Worship By The Book: The Lord’s Supper

  1. Look Inside (27-32):
    1. The Lord’s Supper is given to the church so that we might examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith and if so, that we are putting sin to death.
    2. [27] Whoever, therefore, [therefore connects to the previous context regarding the seriousness and the eternality of the Lord’s Supper] 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. [Unworthy? Aren’t we all unworthy before the Lord? Yes, but this verse has in mind unworthiness of unrepentant sin (see the next verse) as well as the abuse of the Corinthians in the previous rebuke. Basically, the condition of your heart matters before God in your taking of the Lord’s Supper.] [28] Let a person examine himself, then, [We will talk about this in a minute] and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. [29] For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. [30] That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. [31] But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. [32] But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
    3. Amplification: Examination and judgment
      1. What does it mean to examine yourself? Spurgeon’s questions:
        1. Am I a Christian? “First, then, here is a spiritual feast. Am I spiritually alive to partake of it? Dead men have no right to come to a banquet. Am I, then, spiritually alive? Have I ever been quickened and renewed in heart and life? Has the Holy Spirit brought me into the spiritual world? If so, have I an appetite for this sacred feast? Do I hunger after Christ? Do I long for the Water of Life? Then I may come to this table, for here my Lord supplies the needs of those who are the living in Zion. The dead cannot feed on the richest delicacies—corpses can neither eat nor drink. And dead sinners may not come to this festival for the living. But, if there is even a spark of spiritual life in you, though you are faint and sick, come along, for you have a right to come!”
        2. Do I love Jesus? “Here is a feast, but am I a friend of the Lord who is the Host at this table? The Lord Jesus invites all His friends to come to His banquets. Am I, then, His friend? And is He mine? Have I ever taken Him to be my Savior and am I trusting in His precious blood for my salvation? And then, in return, do I love Him and love His cause, and love His people? Do I commune with Him as friend communes with friend? Do I talk familiarly with Him? Does He know me, and do I truly know Him? If so, I need not be afraid to come to His Table, for every friend of His is welcome there.”
        3. Do I believe in the gospel? “Do I really believe in His death? Of course, I believe that He died, but do I really, myself, trust Christ’s death to save me? Do I believe that by His dying, He offered to God such an Atonement for the sins of men that whoever believes in Him is justified from all things? And have I, by faith, appropriated to myself His Atonement so that I am thereby justified in the sight of God? If so, I may come to His Table, for I am only doing, then, in outward sign, what I am really also doing in my inward spirit.
        4. Do I hate sin? Part of being a Christian, loving Jesus and believing the gospel is hating sin. All of the Christian life is to be one of repentance for sin.
      2. What does “judgment” mean? Not eternal judgment if you are a believer, but discipline from the Lord, for sure, just as Paul has explained.
      3. Is Paul saying that if I partake of the Lord’s Supper with unrepentant sin in my heart that God might kill me? Yes.
      4. How do I judge myself rightly? It is very difficult. We usually give ourselves the benefit of the doubt or we act as if our sin isn’t that serious, or we presume that God will forgive because that’s what he does. 1 Peter 1:5-11: Make your calling and election sure by examining the fruit of your life.
  2. Look Around (33-34): Wait for your brother.
    1. Don’t abuse the Lord’s Supper through lack of reverence, but come together with the body of Christ to spiritually remember and refocus upon Christ.
    2. Matthew 5:23-24, “[23] So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, [24] leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Jesus is clear. We come to the Lord’s Supper seeking to be right with God and with others within the body of Christ before we partake. This is not an individual meal. This is a family meal and we must consider our relationships within the family as we eat.

Application

  1. Ask yourself the questions:
    1. Am I a Christian?
    2. Do I love Jesus?
    3. Do I believe the gospel?
    4. Do I hate sin?
    5. Am I in right relationship with my brother or sister in Christ?
  2. Prepare your heart: Think about the spiritual memorial that is the Lord’s Supper and intentionally focus your heart on Christ.
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