THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 6-24-01 (airing mistake - kolr 10) &
LESSON TITLE: WHAT ARE THE GOD GIVEN AVENUES OF ACCEPTABLE WORSHIP? "THE LORD'S SUPPER"
Here we are on another wondrous Lord's Day! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us for the Living Word. Thank you for choosing to be with us for this time of offering to God.
As most of you know, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise to our God and to study from His perfect Word! What greater activity, could we together engage in this morning for the sake of our God. May we each do our part to make this time beneficial toward God, according to His Will. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
This morning we again want to begin by mentioning one of our sister congregations which helps financially to make this program possible. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Flint Hill Church of Christ in Dadeville, Missouri. This fine congregation of our Lord has been involved in this work for many years now. We really appreciate their continued love and support of this work of our Lord.
If you have opportunity, please take advantage of meeting with these brethren. In fact, they will be gathering this morning for a Bible study at 10:00. This is followed by a worship service at 10:45 a.m. I hope you are even able to be with this Lord's Day. If you need further information feel free to contact me or their minister brother Billy Vanhooser. We again thank this congregation for their continued support!
This morning we want to begin with a song which helps us to realize that we never have to wonder which way to go and that we are never alone in this life. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "All The Way My Savior Leads Me!"
(SONG # 1)
One day, a little boy was complaining to his grandma about all the problems he had in life! He griped about school, chores and even friends who weren't treating him right. Sounds familiar doesn't it?
Later that day, the grandma was working on making a cake and called to the boy, who was playing outside. With a loving tone of voice, she asked her grandson if he would like a snack, to which she received an excited reply, "Yes maam," as he headed over toward the cookie jar.
But grandma said, "here have some cooking oil." To which the boy reply, "Yuck!" "Well then," she said, "how about some raw eggs," to which the boy replied, "gross grandma!" "Then how about some baking soda," "no way," said the young boy with a grin on his face.
Having set the stage the grandma then said, "you see son, all these things seem bad when you think of them by themselves, but when you put them together they make a wonderful delicious cake!" To which she then added, "in life God works in the same way. And many times we wonder why He would let us go through such problems, or difficult and hard times. But God knows that when he puts these things together and in order, they always work for good.
Oh, what a true lesson in life. We must learn to trust in God to know that He will make good things out of all things which happen in our life. In fact, isn't that what Paul was talking about when he said, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose," Romans 8:28.
Have you put your faith and trust in God? Are you seeing great things in your life because of your faithfulness to His calling? Choose to follow God, in His way today!
Our topic today will again focus on our series concerning worship, as we continue to answer the question, "What are the God given avenues of worship?" Today our specific lesson will deal with the "Lord's Supper." So stay with us this morning and in a few minutes I will return to lead us in our thoughts of the Day. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "God Is a Fountain Whence."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
This morning we again want to consider some of the avenues of worship. So far together we have been able to look at hearing the word of God just as we see back in Acts chapter 20 and verse 7 where as they assembled on the first day of the week, there was someone who preached. That was Paul, who preached to them as they assembled together. Not only the avenue of preaching but we've also had the opportunity together that we might discuss prayer, that avenue of communication where we are able to speak to God as He is also is able to speak to us through His book or that is, the Bible. And then we've also seen that as they gathered together as the church in the New Testament, that they also gave of their means, and we've found many places where that was actually confirmed for us as they were instructed there in 1 Corinthians 16 verses 1 and 2 that they should put something aside so that when they came together on the first day of the week that they might give in order that the work of the Lord might be carried out.
Next Sunday, we're going to be looking at singing, the importance of singing in the church, in our worship, and how really we've been directed to do so. But this morning, we want to look specifically at the Lord's Supper. This again is a very important avenue of worship that really we need to understand if we are again to understand all of those areas or avenues that the Lord has instructed His people to worship in.
Really, we have to go back to the Old Testament to understand more about the Lord's Supper because it was long back in around Exodus chapter 12 that we first see the concept of the Passover being mentioned. We all remember how that Moses went there to Egypt to free the people of God and how he approached Pharaoh and eventually ten plagues were brought on the people. Now the tenth plague and the mightiest and greatest plague of all would be the death of the first born. In connection with the death of the first born however, there was something that the Israelites were told to do in order that they would not also have the same plagues placed upon their households, and as we know that was referred to as the Passover. It was there that they were instructed to kill an animal and to put the blood there on the door post and also that there should be an eating of an unleavened bread. And this was something that was carried out throughout the generations of the Israelites. In fact, as we go throughout the Old Testament we see that the Passover was a primary part of the worship and religion under the Old Testament. Even in several of those books, we find that clearly the people were following the will of God in observing the Passover. One of those such places was Numbers. In Numbers chapter 9, verses 2 through 5, we see there that they were again ordered to observe the Passover. What was it at that point? It was a remembrance so that when they partook of the Passover lamb and they ate of the unleavened bread and they drank of the wine, then they would think back to that day when the blood was put there on the door post in order that the Lord would pass over that home when He went there in Egypt to kill the first born of the people because the Egyptians would not let His people go. So again through the Old Testament we find that continually that these things were done according to the will of God, according to the commandments, the commandments which were given at Mt. Sinai through the law of Moses.
But however, we can turn over and see that even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was involved in the very same thing after He had come to the earth. In fact, you might want to turn with me if you will to the book of Matthew chapter 26, because here even Christ as He was born and lived was also under the Old Law. We know that He had not yet died and purchased the church with His blood or instituted the New Testament as we read in the book of Hebrews, chapter 8 and. So therefore He was under the Old Law and had to adhere to the laws that were given there to Moses.
In relationship to that, there in Matthew chapter 9 as He began the ministry that He was committing there, the faithful word, to His twelve disciples, we find that He chose to also observe the Passover according to the law, the Old Law, and it was the observance of the Passover that was actually taking place there in Matthew chapter 28, or rather chapter 26, as they were there preparing themselves for the Passover, the same Passover that was to remember what took place in Egypt. But there as Jews, they gathered for this feast, this feast of the Passover, even though it was thousands of years after the actual Passover feast had been implemented by God.
Now if you'll notice with me then in Matthew chapter 26, we want to read a few verses together and if you will, let's begin by looking at verse 17 as we see something about this Passover. It says, "Now on the first day of the week the feast of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus saying to Him, 'Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?' And He said, 'Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, 'The teacher says my time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" Here we have a conversation between His disciples, the apostles and the Lord and He tells them to go into the city and prepare a place so that they might partake of the Passover that now is coming. That which again they were required as Jews to participate in, which they were required as Jews to remember according to what the Lord had said. There in verse 20 we find as we continue reading that He tells them to "go into the city and as they were in the city and they found the place just as instructed, they found the man in whose house they would eat" and in verse 20 and following "they actually sat down to eat the feast." They actually sat there with Jesus, the disciples, and they ate of the Passover feast. Notice with me if you will in verse 26 what took place. It says, "And as they were eating Jesus took the bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat, this is my body.'" Here we find the very first thing taking place at the Passover feast, but yet in a little bit different light. No longer did Jesus say, "Think back to Egypt. Think back to the great sacrifice that was made there. Think back to the great help that God gave to the people, the blood on the door." He didn't mention all those things of old, of the law of Moses, but He took the bread and He broke it and He said, "Look, this is my body. This is the body that I will shed for you." And we know this to be the case because it was not long after this, in fact very soon after this that the Lord did give His body up in order that it might be a sacrifice for us. And notice here the concept that He broke His body, the concept of breaking it or tearing it in some way. It is talking about the flesh. We know that according to the prophets that not a bone in His body was ever broken, but really what we're talking about here is that He did succumb to death and that His flesh was broken. We even remember that as the crown of thorns was placed on His head that the flesh was broken and blood came forth and even as He was pierced in the side, even again the flesh would have been broken. So the bread again representing that body that was broken, that was torn on the cross in order that we might have opportunity to serve and to do as He has asked us to.
Now if you go into the next following verse in verse 27, we see a mention here of the cup, as it says, "Then He took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them saying, 'Drink from it, all of you for this is my blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins.'" Now we here find that the next thing that was taken, not again a fruit of the vine, not just a grape juice, but really something that had meaning, not again the meaning of the blood on the door post, but now the meaning of what? The very blood of the Savior. And what was the significance of the blood? It says there it would be shed for what? The New Covenant. Now if you think about that for a moment, if the blood was shed for a New Covenant, that means there had to be an Old one and the New would have had to replace the Old, just as we read throughout the New Testament in many, many verses, again like Hebrews, but again also in Colossians chapter 2 and verse 14. The Old Law was nailed to the cross. Why? Because the blood then sealed and purchased the New Covenant. If you'll also notice there in verse 27 and 28, it says there that the blood also was for the remission of sins just as they were told on the day of Pentecost to repent and be baptized. Why? So they could receive remission of sins. Why would they receive it from baptism? Because it was there because it was there that symbolically they met the blood of Jesus Christ in the water and it would wash them, cleanse them spiritually of sin to be more Christ-like.
So here we see that He gave thanks. He broke the bread. He gave it to them. "This is my body. Remember the sacrifice I will make on the cross." Secondly, He took the cup. "Remember the blood that I will shed on the cross and remember that in all this, that is done, it is done for remission of sins, and it is done to purchase the church," as we read in Acts 20 and 28. He shed the blood to establish this institution, this blood bought institution that you and I today are a part of. So when we partake of these emblems, the body, the blood, we know that we partake of them in order to remember the greatest sacrifice there of our Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ. And I love the way that it is put over in 1 Corinthians chapter 11, a parallel verse where Paul actually was instructing Corinthian brethren about partaking of the Lord's Supper. But we see there in these verses that actually tells them that they were to do it in memory of. It wasn't the fact that they actually were cannibals or that they were actually going to eat the body and the flesh and the blood, but it was that they were to remember that, just like at the Passover. When they ate of the Passover lamb and they drank during that feast, it didn't mean that they were actually drinking blood of Christ or the animal of back in that day. It was talking about a symbolic type thing just as we have that given to us today. In fact, under the Old Law, we find that life was in the blood and no man was to drink or to eat blood. In other words, anything that was fresh where life was still contained therein. So, in the New Testament we find the very same thing that we do this in remembrance. 1 Corinthians 11 and verse 24, "This is my body, broken for you. Do in remembrance of me." Thinking of me. Thinking about what He has done for us, sealing that covenant, giving us the opportunity. Notice what He says also in verse 26 of 1 Corinthians 11, he says, "Do it until I come." This is to remember, to show forth the Lord's death until He comes again to take us home there in the very end. You know again, we must understand that this is something to really focus on what God has asked us to do.
Another question I might ask because some of our religious friends believe it actually becomes the body and the blood, is when you take a sip of grape juice, what does it taste like? Well let me assure you that even after we pray and it is partaken as the Lord's Supper, it tastes the same. I don't know if you've ever tasted blood before but I assure you it tastes nothing like grape juice. And what about the bread? When you partake of the bread and you taste a little bit about what that bread is all about. Well what does it taste like? Well, then again you pray and you bless it and you take it as the Lord's Supper. Does it change in form? Is it somehow changed to literal flesh? Certainly not. That's why Paul said, "Do it in remembrance of me," according to what he said that Jesus had asked them to do. And that's exactly what you and I are commanded and authorized to do today.
We might wonder, "Well how often should we do it?" Because again the religious world is confused it seems over this. We find so many different practices where people might observe the Lord's Supper here and there as they choose, but again when was it that they were to observe it? Well again under the Passover, very, very clearly it was a set day in the year that they were to partake and observe of the Passover feast. Well, we find here that it seems in Matthew and again these books 1 Corinthians that we've looked at that again all of these show that the Christians were coming together to do this, but we might ask the question again, "When?" When were they doing this? When were they following these examples? When were they as it says in verse 26 as we read a moment ago, when were they to do this as to proclaim the death of the Lord? Now to answer that question, let's turn to the book of Acts chapter 20 and verse 7, because here we have a beautiful example given to us of the New Testament church and when they partook of the Lord's Supper. Read with me if you will verse 7 as we find here that Paul had come to Troaz and he determined to remain there until the 1st day of the week so he could worship with the brethren. It says there in verse 7, "Now on the 1st day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul ready to depart the next day spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." Well, as we look at this verse, it again says on the 1st day of the week. Notice carefully the terminology here. The first day of the week when the disciples came together. They were coming together when? On the 1st day of the week. That's why we call this the Lord's Day. That's why churches all over the land throughout the world will assemble today on the Lord's Day. Notice what it says, "On the first day of the week when they came together." To do what? Look there again closely at the verse. "To break bread." They were assembling to break bread. A concept, a continuous action that was taking place. They were assembling and one thing they did was partake of the bread and why? Because the greatest thing that you and I have to remember and to pay homage to God for and to praise and to glorify His magnificent name for is the greatest sacrifice ever made, ever known to man, and that is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Why do we partake of the emblems every 1st day of the week? We find example here. They did it as they came together on the 1st day of the week. Why? Because it again is that blood and body that seals the very covenant, that purchased the church. And we need to remember that on a regular basis. Our feast, our feast of today, the Lord's Supper is a feast that we have opportunity to remember every chance that we come together as children of God and rightly so because it is that act again that proves to us who we really are and what we're all about before God.
We see some other terms used for this Passover feast now that here in Corinthians and Matthew refer to as the "Lord's Supper." We also see the ideas given to us of the "Communion," a word you might have heard. The "breaking of bread. We have the concept that is given to us "the table of our Lord," there in 1 Corinthians 10 and 21. Again, the point being that as we worship God, that we worship Him in spirit and in truth. Again, as you know in John 4 and 24 tells us that is the kind of worshipper God wants. Therefore, when God says, "Preach", we preach when we worship. When He says, "Pray," we pray as an avenue of worship. When He says "Give," we give as an avenue of worship. When He says, "Partake of the Lord's Supper and they did it on the 1st day of the week when they came together, they were breaking the bread," we do it on the 1st day of the week. Why again? Because we are following the commands of God. We are adhering to the commands that He has given to us and we do it so that we might remember the greatest sacrifice again that was ever made. So I might ask you, "Do you partake of the Lord's Supper as oft as we find the New testament did? Do you partake as often as we find that historians record for us that they remembered weekly the great observance there of this New Testament Passover feast, the unleavened bread, the fruit of the vine representing the great body and the blood that was shed by our own Savior Jesus Christ?" What a precious opportunity we have and may we always with reverence and awe partake of these things according to the will of God so that we might again magnify and glorify His name. "Lest we never be counted worthy," as it says there in 1 Corinthians 11 of bringing it to an open shame by partaking in a wrong way." Always worship as God wills.
(SONG # 3 - "A New Creature!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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May we all remember how important it is to partake of the Lord's Supper every first day of the week, just as the New Testament Church did!