Posted, used, June 6, 1999
Some folks see this communion bread and wine into the semblance of a sacrifice. They thus make this table the table of an altar, and "communion" little better than a sacrifice unto devils. They say the bread turns into the literal body of Christ and the wine into his literal blood, making them little more than cannibals.
This simple eating of bread and drinking of this juice has two objects:
First, as a mem3orial of Christ, and, second, it is intended to show the Lord's death till he come. That is, it shows others our faith in Christ.
We will just take the first part this morning: V. 26, THIS DO YE IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.
This "meal" is a memorial of Christ. This "meal" reminds us of the incarnation --- that is, that God became man.
V. 5, first, this "meal" reminds us that the Creator-God became a man. His purpose was so he could have a human body so he could pour out his blood as a sacrifice for our sins. This sacrifice for sin was just as sure and real as was the Old Testament sacrifices of bulls and goats.
V. 8, second, this "meal" reminds us that God the Father poured out his wrath against our sins upon his Son, Jesus Christ.
V. 9, third, this "meal" reminds us that the Lord Jesus Christ came to do the will of the Father. He did not come to do his own will nor to do the will of man. He came to do the Father's will, and that will was the horrible death of the cross.
Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Christ's obedience to the will of the Father even to the death is our call to obedience to the will of the Father even to the death.
Vv. 10-12, fourth, this "meal" reminds us that the sacrifice was once for all. Once it was done, it was done, quite contrary to what the followers of the Pope believe. They hold that every time they take of "communion," Christ is sacrificed for sin again.
Once for all tells us also that Christ will not die again and again and again. In other words, his one sacrifice does the job, and we are eternally secure.
V. 11, those who deny eternal security imply that the sacrifice of Christ was no better than the blood of bulls and goats, saying that his sacrifice does not take away sin, once for all.
Vv. 6 & 12, fifth, this "meal" reminds us that there is only one sacrifice for sin.
It reminds us that there is only one sacrifice for sin that pleases God the Father, and that is Christ.
Man cannot sacrifice his love for pornography.
He cannot sacrifice his lusts.
He cannot sacrifice his drunkenness.
He cannot sacrifice his gambling.
He cannot sacrifice his love of money.
There is only one sacrifice for sin, and that is the one celebrated by this "meal."
Vv. 11, 12, sixth, this "meal" reminds us that when we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father:
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
John tells us that though we do not want to sin and have the power of God's Spirit over sin, we will fall short of what is expected of us by God. We then have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Vv. 12, 13, seventh, this "meal" reminds us that the Lord Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God the Father in the position of all power and glory. We are told by both Philippians 2:9 and Hebrews 10:12, that from this highly exalted place, all his enemies will subdued to him.
V. 14, eighth, this "meal" reminds us that God is the one who has declared the redeemed justified (just as if I had never sinned):
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
V. 16, ninth, this "meal" reminds us that we know that we know him because he has put a love for his commandments in our hearts. Redemption is not a license to sin --- redemption is hatred of sin.
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
I was speaking to a young man Friday evening who goes to a small Baptist church down in Russelville. He works at RayBestos. He told me about a church where a good friend of his goes in Crawfordsville. It seems that the church is a community church, and it is experiencing good growth, and has been for a couple of years. Steve's friend keeps telling him how great of a revival is taking place in America, based upon the growth he is seeing in his and other churches. And the church does not even have a pastor.
Steve said that when he was first saved, evidently not long ago, the man introduced him to fellow church members on the job. Steve said that it seemed that everyone who came along, the friend would stop them and introduce Steve to them by saying, STEVE, THIS IS BROTHER SO-AND-SO.
Steve said that after a while he told his friend, NOW WAIT A MINUTE. YOU ARE INTRODUCING THESE PEOPLE AS BROTHER AS THOUGH THEY ARE SAVED. I KNOW THESE MEN, Steve told him, AND THEY DO NOT ACT AT ALL AS CHRISTIANS.
It turns out that the church has an excellent music program of an hour or so long, with very little if any preaching. The people come to be entertained.
ANOTHER illustration along this line:
Kathy Cosby's mother passed away this last week. Carol and I went to a funeral last Thursday, which was over four hours each way.
The church had been a small Baptist Church, and a few years ago, it went charismatic. It switched its emphasis from preaching the word of God to music. Bro Bob told me that from what he understands of the church now, it has an hour and a half music program interspersed with personal testimonies by those who attend, and very little preaching of the word of God.
It has built three times since its emphasis was changed.
[Bro Bob told us to turn off on Ill. 14 and stay on that road. I did not check the map as I normally do, and should have. Rather, I took his word for what he told us to do, and ended up back in Indiana. So we were quite late. I told Bro Bob that there was a message there. The message is this: THE PREACHER MAY BE AS SINCERE AND HONEST AS HE KNOWS HOW TO BE, AND HE MAY BE TELLING YOU THE TRUTH AS BEST HE CAN. HOWEVER, THE HEARER NEEDS TO CHECK HIS MAP REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH HE TRUSTS THE PREACHER. THAT MAP IS THE WORD OF GOD, AND THE HEARER NEEDS TO CHECK IT OUT, OR HE COULD WELL FIND HIMSELF ON THE WRONG ROAD.]
This "meal" reminds us that when we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. This "meal" reminds us that those who have this advocate with the Father love the commandments of God, and seek to please him by keeping them.
Vv. 19-22, tenth, this "meal" reminds us that our sins are under the blood of Christ:
Psalms 103:6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
V. 2, because our sins are forgiven through faith in the shed blood of Christ in our place, we have a clear conscience and boldness to enter into the presence of God the Father.
Note that this "meal" representing the blood of Christ does not mean that a person can sin with a clear conscience, as some seem to think they can.
Vv. 23-39, eleventh, this "meal" reminds us that because of Christ's death, our responsibility is to obey the will of the Father to the end. The shed blood of Christ which this "meal" represents is not to be taken lightly.
V. 29, it means that we are free from the power of sin to control us.
V. 30, it reminds us that we must face the righteous judge one day:
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Vv. 30, 31, it reminds us that the redeemed face the vengeance of God when they willfully go their own way.
The shed blood of Christ is nothing less than the power and responsibility to please the Heavenly Father.
Vv. 32, 33, twelfth, this "meal" reminds us that the Christian life is a great fight of afflictions, disappointments and discouragements.
V. 24, thirteenth, this "meal" should, therefore, remind us to exhort and encourage one another in our Christian walk, for that walk is not easy.
Vv. 35, 36, fourteenth, this "meal" should remind us of the patience required to do the will of God, and then of the reward that waits those who faithfully do that will to the end of this life.
V. 37, fifteenth, this "meal" reminds us that he will come. His time table is established, and he will not be late.
V. 38, lastly, this "meal" reminds us that the Christian life is a life of faith.
2 Corinthians 11:26, THIS DO YE IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME, THUS YE DO SHEW THE LORD'S DEATH TILL HE COME.