Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sermon--7-16-06--When You Partake the Lord's Supper

When you Partake the Lord’s Supper…

This Sunday, we were privileged to celebrate 2 important moments in the life of any church. In one Sunday, we were able to see the testimony of believer's Baptism and the testimony of the Lord's Supper. Baptism is a very powerful statement to one's faith and a pledge to God (among other things). When you Partake the Lord’s Supper, you are also making a very powerful statement. In many ways, that statement parallels what we see in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5.

1. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper you are declaring that you are poor in spirit. The Body was broken, the Blood was poured out to pay a debt we were too poor to pay ourselves. Our sin has made us so poor, has so bankrupted our holiness account that we could never do enough good things to earn our place in Heaven. By taking the Lord’s Supper, you are admitting your spiritual poverty and need for a Savior.

2. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper, you are admitting that you mourn over your sin. It is an admission that you have repented, that you are daily turning away from your sin and asking the Power of Christ to change you. The Body and the Blood of Christ confronts our sin and when you reach out and take it—you mourn because you begin to realize that the broken body, the spilled blood from the Cross is what it took for you to be reconciled to God.

3. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper, you are promising that you are meek. You are making the statement that you are laying down the right to your own life, you are willingly putting aside your power and authority over yourself, your dreams, your goals, your family, your life over to Christ. By taking the Bread and drinking the Cup you are admitting that “you are not your own, you were bought with a price.” Meekness is about having power but choosing not to use it, to put it aside. You are meek when you take the Lord’s Supper b/c you are laying aside your power and right to yourself and taking up the Power of Christ in your life.

4. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper you are testifying that you Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness. Since your own righteousness is as filthy rags—since you can never pay your own debt of sin, since we know we are separated from God because of our lack of righteousness, we are hungering for a righteousness that only comes through relationship with Christ. You are declaring that you have a hunger for the things that please and satisfy God. You are proclaiming the ongoing process of God molding and changing your life—removing the things that are not pleasing to Him and replacing it with the holiness and righteousness of Christ.

5. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper you are proclaiming that God has shown you mercy. You are not getting what you deserve and the Bread and the Cup are a demonstration of it. The Punishment you and I deserve was given to Christ instead. When that begins to sink in, then you are changed. God will change you to be more merciful. The Bread and the Cup are reminders to us to of the Mercy of God and our call to be merciful.

6. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper you are thankful that God has given you a Pure Heart. Jeremiah 17:9—“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jesus said in Matt. 15:19—“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Left to ourselves our heart is still in darkness, our heart is still impure. The Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus is the cure. By taking the bread and the cup, you are saying that you can do nothing to cure your heart, but only Jesus can and has.

7. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper you are rejoicing because you have accepted God’s offer of Peace. Even though you were an enemy of God, Jesus crossed enemy lines to make a gesture of peace. He was so committed to it that He gave His life so you could be reconciled. By taking the Lord’s Supper you are also accepting the call to be a Peacemaker by sharing the Gospel.

8. When you Partake the Lord’s Supper you are committing yourself to the willingness to endure persecution for Jesus just as He was persecuted for you. Such persecution is happening around the world and it may one day happen here. By taking the Bread and the Cup you are reminded of just what it took for God to save you. We should examine our hearts, and question whether we have the same commitment to Him as He has toward us.

 If you are a believer, then yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.
 If you have received Christ, you have been and will be comforted.
 If Jesus is your Savior, then you will inherit the earth.
 If your sin has been forgiven, then your desire for righteousness will be filled.
 If you have accepted the free gift of salvation, then you have been shown mercy.
 If your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit then you will see God.
 If you share your faith in Jesus, you are a son of God.
 If you are taking the Bread and the Cup this morning—are you testifying to these things? Is your commitment to Jesus as strong as His commitment to you?

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