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Pathways to Intimacy with God - How to Rekindle Your Spiritual Passion, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2023 6:00 am

Pathways to Intimacy with God - How to Rekindle Your Spiritual Passion, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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August 16, 2023 6:00 am

Chip takes a fresh look at the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. What does it really mean? Why do we observe it? And what significance does it make to our personal spiritual lives?

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When you think of the Lord's Supper, what's it mean? I was a Christian about six or seven years and I took it and I was sincere, but then I had to write a Greek paper on the passage that we're studying. And the lights came on and for the first time ever, I really understood what the Lord's Supper was about. It changed how I practiced the Lord's Supper and it changed how I taught it. I think you are really going to enjoy this fresh look at the Lord's Supper.

Stay with me. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry motivating Christians to live like Christians. We're just over halfway through our series Pathways to Intimacy with God. We hope you've learned a lot from Chip's teaching so far. And to help others learn as you have, would you take a minute after this message and share it with a friend or loved one? You can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s at livingontheedge.org.

Thanks for spreading the word about how this teaching is impacting you. Well, today Chip will pick up with the second half of his talk, How to Rekindle Your Spiritual Passion. And to help you get the absolute most out of this program, download Chip's message notes. They include his brief outline, the supporting scripture he references, and some key fill-ins to help you remember what you hear.

Get them under the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org. App listeners tap fill-in notes. Well, with all that said, if you have a Bible, go to First Corinthians chapter 11 as Chip continues talking about the practice and the power of communion. More than anything else, God wants you to grasp and understand totally apart from your works, totally unconditional. He loves you. Not because there's something good in you, but because there's something good in him. He has chosen you to be the object of his affection because beyond what any of us know, his love is infinite.

And he cares about you and he wants a relationship with you. But because he is holy and we are sinful, the only means of relationship with a holy God was Christ, the fully man, fully God, stretching out his arms and dying in your place and in my place. And when we do that, not only do we bring it to remembrance, but look at the last line. It says, and we proclaim his death. The word proclaim there is used elsewhere in the New Testament for literally preaching the gospel. It means telling the rest of the world, I have been forgiven. Jesus is my savior. I have a new life.

There is a difference. And when we come together, it's not just to remember, but as we do it, we testify to the living fact that there is good news. We proclaim there is life. There is forgiveness for everyone who so ever would come. And so by way of summary in this first section, the path of breaking bread together restores our spiritual passion. How does your passion get restored? By remembering who Jesus is, your savior, God, your savior.

Listen, substitute and remembering what he's done. He has died upon the cross for you. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that it's not only enough to remember who Jesus is and what he did, but we need to remember who we are and our present need of repentance. The Lord's Supper is a time to look upward and outward and with praise and adoration, but it's also a time to look inward, to take a spiritual x-ray, to take a spiritual MRI, to let the Spirit of God open his eyes into your heart, into your life, into your motives and mind and say, Lord, if there's anything that's not right. You see, the reason we drift is what? It's a little subtle sin today, a little subtle sin tomorrow, a little attitude tomorrow, another little motive next week.

And little by little by little, we don't understand that we've drifted. And what the Lord's Supper is to recalibrate your soul. And the way you recalibrate your soul is you get first clear on who he is and what he's done.

And then you take that and look in the mirror and you say, Lord, where am I really from your perspective? Notice the Apostle Paul's teaching picking up in verse 27. He says, therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, circle that phrase, will be guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of our Lord. A man ought to examine himself, circle that phrase, before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. Then listen to this very often strange but powerful passage. Verse 30, that is why many among you are weak and sick and a number of you have fallen asleep.

That's a technical term used every time in the New Testament for when a believer in Jesus Christ dies and goes to heaven. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we're being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

Notice there is a warning, there's instruction, there's a reason, and then there's a response. The warning is don't eat or don't come to the Lord's table in an unworthy manner. This passage has been much debated. You can go to commentaries and find a zillion different explanations of what an unworthy manner is. Option number one for many, it's an unbeliever taking the Lord's Supper.

It's obviously not, you know, one of the things you need to do. I don't know where you're at or where you're coming from. I didn't grow up as a believer. But this is a holy moment and it's a holy moment for God's family. If you're not a believer in Jesus Christ, you're instructed to watch and observe.

Just see what happens, don't go, don't take it, and try and say, what are these people doing and what does this really mean? Another explanation has been that there's some unconfessed sin in a person's life. It's an unworthy where there's unconfessed sin and you take it in this way. And of course, we're instructed to make sure that there's no sin, to literally say, God, is there anything between us?

I'm going to sit quietly. No music, no strumming guitars, dead, cold silence where you can say, Lord, if there's anything between you and me and you're a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in you, will you show me, will you just show me right now? And I know your heart is never to condemn and you're never vague.

Will you show me if there's anything in my life that I need to tell you and come to agreement with you and ask you to forgive me and claim your promise that if I confess my sin, you're faithful and just to forgive me of my sin and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. That's certainly a part of the Lord's Supper. But the actual phrase, an unworthy manner, is not so much pointed toward unbelievers and it's not so much about unconfessed sin.

That's something that believers would understand they were to do. To partake in an unworthy manner, the meaning of this word has to do with meaning taking it carelessly, thoughtlessly, routinely, going through the motions. It would be having the memorial without the meaning. No appreciation for who Jesus really is.

No recollection back to what he's really done for you. No quiet extended time to evaluate where are you really at in your heart, in your life, to recalibrate your soul. It's just going through the motions.

It's just doing what you've always done. It's coming to church and going through the spiritual motions of taking the Lord's Supper. That's what it means to take it in an unworthy manner. And what it does, it diminishes his work on the cross. What it does, it diminishes his blood that shed for you. What it does, it diminishes the fact that you've been sealed with the Spirit and that you're a child of God and you don't take time to let the Spirit of God love you and care for you. And God's plan always and every time in convicting is never to be down on us. It's to point something out like a surgeon sees a piece of cancer and cuts very carefully so that no arteries or anything would be hurt and gets just the thing that needs to be and lifts it out and is it painful? Yes, and removes it so you can be whole and to be healed. That's God's heart. And when you take the Lord's Supper, it always brings you to a time where you come back to first things, back to your first love, back to the relationship, out of the routine, out of just, you know, reading the Bible, out of just praying, out of being religious, out of trying to being a good moral person. It brings you back to just you and Jesus, his love for you and what he's done and now where are you at with him? That's the warning.

The instruction is very simple. He says, verse 28, a man ought to examine himself. And that just means take personal inventory. When you open your heart and you say, Lord, if there's anything between us, he'll bring a specific incident and a specific issue because his heart's desire is never to push you down. His heart's desire is to make a correction so they can put his arm around you and draw you back close to him. His son, by his blood, paid for whatever sin is keeping you and me from him. And all he wants to do is by faith have you recognize that so there can be a fresh application of the atonement or the covering or the grace and the forgiveness to restore the fellowship with God.

And so this is a time where you examine yourself and then notice the reason. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. You might put a little parenthesis around the body of the Lord because as you see this, you would in the context think initially that we're talking about Jesus' body.

And it is, but it's not his physical body. You see, we're going to find just a little bit later that when Paul introduced this, the reason he gives this long explanation about the Lord's Supper is the Corinthian church was involved in abuses. And the abuses were some people were coming early and eating a big meal and they ate real fast because when the poor people come they didn't want to share their food. And some people came so early and were having such a big time before the worship service that some people were actually drunk in the worship service.

And some people would come and have a big meal and some people would come with nothing and it was causing division in the church. And not recognizing the body of the Lord is when you examine yourself, you don't just examine yourself on the vertical. How am I doing with God? You examine yourself and what you do is you say, how am I doing with God's people, the body? Is there a relationship in the body of Christ that needs my attention? Is there an attitude in my heart?

Is there someone I need to go to? That's what it means to recognize the body of the Lord. You examine yourself and then you say, Lord, I want to be right with you, but I've got to be right with my brothers and sisters in Christ. And the reason is is because judgment occurs. That's why he says because these abuses, can you imagine going to a church service and some people were drunk? Going to a church service and some people are going thinking we're the body of Christ and Christ died for us and he loves us and you won't share anything with me? He says because of this some of you are, God's judgment are weak and sick and some have prematurely even died.

Now if that doesn't get your attention and if you don't think taking the Lord's Supper is an issue of sobriety that ought to get your attention. God says when we do not treat one another and when we take things that are very precious and very holy and we're callous with them and we go through the motions and we make a mockery of them that he will in the velvet vice of judgment keep closing that and if we don't respond the ultimate judgment for a believer is he doesn't kick you out of his family he takes you home early. And that's what this passage teaches. He said in the church at that time in Corinth some people were sick and some people actually had premature death because of their lack of obedience and responsiveness to God. So what should the response be? He says verse 31 but if we judge ourselves we won't come under judgment.

In other words if you don't take it in an unworthy manner if you come and recognize who Jesus and what he's done and if you stop and evaluate and where am I at with you God and with the body every time we take the Lord's Supper it's a purifying time. I remember the story of a fellow who was at MIT and he was teaching and he was a nationally known speaker and one of the heads of a nuclear submarine let him go on board and he said you know this submarine can only stay down and I forget it was only 60 or 90 days and he said well why do you run out of water? He said oh no we got plenty of water. He said would you run out of food? No we got plenty of food.

Would you run out of oxygen? Oh no we can create our it's no problem. He said well why do you have to surface every 60 or 90 days? He said because in this submarine we have missiles that we can shoot all over the world but what happens is because of the magnetic poles of the earth we have to come up and we recalibrate all of our instruments because we get off after 60 or 90 days. If we shoot a missile and we're a fraction of degree off and it goes about three or four thousand miles you can imagine how far it would be off and the only way to keep this submarine in line is it needs to come up and lock on to the North Star and then we triangulate with all of our satellites to make sure we are exactly where we think we are and you know that's a good picture of what the Lord's Supper needs to be. It's where we stop and we align it rooted in the scriptures focused on the person of Jesus and the Spirit of God recalibrates our heart our mind and our soul about where we're really at with him because we do deceive ourselves don't we?

I mean the heart is deceitful. The Lord's Supper isn't just a vertical me and God it is about me and his body the church about me and my brothers and sisters. He's gonna tell us that we need to remember who we are as fellow members of his body not just who Jesus is and what he did not just remember who we are and what our needs are but we need to come out of the Lord's Supper and say we are a part of a real organic living group of people tied together by the Spirit of God placed in his body and our relationships matter. Follow along in verse 17 he says but in giving instruction I don't praise you because you come together not for the better but for the worse for in the first place when you come together as a church I hear that divisions exist among you and in part I believe it for there must be factions among you in order that those who are approved may become evident among you therefore when you meet together it's not to eat the Lord's Supper.

Do you hear it? It's a rebuke. He said we got a problem here you asked me a question when you notice the repetition when you come together when you come together when you meet together you are the church do you hear what he's saying? It matters about when God's people come together. He goes on to say it's not to eat the Lord's Supper verse 21 for in your eating one takes his own supper first and one is hungry and another is drunk what don't you have houses in which to eat and drink or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing what shall I say to you shall I praise you in this I will not praise you do you hear the emotion here? This is the church that he birthed this is the church that he planted he knows these people they've come to Christ they've had a radical transformation and in the actual celebration of their unity in Christ and of their common forgiveness and their new life as a new community they are practicing just the opposite and I don't know about you but I've read a few passages in scripture he sounds pretty ticked off to me I mean he just sounds pretty daggone ticked off like what in the world are you doing how could this happen to God's church your very actions are the antithesis of everything that Jesus taught of everything that we know that's true and then notice how he bookends this section here's the application so then my brothers when you notice the phrase come together to eat notice now consideration wait for one another if anyone is hungry let him eat at home so that you may not come together for judgment and the remaining matters I shall arrange when I come the rebuke is your actions when you are meeting together in relationship are telling the opposite story of Jesus who built a body who died who invited you into his body who the moment you believed baptized you into this thing called the church we belong to one another we're interdependent it matters this is not a social group this is not a meeting that you come to once a week we are a part of an organic super natural community and it matters what you say and what you think and what you do and how I treat you and how you treat me and how we treat one another is the basis and the evidence according to Jesus whether the world will even know this is true a new commandment I give you that you love one another it's by this love for one another that the world will know that God sent his son and so he rebukes them and then he gives them some instruction this application to be servants to wait to share and to love and so my response here is brotherly appreciation the Lord's Supper is God's visual aid to restore our spiritual passion by forcing us to do three things remember who Jesus is and what he's done one two remember our present need of repentance and three remember we're one body and members of one another I wrote in my notes a concluding statement that's meant a lot to me we are to express our love for God whom we can't see by expressing our love and devotion to each other who we can see you're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and the message you just heard how to rekindle your spiritual passion is from our series pathways to intimacy with God Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute most of us would consider ourselves faithful church-going bible-reading praying Christians but let me ask you are you close to God do you really know him through this 10-part series Chip challenges us to move beyond the rituals and customs of the Christian life and experience an authentic relationship with God stay with us to discover what it looks like to walk step by step with the creator of the universe now if you missed any part of this series catch up anytime on the chip Ingram app well chips join me in studio now and chip you recently shared that Living on the Edge is developing an incredible amount of resources and distributing them all over the world so before we go on I thought it'd be encouraging for our listeners to hear how this ministry impacts real lives would you take a minute or two and share a few stories with us I'd be glad to Dave one of the great joys of my life is the letters emails Facebook messages that I get from people literally all around the country and all around the world and they tell me these amazing stories of how Living on the Edge has been a tool used by God to change their life maybe you're one of those people that have really been impacted by the ministry I mean I hear from people from every age profession background every person imaginable and what I hear is this same constant drumbeat of God spoke to me I took a step of faith now God's using me and what I want you to know is that that's the heart of our ministry we want to put teaching and tools and small group materials and downloadable things that we actually give away to help people not just live like Christians but be ambassadors and agents of change and grace in their homes their schools and their workplaces and if you're one of those people that God has impacted you and actually you're impacting others because of Living on the Edge I have a very specific request would you consider becoming a monthly financial partner and of course it helps us practically no doubt about it it would really help us to know that X amount of dollars are coming in from a monthly partner but literally even more than that it's about a group of people saying we want to be a part of this mission to make a difference in the crazy world that we're living in we want to make an impact and we want to make an impact with you all God's spoken to us God's changed us we want to help you help others and so here's my request today would you pray and just simply say Lord if this is part of your desire for me to partner with Living on the Edge on a monthly basis will you show me and then show me what that looks like and how much and what I will say is whatever amount that is it's perfect whatever God shows you but what I long to see is people who partner that are on the team a part of the family and we make a difference together each and every day thank you in advance for doing whatever God shows you to do thanks chip what a great encouragement well if you want to be a part of ministering to believers all across the world I hope you'll prayerfully consider becoming a monthly partner with Living on the Edge your gift will go places and accomplish ministry work like you wouldn't believe so let me encourage you to set up a recurring donation today at Living on the Edge org or via the chip ingram app or if it's easier text donate to 741 41 it's that easy that's the word donate to 741 41 well here again is chip to share his application with us as you listen to today's program on the Lord's Supper I pray I really do that God gave you some some new and fresh insight about what it means to remember Jesus and and how to partake in a way that will really help you but what I want to do now is I want to probe a little bit I'm going to ask you to be very open because one of the fundamental things that happens in this passage is he says consider the body of our Lord and when he said that he was not talking about the Lord's physical body he was talking in context about our relationship with other Christians and so let me ask you a question because you don't need to have a cup in your hand or a piece of unleavened bread to respond at this moment to exactly what God wants you to do is there a relationship with another believer that is fractured is there bitterness in your heart is there resentment are you a part of a church where there's conflict or a church split is there a brother or sister in Christ that you used to have a good relationship with and something happened and it never got repaired can I ask you right now to stop and say Lord Jesus I want to consider your body we are unified we are one you died for all of us and your prayer was that we would be one even as you and the Father are one there's nothing more powerful nothing more pleasing to God than when we in our practice in horizontal relationships with other believers demonstrate the unity and the love that vertically God has given us through Christ can you imagine the cleansing and the purity that could happen in the body of Christ just today if every single person listening to my voice would say Lord Jesus if there's any relationship that needs repaired any reconciliation any me taking the first step regardless of whose fault it was taking the first step to build a bridge oh God I so value the unity of your body I want to go as far as it depends on me and make it right would you take five seconds right now and say Lord will you bring a person to my mind if I need to go make amends if I need to be a bridge builder today and then ask him for the faith ask him for the courage to this day start the process God will richly richly reward you thanks Chip and as we close would you pray for those feeling challenged to respond to chips encouragement right now there's always a spiritual battle when we feel prompted to draw near to God thanks for taking a minute to do that and if there's a way we can pray for you let us know call triple eight three three three six zero zero three or email chip at Living on the Edge dot org we'd love to hear from you for everyone here this is Dave Drewey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-16 05:25:31 / 2023-08-16 05:35:31 / 10

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