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The Great Value of the Lord’s Supper

Notes & Transcripts

The Great Value of the Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:23-32

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - July 29, 2012

*Holding up a piece of this unleavened bread, it surely doesn’t look like much. In fact, you probably can’t see it from the back of the church. It doesn’t taste good. And it’s not enough to fill a bird. But this little piece of bread is the most important food we will ever eat. And this little cup is the most important drink we will ever drink.

*This is the only meal that God commands Christians to eat. Let’s look into God’s Word this morning to see why this little cup and piece of bread are so important for us.

1. The Lord’s Supper is important first, because it helps us reexamine our lives.

*Christians, before we take the Lord’s Supper it is vital for us to reexamine our lives. The Apostle Paul stressed this need down in vs. 27-29, where he said:

27. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.

29. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

30. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

31. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

32. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

*Now, we certainly have to be careful with these verses. The last thing the Lord wants us to do here is try to assign blame when someone gets sick.

*Think back to the man who was born blind in John 9. It was his healing that inspired John Newton to write: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.”

*John 9 opens with these words:

1. Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.

2. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

3. Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

4. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

*It is not our job to assign blame for sickness. But it is our job to examine our own hearts for sin. And the only way to properly receive the Lord’s Supper is to search our hearts, confess to the Lord, and repent of any known sin in our lives.

*All of us need to do this, because all of us have sinned. And the truth is that we need to prayerfully reexamine our lives every day, but especially before we take the Lord’s Supper.

*Robert Leroe helped us understand by saying: “Before we sit down to a meal, we need clean hands. You don’t work in the garden or garage and then come inside, sit down, and eat dinner. You wash up first.

*This is why the Bible tells us to examine our lives before receiving Communion. We may see something that needs to be confessed and cleaned up. When we come to Jesus with remorse and repentance, we find forgiveness, restoration, and an invitation to His table.

*Some people get so burdened by their sins, that instead of asking forgiveness, they figure they’re too unworthy to participate, and they pass the tray without partaking. None of us is worthy. But if we’ve trusted Christ, we are eligible. He invites and authorizes us to come to the table.” (1)

*The Lord’s Supper is important, because it helps us reexamine our lives.

2. And because it helps us remember what Jesus did on the cross for us.

*It is always a good thing to remember what the Lord has done for us. And the Lord’s Supper helps us do that.

[1] Jesus Christ wants us to remember His body, so in vs. 23&23, Paul said:

23. . . 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."

*Through the Lord’s Supper we remember Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for us. It is not possible for us to fully comprehend the physical and spiritual suffering the Lord went through. But Isaiah 53 helps us understand. There the Bible says this about the Lord’s suffering:

2. . . He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3. He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

5. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth.

8. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

*This is what we remember in the Lord’s Supper. We remember the Lord’s body suffering and dying on the cross for our sins.

[2] The Lord also wants us to remember His blood, so in vs. 25, Paul explained: “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.’”

*Christians: The Lord wants us to remember how precious His blood is to us.

A. In 1 Peter 1:18-19, the blood of Jesus Christ is precious, because it redeems us:

18. knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

19. but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

B. In Ephesians 2:12-13, the blood of Jesus Christ is also precious, because it brings us near to God:

12. that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.

C. In Revelation 1:4-5, the blood of Jesus Christ is also precious, because it washes all of our sins away:

4. John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

5. and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

D. In Colossians 1:19-20, the blood of Jesus Christ is precious, because it gives us peace with God:

9. For it pleased the Father that in Him (i.e. in Jesus) all the fullness should dwell,

20. and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

E. And in Romans 5:8-9, the blood of Jesus Christ is precious, because it justifies us.

8. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

“Oh! Precious is the flow that makes me white as snow;

No other fount I know: nothing but the blood of Jesus.” (2)

*Jeffrey Ebert will always see a picture of the Lord’s sacrifice in his mother. It happened many years ago when Jeffrey was 5, and they were in a horrible wreck. This was long before cars had seat belts and air bags.

*Jeffrey’s family was driving home that night on a two-lane country road. And Jeffrey was sitting on his mother's lap, when a drunk driver swerved into their lane and hit them head-on.

*Jeffrey said, “I don't have any memory of the collision. I do recall the fear and confusion I felt as I saw myself literally covered with blood from head to toe. Then I learned that the blood wasn't mine at all, -- but my mother's.

*In that split second when the two headlights glared into her eyes, she instinctively pulled me closer to her chest and curled her body around mine. It was her body that slammed against the dashboard, her head that shattered the windshield. She took the impact of the collision so that I wouldn't have to.”

*After extensive surgery, Jeffrey’s mother recovered. And she became a picture of the Lord’s sacrificial love for us all. Jeffrey explained that “in a similar, but infinitely more significant way, Jesus Christ took the impact for our sin.” (3)

*The Lord’s Supper is important, because it helps us remember what Jesus did on the cross for us.

3. And because it helps us reveal the truth about Jesus.

*That’s why in vs. 26, Paul said: “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”

*The Lord’s Supper is one way to witness about what Jesus did for us on the cross. Donald Nash says the Lord’s Supper is one of the greatest evangelistic tools we have. (4)

*Lanis Kineman gave the example of a father who went to church one Sunday with his wife and 3-year-old son. In that service, they took the Lord’s Supper, but Dad was not a Christian. So when the bread and cup came to him, he passed them on down the pew.

*Their little boy noticed that his mother and all the other big people beside them took the Lord’s Supper. But his dad was left out, and the little boy did not like that. So this 3-year-old yelled out at the top of his voice, "My dad didn't get any refreshments!" (5)

*This Lord used that little boy’s concerned complaint to touch his father’s heart. And the very next Sunday, that father committed his life to the Lord.

*Have you ever done that? -- Trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Then join us today as we witness about Jesus through the Lord’s Supper.

CONCLUSION:

*It may not look like much.

-But this little piece of bread is the most important food you will ever eat.

-And this little cup is the most important drink you will ever drink.

*They are so important that God commands us to take this meal:

-Because it helps us reexamine our lives.

-Because it helps us remember what Jesus did for us on the cross.

-And because it helps us reveal the truth about Jesus Christ.

*Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and then join us in taking the Lord’s Supper. You can call on the Lord to save you right now, as we go to God in prayer.

INVITATION

*Now as we begin the Lord’s Supper, the Deacons will come forward to serve the bread and the cup. Please remember that the Lord’s Supper is for everyone who has received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. So, if you know Jesus, we invite you to share.

*But first we will pray to reflect on our lives and repent of our sins, because the last thing we want to do today is take the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way.

*Listen again to the Apostle Paul in vs. 27-29:

27. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.

29. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

*Examine your heart this morning as we go to the Lord in silent prayer.

[1] Now we will remember the Lord’s body with this bread.

*Jesus wants us to remember. We remember His Body with this bread, because Jesus is the Bread of Life. As He said in John 6:

35. "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

47. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

48. I am the bread of life.

49. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

50. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

51. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.''

PRAYER TO BLESS THE BREAD

PASSING OF THE BREAD

*The Apostle Paul said:

23. . . 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.'' (1 Cor 11:23-24)

TAKING THE BREAD

[2] We remember the Lord’s body and we remember His blood.

*The Apostle John wrote these words in Revelation 1:4-6:

4. John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

5. And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

6. And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

*We remember the Lord’s blood, because He “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. . .” The blood of Jesus Christ paid the price for every one of our sins. This cup represents the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood that He shed when He died on the cross for us.

PRAYER TO BLESS THE CUP

PASSING OF THE CUP

-“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 Cor 11:25)

TAKING THE CUP.

26. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.

BENEDICTION

(1) SermonCentral sermon “Come to the Table” by Robert Leroe - 1 Cor 10:14-22

(2) “Nothing But the Blood” - Words & Music: Robert Lowry, in “Gospel Music,” by William Doane and Robert Lowry (New York: Biglow & Main, 1876)

(3) Jeffrey Ebert in “Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching” - Baker - from the editors of “Leadership” - Source: “Bible Illustrator for Windows” - Topic: Atonement - Index: 304-305 - Date: 7/1998.1145 - Title: Christ's Blood, Not Ours

(4) KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION - ID Number: 28116 - SOURCE: www.sermoncentral.com, newsletter - TITLE: The Greatest Evangelism Tool We Have - AUTHOR: Donald A. Nash - DATE: 62904

(5) KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION - ID Number: 6252 - SOURCE: Internet: Chicken Soup of the Day - TITLE: Communion Blooper - AUTHOR: Lanis E. Kineman - DATE: 52500

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