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Is Communion More Than a Symbol?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2021 6:30 am

Is Communion More Than a Symbol?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 22, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 690 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


1. When God says in Genesis 1, “let us make man in our image,” who is the “us” that is being referred to here?

2. If someone has ignored God their entire life and then are later diagnosed with dementia, is it too late for them to follow the Lord?

3. If Jesus said “this is my body” and “this is my blood”, then why do we say the bread and wine are representations and symbols? Is salvation at stake if we misunderstand or misuse the Lord’s Supper?

4. I carry a lot of bitterness from past pains and it creates anger which I seem to carry into all my relationships. How do I forgive and reconcile with people who are not aware or who don’t acknowledge the pain they have caused me?

5. Why do pastors focus more on the writings of Paul in the Bible rather than the Gospels?

6. Is there a difference at the resurrection for those who were buried or cremated?

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Is my salvation mistake. If I misuse the Lord's supper.

That is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

You can call us right now with your question.

At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. Our phone lines are open and Pastor Adrian would love to talk to you for the next a 25 minutes or so.

So give us a call. You can also post your question on our Facebook or Instagram account.

You can email us with your question at questions at core, and you can watch us on YouTube. First up today let's go to Allie in Boise, Idaho alley welcome to the program. Thank you for having me.

Thanks for calling the Sally what's your question, I was wondering make man in our MA magnet multiple there and I am mainly thinking the Trinity love that question.

It's great question to get right now. I just preached on that passage of Scripture. This last Sunday at the church that I pastor Genesis chapter 1 beginning in verse 26 then God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness. It's interesting because leading up to that verse alley you had this sort of repetition in the first five days of creation, let there be let there be, and there was over and over again then takes her to slow down here on the sixth day of creation, and it's almost as if Moses who wrote you know Genesis is if he is trying to get us to focus in on the creation of man. Now, instead of let there be you have let us make let us make man in our image or some intimacy there really a beautiful verse of Scripture and the question is, who does the us, refer to, and there have been some Allie, who states it's a reference to the holy Trinity down one since I thing we can say that that's true because we know on the basis of other passages of Scripture that the whole Trinity was there at creation father son and Holy Spirit. Genesis chapter 1 verse two you have the spirit of God hovering over the face of the deep over the waters and then another path that you go to the New Testament John chapter 1 verse one, which echoes the language that we have here in Genesis 1 in the beginning was the word speaking about Jesus and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And so I did. We can say that the us includes the Trinity because father son and Holy Spirit were there at creation at work now is that what's being focused on here though. I think there's actually more to it. God is being pictured here as this great king in his cosmic temple. We might say and he's speaking to the angelic host that he created what we might refer to them as God's heavenly counsel and so it's almost as if you know the author of Genesis, Moses is helping us to see that God is this great king, and as he speaking creating he's got the whole counsel around him is a many of said that the us is is a reference to the divine counsel, including even the Angels now where can we sort of see that in the context well, a little bit later in Genesis chapter 3 when Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden. Verse 22 says, then the Lord God said, behold, the man has become like one of us there you have it again again in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.

Therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken and he drove out the man and he drove out the man and at the east of Eden, the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, the Angels right there. You also see this language very similarly in Isaiah chapter 6 member the vision that Isaiah had in Isaiah chapter 6 where he sees these these angels.

These angelic beings around the throne of God, crying out, holy, holy, holy, and then God speaks after their there crying out these things and he says who will go for us. Isaiah chapter 6 beginning in verse six, then one of the seraphim flew to me speaking to about Isaiah, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken from the tongs of the altar and he touched my mouth and said, behold this is touch your lips, your guilt is taken away your sin is atoned for and I heard the voice of the Lord thing whom shall I send, and who will go for us again that the picture of God in his throne room.

It is speaking to the angelic counsel the heavenly host and so I think that what we can say Allie on the base of Scripture. Yes, the Trinity was there, but it's even more than that it's it's depicting God for us as this great king, surrounded by the heavenly host. That's the us and so thank you for your question and I may the Lord bless your day.

Thanks much Allie for being a regular listener to core Christianity really appreciate you there in Boise.

By the way, if you have a question for Pastor Israel. You can call anytime 24 hours a day and leave a voicemail on our voicemail line or you can go on our website and record your message just like the little microphone icon and click on that the phone number to call for the voicemail or right now for a live call is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to Gloria in St. Louis, Missouri Gloria what your question for Pastor Israel is have all of their lives to ask the Lord to come into their heart and to be say and do that and as they get older they become have been mimicking or have all time. It is there any hope for that. I think that there is hope for that person that that person can still be saved through faith. Now we have to remember that faith is a gift given to us by the Lord that the of the understanding that leads to salvation is is really a work of the Holy Spirit. So whether someone has dementia or or some other issue that the thing were resting in is the work of God in that person's life and so I would encourage you if you're thinking of someone specifically in your life to pray for that person. II think of the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 11. I love this passage of Scripture really is one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture Matthew chapter 11 verse 25 Jesus is praying.

He says I thank you father, Lord of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children. Yes father, for such was your gracious will other words, it look salvation.

The message of the gospel is something that has to be revealed to us by the father, through the grace of the Holy Spirit and see pray for this person thinking of Jesus is a very similar thing to to Peter in Matthew chapter 16 when he sang a who do men say that I am Peter replied, you are the Christ, the son of the living God and Jesus answered and blessed are you, Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood is not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven. The spirit of God can still work in this person's life. Dementia can't stop the Holy Spirit from shedding light. The light of Jesus in a person's life and so I would say Gloria continue to share Christ to share the message of salvation with this person because the spirit of God is able and and can save and so there is hope in you for your question. Thanks much, Gloria. This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez.

By the way, we should let you know we are not supported by a particular church or denomination. We rely on people just like you to make donations to keep us on the air. If you find this a program helpful and would like to prayerfully consider making a gift. We really would appreciate that you can make a gift of any amount through our website at core, just click donate at the top of the page. Let's go to Stuart and Festus Missouri Stuart what your question for Pastor Israel case 30. There I guess we lost Stuart all right, let's go to an email question that we received this one is from Cody and Cody says if Jesus said this is my body and this is my blood. Then why do we say the bread and wine are representations or symbols is salvation at stake in the misunderstanding or misuse of this in the Lord's supper.

Yeah, this is such an important question Jesus instituted this meal the Lord's supper communion for the church for the church to observe you know throughout her history, the sort of perpetual ordinance and he did say when he took the bread and the wine of this is my body given for you. This cup is the new covenant in my blood shed for the forgiveness of many do this in remembrance of me. Read about this in the synoptic Gospels Matthew Mark and Luke and so the question is if Jesus is. This is my body. How can we we really don't emphasize his neck and sometimes people disable just as a symbol will first we need to understand that kind of language is a sort of the language of God's covenant ordinances, we might say sacramental language.

There are some in the history of the church. It took that this is my body to to mean this bread is transformed into my literal physical body, that's not my position it again.

It's sort of the language of the covenant ordinances that you see throughout the Bible in in first Corinthian's chapter 11 for example, verse 25. Paul talks about the institution of the Lord's supper and and in particular with the coming of this cup is the new covenant in my blood. That is there's there's this relationship between the cup. This sign that God gives to us and that which the sign signifies that so close so tied together.

You can almost speak of them as one and the same so doesn't mean that that you know that the bread and the wine are transforming into something that they weren't before the still bread and wine, but through them we receive the body and blood of Jesus we have communion with Jesus Christ himself.

Paul says this and it first Corinthian chapter 10 verses 15 and 16.

I think it we talked about in a the cup of blessing that we bless is not communion with the blood of Jesus. And so there's something really unique. Something really special. That's happening in the Lord supper, let me just say this brothers and sisters. I think there is just such a such a low view in so many churches today of these ordinances that Jesus gave to us. The Lord's supper me talk about something that we desperately need these gospel reminders.

These means of communion with Jesus Christ himself by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and yet often times we just are to treat them as you know, these ancient not necessary symbols is to empty religion that kind of thing will know brothers and sisters. These aren't empty signs.

It's through these means that God is powerfully working in our midst by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And so, so I don't think we we wanted you to devalue these are just a will just merely an empty symbol know it's through these signs that we have communion with the with the very reason Jesus Christ that's first thing I said that in terms of know what about when when we misunderstand the Lord's supper well even that you know there are warnings in Scripture about this brothers and sisters, we need to heed first Corinthians chapter 11 for example, makes this very, very clear, this is Paul speaking about the Lord supper and in in Corinth need of this this city the church there was misusing the Lord's supper. They were they were really mistreating one another when they would gather together for communion.

So Paul has this stern rebuke for them in first Corinthians chapter 11 verse 27 he says 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.

Let a person examine himself then and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup for anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died if we judged ourselves truly would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned with the world is this real serious stuff.

The apostle Paul said the way we we approach the Lord's table, recognizing the kind of communion we have with God himself here by faith that something that we shouldn't minimize it's something that we should cherish lay hold of that we should as we approach the table come in repentance and faith. And if if we don't if were misusing and abusing one another well then there's a real problem. God's covenant going to judge us for that.

Paul said Melanie just say one more thing on on top of that question. And a lot of times people you know they hear that text me thinkable. I just don't feel worthy than to take the Lord's supper. Other times in the history of the church where people just said no. This is so, so serious, I just don't ever feel like II measure up. I'm just not going to take communion ever you have a Christian but I'm knocking to take the Lord supper that that actually happen in church history on on a couple of occasions, but I don't think that's that's what were supposed to gather from this we take this seriously, we come.

Knowing that were broken that we need desperately need the body and blood of Jesus for our spiritual nourishment communion. The Lord's supper isn't for perfect people for people who have no really been faithful in their devotions all week and haven't fallen in the center whatever note communion is for you if you struggle if you know you need grace.

If you long for Jesus.

You go to the table by faith and you embrace receive the gifts that he has for you. There is so really an important thing for us to consider and wonderful means of God's grace to us to receive thanks for that question.

This is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can call us in the next 10 minutes or so, here is the phone number is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673.

Now if you or someone you know is struggling with depression. We have a free resource that we would love to tell you about today. Yeah. And you know what it what it again this is just another really important topic bill because we know there are a lot of people who themselves estate may have this battle. The struggle with depression, mental illness or you know someone who does and so that's why we want let you know about this resource. Nine things everyone needs to know about depression and it is free when you sign up for our weekly newsletter we we created this resource to give you a foundational understanding of what depression is and how Christians can best help someone who suffers from depression. So head over to core to download nine things everyone needs to know about depression and of course you can call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-843-2673 right now. Let's go to a voicemail we received from Mary in Alaska.

I have a question about carry a lot of bitterness from that create anger and to carry out. In all my relationship and I know that it and I need to let go. How do I forgive and reconcile with individuals that are not aware you not recognize the wrong that they have done a that they have caught a Mary yeah but I wanted I want to help you. I want to encourage you. You know the way it should work out is when when someone has done something to hurt us to cause us pain. They should come to us in Jesus makes this very clear. He says in Matthew five verse 23. If your offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

I that's that's the ideal.

The sad reality is is a lot of times that doesn't happen, and sometimes not on some occasions, as you said, people don't even know they're not even aware of how their actions have heard us in the fact of the matter is I think we could all say you know I'm guilty of that of that there been times in my life where I've done something I need to know that it was having this negative effect on this person and yet it did. And so in one sense I was. I don't know if you had a conversation with this person get married but maybe one of the things you can do is help just going to them and saying, look, let me be honest with you when you did this it really hurt me. You sinned against me frankly and we we need that kind help because were sinners at times were blind even to our own sin you think of David and in his sentiment he needed the prophet Nathan to go to him and confronted him he didn't know that he knew he was blind to it and so what I would say potentially you know going to this person could be an act of love and being honest, and even even that being able to express yourself and share what what's taken place can be helpful in terms of healing to articulate the pain you've experienced and and how this person is hurt you. Now if they recognize what they've done and if they say wow, you're right. I'm so sorry, there can be reconciliation reconciliation requires two parties requires this other person. Mary to say man, I've sinned, forgive me, and there can be great healing there, and peace. But they don't always do that. Sometimes we do we confront someone with what they've done to us in late. They deny it they downplay it they just deflect the blame shift. You know I did it because of this or that instead of really owning their behavior and that's so difficult but you can still forgive. You see, you don't have to be bound in bitterness and anger and frustration that that is oftentimes what happens work when were unwilling to forgive, were called to forgive when people sin against us, whether or not they they really get it and that what that does. That frees us. It frees you and and where you get the ability to forgive is Jesus himself, focusing on the fact that we each of us have sinned against the Lord, don't deserve his grace and mercy and yet he lavishes his forgiveness upon us meditate upon that, meditate Mary on how good God has been to you in his son Jesus, he sent his son into the world to shed his blood so that each and every one of your sins might be forgiven. As you meditate on that great gospel.

I think that's what we get the ability the power to forgive those who have sinned against us that we hope that they they recognize that the date that they confess their sins, but that doesn't always happen but but you can be free.

You can forgive as Jesus calls you through the grace that he gives you the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of the gospel, the forgiveness that you receive.

Thank you for your question.

Your listing to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Let's go to Ellen and St. Louis Missouri Highland what your question for April. Quite a few Christian radio station noted that fine speakers there that I know this because on Christian radio stations and also those who are on the radio will speak more and more in the writing of call in the book then they speak and teach from the four Gospels met with Don and since it was supposed to be followers of Jesus. I am curious to why we don't focus more on the four Gospels.

The life of Jesus and the things that Jesus said then we focus on the things that call for that's a great question and I really can't say why one particular speaker might focus more on the writings of Paul are on the writings of Jesus I know personally for me in my ministry as a pastor I try to change it up as I preach the books of the Bible do an Old Testament book all do a gospel do something in the New Testament to try to get people the whole counsel of God's word but we don't need to create this sort of dichotomy between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the apostle Paul of the teachings of the apostle Peter, when Jesus sent his apostles out he he said to them. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit and get this, he said this Ellen verse 20 of Matthew 28 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, even to the end of the agency. What the apostles like Paul and like Peter were doing were teaching. Essentially, the command, the truth, the gospel of Jesus. And so they're on the same team. Wait, we don't have to think you know I'm focusing on Paul. Therefore, I must not be focusing on the teaching of Jesus. Because the teaching of the apostle Paul was what he received from Jesus himself, and Paul talks about different in places like the book of Galatians where he talks about how Christ brought him into the church saved him rescue him and so and I'm not sure about the various radio ministries and and why they might focus on one of the other. But the good news is, the focus is Jesus and his gospel, and whether you're hearing that from Peter Paul or from the Gospels themselves. It's one truth that we receive through holy Scripture.

Thank you for your question. MM thanks Ellen, let's go to one more call this is Wendy in Warrensburg, Missouri, Wendy, what your question for pastor. Israel resurrected Jesus planted scanning will receive our new Bonnie on one lean meat Jesus in the air and I were walking in the night and we were talking about the difference between burial and cremation with this concept that when a body to resurrect it doesn't matter.

Burial arsonist cremation. Yeah, thank you for that question Wendy, I don't think that it it does matter raised by the power of God, not by how well we were preserved in other ancient civilizations that believe safely if we embalm the body. Just write the preserve it well you know this is going to have some sort of benefit for this person in the afterlife. Let's fill their sarcophagus with all these treasures, and good things so that they can enjoy them, and in the world to come.

That kind of thing will know that's that's superstition.

You know it's not that the way in which were buried that ensures our hope of the resurrection. It's the fact that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and then rose again and we are united to him and if we are united to Jesus then whether or not we know we have a traditional burial were cremated or lost at sea.

That kind of a thing. We have the hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come in so our confidence is in Jesus and what he did what he is accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit. So look forward to that. The question of burial or cremation is really a matter of of personal conscience may Lord bless you thanks that question. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

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