Text: 1 Corinthians 11:27-34 3/23/08 p.m.
Thesis: We must understand Christ and the church in order to rightly enjoy the Lord’s Supper.
Intro: Tonight I want to strengthen your understanding of the Lord’s Supper so that you are sure not to miss the richness and blessings of all this act of worship means.
What I want to do tonight is restore in your mind the centrality of the body of Christ to the Lord’s Supper.
We proclaim a powerful message every time we eat the bread and drink the cup.
It’s a message about Christ and a message about the church that we must get right.
Read 1 Corinthians 11:27-34
What I want to do is focus on just one verse and even just one phrase from verse 29. It is the phrase “discern the body.”
The NASB says we must judge the body rightly.
The NIV says we must recognize the body of the Lord
This word discern, judge, or recognize is the Greek word diakrinwn.
It combines two words dia which means through and krinw which means to judge.
We are to “judge through” the body in order to rightly appreciate what we are doing. We must contemplate the body of Christ.
That happens in two ways
I) We must understand the body of Christ- his sacrifice
a) As we eat and drink we are celebrating and praising God for righteous blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins.
b) Hebrews 9:22 says, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
c) When we drink the cup it is a confession that we are trusting in the blood of Christ to purchase our forgiveness.
d) We do not trust in works. We do not trust even in the cup we hold in our hands or in the juice running down into our stomachs.
e) We trust in the actual blood of Christ shed on Calvary 2000 years ago. It is that blood that we celebrate and it is that sacrifice that we remember.
f) We are also celebrating and praising God for the perfect body of Christ broken for our sins.
g) We learned during the Passover celebration that during the last supper Jesus would have taken a large piece of matza, or unleavened bread, and broken it into pieces.
h) This is the bread broken for sinners such as you and I.
i) Isaiah 55:5, we read it this morning says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
j) When we take that broken piece of bread from the tray we confess that Jesus was broken for our sins. He gives us perfect peace with God and man.
k) When I take that broken picture of his broken body I admit to myself and to the world that I have no other hope before God than the person and work of Jesus Christ.
l) The Lord’s Supper is a radical thing. It’s a confession that I’m good enough only because of Christ.
m) Jesus is what I need. And through faith in Jesus his blood covers my sin and his sacrifice pays for all my iniquities.
n) The risen Savior gives me new life by giving his perfect life. If this is not how you understand the Supper.
o) If this is understanding of the body is yours then please celebrate with us.
p) The second way we are to discern the body in the Lord’s Supper is
II) We must understand the body of Christ- his church
a) If we do not want to be a part of the church, if we do not want to join together with other believers in worship and service then we should not take the supper.
b) 1 Corinthians 10:17 says, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
c) This is why the only possible way for a Christian to take the Lord’s Supper is as a part of the body; it is an event for the entire church not for the individual Christian.
d) When we take the cup and the bread with our brothers and sisters we are confessing that we are in this together.
e) We confess we need each other. When I stand before you and when I hold up that piece of broken bread I confess that I need you. We are a band of brothers united by Christ.
f) It is in the community of faith that I find the meaning of my life. I have been redeemed by the body and blood of Jesus Christ so that I will turn around and build others up.
g) When I take the bread and when you take the bread we are saying to each other, “I will pray for you. I will encourage you. I will teach you. I will correct you. I am your brother. I am your sister. I’m not going anywhere.”
h) The Lord’s Supper is a family event.
i) If this is how you understand the Supper, as a community event for the body. If this is how you discern the body then please join with your family as we eat the Supper.
III) If by faith you have been crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, and raised to new life as a member of the body of Christ then the blessings of the Supper are yours to have and enjoy.
a) Do not be somber because you are forgiven.
b) Do not be lonely for you are not alone.
c) I would encourage you to scoot close to those near by and emphasize what it means to remember Christ together.
d) Take a moment to pray together, confess sin against one another, share a testimony of the power and glory of Christ, and above all enjoy what it means to be a Christian.
e) Enjoy the Supper.