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Till He Comes

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TILL HE COMES

INTRODUCTION:

1.    Men have designed and constructed a host of monuments to honor and commemorate a variety of men and events.

(1)          Various substances:  (Steel; glass; concrete; stone).

(2)          Various shapes: (buildings, monuments, tombstones, statues).

(3)          Various reasons (Life; death;  discovery).

2.    Countless visits have been made to these “hallowed” places to remember the significance of the person or the place.

3.    Christianity possesses a monument which towers up for nearly 2000 years.

(1)          The most sublime and yet perhaps the most subtle of monuments.

(2)          More observable and significant than any man made monument.

(3)          A monument of God’s design and unfortunately it can and has suffered from man’s corruption.

4.    Read Text:  (1 Cor. 11:17-34).

5.    Regarding the text:

(1)          It is not exactly clear why Paul introduces this subject here.

A.     Previously he has commended them (v. 2)

B.     But it is clear that on this subject Paul cannot give commendation.

(2)          More than likely those of Chloe’s household (1:11) reported on some of the irregularities occurring with regards to the Lord’s Supper.

(3)          The problem was occurring when they “came together in the church” (v. 17,18).

A.     They came together not for the better, but for the worse (v. 17).

B.     There were divisions (v. 18).

(a)    Schisms – “a tear in cloth.”

(b)    Separate congregations hadn’t been formed, but they might as well.

(c)     Paul “in part” believed the report.

(4)          The PROBLEM = The Lord’s Supper was being mixed with a common meal.

A.     We know it was occurring in a worship context (vv. 17-18).

B.     We know a “common meal” was involved because of context (vv. 21-22).

(a)    No order or consideration (v. 21).

(i)     One had eaten, one had not.

(ii)   One ate to excess, some had nothing to eat.

(iii) Some overate and over drank.  Some had no needs met.

(b)    Special note:  Paul is not talking here about a “church house!”

(i)     He talks about the “church” (people).

(ii)   More than likely they met in someone’s home.

C.     Eating in a certain building is not the thing condemned by Paul.  He condemns “eating a common meal in worship itself.”

6.    Paul rebuked the Corinthians because of their conduct towards worship and most especially the Lord’s Supper.  Paul gives a lesson on the Lord’s Supper

DISCUSSION:

I.            RESTRICTIONS OF OBSERVANCE (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

1.       A Commemoration (v. 24).

(1)          “This do in remembrance  of me.” Cf. Mt. 26:26-30; Mk. 14:22-26; Lk. 22:14-23.

(2)          Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper at the “Passover.”

A.        Passover feast was a memorial of salvation of firstborn (Ex. 12).

B.        Lamb was put up on 10th and killed on the 14th day of month.

C.        That lamb’s blood sprinkled on door post of home where lamb was eaten.

D.        God smote firstborn of Egypt but when He saw the blood, He “Passed Over” that home (Ex. 12:11-13).

E.        It was to be observed (Ex. 12:25-27) in the “promised land.”

(3)          Jesus is our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7-8).

A.        Heb. 2:9 – “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower…”

B.        “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3).

C.        “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8).

D.        Notice 1 Peter 1:19.

(4)          The bread and cup are “emblems” of Christ’s death!

A.        Bread – represent the pale broken body.

B.        Cup = blood (cf. Mt. 26:28).

(5)          Our focus should be on His DEATH and not on:

A.        Blessings we enjoy.  Instead on the price of those blessings.

B.        Children who do not understand the moment.

C.        Hurrying up so that we can get through.

D.        Whether the roast is burning, baby in front of you, etc.

E.        Some suggestions to help maintain focus:

a.        Read the words of the last song again.

b.        Read of the Lord’s death (Mt. 26; Mk. 15).

c.        Put your head down so you’re not distracted.

(6)          The commemoration is to be done often (vv. 25-26).

A.        They forgot why they were coming together (v. 20).

B.        Cf. Acts 20:7 – “to break bread.”

C.        Cf. Acts 2:42 – “Continued steadfastly….”

D.        We are to partake often.

a.        Not once a year / quarter / month  (Acts 2:42 was at Pentecost).

b.        Not on days for which we have no authority.

2.       The Lord’s Supper is a PROCLAMATION.

(1)          We preach Christ in words (Mk. 16:15-16) but also we preach when we observe the solemn feast of communion.

(2)          We preach to the world our faith in the death of Jesus.

(3)          We preach our understanding that life is only possible through His death.

3.       The Lord’s Supper is a sign of ANTICIPATION.

(1)          We are commanded to observe it “till He comes.” (v. 26).

(2)          We anxiously await the Lord’s return.  Fills us with hope.

(3)          Each time we partake, we pray it is the last (cf. Rev. 22:20).

4.       The Lord’s Supper is a COMMUNION.

(1)          It is His table, and we are here by His invitation. (Sobering thought)

(2)          As a result of our “coming together” it is for the “better.”

A.        Closer union with our Christian family.

B.        Closer union with our Lord.

5.       The Lord’s Supper is a time for EXAMINATION (11:27-29).

(1)          “Let a man examine himself” (v. 28).

A.        Examine = “test, prove, scrutinize, to see if genuine (as metals).

B.        Am I in the right disposition to partake?

C.        Are my thoughts prior, during, and after on His sacrifice?

D.        We approach “holy ground” when we approach the table.

(2)          We pray we partake in a worthy manner.

II.          RAMIFICATIONS IF OBSERVED IMPROPERLY (11:27-29).

1.       Paul warns those who partake unworthily or improperly.

(1)          The emphasis is upon the manner and not the “worth” of the person.

(2)          “Worthy manner” = in remembrance of the Lord.

A.        Corinthians were indicted because when they came together their minds were not on the Lord at all (v. 20).

B.        Consider where your mind is each time you partake.

C.        Can anything carve out a place in your life that is more worthy of your attention than the death of Jesus Christ? 

2.       “Partaking unworthily” = guilty of “body and blood of Lord” (v. 27) = guilty of sin against the Lord’s body and blood.

3.       Read 11:29.

4.       If you do not discern the body you eat and drink damnation (KJV).

(1)          Jesus said, “in remembrance of me.”

(2)          Paul stressed, “manner of partaking.”

(3)          If you don’t then you partake of the elements, but your mind and heart are elsewhere and you are condemned.

CONCLUSION:

1.     First century Christians came together to “break bread” (Acts 20:7).

2.     We observe the exact same memorial feast today.  We proclaim the Lord’s death, “till He comes.”

3.     As we observe let us remember:

        (1)     There are specifications to be met.

        (2)     There are ramifications if we don’t meet them.

4.     May God help us to remember the Lord’s death each time we partake of the beautiful memorial.

5.     Are you partaking in a worthy manner?

CONCLUSION:

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