Communion Message - Part 6
The Removal of Sin
(from Day 78 and 79 of Selwyn Hughes)
We will continue this morning to follow the scarlet thread as outlined in Selwyn Hughes Devotional called “Hope Everlasting”. This morning’s message is entitled “The Removal of Sin”.
God’s laws cover many topics, but the most important laws cover the removal of sin. Sin is mentioned 383 times in the Bible. Why so many times? Because sin is such a concern to God. Sin puts up a wall between us and God. A barrier! That is why God speaks of it often. He tells us in His word that all of us sin and fall short of His glorious standard, and that sin is an abomination to Him. He assures us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. But, although mentioned over 350 times, there are more specific references in Scripture to blood than to sin – 460. One writer says, “It is the scarlet thread which weaves the whole scope of revelation into one harmonious witness to the drama of redemption.” Redemption! Sin! Blood! All linked by a scarlet thread.
Let’s examine now how God, in His Word, tells us how to get rid of sin and make ourselves right with Him. The Old Testament way to atone for sin was through the animal sacrifices. But we know the New Testament way to atone for sin is through the cross of Christ. Christ came to die once for all. His gospel of peace is our salvation. And as Acts 4:12 says, “There is salvation in no one else” but Jesus. “God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father, except through Him.” (John 14:6).
This morning, we come to the Father through remembering Jesus’ shed blood. We come out of love for God who first loved us. We come seeking a right relationship with the Creator of the Universe – Almighty God – who called us to be saints. God has only one intended destiny for mankind - holiness! As impure saints we come to God seeking a washing. All impure vessels must get right with God before they partake in the elements we see before us this morning – the bread and the cup.
And God has made the way for us to get right with him. He tells us in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” What a beautiful promise!
But there is more than confession. After confessing our sins we are to turn from sin. We are to repent! From the beginning of the New Testament and the call of John the Baptist, we are told to “Repent of our sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matt. 3:2)
So before partaking in the sacrament of communion, we need to repent. Trusting in the shed blood and body of our LORD and Savior, we confess and turn from our sin. We reach out our hands in faith, and lay them in quiet trust upon the cross and the finished work of Christ. And he assures us our sin is carried away into the wilderness of oblivion to be remembered no more. Our sins have been blotted out and will never be thought of again by God – as far as east is from west says Psalm 103:12. That is the power of the cross. That is the power of the redeeming blood of the Lamb of God. We are washed in the blood, rendered white as snow.
As we reflect on this amazing power of redemption through Christ’s blood, I want us to go now (figuratively) to the foot of the cross and lay down all the sin which we must confess this morning. God will bring to mind those unconfessed sins which He wants you to lay at His feet. Then after laying them down, I want you to symbolically turn from them, trusting they are forgiven and are as far as east is from west away from God’s memory. Let’s pray
Your word assures me that you want to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. You call me Your chosen child, a royal priest, a holy nation, Your own special possession. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Your amazing grace that would choose me for Your kingdom. As I gaze upon the cross this morning and reflect on Your amazing act of redemption, LORD, I ask You to once again forgive my sins. Please bring them to mind now so I might confess them and turn from them as I receive Your forgiveness.
[pause for one minute before continuing].
LORD, if there are words of reconciliation which I should speak to anyone before partaking in this sacred celebration, please bring them to mind now before I come to the table.
[pause for one minute]
Thank-You, LORD, for revealing through Your Spirit, the sin in my life. Thank You that You made Him who had no sin become sin for me that I might become righteous. And thank You for Your forgiveness and Your cleansing. Thank You for sanctifying me in the name of the LORD Jesus and by the Holy Spirit. Thank You for preparing my heart for this solemn celebration of remembrance.
In Jesus Name I commit myself once again to Your service
Starting on my left, please come forward to be served the elements, please hold on to your serving until all have been served so we may partake together.
(When all are ready to partake) “The Lord Jesus on the night He was betrayed, took bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body which is for you; do this in remembrance of me” Let’s partake.
(When all are ready to partake of the cup) “In the same way, after supper He took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”