Posts tagged ‘Lords supper’

Lest You Become Weary

Whenever there is film of a marathon race, they like to show the participants as they get near to the end of the race. I have yet to see anyone stopping to do some shopping, or to play a quick game of basketball during the race. That doesnt happen because the runners are fully focused and what they need to do. I think that maintaining our focus is one of the reasons for our communion at the Lord’s Table every week as well. Hebrews 12 talks about things we can do when we take the bread and the fruit of the vine that will help of run with endurance.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NKJV)

First, we take encouragement from those who have run the race before us. We also build one another up as we partake of the emblems each week together. This is not something we do alone. It is, as Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 10, a communion in the body and blood of Christ.

Second, we should reflect on our lives and determine that because of our love for Christ and our gratitude for the price he paid, we will lay aside every sin that so easily ensnares us. As we remember the brutality of the suffering that He endured, we are reminded of the awfulness of our sin and resolve to turn from it, lest we be ensnared in it again.

Third, we must focus on Jesus, who is our supreme example of endurance. Think about what He went through. Think about his focus stayed on the joy at the end, when he would be able to redeem his bride and spend eternity with us in heaven. And as we consider the hostility He endured for us, it will help us to endure the trials we go through and not become discouraged and weary. He died for me; I will live for him.

Take time today to focus on Jesus and what he has done and resolve anew to never quit, but rather to run with endurance and finish well.

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Community + Unity = Communion

Community + Unity = Communion

I want to take a look at an essential aspect of partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine each week. That has to do with our unity as we partake together. Let’s begin with what Christ accomplished in this regard on the cross.

“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”(Ephesians 2:11-16 ESV)

Before we were baptized into Christ and He added us to His body, our lives were characterized by separation and alienation. But now, because of the blood that was shed for us on the cross, we have been spiritually united with each other in our covenant with God. This was just one more critical thing that Christ accomplished for us. We have fellowship with each other based on the shed blood of Christ. Preserving that unity is critical, since it was made possible for us at such a high cost!

That covenant bond of blood is what Paul was referring to in 1st Corinthians 10:16-17:

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10:16, 17 ESV)

Do you see how special it is that we come together to participate in this feast each week? Without the unity we have through the our reconciliation to God through the blood of Jesus, we cease to have “communion” and have degenerated down to just having a ceremony.

Look how foundational this is in the next chapter (11)!
“For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat.”
Now with this disunity as the context of what was going on when they ate the Lords Supper, Paul concludes with these instructions:
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:18-20, 27-29 ESV)

Did you see that? In proper context, when Paul talks about not discerning the body, I think he was referring to failing to discerning that we do this together, in unity, as communion. That is also why we don’t just stay home and serve these emblems to ourselves.

So when we partake of the emblems, let’s remember to not only reflect on what Christ has done for us personally, but also on the reality that we are partaking of this as one family, one body, in an d with Christ. For He promised that whenever two or more are gathered in His name, He is there in our midst.

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