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Until He Comes

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2021 8:00 am

Until He Comes

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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August 2, 2021 8:00 am

A church struggles to come to terms with what it means to serve the Lord. But it's not easy. All around are greedy and debauched people. Inevitably some of sinfulness has begun to infiltrate the church. Sound familiar? This scenario is not just our own; the early church of Corinth faced many of the same problems! Dr. Boice's study 1 Corinthians reveals a striking similarity between own battles and the struggles the early church.

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Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet Ministry of the alliance of convincing evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free 1-800-488-1888 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically. Most of the ceremonies of this world take great care to distinguish between people, so that those so are important The first place votes were less important gap.

A somewhat lesser place, and so on down the line until you get the people that aren't even welcome.

I've taken part number graduation ceremonies this spring and it is the essence of graduation ceremonies to bestow honor and to distinguish between people.

You had the opportunity to acquire doctorate degree you get to wear a role that has bands on the sleeve and you have a good goes a long way down your back about three quarters of the way to the floor. If you only have a Masters degree. You only get a hood that goes halfway down. If you have a bachelors degree at shorter than that. It's made of thinner material and and saw a lot. These are the ceremonies of the world.

But as I like that in the Christian church. There's the ceremony, or ordinance of marriage. For example, and where the wedding services properly conducted his testimony to the fact that the high and low all the mighty and those who are not mighty are all united in wedlock in the same way with the same violence the same opportunities to lose sight of God. True that sometimes people do strange things try to make their weddings unique. I read recently about couple that were married while skydiving was a very short service. I read this spring about another couple that were married in a burning house reason for that is that the woman was a firefighter and so she thought it would be appropriate to be married in the house. It was burning down around her was sort of a test site they were burning it for a training session of different firefighters and they set it on fire. The ceremony began and they had just a few minutes to conducted before the rest of the team came and put it out. She wore an asbestos dress instead of a bouquet of flowers. She carried a fire extinguisher and then she left her honeymoon on a fire engine in this particular case, the groom's family were not entirely pleased with the arrangement we have all kinds of differences, humanly speaking, but where in the Christian church, a man and a woman, and are married before administering the sight of God.

It is the same violence they take and it is the same words that are spoken whether they are wealthy, whether they are poor weather. They are famous. Whether they are utterly unknown. I suppose all the places in the world that is most evidence is in England where on the one hand you have the most splendid weddings ever take place wedding of a king or a queen of England in Westminster Abbey with all of the trapping and yet words are used in that service are the same words that the most humble person anywhere else in the British Isles.

If there married in a Church of England say and participate in now that's true of the Lord's supper.

This passage that we are about to study first Corinthians 11 speaks of the Lord's supper and what is chiefly in mind our abuses of the Lord's supper.

The Taken Pl. in Corinth for a number of one was the fact that when the Corinthians came together to observe the Lord's supper that observance had degenerated into what was essentially a banquet with very little spirit, if any, spiritual overtones, apparently in these days. Perhaps we don't know for sure, but perhaps some major because so many of the early Christians were slaves and didn't have a great deal of free time when they did have free time they tried to make most of it in their Christian fellowship and not to waste time going off to have a meal somewhere they would bring their foods together and they would eat it while they were observing whatever was happening in the service of that time and perhaps also because it had been accustomed in the Christian church in the early days also to observe the Lord's supper in connection with what was described as an I do pay our love feast of big Christian fellowship dinner where as part of the dinner. They will also observe the Lord's supper was anything wrong with that except that the way this was practiced in Corinth that happened that the Christians were coming together more for the food, then either the Fellowship of the spiritual blessing and so some wood, I think it was the original casserole arrangement would come with their dinners and because they had a lot of money they would eat and have a great big repast and others because they had very little money would come with very little or perhaps nothing at all. So thing was getting distorted. That way someone indulging themselves. Paul says, some were even getting drunk at the communion service and others were sitting over there and they really weren't participating in it.

All that was one thing was wrong with the other thing, which is closely wrapped up with it and which, as I read this actually seems to be the major concern of the apostle Paul supply conducting themselves in that manner. They were actually producing divisions among themselves in the very midst of the observance of that should have indicated that the church instead of being divided and all sorts. The first part was actually one only have to go back to chapter 2 first Corinthians 10 where Paul is speaking of the Lord's supper. Also in verse 17 and find them there, stressing the unity Paul says there because there is one loaf from which they participate.

We who are many, are one body, because we all participate in the one loaf he said the very way in which they were in the habit of observing the Lord's supper that is taking one [breaking it, distributing it among the many were there indicates that the church of Jesus Christ is one yet here they were in their particular observance of this lying unity of the body by creating the very kind of schisms that he had been deploring earlier in this book.

Apparently they had sex since Corinth was sacked but centered around the name of Apollo's because Wallace was such a wise and eloquent preacher or others to centered around the name of Peter. They said all where Peter's party. And then there were people were appalling people to thought they were more spiritual than anybody else in settlement. We are of Christ party, but any of these and then in addition, all of that with a wealthy and there were those who weren't wealthy and always just terrible big mess.

This bothered Calvin Calvin wrote about it in one place. He said it is wonderful and well-nigh pretentious that Satan would've accomplished so much in so short a time, we may learn from this example, what is the worth of mere antiquity. That is what authority is due to custom un-sustained by the word of God. Paul courses bothered by this. To so as he begins to write about NT is not disguising in any major his displeasure earlier in this chapter as he began to talk about worship in the weather.

Women were to be coming to worship with their heads covered or not. He begins with the word of praying she said I praise you so poorly gets into it that way when it comes to this point. This disruption this disunion. This schism in the Lord's supper. He says instead.

I do not praise you about this and he begins to talk about all the things they have done only Paul counters it is to go back and remind them of that which they certainly know which was the words of the institution of the Lord supper which is Paul says here very clearly is not something he had invented was not something that was practiced in some unique way by the church of Corinth as if they could have one kind of communion service while people somewhere else and something different. Although said Paul. What I delivered to you is exactly that which was delivered to me that which came from the Lord himself mainly and then he goes on to explain how when the Lord was betrayed on that very night gathered together with his disciples, he took bread, and he broken as he broke and he said this is my body which is given for you and he told him to do that in remembrance of him and then he said in the same way.

This is what all the churches observe. This is what came from Christ when he and finish that he took the cup, and he said this cup is the cup of the new covenant in my blood and as often as you drink this. Do it, in remembrance of me. And so we instituted that part of the Lord supper. Paul says as he gets to the end of this summation so whenever you eat of this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come, I sometimes said and I think it's very helpful way to look at these verses that they contain free time. Elements there is first of all reference to the past because Paul says, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ that were to do this in remembrance of him. That is where to look back and then there's the future.

Elements, because as Paul says, as often as you do this you show forth the Lord's death till he, and so where looking for Christ's second coming, which is future then because of that, because we're here in the middle between that which Jesus did it. His first coming and what is going to do at his second coming, because we're here I were living on the basis of what his daughter were looking forward to that second coming. We are to live for him and that means that there is a present element to the communion service chiefly in the fact were to examine our hearts in order that we might not eat or drink unworthily, but might begin to grow in grace, which is the reason for which the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament I when we look to the past. We look to Christ's death and when we look to his death. We look to that death not simply as a tragedy, not simply as the execution of an innocent man, and therefore the miscarriage of justice.

So we say well, things like that are bad, they should never happen again, but rather we look to the past is not sacrifice which Jesus made for our sins, and which was no accident, because it had been planned before the foundation of the world what it says it says Jesus was the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world and that means this far back as we can think and farther than that in the mind of God before this world began, God sent Jesus Christ aside to be our Savior by his death on the cross was necessary that he died innocent for the guilty son of God for creatures who had besmirched themselves with sin. We look to that were looking then obviously to that which is the focal point of all history, namely the cross of Jesus Christ.

It is a pity that the Lord supper in our interpretation of it. The words that I Lord use have become as they have become such a cause of division within the Christian church, chief cause of trouble here is the Lord's saying when he referred to the bread and said this is my body. This is been a cause of at least four major interpretations Roman catholic church at the time of the Reformation and to develop somewhat during the Middle Ages. These words said in the most literal of always they said if Jesus said this is my body, then that is his body, and that means that in some way, which we may not fully understand the brand, which represents his body in the ad also all the wind, which represents his blood are in the sacrament changed in the literal body and the literal blood of the Lord Jesus Christ said a word for word and theology is the word transubstantiation meant that there is a literal change in Roman Catholic theology that happens that moment in the past where the priest lifts up the host and pronounces the words this is my body which is broken for you. That moment a bell rings of the Roman Catholic service and it's understood the transformation literally takes place when the bell rings.

The worshipers kneel because now they were touring the hosts which is the bread and the wine which is now been changed into Jesus Christ and so in worshiping the elements they worship him. Now the reformers did like that.

I said that was patently wrong and I believe it is wrong though. I want to say by way of qualification that I believe there are strong Christians in the Roman Catholic Church don't understand necessarily that way recognizes Jesus Christ did die once for all, for their sediment trust, but as theology that is wrong. I would say that even as an interpretation of the historical circumstances of the Lord's supper is obviously wrong because when I Lord first pronounce those words saying this is my body which is broken for you. His body was right there. None of the disciples would understand when he made that kind of a declaration being seated before them around the very table where they were gathered that he was saying now, a great miracle is taking place here, and though you can't see it. My body which you see is not really here, but is being changed into the bread would've understood it that way, they would've understood it much, at least in a mystical sense and perhaps in a symbolic sense reformer said really that is what's involved when we say this is my body which is broken for you, pretending that there's some kind of miracle that's going on here so that the body of Christ actually enters into the elements of the elements actually change into the body and blood of Christ, but rather something else is involved in. Moreover, they said it is never the case that the sacrifice of Christ is repeated again and again is it is claims that it is repeated in the Roman Catholic mass, but rather Jesus Christ died on the cross once for all our salvation and our salvation comes from faith in what he is done. Not in some continuing arrangement which is maintained in the church continuously by priest Graham well so far so good but the difficulty is that the reformers themselves couldn't quite agree on what was happening. The view that was most antithetical to that of the Roman Catholic Church was that of Zwingli from Zürich English said all you make a big mistake when you begin to talk of any kind of presence of Jesus there in the communion service in the bread or in the wine English said don't you know that Jesus ascended to heaven's body is not here on earth, but certainly not in the communion elements. The body of Jesus Christ is in heaven at the right hand of God. So when we observe the communion service when we say this is Christ body and when we say this is Christ blood referring to the wine not saying that there's anything like transubstantiation always doing is remembering what he is none of those things are symbols of what was gone and there there simply to help us remember so the Lord's supper is essentially in the view of Zwingli, a memorial now third in like that Luther was a literalist where Scripture was concerned in the best sense, and furthermore Luther have a hearty distrust of human reason. Now he was a rational man and he knew how to use reason, but he was well aware that our sinful state are reason can often lead us astray. So when Luther came to these words and read. This is my body. Luther certainly wanted to take them in some literal sense. Luther didn't believe that the sacrifice of Christ was repeated with the rejected the mass when the priest held up the host. He was not doing the sacrifice of Christ all over again but said Luther were some way in which those elements actually become the body and blood of Christ was meeting the time of the Reformation where people tried to get Luther and Zwingli together.

They had their team there and I discussed these things and it broke down because Luther refused to be anything but literal.

At this point the story goes that he spilled salt on the table so the table was covered with this and then he wrote in the salt by scraping it aside with his fingers. The Latin word hope, S Corp. was mailed. This is my body.

Luther said this is where I stand and I'm not going to change on that because Zwingli was unwilling to accept that interpretation. The meeting broke up in others, common courses right though, the Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Zwingli ends don't think so, but Calvin's view the fourth goes like this is the Lord Jesus Christ present in the communion service all yes said, and he most certainly is the Lord Jesus Christ present in the special way when the bread and the wine are distributed all yes said Calvin. He most certainly is. But how was he present the Lord Jesus Christ present physically.

All that respect, said Calvin, Zwingli is right body of Jesus is in heaven. He is ascended up on high, from where he gave gifts to men and one of the gifts is the communion service but he said is that the only way in which Christ can be present as a matter of fact is that the most important way in which Christ can be present. Although said Calvin most important presence of Christ as a spiritual presence. That's far more important than the material thing.

So, just as the Lord Jesus Christ is with us in a spiritual way by the Holy Spirit, day by day so we can say in a very real sense hello, I am with you always, even under the end of the world so said Calvin in a very special way the Lord Jesus Christ is with his people in the communion service and the spiritual presence of Christ is imparted to them as they partake of the elements. I know there are many important differences between the various branches of the Protestant church, at least where that is concerned the Protestants are at least united in this the Lord Jesus Christ gave the communion service in the communion service is appointed which all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ can come and confess their sin and can be assured of forgiveness and can in some way participate in him matter-of-fact, say the reformers there is even a sense in which the communion service illustrates what it really is to be a Christian because being a Christian is not you understand merely an intellectual assent to certain doctrines so that we can say yes. I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. And yes, I believe he died on the cross for sin.

And yes, I believe the Lord Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, as the Scripture say that's important. It's basic is fundamental to Christian theology, but that alone does not make one a Christian. What makes one a Christian is participating in that one whom we so profound, so we do not say merely yes Jesus is God.

We say he is my God.

We do not say merely Jesus died upon the cross for us and we say he died for my sin. We don't really say rose from the dead.

We say he rose from the dead for my justification and we receive that by faith just the way we receive the elements, see the gospel in a certain sense is proclaimed in the elements as I gospel is proclaimed, we receive it. We take it in our hands, spiritually, and we feed upon it so it becomes part of us. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ becomes part of us through saving faith communion service has great power to do that. I was reading today Harry Ironside's commentary on first Corinthians, and he told about an experience of the that when he was in Japan was a Japanese their businessman who had difficulty coming to Christ because she understood that if he did that, he'd have to put Christ first to be feared to be did that he would have to stop making money or at least you have to stop making as much money as he was making. I was his hangup and so we struggled with it for a long time Ironside was there once a year later he came back.

The man was still there. He was listening but he had made a commitment when you going to do that.

He said well the man said. I don't know it's real struggle for me. I can't quite make up my mind was that Ironside were having a service next week like you to come. The man did part of the service was the communion service. This man sat often side while the communion service was going on as he observed that as he saw the Christians were assembled sharing and that which represented the broken body in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Big tears began to roll down his cheeks and something in it reached his heart and changed it.

Many came up afterwards and said I've held out against Jesus Christ for so long for so many years, but as I sat there and watch Christians were taken that only sacrament I recognize that Jesus Christ loved me and gave himself for me and so I want to become his disciple had something like that also happen here. Number of years ago before I was pastor here was a man who was sitting in the back corner of the church. One of the communion service and said he was not a Christian. He was well aware he was nodding understood that the communion service was for Christians only and so during the communion service when the bread was passed. This man refused to take it, and rightly so. The bread went by, but as the bread pass while I was aware of what he was rejecting he was rejecting that which represented the body of Jesus Christ broken on the cross for him in the moments after that the congregation was participating this man gave his heart to the Lord and then the service went on and the grape juice or wine, representing the shed blood of Christ was passed this time when the second element came by. He took because of the meantime, he had given his heart. Jesus Christ was a Christian, this man went on to become Dean Moody Bible Institute. Some years later and he retired from Moody, not so long ago say that's the spiritual presence of Christ in the supper. You say well is see not present at other times, yes he is. But there's a special promise of the blessing of Jesus Christ, where we gather together in that way. His name other two more time. Elements in this verse, the future element because we don't just look to the past. We don't look to Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again. And that's the end of it, but rather that same Jesus who died and rose again ascended to heaven and he's coming again is that I go to prepare a place for you and if I go I will come again and receive you and myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. That is the same Jesus, Jesus, and we look to in the past is the Jesus we look to in the future that Jesus is coming, and because of that, you say, there is the present element as well. The apostle John in his first letter in the third chapter is talking about the return of Christ, and he says one day were going to see him and he says when we see and were going to be like him, because of course we can't see Jesus in his glory.

While we are in our sin we have, to be changed to become like him.

We have to be holy as he is holy.

We have to be filled with love scenes filled with love and wisdom and mercy and all his other attributes. John says the day is coming when we will see him, and when we see and we will be like him and then he makes this conclusion. He says therefore everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. That's what Paul is talking about in verse 27 and following. He says there is a way in which a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can participate in the Lord's supper unworthily is mean being unworthy. It's not an adjective.

It's an adverb doesn't mean we come unworthy that was the problem. None of us can, all unworthy is talking about the manner in which we, whether we come unworthily by means is we can come treating the Lord's supper flippantly. We can calm taking it as well. Just another thing that goes on in the Christian church just another thing that fills up a little extra time on a Sunday morning, and without any real thought about the state of our souls is possible to do that tend actually take judgment to yourself. He said some of been so wrong in the way they approach the Lord's supper, that the Lord is actually judge the sickness about the loss of their salvation but was sickness and some actually fallen asleep reading some of actually die, but is taken that so seriously when course contrary is the way we should, we should recognize the Lord's supper for what it is a great gift of God to his people. A great opportunity for growth. The privilege of meeting with Jesus Christ, to the special spiritual way.

We understand that then as we come we search our hearts.

We asked the spirit of God revealed to us that which is displeasing in his sight by his grace we come confessing sin and receiving forgiveness for that sin which we certainly didn't.

Paul says whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

That is one way of saying that Jesus is most certainly coming.

The question is how are we going to meet him when he comes going to beat him. Having treated spiritual things likely going to meet him as those who have been faithful with profited from his gifts with fellowship with him at this table and were therefore ready to participate with him in that great fellowship of the great marriage supper of the Lamb spray our father forgive us for taking your gifts lightly.

We confess that we often do we treat the sacraments lightly. We treat the word lightly.

We treat Christian worship lightly. We treat even fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters lightly and do so we recognize to our own spiritual heart. Father, forgive us for that grant that in conviction of our sin in this area, we might be turned around, and so go in a way which is profitable way which values what you have done in a way which is honoring to Jesus Christ, with whom we fellowship. We pray in his name you're listening to Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Aiken, God's living word with pastor, the Rev. Richard Phillips and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia PA 19103 or you can visit us for Canadian gifts mail those 2237 Rouge Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON M1C 2Y9 ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologians. Thank you again for your continued support of this ministry

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