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June 17, 2022 8:00 am
What we remember as we come to communion is that salvation came to us because God is kind.
Because Christ is gracious because Christ is loving salvation came to us through the undeserved mercy of God. Welcome to another special edition of the truth pulpit with Don green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi again, I'm Bill Wright and today Don presents a communion meditation this time. Centered on God's kind and done what was the focus for this service.
We know Bill when you talk about the death of Christ for his people. You have plugged into a very deep well of infinite resources of things that you could talk about.
As you consider the work of salvation's sufferings on the cross, the benefits that we derive from him and today what we do is a little bit different.
Another aspect that we focus on is to focus on something that communion tells us about the nature of God and the nature of Christ in their attitude toward his people and that's going to be our focus for today. Do tell us more about this focus well today. What were going to see is that as we remember Christ in communion. We have the opportunity to remember the kindness of God toward us in Titus chapter 3 it says when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, and it goes on in verse six, whom he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior and what God was doing at the cross. What Jesus Christ was doing was a great act of love, of mercy, of kindness toward undeserving sinners saying I will intercede for them.
I will give myself I will give my life and I will suffer for them so that they will not have to pay the penalty of their sins. What we need to remember as we contemplate that is that that is a great expression of love and kindness from a merciful God, toward unworthy sinners like you and me don't help us think through the implications of that just a little bit further will sure Bill, I'm glad to do that and I think my friend as you listen to the broadcast.
Just ahead you're going to find these things kind of naturally coming out of the text and bringing impact to your mind. The first thing that we remember as we go to the communion table 1 of the early things we should remember every time we take communion is that as we take communion as you take the bread and you take the cup in a place where communion is biblically practiced, you are acknowledging in an open way that you are a sinner that you have sinned against God, and that you need help from outside you to save you from your sin because you cannot save yourself that is at the heart of the communion message. I am remembering what Christ did for me because I was a sinner and he was kind to save me.
And so every time we take the elements to 1° of conscious awareness or another we are saying, I am relying on the shed blood of Christ to save me from sin, to give me access to God to give me entrance to heaven when I die, and that only Christ can save me. Not only can I not save myself. What I actually deserve his eternal judgment instead. And so the taking of communion is a visible statement of reliance on Christ and a recognition of his work on our behalf, and that remembrance holds out a great assurance for us, doesn't it will bill it most certainly does and it's part of the reason why Christ instituted communion for the church is to bring us back to a settled assurance of what he has done for us. Communion reminds us that Christ is paid the full price of sin on our behalf that we have nothing else to do. We can't contribute any merit to our salvation. We rest in Christ alone and as we do that we are remembered of the promises of Scripture that God has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west that he will remember our sins no more. That is a wonderful place for your soul to come to and to rest in. Is the full and complete forgiveness of sin that God offers to every sinner who believes in Christ, truly and repents of their sin in order to embrace Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Thanks Don and Fred have your Bible open and ready as we join our teachers now teaching God's people. God's word in the truth.
Pulpit was always a wonderful time to celebrate the Lord's table together to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to remember that God and love sent Christ to be the Savior of the world. For those of us that know him to realize that in a particular way. He extended that love to us. He drew us by the power of his spirit to faith in Christ.
We like to kind of set communion apart. We like to prepare our hearts before we take communion with a little bit of a meditation not to attack it on at the end of the service and kind of rush through it as though we just needed to get this out of the way communion is a very important time in the life of the church important time to remember our Lord it's appointed by the Lord, that we would do this in in remembrance of him and communion is a matter is that Scripture says that we are to to approach in an in an honest way to approach in a manner that is is worthy of that of Christ in the sense that that we don't do it haphazardly. We don't do it hurriedly, but we remember we stop we think about what were doing and we think about what we are remembering and as we do, we come with a sense that we we come in the spirit of confession in the spirit of can of repentance setting aside sin not taking communion casually not taking it while holding the cup in one hand while were holding sin in the other, but rather contemplating what were doing and coming with the spirit that is is letting go of San end remembering Christ fully. I'd invite you to take your Bible and turn to the book of Titus back in the New Testament shortly before the book of Hebrews, if that helps you find it and just a very brief meditation of communion preparation in Titus chapter 3. There such a very important text on the nature of of salvation and let me just say by way of reminder as you finish turning their communion is for true believers in Jesus Christ. This is the Lord's table is for those who belong to the Lord who have given themselves to Christ. It's not for the world this is. It's not for just anybody to calm its is for those who live who have truly received Christ as we come in that spirit as we speak now as believers and to believers. I want to remind you of the nature of of life before Christ for you just ever so so briefly look at Titus chapter 3 verse three as we remember what we once were, as we remember the way we were Titus three verse three says that we also wants were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
It's it's a it's a portrait in dark strokes is in its it's a portrait of of a heart that was bound to send that that love sand that was it that was enslaved to lust that was enslaved to hatred will how is it then when that's what we were all like, how is it then that anybody came to Christ. It's obvious that if you were in chains, to sin, you are not free simply to walk over to Christ and to come to him.
How is it that we came to Christ we know as you look at that verse. Let's look at it again there and just let it sink in a bit.
We were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another beloved.
You see something really crucial really basic there. If you are in Christ. If God saved you. It is not because you deserved that you did not deserve salvation. God did not save you because you were worthy of it. God did not save you in response to infant baptism. He doesn't save anybody that way.
He didn't save you in response to a religious ceremony to walking and I'll to simply praying a prayer he did not save you in response to good works. He did not save you because you avoided certain sins. Even this text in verse three lays a blanket condemnation on us all in the manner of life that we formerly lived in so we were dead in trespasses and sins is Ephesians 2 says we were separated from God is Isaiah 59 verse two says we were separate we were helpless we were lifeless we were dead and we wanted it that way. So how is it then that we find ourselves here today in Christ. How is it that we find ourselves forgiven. How is it that we receive new life that we received eternal life. What is it then that we remember as we come to communion today. Why is it that salvation came to us. It was not because of us.
It's because our Christ is kind.
He is good he is loving look at verse four. In contrast to that former life of disobedience.
Verse four says, but see the contrast. Forget about your former life doing anything that contributed to your salvation. To the contrary, in contrast to that verse four but when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. You see there's two kinda categories you could say place before us. Our prior life in Christ, which was dark and black and dead in sin, which could not possibly have been the soil from which salvation came. Do you see that my friends do you see that beloved your prior life did not think there was nothing in the soil of your prior life. They gave route to salvation.
Nothing. There was nothing there.
You can't find that anywhere in verse three, and so we cancel that we set that aside, we recognize that there was nothing about me that brought me to salvation. This was an act outside of me.
This was an act of God upon me.
This was driven by something outside of me and what we remember as we come to communion is. Is it salvation came to us because God is kind. Because Christ is gracious because Christ is loving and because of God's kindness, we find ourselves in Christ today. Not because we were good because salvation came to us through the undeserved mercy of God that has a dual effect. I like to think of it as we come to communion. First of all, it humbles us we, as we come as those who had nothing in our hands to bring simply to the cross of Christ, we cling. And so we come on that basis we come not in it it it humbles us to realize we contributed nothing to this gracious state that we now find ourselves in.
While it's humbling, it and it drives pride out of our hearts. It gives room and it gives soil to something else, it gives rise to great gratitude gives rise to a profound thankfulness. God, I was in that state dead in sin and doomed. I was I'd I deserved eternal judgment.
I deserve to go to hell and you got here I am in Christ.
How grateful I am to you oh God how grateful I am to you oh Christ that you saved me as a an act of sheer kindness and mercy and grace to me and that it was nothing of my own.
We remember that were grateful for that. We come to communion with with with joyful spirits and that since then, but joyful in Christ not in ourselves. Beloved as we do that as we rejoice in that.
Let us never forget that that salvation that we enjoy now, came at a price, a price not of our blood that have the blood of Christ.
Look at verse six with me after he said in verse five that he saved us, by a work of the Holy Spirit on his heart. Verse six whom meaning the spirit. He poured the spirit out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. So that being justified by his grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life beloved, let me remind you if you're new to the things of God. If you're here and you don't you don't these things are all new on your ears, let me say this to you as a privileged opportunity for me to share this with you what we remember in communion in the bread and the cup is that Jesus Christ paid our debt of sin, the debt sin created a debt that had to be paid to created a curse that had to be taken away.
There were sins on our account that had to be removed and what we remember in Christ our Savior. What we remember in communion is that it is the it was the broken body of Christ. It was the pierced body of Christ. It was the shed blood of Christ alone. That is the basis upon which we can approach God apart from the cross of Christ. There is no salvation there is salvation in no one else acts 412 says there is no other name given under heaven by which men can be saved.
Salvation is received by faith alone in Christ alone and if you are hearing Christ. This table reminds us of the great price that was paid for your salvation, the son of God left heaven in a on a mission of love on a mission of mercy, a mission of great personal sacrifice to him where he went to the cross bore the wrath of God. The earth went dark for hours as he bore the weight of our sin buried in the tomb alive. On the third day there in their alone is our salvation found there in their alone was the price paid, beloved, it is by grace alone that you have been saved through faith alone, not of your works in Christ alone, not of yourselves, to the glory of God alone and that's what we remember as we come to this table. Christ appointed a table like this for his people to remember him for his people to recall to bring to mind again afresh with with tangible memory aids in our hands to help us remember that we come to this table in humble gratitude to remember what our Lord did to deliver us from that awful state of sin that we had found ourselves in. Allow me to say just a word to those of you that have not been born again. The do not know Christ. Perhaps there are resisting him you're caught in a tussle between the world and what you know to be true. This table reminds us of the mercy of God. It reminds us that that God in love comes to sinners just like you and offers free full, complete, immediate forgiveness of all of your sins. If you would simply come to Christ.
Confess your sin and receive him. You've heard the gospel and now God calls you may God commands you to repent of sin and come to Christ in faith that you might be forgiven. It's a command of love. As we said in the past, it's an invitation, but it is a command come to this Christ that you might be saved if you have received Christ you're not consciously clinging to sin, we invite you to take these elements and still be shared in just a moment, but if you haven't received Christ. Or if you're professing Christian living in sin that you refuse to repent that we would ask you to honor Christ enough to let the elements pass. You shouldn't take the elements when you're consciously holding on the sin pretending with one hand to to believe and to trust this Christ while in the other you reject him, but for those of you that not living perfect lives but earnestly seeking Christ earnestly trusting in these things that we remember today. This table is for you and this table is for you to remember your Christ with joy and with gratitude with a sense of thanksgiving to have been delivered from such a life is that to such a life is this.
Let's bow together as we pray. Father, we do pray that you would help us as we take of these elements to do so with joy to do so in remembering Christ. In gratitude, thanking you for what you have done on our behalf and our Lord Jesus. So we remember you, our Lord, as you commanded us to do.
We remember your body. We remember your blood.
The price of our salvation offered up to the father is an atoning sacrifice for sinners just like us. We thank you for the work of the spirit that open our eyes to sin and then lead us to Christ, that we might be saved. We thank you for the fact that salvation is not for this life only.
It is an eternal life one day to be in heaven with you for all of eternity. What a great marvelous magnificent salvation you've purchased for us, Lord Jesus, and that's what we remember today in humility.
And yet, with great gratitude. We thank you for your grace to us in Jesus name, amen.
That's a special communion meditation on God's kindness, presented by Pastor Don Greene to his congregation.
A true community church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
While this is the truth pulpit and on. How do you think churches should practice communion in light of what we heard today will bill. I think it's very important to remember that Scripture gives a lot of discretion to local churches to practice communion in the way that they see fit within these biblical guidelines we have discussed today about remembering Christ, and so forth.
Jesus said do this as often as you do it, in remembrance of me. However often you do it do it like this. And so even in the frequency in which communions practice there is discretion for churches to to vary according to what they want to do at truth community we tend to do it on a bed about every other month basis. We try to keep it special. You know, I've been in very good churches and practiced it on a monthly basis. There been churches that practice it on a weekly basis and so there's an element of discretion that is given to the churches. What you need to remember my friend as an individual believer. However, you often you practice communion is to practice it, in remembrance of Christ in remembrance of his kindness in remembrance of his death on your behalf of that broken body which was the price of your salvation.
If you as an individual believer approach communion and that kind of earnest meditating way.
However, your church practices communion is going to be an opportunity for you to practice your devotion to Christ and offer him your sincere worship. Thanks, Don. You know there's so much more to communion that at first glance as we come to a full realization of its symbolism. We do become much more aware of the attributes of God through Jesus Christ, and of course kindness is certainly at the forefront of friend we hope you been blessed by today's communion meditation on God's kindness.
Pastor Don Greene will again take us to God's word for more important teaching next time on the truth pulpit. So plan now to join us. Meanwhile, we invite you to visit us at the truth. Pulpit.com.
There you can download podcasts or find out how to receive CD copies of Don's radio messages for your personal study library and if you want to go even more in depth. You'll also find a link follow Don's pulpit that will take you to Don's full-length weekly sermons not subject to the time editing. We need for radio broadcasts and if you happen to be in the Cincinnati area, check out the service times for truth, community church, also on our website and plan to visit.
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