The Holy Communion is an act of worship we engage every Sunday. It is also known as the Lord’s supper as well as the Eucharist. A term with its roots in the Greek ‘eucharisto’ which means ‘giving of thanks’.
Though it’s a seemingly simple act where Christians break bread and drink of the cup, holy communion is an important act. Therefore we should seek to understand (especially if you are new to the faith) why we do it because otherwise our participation becomes meaningless, displeasing to God and detrimental to us also. So in today’s sermon I am going to address three important truths that all of us should be aware of.
Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23-33
1. The message
A. That a new covenant was established when Jesus shed his blood on the cross of Calvary, (1 Corinthians 11:25)
B. That Christ himself became the sacrifice and the old covenant which relied on animal sacrifices to provide atonement for sin is no longer necessary, (Hebrews 8:13)
C. That God seals his agreement of salvation with those who believe Jesus died to set them free.
2. The purpose
A. To remember his sufferings and death as it was mandated by Christ himself, (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)
B. To proclaim our faith in the efficiency of his death, (1 Corinthians 11:26a) and in his return, (1 Corinthians 11:26b)
C. To fellowship in the body of Christ in the sense of reinforcing fellowship among each other in the church, (1 Corinthians 11:33)
3. The order
A. Must not take part in a manner unworthy of Christ’s sufferings. Implies sin not repented for and irreverent attitudes, (1 Corinthians 11:27)
B. Each one should put himself to test as to the attitude of his heart, outward conduct and understanding of the true nature and purpose of the communion, (1 Corinthians 11:28)
C. Because those who don’t participate in an unworthy manner and are guilty of re-crucifying Christ. They risk illness and even physical death, (1 Corinthians 11:29-30)
D. If we judge ourselves before participating however the Lord shall not judge us eternally with the world but discipline us, (1 Corinthians 11:31-33)
Observing the holy communion in a manner worthy of Christ’s sufferings is at the core of Paul’s instructions to the church of Corinth which reminds me of Jesus’ conversation with Peter right before the last supper.
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet” (John 13:9-10)