Sermon Summary

This week, Pastor Chris continued in our series through 1 Corinthians with a word on the personal and powerful nature of communion. Our text in the Word depicts a chaotic gathering of the young Corinthian church, full of open division and compromise due to their lack of maturity in Christ. Paul uses this gathering to contrast and express the sacred purpose of the Lord’s table. Communion is a space designed to remind us of Christ’s personal sacrifice for us and to consistently wash our hearts clean by His blood.

1 Corinthians 11:17–19 (ESV)
17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 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, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

The Lord’s Table is a Time to

1. Look Up and Out…

1 Corinthians 11:20–22 (ESV)
20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

2. Look Back…

1 Corinthians 11:23–26 (ESV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Jesus Calls us to the Table…
• He is the Host of this Meal.
• He serves and directs it.
• He paid the price for the meal.
• He is the One who issues the invitation to everybody.

Jeremiah 31:31–34 (ESV)
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The Four Cups of Passover…

  1. Cup of Sanctification: “I will bring you out.”
  2. Cup of Deliverance: “I will free you.”
  3. Cup of Redemption: “I will bless you.” ~ this is the cup we take at the communion table
  4. Cup of Restoration: “I will protect you.”

“Each opportunity we take communion is an opportunity to say, proclaim, and confess again, ‘I lay hold of all the benefits of Jesus’ full redemption for my life.’” – Jack Hayford

3. Look Within…

1 Corinthians 11:27–31 (ESV)
27 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. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, 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.

4. Look Ahead…

1 Corinthians 11:31–34 (ESV)
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. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

Proverbs 4:25–27 (ESV)
25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Discussion Questions

  1. What was your understanding of the Lord’s table before hearing this sermon?
  2. Pastor Chris shared a portion of the seating chart during the Last Supper. What do you make of where John, Peter, Jesus, and Judas were seated (the host seat, the trusted best friend seat, the servant seat, the seat of honor)?
  3. What does it mean to “look up before we look out” when approaching the table?
  4. How is communion a table of remembrance? What are we meant to remember?
  5. Be honest: has communion become familiar or impersonal to you? How can you start to approach the table in a new way from here on out?

Application Questions

  1. Is there anything in your heart you need to take to Jesus so that you won’t approach the communion table in an unworthy manner? Slow down this week and ask God to examine your heart (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) for any issues you need to repent of.
  2. What is the “new covenant” that Jesus spoke of in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 and Jeremiah 31:31-34? Meditate on these passages this week.