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November 20, 2021 2:00 am
The third characteristic of Breaking Bread seems like it doesn't fit in a list of the four most important priorities of a church. Of all the possibilities for essential core values, why is eating so central a practice? What does breaking bread really mean and is it still to be a primary focus for modern Christians? Today we will both study this and then practice it together.
This teaching is from the series Church? Who Needs It.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Okay we understand the apostles doctrine to be devoted to the Bible you understand what the Bible says in her life and fellowship to have that breaking bread why would that be listed third in the four important things that Mark church life.
For example, why would you say they continued success. Apostles doctrine fellowship and discipleship for evangelism welcome today to connect was gift weekend edition as we continue our series of the church we learned that there are certain priorities, we should have as Christians that don't always make sense.
For example child might not understand the significance of communion.
It may look like the adults good to have juice and crackers but they can't have it. Unfortunately, some adults don't understand the importance of communion either, especially its role in our growth as Christians. Today's broadcast Skip shed some light of this ritual and why it's so important.
But before we began, we have a great resource for you this month and connectwithskip.com here's what Norm Geisler said about the tactics, there is no better block to include Christians to think clearly. Skip type thing on the need to engage in spiritual warfare. Joe never fight God's battles for myself, you'll never contend what really matters.
Just cruise and interlacing boiled have to decide to get as part of the house and join the fight become a contender for the house message series. The continued to skip. I think this teaching series on the ring and guard against teaching thanks get to connect more people to the truth of God's word and $35 or more today will also send you the text by Gregory couple speak the truth about Christianity with confidence and grace, hundred 92 to get report connectwithskip.com church who needs it will be at acts chapter 2. Once again I was doing Skip as he takes us on a trip to Utah show of hands, how many of you remember the cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle raise your hand while were dating ourselves right. That's an old cartoon. What a great though good so you member in Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. There was the story of Mr. Peabody is that bowtie wearing dog real smart dog will erudite dog and he has an assistant named Sherman and they have a fictional contraption called the way back machine as you get in this machine you go way back to whatever event in history. You want to be a witness at so this morning going to your mental way back machine with me, 3400 years and there we are standing on the plains of Moab.
There's a Moabite standing next to us and he's gazing down into the valley below him were the children of Israel are spread out in their tents all surrounding this unusual structure known as the tabernacle Moabite winds its way through the encampments of Israel and comes to the date of that cloth courtyard and says to the gatekeeper as he looks at all the activity going on in the outer court. He says hey can I go inside the gatekeeper said what tribe are you from, if you're in any of the tribes of Israel. You're welcome. The Moabites, I will know actually I'm not an Israelite at all. I'm a Moabite, the gatekeeper would say no you cannot come in in the Moabite then would say what what I have to do to get inside the gatekeeper smiled and said well you have to be born an Israelite. And so the Moabite hangs his head and he goes I wish I would've been born an Israelite.
He keeps looking and he sees a man dressed in a special row bearing an animal that he kills and sacrifice, and washes at a special place called the labor and then goes inside the tent that is right in the central part of the courtyard into her hidden room and the Moabite says what's in there. Gatekeeper says that's the holy place inside that room is a golden lampstand.
There is a table with Brad on it and there's a little golden altar, the manner you decide as a priest and he walked in there and he's gonna change the bread trim the lamps and like the incense the Moabites at all. I wish I would've been born in Israelite because I'd love to see inside that room. Gatekeeper says will help even I can go in that room again. You have to be a priest and only those who are from the tribe of Levi of the house of Aaron can go into that room Moabites is all well. I was out of been born in Israelite from the tribe of Levi in the house of Baron love to get that close to God. What else is in there asked the Moabite the gatekeeper continues well beyond that room is a veil and beyond that veil is a very special room called the holy of holies.
And in that room is a golden chest and that is where God dwells among his people. The Moabites is all. If only I would've been born in Israelite and if only I would've been born of the tribe of Levi the house of Baron as a priest.
I'd love to go into that room. Gatekeeper says well you could going to that room. See only a special class of priests known as the high priest can enter that room in the Moabites as well. I wish I would've been born Israelite of the tribe of Levi of the house of Aaron and as a priest and as a high priest, I would go into that room I'd go every single day I go three times a day just so I could get close to God. Gatekeeper said well you could do that either is even a high priest can go in every day, even a high priest can only go in that room once a year after elaborate personal sacrifice and only for a very short period of time while by this point the Moabites is simply hangs his head turns away with no hope of ever entering into the presence of God. I little story illustrates and hopefully will help you understand why the breaking of bread was such a priority to the early church because it speaks of access access. Suddenly, God was so far off is made close by something Jesus Christ did the setting of acts chapter 2 Took Pl. just a few weeks after the crucifixion of our Lord. So the early church would have well remembered that on the day that Jesus died.
Something happened in the temple. Remember what ripped the veil of the temple ripped in two from top to bottom. I was God's way of saying you have access.
There is no separation any longer.
Anyone can come and have intimate fellowship with God through my son, Jesus Christ, and the breaking of bread is that symbolic demonstration of access to God. Acts chapter 2, verse 42 just one single verse is the third week we been in that verse. It is a snapshot verse 42 is a snapshot of one verse cameo of life in the early church and gives us the four marks that distinguish it, and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers to consider this third mark this morning the breaking of bread and I like to give you for important characteristics of this one activity breaking bread number one breaking bread as a priority.
Please again notice they continued steadfastly. They continued steadfastly in breaking bread that is a little bit of a debate as to what breaking bread actually means. Some say it refers to just the communion service.
Others believe it refers to having a meal with someone. I think it's best to see the answer is it's both a beautiful tradition began to develop and was very popular in the early days of Christianity, called the love feast. The love feast was a meal like a potluck or people would bring their food together and they would share it with each other and in the middle or at the end of that meal they would take the elements of communion and that whole service was called breaking bread breaking bread, some people have looked at the list in verse 42 when they come to this third mark breaking bread there little bit puzzled that this would make the top four okay we understand the apostles doctrine. You gotta be devoted to that. That's the Bible yet. I got understand what the Bible says in her life and fellowship.
Gotta have that breaking bread why would that be listed third in the four important things that Mark church life mean, for example, why would you say they continued steadfastly apostles doctrine fellowship and discipleship or evangelism why breaking bread. I think there's a lot of answers to that, but I think it could be that stated this way, if you want to move forward successfully. You have to look at words correctly, you have to stay in touch. We have to stay in touch with our spiritual root system. If we forget the sacrifice of the cross if we leave that behind were not going to be able to do anyone any good.
May I say that churches that over time become very liberal in their approach are those who forget and fail to remember the death, the resurrection and the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, our spiritual foundation is wrapped up in that. It's also a priority to the early church for the simple reason that Jesus commanded that we do it right. He said do this often, in remembrance of me. Really, that's all that we need to do it enough that while I'm in a pray about having communion. Why pray about it. Jesus said do it in other there are some things in the Christian walk.
Some issues that aren't so black-and-white that we struggle to determine the will of God and will. Here's one area where we never have to worry about what the will of God, is it spelled out clearly do this, do it often and do it in remembrance of me. So breaking bread is a priority. The second thing I'd like you to notice is that breaking bread has a pattern it's based on something else.
It wasn't as if Jesus one day said hey John, go get me some bread which are Peter bring in some wine.
I have an idea know this was a pattern that was based on something they were familiar with its return to Luke chapter 22 Luke 22 and you'll notice in verse 14. Here are a few Bible pages turning that's a good thing. Verse 14 of Luke 22 when the hour had come. He sat down in the 12 apostles with him and he said to them with fervent desire I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I say to you I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God and then he took the cup, and gave thanks, and he said take this and divide it among yourselves, for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes in he took bread, gave thanks by the wake gave thanks is the Greek word Eucharist at oh that's where we get the term of the Eucharist. It means the giving of thanks, he gave thanks broken and he said to them, this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise, he also took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. So the breaking of bread, has a pattern in the pattern is the Passover familiar meal that all Jewish people celebrated and still do, but the disciples certainly were familiar when they sat down in that upper room with Jesus. They knew what was coming was a celebratory meal that looked back to Egypt and the deliverance of the Jewish people from the bondage of Pharaoh, but remember that Jesus one time said do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy but to fulfill.
To fulfill this is where that statement really comes into view. For we are seeing how Jesus was the complete fulfillment of what the Passover initially was to speak of Jesus is in effect transformed the traditional Passover meal to speak of an infinitely greater rescue what he would do on the cross. Now little explanation is helpful. The Passover meal was structured around four glasses of wine.
It would begin where the host would take and the wine was red because it was symbolic of the blood of the Lamb that was smeared on the inferences of the homes in Egypt, he lift up the wineglass and give the traditional Hebrew blessing, but to huts I do and I will okay no melee how Balaam bought a pre-hug often blessed art thou, Lord God King of the universe is given us the fruit of the vine in the evening would commence.
Then there would be the second glass of wine.
The second glass of wine would then be lifted blast and with that came the taking of the unleavened bread we would call matzoh cracker in the unleavened bread was dipped in bitter herbs that spoke of bondage of their forefathers in Egypt and also dipped in that sweet thick fruity pace known as Hato set which reminded them of the mortar that their forefathers made for the cities in Egypt and it would be dipped by the host and pass out to the rest.
Then they would eat the meal when the meal was done, the roasted lamb had been eaten at the end of the meal, the host would lift up the third glass of wine. This was called the cup of redemption unleavened bread would be broken and again the traditional Hebrew blessing, but to huts denied okay. No melee how Balaam how much he let him mean high edits. Blessed are you, Lord God King of the universe was given us bread from the earth, and that is verse 19 whereafter that Jesus broke it and said this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.
I can just picture the jaws of all the disciples dropping at that point then that third glass of wine held up the blessing given in Jesus in verse 20. This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. So that's a pattern of it. And whereas the Passover meal spoke of the temporary physical deliverance out of slavery. The Lord's supper would speak of the permanent spiritual deliverance from the slavery of sin. So when the early church committed themselves to the breaking of bread, the Lord's supper, and that meal they were doing is re-creating that night of Passover. Very stripped-down and easy to facilitate form to the breaking of bread as a pattern now turn with me to first Corinthians chapter 11 and over covering a lot of ground and only regret I have is in Swift to study like this.
We can't probe deep enough for this kind of skimming the surface but here in first Corinthians 11. We understand the breaking bread has a purpose.
It has a purpose and were only read a few verses pretty hefty chapter deals with this. We want to look at just a few things breaking of the bread has a purpose, and there is a purpose by looking back to the past. There's a purpose by dealing with our present in the third purpose is it takes us to the future, past, present and future is the purpose for communion. First of all, the past. Look at verse 23 first Corinthians 11 for I received all by the way, it is believed that first Corinthians was written before Matthew Mark Luke and John.
So this becomes the first and primary account of the Lord supper in Scripture. For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which he was betrayed took bread when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, take, eat, this is my body which is broken.
Do this in remembrance of me. So Paul understood that the first purpose for communion was to look back in retrospect remember the cross. Remember the sacrifice. Remember the night Jesus gave this meal significant. This is the remembrance. Isn't it interesting that Jesus didn't say to his disciples, ever. Hey you guys, I want you to remember me so build up beautiful huge mausoleum over my grave to remember me that wouldn't do any good. Since he only occupied is great for a weekend and left being resurrected, nor did he ever say build a huge marble column or a statue where I preached the sermon on the mount so that every time people go to Galilee.
Don't remember me know what he said was I want you to remember me with a meal. Do this often when you do this you look back and you remember, I just want to quickly say that as odd as it might seem communion which means the unity of believers together has become so controversial through the centuries. It is actually divided the church and that is because of the viewpoints that some have had to work communion. There is one belief called transubstantiation that said huge word.
I know transubstantiation is the belief that these elements the bread and the wine literally become the actual flesh of Jesus and the blood of Jesus. They turn into blood and flesh called transubstantiation, Cyril of Jerusalem believe that Gregory of Nyssa believe that John Chrysostom believe that and that is and has been the position of the Roman Catholic Church. They become the body and blood of Christ that the reformers didn't believe that a second viewpoint was postulated by Martin Luther called there's another word ready con substantiation they don't turn into his body and blood, but there's a special presence of the body and blood, with the elements with the elements.
There's 1/3 viewpoint. I happen to hold that one and that sees the elements as a figurative or emblematic.
This was the position of John Calvin.
This was the position of Ulrich's sublingually and that is not looking at the body and blood of Christ. When we hold up the elements there like lenses were looking through them to see Christ it's an emblem it's a figure of what he did people get all hung up and say you have a Jesus said this is my body. It is his body, yeah. But Jesus also said I am the door. Does that mean he's a piece of wood with hinges that is a figure of speech right plainly so that's easily observed simply to say I am the way, I am the portal line. The means by which anybody and everybody can get to heaven, and no other means more and communion coming up at our next project as we explore widely your priority in the fellowship of the church and what it has to do with our own growth is Christian.
You're listening to Skip weekend division tell you how to get a copy of today's teaching here in just a moment. But before we go to Skip points to tell you about an incredible trip. Use plan for you. Nothing tops studying the Scriptures in the real life locations where it all took place. That's what I'm eager to announce our upcoming trip to Israel in 2022 and if you register by November 30 using promo code connect Israel you will receive $150 off the tour price. Find out more about the firstname.lastname@example.org/C a BQ think Skip Bell for a copy of today's study on your mark get set grow. Part three it's available for just four dollars plus shipping. When you call us at 1-800-922-1880 when you visit connect was gift.com will continue to examine the role of communion next project. So join us right here Skip weekend division presentation connection so connecting God's ever-changing and ever-changing time