The Lords Supper at The Lords Table On The Lords Day
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
INTRO: Good morning. It is nice to see everyone today. I would like to remind you that the scripture references I use will either be from the KJV or the NKJV unless I mention otherwise. I want to encourage you to take out your Bibles and look at the scriptures I mention. If you have any questions about anything I say, I’ll be glad to talk to you about it. If I’m wrong, I will stand corrected.
For a number of lessons, we have looked at the subject of worship and saw that worship is actually a manifestation of our own personal relationship with God. It is meant to be an expression of the love, awe, respect and honor that we have for our God from our hearts.
These lessons are about the kind of relationship we actually have with our creator, with God almighty. This morning we will continue along the same line of thinking and we will be looking at the Lord’s Supper.
Our text for the lesson is found in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 however I want to start by giving some background reading from verses 17-20. “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 factions 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.” What Paul is dealing with here is an error that came into the assembly at Corinth.
The purpose of the sermon this morning is to try to help us understand the great honor that you and I were just allowed when we partook of the Lord's Supper. Sometimes I fear the members of the body of Christ do not understand the privilege that we are allowed when we take the Lord's Supper and what is actually involved with it.
Now look at verse 20 again. This is the only text that you find in the New Testament that uses the phrase Lord's Supper. The phrase Lord's Supper is a possessive phrase showing a supper that belongs to the Lord. It is His supper, it's not my supper. It belongs to him. That is an important distinction. We learn something else in this text. The Lord's Supper was taken when the saints assembled together. The Lord's Supper is not something you do out on a duck pond. The Lord's Supper is not something you do while you're fishing. The Lord's Supper is not something you do while you're hunting.
The Lord's Supper is what you do when you come to gather with the Saints on the Lord's Day at the Lord's Table.
The apostle Paul is trying to correct the Corinthians who had perverted the Lord's Supper. They had turned it into a common feast rather than being a part worship directed to God.
We're going to read something you're very familiar with because it is read quite often when we take the Lord's Supper. The reason we read this text is to bring our mind back to the purpose of the Lord's Supper. Thinking about that I wonder; How often in this last week did you actually think about Christ crucified? Not often is probably going to be the answer. We human beings tend to get caught up in the cares of this world. We’ve got to take care of responsibilities at work and at home. We've got all these tasks and all these problems that we're juggling and trying to deal with from day to day. As we juggle all these responsibilities every day an amazing thing and an unfortunate thing happens, we lose focus of what's really important.
What is really important is our relationship with God and that God loved me so much He gave His son to die for me. Christ loved me so much that He went through everything He went through for me. The Lord's Supper is to bring us home, back to what's important, to bring our focus back to Christ, crucified.
I. Let’s read our text, I Corinthians 11:23-26 – “23. 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; 24. 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.'' 25. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'' 26. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”
A. It is during the Passover that the Lord’s Supper is instituted. Here he is taking the unleavened bread and when He breaks it, He is telling them that this is going to be representing something different in the future.
1. You're not going to be going back to Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery. In the future when you partake of this feast and you break this bread you do it in remembrance of me. In remembrance of His body which was broken for us. When we partake of the bread as we just did a few moments ago it is imperative that we focus our mind on the body of Christ.
2. As I said before, if you find yourself struggling with focusing your mind I would like to encourage you to take your Bible, find a text or two that goes to Christ crucified.
3. Maybe Isaiah 53 or one of the gospels that is dealing with the crucifixion or His scourging or His beating and read these texts so you can focus your mind on Christ crucified bringing your mind back to what is really important... and remember. Remember the love of God for you. Remember the sacrifice that was made for you.
B. That same text continues in verse twenty-five; In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.''
1. When we partake of the fruit of the vine, we need to focus our mind on the blood of Christ realizing that it is the blood of Christ that put the New Covenant in force between God and all mankind. It was the blood of Christ that dedicated this new covenant under which we live.
2. The beauty of this new covenant is that there is remission of sins. How many times have you heard Acts 2:38? If you’ve attended the church of Christ any length of time you probably have heard it a lot and you know it by heart. Peter said unto them repent to be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ...for the remission of sins.
3. For us to be able to say that phrase it took the blood of Christ on Calvary. How many times have you gone to God and said God be merciful to me a sinner? How many times have you been motivated by Godly sorrow and gone to God in prayer and asked for forgiveness of sin?
4. Every sin that is forgiven in your life is forgiven by the blood of Christ. That is where remission of sins is—in the blood of Christ. Without that sacrifice there is no remission of sin. The purpose of the Lord's Supper is to bring our focus back to Christ crucified, the body that was beaten and nailed to the cross for us, the blood of Christ that was shed for us.
C. Recall what Paul talks about in the Galatians letter. He says in 2:20 that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” What Paul is doing here is individualizing the love of Christ. Yes, God so loved the world, but we need to realize God knows you personally. Christ loves you individually and He sacrificed Himself, gave Himself for you personally.
1. When we are partaking of the Lord's Supper, we need to bring our focus back to the love of God for us, that was manifest in Him giving His son to each of us. Bring our mind back to the love of Christ.
2. Understand He did this so my sins could be forgiven. It was my fault. I'm the one that rebelled against God. I'm the one that wanted to go my own stubborn way. He did this because He loves me.
3. You will find that when you partake of the Lord's Supper properly, your love for God is going to be strengthened. The more your focus drifts away from God the more you are going to drift away from God.
4. As I said before our mind gets caught up in the cares of the world. Then we feel distant, not close to God. The Lord's Supper is to bring you back. When we draw near to God. God will draw near to us.
5. When you focus your mind on the love of God an amazing thing is going to happen. You'll love God in return and as you love God back your relationship with God is strengthened. Worship is an expression of our relationship and when we worship it strengthens that relationship.
D. The last sentence here: for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the lord's death ‘til He comes. What are we proclaiming? The Lord's death. The Lord rose from the dead on the first day of the week, but he died on Friday. What we're focusing on is not the resurrection even though we're partaking on the day He rose from the dead. What we're focusing on is the death.
1. Why do we attend funerals? I knew the person. They meant a lot to me and I'm going to pay my respects to them.
2. When we come together not only are we glorifying God for Christ dying for us, we're paying our respects for the death of the Son of God. I’ll repeat that. You're coming to pay respect to the death of the Son of God.
3. If I have no desire to partake of the Lord's Supper what does it say? It says I don't care. It doesn’t mean that much to me. The New Covenant, the blood of the new covenant, is not really that important. Christ crucified? Eh take it or leave it.
4. The blood of Christ is the most precious thing in the universe, and Hebrews warns in chapter 10 of the punishment for those who count it a common thing.
E. Worship is a privilege that you and I are allowed to do. Don't think I gotta go to worship. That mentality is completely wrong.
1. The mentality should be I get to go to worship. I am allowed to share in this privilege and express my relationship with God and worship my God. I want to go pay my respects to Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me.
II. There's another possessive we find, and that is the phrase, the Lord's Table. Luke 22:29-30 – “29. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30. that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” We notice in these verses Jesus is talking about a table—My table He says.
A. Again, that is the idea of a table belonging to Him and it's in His kingdom. We all understand that the kingdom is the church. They are one and the same.
1. You'll find this possessive used again over I Corinthians 10:21 – “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons.”
2. We have the Lord's Supper which is a possessive, a supper belonging to the Lord. We have “My table in My kingdom”. It is the Lord’s Table in the Lord’s Kingdom, the church.
B. To help us understand the significance of this phrase, the Lord's Table, I am going to give you some background from the Old Testament. It goes all the way back to II Samuel 9:11. Actually there are many other texts in the Old Testament we could look at, but this is the one I selected. II Samuel 9:11 – “As for Mephibosheth,'' said the king, "he shall eat at my table like one of the king's sons.” (Mef-hibo-sheth)
1. Here is the king saying someone is to eat at the king’s table. In ancient times in a monarchy, one of the greatest honors that could be extended to you as a citizen of that kingdom was to be invited to come to the table of the king.
2. To sit down at David's table with David eating there with you, to come to the table of the King, was a great honor.
C. Matthew 22 records that Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a king who arranged a marriage for his son and has a wedding feast prepared then sent out a call to those invited but there are people that receive this invitation from the king and they basically thumb their nose at it.
1. Or in Luke 14 Jesus tells of a certain man who gave a great supper and invited many but they all with one accord began to make excuses.
2. We need to realize the Jews when they were hearing these parables about the great feast and the wedding supper, were thinking you’ve got to be kidding.
i. Here is someone who was invited to come to the feast of the king, and they say I must go plow my oxen? They all have these cares of the world that prevent them from going to the feast of the King.
ii. I guarantee the Jews who heard that thought man, those people aren't very intelligent. They’re really not on the ball. I can’t believe that they would be so rude.
iii. A feast is one thing but a feast for the wedding of the king's son, wow what an honor. I am being invited to go to the feast of the king for his son's wedding, it is overwhelming. I got an invitation from the King and I've been invited to the king's son’s wedding. Touch me if you want. I'm serious.
3. Folks, we need to understand getting that kind of invitation was an awesome honor. When the Jews hear of people who get those invitations and say eh, I’ve got to work. They would be thinking “you got to be kidding!”
D. We have been given an invitation from the King and not just any king but the king of kings, the Lord of Lords, the king of the universe to come to His table and to partake of His supper at His table. We must understand the honor that is being extended to us.
III. Over in Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” We come together to partake of the Lord's Supper at the Lord's table and when two or three come together as we have done, please recognize, that when we take the Lord's Supper at the Lord's table, the Lord is with us. He's with us in our midst. Folks, the King is here. He is with us.
A. I Corinthians 10:16-17 – “16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17. For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” This should help us understand what is involved in partaking of the Lord’s Supper. It is something we do together, and we recognize that this common union, this communion, is not the communion of the Chardon church of Christ. It is the communion of the body of Christ as a whole.
B. This day, on the Lord's Day, those who are citizens in the kingdom of the Lord are coming together all around this planet, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, countries all around the world.
1. Different nationalities, different tongues, different languages, we are coming together. We're coming on the Lord's Day to the Lord's Table and we're taking the Lord's Supper.
2. When we are doing this, it is a common union binding us all together in one body with the one blood. What a privilege for us to share in that! It is not a drudgery, it's an honor that’s being extended to us.
IV. Revelation 1:10 – “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,”
A. Here again we have another possessive. You have the Lord's Supper, that is the supper belonging to the Lord. You have the Lord's Table. That is the table belonging to the Lord and we come to His table and partake of His supper, but there is a third possessive that we find pertaining to the Lord and that is the Lord's Day.
B. When is the Lord's Day? It’s a pretty good question, isn’t it?
1. Luke 22:15-16 – “15. Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16. "for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.''”
2. Thursday was the day the Lord's Supper was instituted. He died on Friday. He rose from the dead on the first day of the week.
3. Why then don't we take the Lord's Supper on Thursday? Why isn’t the Lord's Day Thursday?
C. If you look at the text, He says I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. This is before the kingdom is established. He hasn't died yet. He's telling them what He's going to do, how His body will be broken for them. How His blood is going to be seeding this new covenant, how His blood is going to be shed for the remission of sins.
1. It hadn't happened yet, and it is not until we come to the day of Pentecost (guess what day the day Pentecost is on) it's the first day of the week. The kingdom was established on the first day of the week.
2. After the kingdom was established, the first day of the week becomes a day that is special to Christians when they assemble together.
3. In texts such as Acts 20:7 – “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” Scripture tells us they came together on the first day of the week to break bread and hear a message.
4. We also see in I Corinthians 16:2 – “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper,...” The first day of the week when they came together, they set aside their contribution.
5. Mark tells us of the resurrection in 16:9 “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.” Then we read in Mathew 28:1-6 “1. Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6. "He is not here; for He is risen... ” Luke’s account is in Luke 24 starting at verse 1. “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.” We find John’s account in John chapter 20 “On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”
6. The resurrection of Christ is very important to us. It proves beyond all doubt that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God. It also gives us the assurance that we too will be raised to life again (see I Corinthians 15).
7. Then in Acts 2:1-4 we read “1. Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”[NKJV]
8. “Pentecost” actually means “fifty days.” Pentecost was a special feast of the Jews which was to be observed fifty days after their Passover feast. It is also called “the feast of harvest” or “first fruits.” Sometimes it is called “the feast of weeks” because it was seven weeks after Passover.
9. The time from the Passover is found in Leviticus 23:15-16 – “15. 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16. 'Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.”
10. Since the Sabbath was Saturday, the seventh day of the week, the day after the Sabbath would be Sunday, the first day of the week.
11. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ began on Pentecost day when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles. On that day, they preached the gospel. Men heard, believed, repented, and were baptized for the remission of sins. They were added by the Lord to His church, which is the church of Christ (Acts 2:36-47). Thus, the church had its beginning on Sunday, the first day of the week.
12. The Lord rose from the dead on the first day of the week. That is the Lord’s Day. The day of Pentecost is the day the church, the kingdom, was established. That is the day the Saints came together to remember the death of the Son of God, to sing praises to Him, to pray to Him, to give back to Him, and to study from his word. The first day of the week is the Lord's Day not the Sabbath. Not Friday the day He was crucified. Not Thursday, the day that He instituted the Lord's Supper.
V. Something else I want to mention about the Lord’s Supper. In the ancient world the idea of a common meal at gatherings was a custom. The early Church had such a custom, and all the Christians came, bringing what they could, the resources were pooled, and they sat down to a common meal. It was a lovely custom; and it survives in part with our potluck meals. It was a way of producing and nourishing real Christian fellowship.
A. Early on, this custom began to be confused with the Lord’s Supper and it became a stumbling block. In the church at Corinth things had gone sadly wrong with this fellowship meal in two ways.
1. In the Church there were rich and poor; there were those who could bring plenty, and there were slaves who could bring hardly anything at all. In fact, for many poor slaves this meal may have been the only decent meal in the whole week, but in Corinth the art of sharing had gotten lost. The rich did not share their food but ate it in little exclusive groups by themselves, hurrying through it in case they had to share, while the poor had next to nothing. The result was that the meal at which the social differences between members of the Church should have been obliterated only succeeded in aggravating these same differences.
2. This fellowship meal began to obscure the Lord’s Supper which was to be taken as a remembrance of Jesus Christ, His suffering, His sacrifice, and His atonement for our sins.
3. Unhesitatingly and unsparingly Paul rebukes this in I Corinthians 11:17-26 – “17. Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18. 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. 19. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20. Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper. 21. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22. 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. 23. 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; 24. 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.'' 25. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'' 26. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”
Our sermons on singing, on prayer, and on the Lord's Supper are to help us come to understand that God does not want us ritualistically going through the motions of an empty worship. When we come together He is looking in our heart.
He wants you to worship Him in truth, but He's looking into your heart. He wants to know how you actually feel about Him. What is your relationship with Him? Do you love Him?
Worship is an expression of our personal relationship with God. As I told you earlier when you worship God in spirit and in truth it is from the heart. An amazing thing takes place as you draw near to God... He will draw near to you and your relationship with God will be strengthened and you will want to be here at the next appointed time.
The more you forsake the assembling of the Saints together the easier it's going to be for you to do it and the less guilt you're going to feel for not honoring the death of the Son of God by coming together at the Lord's table. The less sorry you're going to feel.
The more we stay away from God and worshipping God together with the Saints, the further we drift from God. You understand that. When we come together because we want to be together with the Saints on the Lord's day and we want to worship God, the opposite is true.
Our relationship with God grows stronger and stronger and our love for God grows stronger and stronger. We want to honor His son and we want to worship Him. As you draw near to God, He draws near to you.
That's what Christianity is all about—your relationship with God. Do not think of your worship to God and your assembling with the saints as something you've got to do. Recognize it for what it is, a wonderful, awesome, privilege that you and I are allowed.
There may be somebody here this morning who is not a member of the body of Christ. If you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and you’re willing to openly confess your faith and repent of your sins, then we would be glad to assist you and baptize you into the body of Christ for the remission of your sins.
If you're a child of God and you've gone into the world, I hope that you have godly sorrow enough to come home to the father. As your brothers and sisters we will pray for you and with you and do the very best we can try to encourage you.
If you are subject to the Gospel call in any way, let us know while stand and sing the song selected.
Invitation song ???
Reference sermon by: Wayne FancherPrint
© Chardon Church of Christ
All right reserved