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Communion Conviction #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2022 8:00 am

Communion Conviction #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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August 12, 2022 8:00 am Pastor Don Green will look at how our lives as believers should look compared to how the world lives.Click the icon below to listen.

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Today is a day for us to set all of those things straight for this day as we come to communion. This is an opportunity for you to consider Christ and to reflect on where you are at in your walk with him hello and welcome to the truth with John green founding pastor of truth Community Church, Cincinnati, Ohio ideal today as Don continues teaching God's people. God's word has the first half of a message titled communion. Conviction look at how our lives as believers should look very different from the way the world lists and dawn, when the Christian lives, his or her life too close to the world, rather than being set apart for God.

It's kind of like trying to mix oil and water is will bill that's a great concern for any biblical pastor and certainly one that I carry with me in ministry.

You know my friend Scripture warns us that faith without works is dead. When God truly saves someone he gives that person a new heart that rejects sin and has a fresh love for Christ and for Scripture and a desire for holiness as we grow in those truths we will develop a life of conviction that is expressed in the material that you're going to hear it on today's broadcast. Your life will stand out for Christ if you're truly redeemed. That's what were going to look at today here on the truth pulpit. Thanks Don right now. Let's join our teacher for part one of his message titled communion. Conviction of one thing that we try to do here at truth Community Church as a pattern of our fellowship is a pattern of our life is a body is to establish reverence for the Lord's table communion is one of two ordinances that the Lord has given to the church to to observe on an ongoing basis.

Baptism, which we believe is the outward sign of regeneration in the heart that a person is been born again and also the Lord is given us the table of communion. The Lord said very clearly do this in remembrance of me. And because it is a particularly special way of remembering the Lord because the Lord specifically commanded us to remember him in this way, it is important for us beloved to take communion seriously and I realize it's not that way for everyone and I realize that we come from different backgrounds were communion has been observed in different ways, but I want to to think through communion and and particularly what kind of convictions do we bring to the table as we remember the Lord in this manner. Well, I think that it's important for us to see that what you think about communion is ultimately of a reflection on what you think about the Lord himself really the two can't be separated in in any real meaningful way. When you realize that the Lord said remember me by this observance and this observance is a symbol of his blood, his body sacrifice for us. We really can't make too much of a distance between what we think about the Lord and what we think about being present for the observance of communion with that said, and I speak gently and I speak as one who seeks your spiritual good for some, not just in this room, but throughout the church in general. For some, communion is simply an optional experience. They easily skip the observance if it doesn't fit their schedule. If it doesn't quite work out for them to be there then it's not it. It doesn't bother them a dozen paying their conscience at all to miss communion because I don't see it as something that is important and worthy of their time and worthy to make a priority in life. That's not good that's not worthy of Christ to who shed his blood and said remember me in this way will.

If we treasure our Lord Jesus Christ, and if we treasure the shed blood that secured our salvation, then it shouldn't be that in our hearts we would want to be in a place where that is specifically remembered, particularly as part of our experience in our local body and an ongoing part of our life.

Communion is not optional.

The Lord Jesus commanded it, and so we have the opportunity to obey him here today, but for others there is a different risk. I suppose a different pothole that you can fall into and that is when communion simply becomes a wrote experience. It's just a matter of going through the ritual and and showing up it but not engaging your heart in what is being said or what is being done and as long as you take the bread and take the Then you know you can check that box off for another for another time for another month and people like that go through the motions of communion with no meaningful impact on their hearts.

Beloved, that's not good either. How could it be that that we would have a particular appointed remembrance for us that that which secured our eternal salvation, that which washed our sins away and approach it as if it were just another aspect of daily life, like brushing our teeth or you know just taking care of the personal needs of the day that's not good either. So what we see here is that the element of communion begins to expose to your heart. It exposes to you and your attitude and your response to it exposes to you. It is a very good barometer of where you're at with the Lord, and if communion is something that you don't care about now. Let's not talk to seriously about how much you care about Christ if it's something that you just go through mechanically with perhaps your heart is gotten cold and needs to be warmed up and if communion is something that you can easily ignore you know I don't understand your spiritual life.

To be frank with you, and so today is a day for us to to set all of those things straight for this day as we come to communion. This is an opportunity for you to consider Christ and to reflect on where you are at in your walk with him. See communion is a is is a probe.

It exposes our convictions. It exposes what we really believe about Christ and our trust toward him and strong convictions about the Christian life will enable us to honor Christ as we take communion we we want to want to just kinda take a broad look at the way that we believe about Christ and the way that we believe about what it means to be a Christian today as we prepare our hearts for communion.

So all that we say here and that from the pulpit here today is designed to help prepare you so that you can take communion in a worthy manner. Or perhaps since communion is only for those who truly know the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps it's an opportunity for you to say you know what my life doesn't reflect that at all.

I better pass on these elements because the elements of communion are AAR a statement.

Communion is a statement that that is a visible outward manifestation that says I am I am acknowledging that I am a sinner, guilty before God. I recognize that my only hope of salvation is in Christ alone.

I have truly repented and put my faith in him and is a symbol of remembrance of the Lord commanded. I take these elements in remembrance of that, upon which I rest my eternal destiny and there are convictions that flow in the life of someone who has truly repented like that that go along with that and that's what we want to see were going to go to the book of second Timothy and I invite you to turn their with me. It's not a it's not a text specifically about communion that it's a text that goes to the very convictions it should animate the Christian life. The convictions of which we are going to speak here should be true of every believing Christian. Were just going to look at second Timothy and an overview fashion here in a way that I trust will be an encouragement to you as we examine ourselves before we come to the table here in second Timothy. The apostle Paul is writing to Timothy at the end of his life.

He says in chapter 4 that his time of departure has come, and so he's conscious of the fact that he is he is saying his final words in a sentence that he is writing in a way that he may not be able to speak further to Timothy about an Timothy is is the man is a war that is receiving the baton from the apostle Paul the apostle handing off the baton of gospel ministry to a man who is not an apostle who would never be an apostle, but one who would be a strategic leader after Paul's death, and after Paul goes to heaven, and Paul was evidently concerned about the weakness the Timothy had manifested there was a timidity about his spirit. He was easily discouraged and he was physically weak when you read the fullness of what Scripture says about him. And so Paul is writing this letter. Second Timothy to strengthen his convictions so that he could rise to the occasion of ministry. After Paul was gone.

This is urgent to him as he's writing at the end of his life. These are his final words and because Paul love the gospel and loved Christ it was very urgent to him that Timothy would pick up the mantle and carry it on with strength. Now why would we care. Why would you care about what Paul says to Timothy from 2000 years ago. Well, listen the message that Paul has for Timothy's is completely applicable to us today as Christians ourselves, we have received a trust from those who have given the gospel to us.

We have received a stewardship from the Lord Jesus Christ who said that precious blood on Calvary on our behalf, and that calls forth the response in a calls forth in an energy of life, a conscious direction of will and volition and emotion.

A conscious commitment that says I am going to live my life in light of these truths that have captivated my soul.

That's what a true Christian does tell a true Christian thinks about these things.

It's not something superficial. It's not. It's not just an add on to life. You know like you got your job and you've got friends and you got a home in oh and I've got Jesus to know that's not it at all.

If that's the mindset with which you approach Christianity, my friend, you might ask yourself, am I even a Christian because we are to love the Lord God. We are to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all of our heart, soul, strengthen mine is to be the preeminent priority of our hearts in a way that nothing else compares to it. So there's a distinction that communion reminds us there's a there's an elevation of Christ that it brings to our hearts that we need to take to our inner man.

So what Paul says to Timothy shapes our lives, and it also prepares our hearts as we come to the Lord's table here.

It's my prayer that you would listen with a receptive and tender heart that's willing to let the spirit of God convict you at points where you need to be convicted and also that the spirit of God would strengthen and comfort you and encourage you, or perhaps your tender heart is been bruised because you come here conscious of the ways that you have fallen short, and so were going to rely on the spirit of God to take the word of God and apply it to the hearts of the people of God so that we can come to the table of God and remember Christ in an appropriate way will first of all what what can we, what can we take away from this, what should we.

What should we see as we read first Timothy will give you four things to examine your hearts with here this morning and the first one is this is that the reality of being born again of being rescued by the blood of Christ means this. First of all, it means that you should be a Christian with conviction. You should be a Christian that has conviction about your life.

You're not a vacillating person. Maybe I believe maybe I don't that the realities of the work of Christ and the authority of God's word are are something that is settled in your heart. It's not open to negotiation. It's not open to being reconsidered. This is something that you know to be true that these things are settled and it is it is the ground upon which you stand, and it is a ground that you will be firm on be a Christian with conviction. What you say what is a conviction what you mean when you say that we ought to be one with conviction. What here's what I mean by that conviction is a fixed belief through which you interpret life and duty. It means that that you believe something to be true and you adjust your life and your affections. Accordingly, and that this is not this is not something that waivers over time. You don't know what you're going to think tomorrow no AA could a Christian is someone who is convinced of the things of the gospel and these things are established and firm and not to be negotiated. We start with that and Paul illustrates this.

He calls Timothy to be a man of conviction as you look in chapter 1 in verse eight. It's very very interesting what Paul says to him, here and let me just let me just maybe back up to verse five is is writing to encourage Timothy and he says he says Timothy I'm mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to Kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Why do you think the Paul says this to why does Paul say Timothy God hasn't given us a timid spirit. But what a spirit that is full of power and love and discipline was given it to them because Timothy is quavering he's he's shaking it's it's uncertain about what his next step is going to be and so Paul is a were rides in like the Calvary and waives the flag of the glory of Christ in the honor and the blood of Christ performances Timothy rally around this flag rally around the person of Christ and stir yourself up to duty and commitment that is worthy of the Christ that we believe in. And so he calls them in verse eight to this conviction. Verse eight he says therefore do not be ashamed. Notice that, therefore flowing out of the fact that God has given us a spirit of power and love. He says don't be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me his prisoner.

But join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.

Timothy Buck up there may be hard times coming and you need to be a good soldier of Christ Jesus you need to rise to the occasion and look we talk about this in comparative comfort herein. Middle America very much. My heart is very much mindful of the friend that I have in the Middle East who is a who is a a leader of many churches, in a very dangerous place these in the Middle East someplace was a travel ban for Americans. I would go there to be with him to support him. There's a travel advisory against going to this place.

He literally risks his head there in that environment where such hatred is being manifested in so much blood is being spilled. He risks his head by standing up and preaching the gospel of Christ, showing the courage and the faithfulness of Paul here is calling Timothy to he is living out and paying a price and risking his life, why, why would you do that because we as we as Christians are called to join with those who have gone before us in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God you don't rise to an occasion where your neck may be sought off unless you are a man of conviction in a much lesser way. You know we all feel if you're like me you feel the fact that sometimes we can retiring in and you're not as bold, even in your witness here where there is no physical threat to your life. Well, we need to be mindful and reminded of the fact were called to be people of conviction that are faithful and willing to suffer for the gospel. You don't suffer for that which are not convinced about you. Don't suffer for that which is negotiable for you.

Paul says to Timothy, Timothy, there are fixed beliefs that we have in the we we yield even our own lives before we would yield to what we believe yield what we believe, I should say. Paul would eventually give his own neck to the executioner for what is writing here.

Look what he says in verse nine.

Why is it you say why is it that you know I'm use to Christianity. Like why should I just think about Christianity at such a deep level. Why should I be so committed to Christ that I would be willing to suffer for him even to the point of death will verse nine answers the question for you. He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was granted in us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. There is a transcendent element to being a Christian. There is an eternal purpose of God at work in the hearts of those who believe and we are convinced of these things that we cannot see them were convinced of them because they are revealed in Scripture. God is working out his eternal purpose according to his grace and that means that we transcend this world and embrace the purpose of God, O beloved. Don't you see that what we have here at the communion table set before us is a reminder of an eternal purpose. It's been working out throughout millennia.

In the we we step into a small slice of time is God is working out something that transcends all of our lives, and that the glory of that and the price of the blood that was shed to secure our part in it is of such infinite worth that. Where were fixed in that we would never back off from that and that that would shape the way that we even approach the table today with a sense of reverence that this symbolizes something much greater that we cannot see that this symbolizes the price that Christ paid for my soul and he endured the agonies of the cross, both in a physical sense, but in a much greater sense the price of separation from God bearing the eternal judgment of sin in his body and his infinite perfect person so that your sins could be washed away and that you could be set right with a holy God. We need to be a Christian with conviction and Paul manifests this in his own life.

He said he calls Timothy to it and then he says what his own attitude is it about looking at it verse 12 there with me. He says for this reason I notice his personal example here. He says in NM and remember both of your were talking about someone who's late in his life.

He's he's approaching the end he's filled with love for Christ and love for Timothy and he realizes that there is an important transition. That's about to take place and and his heart bleeds through with this his own conviction comes forth what he's convinced of verse 12 he says. For this reason, I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I've entrusted to him until that day. Standing with courage as he faces the executioner sword standing with current saying Timothy, I'm unmoved. That's why I suffer these things.

That's why I'm not ashamed is because on mindful of all the Christ is done for me to lead me to this point and in humility of mind.

He bows his knee and he bows his neck to the Lord who saved him and offers up his life is his final sacrifice of praise will beloved, if that's the fountain which is handed to us the precious faith that we have, then we must be people of conviction as well.

We must be resolved not to be ashamed of the gospel, and we must instead be convinced of the truth of the gospel and of the sustaining grace of God.

So we come out right here what I'm about to say should be settled in your mindset told there is no negotiating this point that nothing, not even suffering will cause me to move away from fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel which saved my soul.

Are you a person of that kind of conviction is it that important to you is that that's settled in concrete to you that this is what I believe I am price this and I don't care what happens to me in an earthly sense, my affections in a transcendent way belong to Christ and nothing will cause me to move away and I will not be ashamed. And if commitment to Christ causes me financial loss all bear the financial loss if it cost me friends. It cost me family relationships. I'm willing to pay that price because my heart belongs alone to Christ in my affections and my convictions will follow that which purchased them. We must be Christians of conviction now. Secondly, as we follow through and what Paul says here we say okay I'm a person of conviction, while it seems obvious to me when yet when that's settled in your mind that the second point will be true is that you must be a Christian who pursues sanctification a Christian who pursues sanctification. And here's the point. Beloved is that the conviction of which were talking about here today will lead you to a practical godliness that sets you apart from the thinking of the world. It sets you apart from the way that the world talks and what the world loves and from the conduct of the world that's John Green, bringing our time in God's word to a close for today will hear the conclusion of the message titled communion. Conviction next time and we hope you'll join us that meanwhile if you'd like to learn more about Don and his ministry. Just visit the once more. That's the truth pulpit… I'm Bill. Looking forward to seeing you again next time when Don Greene continues teaching God's people.

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