1 Corinthians 11:23-34
A TIME WE CALL COMMUNION
Intro: Ever since the early Christians met secretly in homes to remember
the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the church has been
celebrating the Communion Service. Of all the things we do in the church,
this one event should hold the most meaning for us, and it should cause us
to be humbled by the message behind the service.
I think that, far too often, the Communion celebration is looked upon as
being common place. It is just something "we do every few months". In
reality, it is far more than this! This time we call Communion is an
opportunity for the church to worship the Lord Jesus be remembering what
He did for us at Calvary and the garden tomb. It is a time when we can
rehearse the message of the Gospel in the ears of those who may not know
it. It is also a time to reflect upon our walk with Jesus as individuals.
Today, we are going to partake of the Communion once again. But,
before we do, I want to draw your attention to what these verses teach us
about this special time. Allow me to point out several marks of this time
known as Communion. As I do, please look into your own heart and
examine your life on the basis of what the Bible says about this event known
as The Lord's Supper.
I. V. 23-25 IT IS A TIME OF COMMEMORATION
A. These verses remind us that the Lord's Supper Service is a time for
"calling to mind" the great sacrifice and victorious resurrection of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. When we gather at the Lord's Table for Communion, we are not
offering a new sacrifice. We are remembering His "once for all"
sacrifice, Heb. 10:10.
C. The idea of remembering is more than just recalling that an event
took place. It has the idea of stirring up the mind to relive with Jesus
Christ as much of His life, death and resurrection as is humanly
possible. It is a time to remember that:
1. He left heaven to be born in a human body - Phil. 2:5-6
2. He became poor that we might be rich - 2 Cor. 8:9
3. He bore our sins in His Own body on the tree - 1 Pet. 2:24
4. He willingly took our place on Calvary - Isa. 53:4-6
5. He shed His blood for our redemption - Rev. 1:5; Rev. 5:9, 1
6. He conquered death for us forever - Matt. 28:1-6; Rev. 1:18
7. He ascended back to Heaven to finish His redemptive work and
to serve as out High Priest forever - Heb. 7:25
D. It is a time to remember!
II. V. 23-25 IT IS A TIME OF CONTEMPLATION
A. Not only are we to remember what Jesus has done for humanity, but
we are to contemplate what His sacrifice means to us as individuals.
B. Jesus died on the cross to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1:15. But, what
does that mean to you? Have you been saved? Does His sacrifice
move your heart toward Him in worship if you are saved? Does the
fact that He is alive forevermore thrill your soul and cause you to
bow before Him in humility and worship?
C. We should use this time to reflect on what the work of Christ means
to us as individuals. Our minds should reflect on what His death and
resurrection has accomplished in our lives. It is a great time to
consider your personal walk with the Lord! Is it all it should be? Are
you living in a manner that pleases Him? Is your heart right with the
Lord? Consider your relationship to the Lord during this special
III. V. 23-25 IT IS A TIME OF IDENTIFICATION
A. When we take the Lord's Supper, we are publically identifying
ourselves with Jesus Christ. Now, it is possible for a lost person to
partake of the Lord's Supper and never be saved. This event holds
no saving power! However, for those who are saved, it is a time for
us to declare publically that we believe His death and resurrection
were for us!
B. Let us who have been saved by grace boldly identify ourselves with
the Lord Jesus Christ! The Bible reminds us that those who know
Him are not to be ashamed of Him, Rom. 10:9-11. The world may
call us fools. They may say we use the Lord as a crutch.
Regardless of what they say, let us take our stand with the
redeemed and loudly proclaim our faith in Him and our dependence
upon His sacrifice.
C. The Lord's Supper Service is a prime time to identify yourself with
the Lord Jesus!
IV. V. 26 IT IS A TIME OF DECLARATION
A. This verse reminds us that when we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we
are declaring His death and resurrection to new generations of
people. This is to be a time of education as well as a time of
worship. We must always take the time to explain what we are
doing when we take the bread and juice. This service is a prime
time for declaring the Gospel message to those who do not know it.
B. That is why we preach the Gospel message! We proclaim it so that
men and women, boy and girls will have the opportunity to believe
on Jesus Christ as all the redeemed have done. Therefore, let us
determine that we will ever remind this lost and dying world that
there is only one source of salvation and that His name is Jesus
Christ, John 14:6, Acts 4:12.
C. In a day when many churches are becoming "seeker friendly" and
others are abandoning the doctrines of salvation by grace through
faith alone, let us determine that as long as there is breath in our
bodies, we will strive to protect the message in this church! We
could compromise and draw a crowd, but I had rather preach the
truth to a few than to drag a crowd behind me into a Christless
V. V. 26 IT IS A TIME OF EXPECTATION
A. We are also reminded that this time serves to stir up our thoughts
concerning the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The truth is, He died
for us, He rose again for us and He ascended into Heaven for us.
There, He makes intercession for us at the throne of God. But, let
us not forget that He has also promised to return someday for us, John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:16-18.
B. The Lord's Supper service should serve to remind us of the fact that
He is coming! It should stir up our hearts by reminding us that one
day soon, our Savior will return from glory to take His children home
to Heaven. Therefore, when the bred and juice are passed in a few
minutes, remember, Jesus is coming and He is coming for a
C. Are you ready for His coming? Matt. 24:44!
VI. V. 27-31 IT IS A TIME OF EXAMINATION
A. While all the other truths we have considered today are important,
this final one is very serious in its warning to you and me. The
Lord's Supper service is a time of reflection and worship, but it is
also a time of self-examination. We are warned against partaking of
the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. This can mean several
1. It Is A Warning To The Lost - No one who has not been saved
should take of the Lord's Supper service. It is a dangerous thing
to do so!
2. It Is A Warning To The Backslider - When we come to the
Lord's table with sin in our lives, we open our lives up to God's
judgment, v. 29. He will chasten His children when they profess
to be right with God, and yet they are harboring sin in their
3. It Is A Warning Against Taking It Lightly - Too often, people
will come to the Lord's table and will not take the time to search
their hearts for sin, nor will they consider the great sacrifice
Jesus gave for their redemption. They go through the motions,
but ignore the emotions. Others participate in it ritualistically and
not with their minds and hearts. Others trust the ceremony to
save them and fail to trust the One to Whom the ceremony
points. Others come with bitterness and hatred in their hearts
toward other believers. All of these are dangerous and bring the
chastisement of God into our lives.
B. When we partake of the Lord's Supper in a manner which degrades
the truth behind the celebration, we are guilty of trampling under foot
the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. When someone walks
on the flag of the United States in protest, they are doing more than
damaging a piece of cloth. They are actually dishonoring this nation
and all it stands for! The same is true at the Lord's Table! Let us be
careful to examine our hearts, our lives and our motives before we
receive the elements of the Lord's Supper.
C. Paul's warning is serious! He reminds the Corinthians that some of
there number is dead because they came to the Lord's Table in an
unworthy manner, v. 30! The remedy for this is for us to examine
ourselves, confess our sins and right every wrong possible, before
we come to the Lord's Table! If we will take the time to judge our
own lives, the Lord will not have to judge them for us, v. 31. But,
even when His chastisement comes upon us, it is for our own good,
and is a product of His love for us, v. 32.
Conc: As a child, many of us can remember our mothers telling us to "wash
up for supper." Well, that is what the Lord is telling you and me this
morning! Are you in a right condition to receive the Lord's Supper today?
Answer these questions right now:
1. Are you saved?
2. Is your life pleasing to the Lord?
3. Are there hidden things in your life that need to be dealt with this
4. Is there ANY problem between you and another believer?
5. Can you honestly say that your heart and life and pure?
6. Are you ready to receive the bread and juice with a heart of true worship
for God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ?