An Unworthy Heart (Communion Observance) 4/8/2007 AM
Written by: Luke Harris.
Text: 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
What is the goal of this sermon? To make people understand that communion is not a footnote to a quarterly service, but rather is an observance instituted by Christ to remember the sacrifice of the Lamb.
What truth or action do you want to communicate? What we do in our attitude of worship makes a difference. If we come to the Lord’s table in an unworthy manner it will not go unpunished.
II. What does it mean to come to the table in an Unworthy manner?
A. Who is in danger of coming to the table like this?
1. Who is the book written to? This is the believers. Those who profess Christ. The ones are permitted to come to the table in the first place
2. You and I have been invited by Christ to come to this table and partake of the elements. Therefore, you and I are in danger of coming to the table in an unworthy manner.
B. How do we come to the table in an unworthy manner?
1. How did the Corinthians?
a. vv. 18-21
i. They had division (distinction between division and difference)
ii. They had a selfish attitude (they would not wait)
iii. They used this as a time to get drunk
2. To understand an unworthy approach in the rest of the Bible you have to examine what the Lord’s Supper is.
a. Ex. 12:24-28
i. It started as the Passover Observance.
ii. While the Israelites were not worthy in their own right, they were worthy because they had this lamb’s blood on their doorposts.
iii. Look at what they are to do, they are to tell their kids. This means they can’t just have an observance and go on their way, they played out the whole series of events every year.
iv. Lacking of this type of attitude, reducing it to anything less than God’s mighty work of salvation is unworthy.
b. Mark 14:22-26
i. Fast forward 1500 years to Jesus.
ii. He sat in that upper room and as they celebrated the Passover feast he told them of a new blood that would be remembered. No longer would they have to observe the Passover
iii. Jesus is now the blood that is paid.
iv. Coming to the Lord’s table and not realizing that is completely unworthy.
Food for thought, did Judas bring judgment upon himself by not coming to the table in a worthy manner?
C. How do we come in a worthy manner?
1. What was the problem in Corinth?
a. No unity.
i. You and I have to come here today as a unified body of Christ. We cannot have factions or divisions. We cannot have backstabbing and gossip. If this is going on, we have disqualified ourselves from the table and if we approach, we bring judgment on ourselves.
b. Selfish desire or ambition
i. You and I have to look at this body of Christ as a team. Our marching orders as a church is a unified body. We are the body of Christ. Not the body of individuals.
2. For us what is a worthy manner?
a. Our attitude (v. 28)
i. examine ourselves. This involves bringing to light your sins. You see coming to the table doesn’t mean you have to be sinless, it means you have to be aware of those sins, repentant of those sins, and thankful for the Lamb that was slain for you. You see it’s not coming to the table unworthy, it’s coming to the table in an unworthy manner.
b. Our recognition (29)
i. Jesus said, “this do in remembrance of me”
ii. Our recognition is of the body of the Lord. Not just his physical body then, but his manifest body now, the Church. Recognize the big picture of what you are a part of.
c. Our relationship
i. To Jesus. You come in a worthy manner if you confess your sins and let him take them from you. Realizing that Jesus is your drink, your feast, everything you need.
ii. To one another. (John13:4-17)
Jesus showed us that we are to wash one another’s feet. We are at the table to remember who what where when and why Jesus died for us.
A. Therefore, today if you have any sin you don’t want to bring to God, if you have a grudge against someone you just won’t give up, then you are in danger of coming to this table in an unworthy manner. However, if you see Jesus as the perfect Lamb, sacrificed for you. If you see your fellow believers as part of your own body, then Jesus invites us to the table today.
B. We are now going to partake of the elements. If you are not a believer, this observance is not for you. Please don’t take the elements thinking you don’t want to be embarrassed by not having them. That’s an unworthy manner. If you are not a believer, then please refrain, no one will say anything.
Afterthoughts on Sermon:
How was it received?
What were the strengths & Weaknesses?
What change or truth did you communicate to the congregation?
1) Pass out the bread
2) Read Isaiah 53:1-6
3) Prayer for the body of Christ / 1 Cor 11:23-24 / Take the loaf
4) Pass out the juice
5) Read John 19:28-37
6) Prayer for the blood of Christ / 1 Cor. 11:25 / Take the juice
7) Read 1 Cor. 11:26
8) Closing Prayer