead of looking to what Christ was doing.
David stayed home instead of finishing the task God have given him.
He looked with lust when he should have looked away.
He lost his focus.
Lucifer - the fallen angel now known as Satan.
He took his eyes off of God, off of his responsibility to bring God glory, instead he focused on his own aspirations for greatness.
Demas fell in love with the world because he took his focus off of Christ.
Here is our principle today.
A loss of focus can lead to devastating consequences.
To maintain our focus we must be reminded of what it is.
When Christ is our focus He is glorified, the church is equipped, and the gospel is advanced.
Taking our eyes off Jesus can lead us to places we swore we would never go!
That is where we find the Corinthians here in the end of Chapter 11.
The Corinthians have lost their focus.
They have started to view the Lord’s Supper, communion as something that it isn’t.
We face this same temptation today!
We celebrate communion and remember Jesus Christ every month here at Grace Church.
But I don’t want us to ever lose sight of why we do it and what it means.
Today we will work through this communion passage and next week we will have our communion service.
To correct their wrong observance of communion Paul presents three realities.
Reality #1…
The Wrong Way To Remember Jesus vv.
You may have noticed that the society in which we live has trouble remembering.
In the history books villains are often made to be heroes and heroes are turned into villains.
There is a wrong way to remember things.
As the title of the sermon this morning implies, communion is about remembering.
It is therefore vital that we understand how we should remember Jesus.
Paul first addresses how the Corinthians are getting it wrong.
Paul is writing to correct the Corinthians.
Before we can really understand why Paul is correcting them we have to do a little background about how the Lord’s Supper was typically observed in Paul’s day.
They had the observance of the bread and the cup as we do, but they also had a feast that they called the agape (or love) feast.
What Paul writes to them in this first section has to do with their behavior at these feasts.
The first thing that Paul does is expose just how the behavior of the Corinthians is wrong.
There are two problems with how they are observing communion.
Problem #1.
They are observing communion…
With division vv.
Paul is going to instruct them.
Instructions – παραγγέλλω (parangellō) command; give orders.
to order v. — to give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority.
Verb, present, active, circumstantial participle, singular, nominative, masculine.
Instructions – παραγγέλλω (parangellō)
Paul is issuing an authoritative command.
He needs to address something that is negative, something for which he cannot praise them.
Remember in 11:2 Paul praised them for how they remembered him and kept the traditions.
In how they have been remembering Christ, however, he cannot praise them.
The purpose of the church is to better one another!
They made things worse.
The gathering of believers is for the purpose of edification and growth!
That is not what has been happening in Corinth.
Hebrews 10:24-25 show us what a church gathering is supposed to accomplish.
Hebrews 10:24-25
The author of Hebrews says we are to be exhorting and encouraging one another.
Somehow the Corinthians have lost sight of this truth and when they come together it is doing more harm than good!
How did the Corinthians get to this point?
How do they go from a properly functioning body of believers to a group of people who get together and leave worse off than when they came?
How does this happen?
Paul begins to describe this process in verse 18.
Paul says when they come together in the church he has heard that there are divisions among them.
Paul is making a ironic point we miss in English.
Church – ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia) church; assembly.
church n. — an orderly congregation specifically of those who trust in Jesus as the Messiah (or those who compose it).
Noun (prepositional object), dative, singular, feminine.
Church – ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia)
Come together – συνέρχομαι (synerchomai) come together; assemble.
to meet (get together) v. — to get together for a specific purpose.
Verb, present, either middle or passive, circumstantial participle, plural, genitive, masculine.
Come together – συνέρχομαι (synerchomai)
Divisions – σχίσμα (schism) division.
schism n. — division of a group into opposing factions.
Noun (subject), accusative, plural, neuter.
Divisions – σχίσμα (schism)
Here’s what Paul is saying.
When the assembly assembles they are divided.
This is a ridiculous notion!
If you are divided you aren’t really an assembly at all!
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