Today’s message summary of January 7, 2018 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Communion is something that many churches do every first Sunday. Some will do it every service. There is no set time to do it according to Scripture, but whenever it is done, it is to be done in remembrance of Jesus Christ.
When we come to the table, are we doing it out of ritual or tradition? Is it being done just for participation? Is it being done out of habit or because people might think that I am in sin or to keep others from being suspicious of me?
1 Corinthians 10:18-21
Consider the people of Israel. Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? What am I saying then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I do say that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons! You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share in the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
You have to decide what table you are to feast at.
There comes a point where you have to make a commitment and say to yourself, “I totally commit to the Lord Jesus Christ.” “I belong to Him, and therefore I cannot do what the world wants me to do.”
You and I have to make that choice.
1 Corinthians 11:17
A man should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God. So too, woman is the glory of man.
People observe your actions. If you are living in an unrighteous manner, and if you do not take Communion seriously, then it does the body of Christ damage. There must be a people of one heart and one mind in Christ. God sees your heart of faithfulness and obedience, and when He sees this effort, He will make provision for you. God will always provide for His work.
The people who have the mind of Christ have no reason for division within the body. God will take care of the details if everyone has the mind to put Him first.
God says there is nothing impossible for Him (Matthew 19:26). Only by the grace of God are we yet standing.
1 Corinthians 11:18-22
For to begin with, I hear that when you come together as a church there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. Indeed, it is necessary that there be factions among you, so that those who are approved may be recognized among you. When you come together, then, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For at the meal, each one eats his own supper. So one person is hungry while another gets drunk! Don’t you have homes in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you in this matter!
There has to be a distinction of those that are faithful and that are following Jesus Christ. Let that be you.
Communion represents a sense of order within the church. It is not a ritual, but it is also not to mock who Christ represents. We are all saved because of the work that Jesus Christ has done for us. God wants us to really understand, within the process, that I am sinful, but also see how holy He can make me.
All of this is done not because of deserving anything, but because of love for His people.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
“Go into the city to a certain man,” he said, “and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your place with my disciples.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, he was reclining at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl—he will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.
Judas, his betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”
“You have said it,” he told him.
Note that we should never come to the table without settling matters of sin in our heart (coming as a betrayer), but rather come with the understanding as to how you are blessed and to remember God’s goodness.
As you travel through the Old Testament, there were many instances where people built altars as a way of remembering God’s goodness. Communion is a reminder of what Jesus Christ did for us on Calvary, and for His sacrifice for us. It is a reminder of His love for us.
Communion is also a reminder that I do not have to carry the burden of sin. Confession of sin is necessary. We are to examine ourselves to make sure that we are sincere in our faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5-9
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test. And I hope you will recognize that we ourselves do not fail the test. But we pray to God that you do nothing wrong—not that we may appear to pass the test, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear to fail. For we can’t do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. We also pray that you become fully mature.
Everything that God has said has either come to pass or will come to pass. God speaks truth; therefore, Communion is something to be taken very seriously.
1 Corinthians 11:26-32
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself; in this way let him eat the bread and drink from the cup. For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. If we were properly judging ourselves, we would not be judged, but when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined, so that we may not be condemned with the world.
As you come to the table, please take the time between you and the Lord and reflect upon His goodness. If you need to say, “Lord, forgive me,” then do it. If you need to ask the Lord for cleansing, then do it. God wants to meet you where you are in your time of prayer.