RENEWAL: HOLY COMMUNION - Covenant Renewal with Christ

Sermon Date: 
Feb 04 2018
Sermon Audio: 

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SERMON SUMMARY NOTES BY PASTOR TREVOR // AUDIO SERMON TO COME...

TASTING CHRIST IN COMMUNION
Do you remember the very first time you tasted Christ through the elements of Communion? Were you nervous? Excited? In awe to finally experience this moment?

HOW IS CHRIST PRESENT IN COMMUNION?
There are certainly various theological perspectives and expressions behind Communion so I appreciate the reminder from Professor Gordon Mikoski who states, "In the (distracted) digital age, it may be the case that the classical debates about the presence of Jesus Christ in the (Lord's Supper) have been inverted. The question with which we may have to wrestle is not 'in what way is the Lord present in the Supper?' Instead, the question is 'In what way are we present?'"

What a good reminder to ensure we present ourselves before the Communion Table with a simplicity of mind, with sensitivity in heart, and with a posture of deep gratitude and humility.

WHAT IS COMMUNION?
1) An obedient embracing into the intimacy of our living Christ...
2) A visible significant symbolic enactment that represents a true meaningful spiritual reality and obedience of one's heart for Jesus Christ.

WHY COMMUNION?
1) It's a COMMAND - Jesus said, "DO THIS in remembrance of me..." Jesus ordained/instituted this practice that continues with us today!

2) It's COMMEMORATIVE - Jesus said, "Do this IN REMEMBRANCE of me..." The Greek word for remembrance means "re-calling" or "re-representing." Vine's Expository Dictionary defines it this way: "...an affectionate calling of the Person Himself to our mind." We are re-calling in our memory what Jesus did in the past (i.e. sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins) while being with Him still in the present - in real time - in Communion!

Ambrose Professor Dr. Gordon Smith writes: "Every time we come to this table, we partake in remembrance of Christ's death, of the establishing of the covenant through the shed blood of Jesus. We come to the table of mercy to receive once again more forgiveness of the many ways in which we have failed to live as people of the kingdom. But this table is also the place where the covenant is renewed. Each time we come to the table we establish our identity as the people of God, people who are alien to this world and its values. We come for a realignment of our lives with our confession of faith. In our worship, we declare in our confession, prayers, and hymns that we are the people of God. At the Lord's Table, we establish once again this identity through the very means that have been given to us by Christ. We experience the renewal of the covenant he has given and established with us."

3) It's COMMUNAL - We are participating together as a body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16-17). There is a spiritual ONENESS with Christ as we receive nourishment from the one loaf and the one cup (body and blood) offered by Christ. It's imperative therefore that we EXAMINE our heart's motive/intentions when taking Communion (1 Cor. 11:27-33). As further explained by F.F. Bruce, "Thus the issue for Paul is not the 'worthiness' of individuals. If that were the case, none would ever be 'worthy.' Rather, they were participating in the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner by demonstrating contempt for the community (the church) as a whole, by actions that were not controlled by love..."

IN CONCLUSION
When we hold the bread and the wine we are declaring our togetherness, our unity, our peace with each other as brothers and sisters partaking in this Holy Meal under Christ. We gather to share the intimacy of our Savior Together being nourished by - one bread, one cup, under one covenant meal.

Amen!

Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Trevor