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December 24, 2021 7:00 am
Christ love to me and gave himself up for me and that's what communion puts on display. It puts Christ on display, whose love supplies the price necessary for your sin to be covered and in love. He intervened on your behalf. When we take communion we should never treat his holy ordinance as a religious ritual is a sobering reminder of the sacrificial love. Christ poured out for us on the cross. High on bill right this is the true pulpit with pastor Don Greene who today shares a message titled God on display, as a friend. Let's get started.
We join our teacher now in the truthful tradition here in our churches. We like to set the communion service apart rather than simply having it at the end of the service. It's focused on other themes to bring forth a short meditation a short devotional in order to truly prepare our hearts for communion.
The Lord Jesus said that we are to take communion in a worthy manner and the first way that we do that is to put aside all of the other mental distractions in our life.
All of the other things that would weigh us down, and uniquely focus on Christ before we take of these elements that remind us of him a couple of things that all say just on the front end of this is just to remind you that communion is for true Christians as we take the elements we are making a public declaration that not only do we have faith in Christ, and we trusted him alone for our salvation, but you're also making a a tangible, visible confession of your own sin in a confession that you have turned from that sin in order to turn to Christ and to ask him humbly to save you communion should not be taken by those who are not in Christ because it's a contradiction of the very thing that communion represents to take communion when you don't belong to Christ or to take communion when you know that you're consciously continuing in a sin that you refuse to repent of is to contradict the very spirit of what the whole death of Christ is supposed to represent. So keep those things in mind as we prepare our hearts for communion.
What I'd like you to do is to turn to Romans chapter 5 verse eight for just day for just a brief moment of reflection on our Lord and to help us contemplate what it is that communion puts on display as we partake of it as the body of Christ in Romans chapter 5 verse eight it says that God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us in the Bible says that that death of Christ was a demonstration of the love of God. What I want to do here just ever so briefly as to give you four thoughts to frame your thinking as you receive communion in the common questions that are asked about so many different things, who, what, when and where, who, what, when and where and we ask first of all, who made the display who made the display in the answer to that question is, is that it was the, the God of righteousness, the God of holiness communion as a reminder to us of the holiness of God that that sin is a violation of his law, our sins are a violation of his righteousness in Scripture describes God as a righteous God who suffers indignation every day at the sins of those who rebel against him and that theme is the opening thought in Romans. In many ways. As Paul gets into the substance of his argument. Look at Romans chapter 1 verse 18 Romans chapter 1 verse 18 and were just touching on these things ever so lightly not trying to expand in any depth here, but to remember in chapter 1 verse 18 that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. He goes on in chapter 3.
As you know, to say that this is true of all men that there is none righteous, that there is none good that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and so brothers and sisters in Christ.
As we come to the table today.
We should remember what we once were, and what it was that Christ did and what he displayed for us you were under the wrath of God. And if you are not in Christ. You are still under the righteous wrath of God against your sin and rebellion against him communion reminds us that that we needed a sacrifice on our behalf in order to appease the wrath to satisfy the wrath of a holy and righteous God that holiness and that wrath of God produces a sense of reverence and fear toward him.
He has seen our sin. Communion is a reminder. First of all that God cannot simply overlook sin. He cannot simply neglected sin must be dealt with because he is a God of righteousness.
He is a God of wrath on the cross, Christ hung on the cross and God poured out his wrath on his own son, because that is what sin deserves an eternal punishment and eternal condemnation upon those who would sin against the eternal law of an eternal God is a God of righteousness. Communion reminds us that God does not take sin lightly, so seriously does he take it that he sent his own son into the world to deal with it. And so, who made this display on the cross. It was the God of righteousness that was at work that we ask a second question, what is it the was displayed on the cross in terms of Romans chapter 5 verse eight we remember this go back to Romans chapter 5 verse eight will kind of use. This is our our fulcrum point multiple times here in this brief devotion here in Romans chapter 5 verse eight it says God demonstrates God put on display. He publicly manifested what his own love toward us, his own love toward us, his own love toward his people. The people for whom Christ died. What is being displayed at the cross and what we are remembering it communion is that God displayed the love of Christ at the cross of Calvary. In other words, the wrath of God is not his only single attribute God in perfect harmony with all of these attributes reminds us in communion reminds us that she is a God of love that he is a God who has loved us, who has sought our good at his own personal cost in order to deliver us from his own righteous wrath. Look at Romans chapter 2 verse four with me Romans chapter 2 verse four. How is it that sinners like us find ourselves in the family of God. Well, at the heart motivation of it is a kindness of God. Romans chapter 2 verse four where Paul says do you think lightly of the riches of his kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance. The cross reminds us in communion, reminding us of the cross reminds us that God has shown to you sooner, immeasurable, infinite, vast, love, kindness, patients a tolerance of your prior rebellion against him and he passed over your sins, for the sake of Christ.
And so that you would have time to come to faith in Christ and be delivered from your sins that though God had every prerogative, every righteous reason to pour out his wrath upon you.
He held that wrath back in instead of pouring out that wrath that anger, giving you the punishment that you deserve.
Instead, Christ stepped into your place and he did that because Jesus Christ is the eternal son of God, and that is a manifestation of his love of his giving nature. Christ gave himself for you. Christ gave himself on the cross to redeem you from sin at incalculable cost. It wasn't only the physical suffering of the crucifixion that was inflicted upon him. He absorbed fully and extinguish the wrath of God against your sin. He felt the pains of eternal condemnation in his soul. The pain of punishment that belonged to you, he felt he absorbed.
He was the one upon whom it was inflicted.
Why, who made him do that answer is obvious, isn't it no one, no one tells God what to do. Christ voluntarily in concert with the, the consultation of the Godhead before the foundation of the world. Christ voluntarily agreed to come and do this to comment obedience to his father and in love for you in love for his people in love for his church to absorb punishment on their behalf so that you and I could go free.
That's love. That is a gift of undeserved incalculable proportions and so when we take communion together when you hold the bread and the cup in your hand in just a few moments you should remember the patient's of God toward you as he overlooked all of your prior sin in order to give you time to repent, you should remember the grace the undeserved favor that has been shown to you to be in Christ. Here you should remember how Christ gave himself for you. Galatians 220 says he loved me and gave himself up for me this is a wonderful thing to remember and that's what communion puts on display.
It puts Christ on display as the one whose whose righteousness will not be compromised, whose love supplies the price necessary for your sin to be covered and in love. He intervened on your behalf to go back to Romans chapter 5 verse eight again with me. Romans chapter 5 verse eight is your turning there.
Those of you that have been struggling this past week maybe for a period of several weeks you've been battling that besetting sin of yours or you drifted away from your first love. Let this display this reminder of the love of Christ be that which warms your heart to come back to come back with a sense of confidence that you have not been abandoned by Christ because this death was a death that was delivered once for all it was. It was a death designed to cover all of your sin. The fountain of cleansing blood flows freely and you are invited fresh to come and be washed in the blood of Christ for the cleansing from your sin and how can you know that that's true. After such a life as you live. Maybe this past week, and you're just conscious of the lingering guilt of your rebellion and indifference toward God. Well, let's remember when Christ displayed this love when Christ was put on display in Romans 58 tells us.
Look at verse eight with me again when was this love displayed, God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Christ did this for us while we were yet sinners. The gospel came to you, the Holy Spirit worked in your heart to bring you to Christ while you were a sinner, lost dead and separated from God. God did not respond to you because you had had done ask of righteousness or or had somehow made yourself better and distinct from others, and then God responded to you. He waited for you to take the first move is what so many people think nothing could be further from the truth.
Nothing could be more wrong. Nothing could be a more wrongheaded way to think about the love of God, God loved us while we were yet sinners, Christ came into a world that was dead and dark and when he came into your life. He came into a life that was dead and dark.
He didn't save you because you deserved it. He saved you while you were yet a sinner. Romans 45 says that God justifies the ungodly, and so we come to communion, remembering that this gospel came to us with power, not when we deserved it. But when we did not. It was while you were unrighteous that the gospel came to you it was when you were dead in trespasses and sins. The God made you alive together with Christ.
It was in the midst of that. It was during that time of deadness that God first loved you look at Romans chapter 5 verse six Paul is going at length to make this point here in this particular context. He says, Romans chapter 5 or six while we were still helpless at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one, will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and so beloved, as you reflect on that as you contemplate that there is this simultaneous sense of that.
I never deserve this. And I never could. And alongside that recognition of your unworthiness rises up and is put on display before your mind the great love of Christ to make a sacrifice like that for a sinner like you and this draws us to love him. He gave himself for us while we were worthy of condemnation and where to Christ display this great love he displayed at the cross, but it verse eight with me again as you see this emphasis at the cross and that's what we remembering communion but God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him, Christ died for us died for believers in the sense that he died on our behalf and in our place. The stroke of judgment that should have fallen on us. He took, he felt he absorbed Christ as it were moved us aside and stood in our place at the cross of Calvary, so that the judgment of God would fall on him and not on us and Scripture says that this was a once for all sacrifice perfect complete everything necessary to accomplish your redemption was done by Christ and done at the cross and he displayed the love of God by giving his innocent life to save us from judgment and so with a sense of sobriety with the sense of joy with a sense of earnestness. We remember who has acted on our behalf.
It was the God of righteousness. We remember what Christ displayed at the cross. It was his own love. We remember when he displayed it. It was while we were yet sinners and we remember where he displayed it.
It was at the cross.
And so, in light of those things beloved the Lord calls us through his word to take communion in a worthy manner.
Let me to circle back if you're not a Christian, we would ask you to respect the Lord enough to let the elements pass by. This is only for those who have received him as Lord, not for those who push him away. If you're a believer in sin news kinda brings you to a crossroads, doesn't it. There's time for you now is the elements are being distributed to confess and repent from the Lord and to take the elements with joy with this fresh sense of his forgiveness. If you claim Christ, and yet you're not willing to confess your sin and to forsake it you two should let the elements pass by. This is for those who are responding to Christ and sincerity, not imperfection in sincerity of heart that says yes I trust in Christ and I want my life to be right before him, my friend. If you're not in Christ.
I would just remind you that Christ calls you to come the you see that in Christ there is been God has appointed a completely sufficient Redeemer for sinners like you that Christ has accomplished a full atonement and that he calls you to himself. You need no other argument you need no other Savior. You need no other works.
You simply need to come to Christ, who accomplish this great salvation for sinners just like you and if you would receive Christ. All of these things of which I've been speaking here can belong to you. Christ is willing to save you right now. God in his triune majesty, God in his triune glory has appointed a salvation like this for everyone who would come humbly to his son and that salvation can be yours if you would believe in Christ, why would you delay, why would you turn away.
Why would you be indifferent to such Royal Majesty's as these all my friend in light of the great triune work of God. I call you Christ calls you to come to himself with the promise the one who comes to me. Christ says he will certainly never cast away.
Glory to God the praise of his the glory of his grace we say these things and commend them by the Holy Spirit to the outworking of them in your heart today. Finally, if you have been born again, you are trusting Christ in your walking with him, not imperfection, but in the light of his word. Let me invite you to take these elements with joy with a sense of gratitude, remembering who, what, when and where this all represents and to recognize that this is a token that of a greater reality that points you to your eternal home in heaven.
With that, let's bow together in prayer.
Father, we thank you for the love of Christ displayed at the cross of Calvary. We fear you we honor you as a God of righteousness.
We thank you that in love. Christ interceded on our behalf, and that because he has fully paid the price of our sin, because his perfect righteousness is applied to our account that we have a perfect standing with you. That gives us access and acceptance for the holy throne of God father son and Holy Spirit. Three in one. We give you praise for the riches that we inherit heart and soul and voice we raise, we praise you are father for our salvation. We praise you Lord Jesus for our salvation.
We praise you indwelling spirit for our salvation. We thank you that that we see how how unconquerable your work must be how certain the outcome of our salvation must be if each member of the Trinity in a unified purpose, and in a unified essence has work to do this on our behalf. We can't plumb the depths of these things father. We simply receive them from your word. We thank you for them and ask you to seal them to our hearts that you would find in us a people that is most responsive to praise you for the glory of your grace, help us to take these elements now in a worthy manner with gratitude with joy with a sense of worship in Jesus name we pray. Amen. And each time we partake of the bread and the cup. We are reminded of God's incredible gift.
If you call Christ your Lord and Savior. He took your sins upon himself assuring you eternity with him. You're listening to the truth pulpit with Don Greene and Don when we come to the communion table.
It's really a very serious matter, isn't it I.
Bill, you know, the Bible tells us and warns us about the communion table in first Corinthians chapter 11 when it says therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord, my friend. We are to examine ourselves before we take communion to to see if there's any unconfessed or unrepentant sin in our lives into forsake it and also to examine ourselves and remind ourselves of the joy and the trust that we have in the complete sufficiency of the work of Christ on our behalf. Communion reminds us that the Lord loved us that the Lord sought us that the Lord bought us with his own precious blood and that there is nothing of our own merit that contributes to our salvation. It is in Christ and Christ alone received by faith and by faith alone and so as you come to the Lord's table in the coming days of your own local church. Whatever your church's practice may be examine your heart and then look up to Christ.
Give him thanks and take the elements with a great sense of gratitude for the wonderful salvation that he purchased for us at the cross of Calvary. Thanks God that friend be sure to visit the truth. Pulpit.com to learn more about our ministry. That's the truth.
Pulpit.com hi Bill, right, and will see you next time on the truth pulpit