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Communion and Church Unity #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
July 11, 2022 8:00 am

Communion and Church Unity #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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July 11, 2022 8:00 am

Today, Pastor Don Green continues Teaching God's People God's Word. He'll begin a new series called -The Priority of Unity.- Exploring the rich meaning and endless benefits of communion in the believer's life. --thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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The greatness of the sacrifice, the greatness of Christ. The holiness of Christ the grace of Christ the mercy of Christ, the purity of Christ, the kindness, the gentleness, the tender mercies of Christ toward hello and welcome back to with green sounding past the Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill and today as Don continues teaching God's people. God's word begin a new series called the priority of unity today, exploring the rich meaning and endless benefits of community in the life of the believer is Don when Jesus said do this in remembrance of me meeting the practice of communion he wasn't telling us to perform some religious ritual right. His desire was for it to be more about a time of unified intimate reflection and the worship of our exalted king. Is that true bill when Jesus commanded us to come to his table for communion. He intended for us to particularly remember his sacrifice for us at the cross when he died for our sins. The elements remind us that Christ literally suffered on a literal cross to redeem us from our literal sense and my friend as you listen to the message today understand this communion is a time to examine your life for unconfessed sin and to renew your love for Jesus Christ and for fellow believers. I trust you beatified stay with us as we see how communion works in the life of the local church right here on the truth pulpit. Thanks so much done friend. Let's join her teacher right now with part one of a message called communion and church unity here on the truthful. Today I want to use this message to prepare our hearts for the Lord's table simply to focus our attention on Christ and the way that his work on our behalf. How that works to promote even our spiritual unity is a body of believers that gather together week by week, make no doubt about it here at truth community are supreme focuses the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not in a so-called seeker. It's not in a one particular man or anything like this.

Our focus is on Christ.

He's the one that we love. He's the one that we praise. He is the one that we remember as we come to the Lord's table and we do so with the knowledge with the certainty testified by the inerrant word of God that his righteousness and shed blood are the ground of our redemption turn to Ephesians chapter 1. If you would Ephesians chapter 1 as we prepare our hearts to remember our Lord in the way that he commanded. He said do this in remembrance of me. And so today we have a particular privilege not only of remembering Christ and is work on the cross but to do so in the way that he particularly commanded his people to do this is a this is a Sunday of blessing and privilege for us the truth community to be able to remember our selfless sacrificial Lord in Ephesians chapter 1 verse five it says that God predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us as Christians, we see ourselves in this passage, as Christians, we realize that the apostle Paul is describing God's people. The people for whom Christ died.

As he speaks here in Ephesians chapter 1 in our salvation was not an afterthought. It was the purpose of God through all eternity from eternity past. He predestined us to the very position that we now enjoy in Christ.

There was never a moment in time where God's saving intention toward us was lost on his mind. He predestined us for this very purpose, that he might adopt us into his family to belong uniquely to him, not only for time, but throughout all of eternity future brothers and sisters in Christ we have such a magnificent position of privilege. The belongs to us as Christians. He predestined us to adoption and this is not primarily about us, even this is to the praise of the glory of his grace. It says in verse six we are saved, not so that we might be the object of attention, but that Christ himself might be the object of attention that he might receive the glory for the wonder of redemption and look at verse six is to the praise of the glory of his grace is undeserved favor those of us who deserved judgment instead are on the receiving end of divine blessing and privilege, not because it's not because we had done anything to earn it. It says that in verse six he freely bestowed this on us in the beloved.

It was a free gift of God's favor and kindness grounded. Verse seven it says in him we have redemption through his blood, we have been purchased out of our slavery to sin at the cost at the price of the lifeblood of the perfect son of God, we have it says in verse seven, the forgiveness of our trespasses.

God will not hold our sins against us any longer. Those of you that come conscious of the fact that you have fallen short in the past week in ways that cause your soul. Pain we see here that the blood of Christ is sufficient for the forgiveness of those sins.

Scripture says that he is removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west, a metaphor for saying that in no way will God ever hold our sins against us anymore.

He has removed them from our account, where guilt was charged to us. He took it away and applied.

Instead, the righteousness of Christ to our account so that we would have a perfect standing with a holy God. You let me sinners by nature, you and me sinners by choice, preferring disobedience to worship and in our time before Christ dead in our trespasses and sins.

Here it is laid out in marvelous glory that we have redemption through his blood. Our slate has been wiped clean.

Righteousness is been given to us and look at it in verse seven. Paul just piles up the.

The magnitude of the goodness of God toward his people. It's according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us. God didn't merely drizzle out a little bit of kindness a little bit of sugar upon his people according to the riches of his infinite grace he has poured out blessing upon us eating lavished upon us treasure upon treasure upon treasure of us who were in the rags of unrighteousness before him. He brought us to himself and he did it at the price of the blood of Christ whom we remember at the table were grateful partly were grateful for Christ were grateful for this love for this mercy for this kindness for this grace and we understand without pride, without apology, we understand that this payment God's initiative, not us.

We are in this position because he first loved us. We love Christ, not because we first loved him, but because first John 419 says he first loved us the priority. The initiative came from a holy God toward sinful people not from a sinful people toward a holy God. That's humbling. It's joyous at the same time we realize that we are here at this table that were commanded to come that were welcome to come at the initiative of a gracious king at the initiative of a merciful Savior, a wonderful Savior.

That's what were remembering here today as we come to the table.

The sacrifice of Christ in beloved corporately as we contemplate this today. The greatness of the sacrifice, the greatness of Christ. The holiness of Christ the grace of Christ the mercy of Christ, the purity of Christ, the kindness, the gentleness, the tender mercies of Christ toward us is what we remember and it should make us humble.

It should make us grateful it should drive us to worship and as it has that effect upon us and will prepare our hearts for communion to take communion as Scripture commands in a in a worthy manner. One of the ways we take communion and worthy manner is that we cultivate our spiritual unity together as a body of corporate believers look Ephesians chapter 4 for just a moment. Ephesians chapter 4. One of the main points that Paul has in this epistle is to promote the unity of the church. This is the driving application that he starts with after these first three chapters and Ephesian of laying forth that the great doctrinal realities of our salvation. He says to apply it. He says in verse four he says therefore I therefore this is the implication that we should take out of the grandeur of our salvation. Paul says in chapter 4 verse one.

Therefore, I the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called. We've refreshed our memory in these opening comments about the grandeur of the magnificence of the call that God is placed on our lives. The grandeur of the fact that the eternal son of God would lay his life down to save us to make us his people will will how do we respond in a manner that worthy of that the him that we saying just before the message said that if the whole realm of nature was mine.

That would be an offering far too small to give back to Christ.

How could you give back a physical dimension to properly thank Christ for the spiritual blessings that is given to us is the point of that what what price. What price do you put on the sacrifice that saved your soul. How do you how do you value that if I gave all of the realm of nature. It wouldn't be enough to say thank you. Paul has that kind of thought in his mind there in verse one. He says realize realize that the magnitude of the reality of the cross places a call upon your life to respond in a worthy manner and he goes on to explain what that looks like in verse two, as it were almost chastened by the price of our salvation as we remember the undeserved lavished grace that's been poured out upon us. He says in verse two with all humility and gentleness, with patients showing tolerance for one another in love. Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

One of the ways that we respond in a worthy manner to the sacrifice of Christ, is it were conscious of the priority of the unity of the body of Christ.

The unity of our of our own life together as a body of believers.

The one of the ways we take communion in a manner that is worthy of Christ is to cultivate that spiritual unity to understand that that we take communion, not in isolation, not a spiritual silos, as it were.

We remember as we come to communion, the Christ died for a people of which we are apart we are we are conscious of the fact that he died for the church and that is part of the church. We want to do what we can to preserve the unity of that to make that a priority that that subjugates our selfishness and our own desires and conflicts in subjects and says no unity is more important than these other things, the passage that Andrew read for us earlier helps us cultivate a spiritual perspective that will help us appreciate the importance in the priority of church unity as we come to communion. That's what we want to look at here. Andrew read Ephesians 1 verses 15 to 23.

I won't repeat it here as I preach here today but I just want to pull out a couple of brief items for you to help us help us be mindful of how it is what is what is the what are the spiritual attitudes that cultivate spiritual unity so that we not only individually, but we corporately could take communion in a worthy manner today that we would that we would honor the sacrifice of Christ with the proper attitude not only toward him, but also toward one another.

First of all there's two things that I want to bring out from a passage to first of all, we thank God for each other. We thank God for each other.

Look at verses 15 and 16 of Ephesians chapter 1 remembering the Paul had been expounding on the redemption that is found in Christ.

The coming up is going to be this emphasis on church unity here.

He turns to prayer in verse 15 is one of the driving engines of the response that we are to make to the sacrifice and as we live with one another. Paul says in verse 15.

For this reason I to having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints do not cease giving thanks for you while making mention of you in my prayers. It's appropriate that Paul would give thanks, for believers because the source of their spiritual life came from God himself.

He recognizes the spiritual life that has been described to him by these people that have come to him and to describe the faith of the people at Ephesus and in other areas.

Paul says I am so grateful to God about these things that I have heard Paul recognize that they had true faith in Christ and whatever their other problems might be the addresses later in the letter Paul could affirm that faith and thank God for them to recognize that the Christians that he was addressing for us to recognize the Christians with whom we gather here have their spiritual life is a gift from the sovereign gracious God, and as you see that life in one another as we see that life in each other a love for Christ.

A love for his word and desire to serve the sweetness of spirit which I believe is really coming to mark the life of truth community. We realize beloved the what were seeing manifested around us is something that God has done in our lives individually and corporately, and we realize the source and therefore we give thanks to the source, God, thank you for these believers with whom I share spiritual life together and as we take communion want to encourage us encourage you to remember that Christ died not only for you he died for the rest of us as well.

We share in this together.

We are to gather the privileged recipients of divine favor and as we look and contemplate who sitting next to us and who's in front of us and is behind us. We realize that we are part of something bigger than ourselves that we are grateful for work of Christ that was for a people and as we think about it from that perspective, it elevates our view of the sacrifice of Christ even more is not just the Christ is been gracious to me. He's been gracious to you, Holly. He's been gracious to you body.

He's been gracious to you Chuck. I could go down the line and this this multiplies our joy in taking communion. This multiplies the wonder of the gift I'm with people as I take communion that share in like manner of the gift you've been an object of the redeeming grace of Christ. Just like I have, and vice versa.

The appropriate response for that is for us to thank God for that. The God thank you that you are just merciful to me. You were merciful to a lot of other people in this room to that attitude will help us not be unwittingly self-centered in our approach were grateful for the grace that saved us were grateful to God extended it to others as well and were grateful. I'm grateful I know you are to were grateful but somehow in the course of his magnificent providence.

He has pulled us together as a body of believers for us to share in that life together to go through life to walk through life loving his word loving Christ and loving each other. That's a great great gift bought for us at the price of the body and the blood that we remember here at the communion table today. Communion draws us together. Communion pulls us together in a way that reminds us of the corporate life that we share in Paul says look back in verse 15 and 16 with me. He says I'm thankful for your love for all the saints. He's thankful for the visible way in which they had manifested love in practical ways for other believers.

It was a tangible love, not something merely affirmed with their lips, but absent from their lives that has application for us as we live together as believers, as we go through life together and let me just draw out 1 Particular Way in which I think it helps us, it is easy to find fault with other Christians in the church.

Now I haven't seen this is a major problem in our the life of truth community but I just want to point this out to help us strengthen and gird up our hearts even more. It's easy to find fault in the church Sam's a grumble or Sally is always late. Do you know what so-and-so did to me know the spirit. Some of you come from churches that cultivated that angry notice that anger in your lives will as we come together around the communion table. I want to encourage you to lay that aside in the spirit of thanking God for one another. When you remember the fact that Christ Jesus didn't work for the salvation of those were gathered together here today we recognize that work of Christ in their lives, and we thank God for it and all of a sudden the things that were prone to complain about the things were prone to find fault in suddenly seemed to diminish by comparison and that's the way it should be as we come together and remember the great sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. It should cause us to look at one another with a more generous, gracious spirit. If Christ is had grace upon you than I should have a generous gracious attitude toward you as well and vice versa, as were pulled together around a remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ.

It causes us to lay aside the complaints, knowing that thing about it this way, beloved God in a manner of speaking, laid aside his complaints against you. In fact, he laid them on the shoulders of Christ and punish Christ for his legitimate complaints against you and you now stand in the position of privilege in favor that you didn't learn.

Doesn't that spill over into the way that we look at each other doesn't spill over into the way that we think about one another. If God's been gracious to you. Can I not be gracious to you.

Can I hold things against you, that God has forgiven you for see the spirit of gratitude for salvation spills over into life of the body it changes the way we look at each other while want to tell you I want to tell you, beloved, but is that starts to feed into the way that we approach the communion table will be taking communion in an even more worthy manner, as we let things of complaint and faultfinding and bitterness go because there simply drowned in the magnitude of the flow out of the mercy of God upon you. Upon me so, so grateful grateful for Christ grateful for each other. What the come together as a body of like-minded believers who love Christ together. Here is our spiritual oasis in the midst from world right so grateful but will have to pause therefore today on the truth pulpit with Don green and friend if you like to share this message of this entire series with a friend.

We invite you to visit the truth. that's the truth pulpit, Don will press on in our series called the priority of unity next time with the second half of today's message. Meanwhile Pineville right join us next time is Don green continues teaching God's people. God's word around

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