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September 9, 2022 8:00 am
Communion reminds us that Christ made the necessary sacrifice with the bread that represents the body with the juice that represents the blood we remember him who loved us first.
Scripture says that we love because he first loved us. Thanks for joining us on the truth pulpit with gone green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hello again on Bill right today as Don continues teaching God's people.
He has a message for you, titled heartfelt communion. Donna spoken often on the subject as the ordinance of communion is taken very seriously among his congregation in this message zeros in on four specific realities that you cross your mind as you partake of communion. The bottom line is that communion should not be taken lightly as it represents the heart of the gospel. Christ suffered and died for our sins that firmly in view.
As we join gone green. Now in the truthful Scripture cautions us, tells us to not to take the Lord's supper in an unworthy way and we believe that the best way to guard against that is to reflect from God's word on different aspects of of the cross of propitiation of salvation in ways that would bring to our mind.
The sobriety of the cross that would bring to our minds the seriousness of communion and yet in a way that that reminds us the price has been paid for the redemption of our souls would bring us joy in remembrance that our souls have been on the receiving end of the love of God, the undeserved unmerited free grace of God saving us from our sin according to his eternal plan for our eternal redemption so that we would be with him throughout all of eternity. Those are the most magnificent themes that a human tongue could ever declare that a human ear can ever hear. And so we want to remember those things and let me just in this brief meditation just bring four realities about the cross to your mind, in one sense, there unrelated in the sense that they don't come from all the same passage, but I just wanted to give you some thoughts to to center your mind on and especially to center your heart on the center your affections on that we might remember exactly what it is we are commemorating let me say this.
First of all that communion reminds us of the sanctity of God. Communion reminds us of the sanctity of God by which I mean this the God who created heaven and earth, the God of the Bible is holy. He is separate from us.
He is perfectly righteous. He is sinless he is God above all, he is the most majestic high King and we as sinful creatures are not able to approach him on our own. The prophet Habakkuk said in chapter 1 verse 13 he said your eyes are too pure to approve evil and you cannot look on wickedness with favor. So there's this great holiness of God, that in standing alone, is an imposing force for the fear of God in our hearts and we realize that none of us could approach him on our own because Jesus himself said in Matthew chapter 5 verse 48 you are to be perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect.
When you remember the great holiness the great sanctity of God are mindful of the fact that you fall far short of his glory, and so none of us could approach him in our own merit. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God you have. I have an communion reminds us of that great truth. The reason that we needed a mediator in Christ was because there was a golf too vast for us to bridge on our own and that golf is not simply our sin but the sanctity of God. Communion reminds us that you do not you have not, and you cannot fulfill what God's law requires of you in thought, motive, word and deed and the communion table reminds us that God is holy and that there must be a mediator between God and man.
If any of us are to be reconciled to him in light of our sin. Communion reminds us, then of the sanctity of God. Secondly, communion reminds us also of the seriousness of the gospel. The seriousness of the gospel.
Let me invite you to turn to Hebrews chapter 10. If you will. Hebrews chapter 10 beginning in verse 26 Is Your Finding Your Way there we remember at the communion table that the price was paid for the redemption of sinners that Christ accomplished redemption through his work and through his obedience and now after his resurrection. The gospel is proclaimed to all of us. The gospel comes to us in God offers free forgiveness of all of your sins, at the cost of. Here's his dear son, the holy God whose law we have broken the holy God whose realm we could not enter the holy God and love sent his blessed obedient to eternal son in order to be the sacrifice for our sins, the one whom we could never have called down from heaven by our own authority came down on his own authority came down voluntarily in order to live a perfect life in order to give that life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins in love, manifesting unspeakable grace in measurable grace showing immeasurable patience and kindness and love and goodness to unworthy sinners like us communion reminds us of those things. But, beloved.
What I would have you remember in this moment in time this moment in our services. This is that that kind of holy love that kind of manifest grace that the great infinite worth of Christ and the sacrifice that he made at the cross demands from you.
The fact that you would take that seriously, and that you would respond to it when we come to the realm of the cross we come to holy ground where, figuratively speaking. We take our shoes off and realize that this is a matter to be to be treated with sobriety was seriousness with with earnest contemplation, with sarcasm banished from our souls with comedy banished from our thoughts with all manner of frivolity and human silliness set aside to realize that this is the great momentous occasion of the universe that we are recalling here and that we are recalling the one single solitary act that had the power and ability to redeem your soul from sin, to bring you out from the dominion of the devil and to deliver you to the realm of God's own dear son.
And at the alternative price of eternal damnation for your sins. Oh, this is serious, yes, it's a manifestation of grace but it's not to be trifled with.
And Scripture tells us that in no uncertain terms in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 26 look at it with me. It says if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who is set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severe punishment, do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the son of God, and has regarded as unclean. The blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace, for we know him who said, vengeance is mine, I will repay, and again the Lord will judge his people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God as serious as it is to violate the law of God. This passage teaches us and conditions us to think that it's an even more serious crime of cosmic proportions against God to reject the gospel of Jesus Christ that there is no excuse for that. When free forgiveness is offered to you when you are called and commanded to repent and believe in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and that God offers this freely in love to spurn that offer to turn away to reject Christ, whether through outright defiance or simply through in casual indifference or from a from a deferral it says I'll take it up another time friend, I want to tell you that that is the greatest crime against God that anyone could ever commit communion reminds us of this. To refuse the gospel is to scorn the sacrifice of God's son in such contempt for God. Such indifference to God such ingratitude for a free offer of the salvation of your souls can only magnify your pre-existing guilt to eternal, infinite levels, the gospel is serious and communion reminds us of that, even as it reminds us of the sanctity of God. God is holy and he says in his word. I will be treated as holy. In fact, look at Leviticus 10 where that statement is made. Leviticus chapter 10. This is the passage where the sons of Aaron were slain for offering strange fire before God. They offered incense and strange fire which he had not commanded them in chapter 10 verse one says in verse two.
Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, it is what the Lord spoke saying by those who come near me.
I will be treated as holy and before all the people I will be honored and so my friends what we realize here is that God intends his word to be taken seriously and if the law of Moses required the death of those who refused to do so much more now is the gospel is proclaimed in Christ is presented. We find something even more seriously before us that calls for us. Our most earnest response will thirdly you could say this that communion reminds us of the sacrifice of Christ reminds us of the sacrifice of Christ. Look at the gospel of John chapter 10 with me if you would John chapter 10. This sacrifice of which we have been speaking in the elements that the red juice, reminding us of the red blood of Christ, the bread, reminding us of the body which was literally nailed to a cross on our behalf. We realize that there was a real God man, a real God in real human flesh, who in real time really offered his life up on a cross and was really nailed to it. His blood was literally shed. He literally felt the nails and even more literally felt the wrath of God the eternal wrath of God on our behalf.
This was a sacrifice that Christ made for us in Scripture tells us that he didn't voluntarily look at John chapter 10 in verse 17 John chapter 10 verse 17 and as we read this passage, we realize that there was no external compulsion. There was no higher authority, causing Christ to do this.
None other than the, the eternal counsel of the triune God of whom he was the second member of the second person in John 10 verse 17 it says. For this reason, the father loves me because I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own initiative.
I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from my father as we remember the sacrifice of Christ. One of the blessed things we remember is is that in love. This is what our Lord was glad to do on our behalf. It was obedient to the plan of the father, but Scripture tells us Jesus said I am doing this on my own authority I voluntarily do this beloved, let it warm your heart. Let it come for your heart. Let it be your your your comfort in the midst of the consciousness of guilt that we all feel from time to time to realize that the Lord Jesus Christ gladly voluntarily in love, in mercy, lay down his life and that's what we remember here at the cross. This was the greatest act of love that humanity will ever know. This act of love is the will be the song of believers throughout all of the ages of eternity to magnify Christ to love him to bless his name because he loved us in our unworthy state and at the cost of his own precious life offered up a sacrifice that was sufficient to save us from our sins. My friend, I want to tell you and remind you that no matter how close you are to the person sitting next to you, your spouse or child friend. Whoever you may be next to that dear child, you hold in your arms. I want to tell you that no one has ever loved your soul like Jesus did. And no one ever will. And as a result of that Christ has claim on the deepest, highest affection of your heart so that there is no one else in competition for him for that in throne place of highest love and praise in the interbeing of your inner man. That's what Christ deserves. That's what he commands from you is to love him with all your heart, soul, strength in mind and to and to say with to say with Paul. I love him because he loved me and gave himself up for me. One of the things to remember is is that if you're a believer in Christ that Christ died for you by name.
He didn't die for a sinful lump of humanity for to be sorted out later.
Who would be saved. Christ new you by name. God the father chose you by name before the creation of the world in order to enter into this salvation and when Christ was on the cross and when Christ was had was executing the plan of redemption.
My Christian friend.
He had you in mind by name.
He thought of you as he suffered, your sins were laid on him as he suffered your particular sins were laid on him and he took them all upon himself is what Paul is saying in Galatians 220. He says he loved me first person singular and gave himself up for me first person singular. My Christian friend, you can speak about Christ in that way as well.
Yes, God loved the world, and sent his only begotten son to save whoever would believe in him. But if you're in Christ you can say with the apostle Paul.
With that same singular purpose and and laserlike focus. He loved me and gave himself up for me.
That's what communion reminds us of that sacrifice of Christ so that we remember in communion what the apostle Peter said in first Peter chapter 3 verse 18 Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God so that he might bring us to God.
The cross was Christ bringing us to God it wasn't us going to God, it was God coming to us and doing what was necessary to bring us to himself.
That's what we remember communion communion reminds us that Christ made the necessary sacrifice with the bread that represents the body with the juice that represents the blood we remember him who loved us first, it makes all the difference in the world my friends to remember and to understand who the initiator and salvation was, it was not you, it was not us it was not me. Scripture says that we love because he first loved us while you were alienated into strange and outside the covenant of the promises of God.
Christ came and died for you. Christ loved us and gave his life for our sins. That's what we remember communion.
We remember that we have an elder brother who now intercedes for us in heaven, having paid the price for our sins, and every aspect of communion that it points us to reminds us of his love for our soul and the sacrifice that he made on our behalf.
That's what we remember, this ceremony. This communion reminds us that Jesus Christ has secured the eternal safety of your soul. These are wonderful truths on the this promotes a joy in your heart that goes beyond the superficial happiness. We realize that in in these truths which Scripture proclaims to us that in these things we have the most valuable possession in all of the world. We have the pearl of great price. It belongs to us through faith in Christ. Finally, we could say this is the communion reminds us of of satisfied justice. Salvation is not simply an expression of of the love of God, although it is that what the work of Christ accomplished was it fulfilled the justice of God.
It fulfilled the demands of the law of God, yes God is holy. Yes, you have sinned against him.
Yes he judges sinners just like you but in Christ all the demands of justice have been satisfied in Christ. Everything that God requires from sinners has been fulfilled. The perfect righteousness of Christ applied to our account the fullness of the penalty of your sin paid in full at the cross. That's why Christ could say and cry out at the crowning moment of his death, it is finished.
Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit. The cross supremely reveals the love of God for your soul and communion remembers that it is all been paid. The Scripture says these words to us in first Corinthians chapter 11 verse 27. The Bible says. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord, but a man must examine himself and in so doing, he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. What should you examine yourself for.
First of all, only a true Christian should take the elements. This is the Lord's table. It's for the Lord's people. This is not something for an unbeliever for a non-Christian to partake of these elements is to confess, is to symbolically confess the Lordship of Christ over your life. When we take the elements we are making a public profession of our guilt. We are making a public confession of sin that says I need the sacrifice of Christ to cleanse me from my guilt. Are there patterns of sin that you refuse to address this is a time for you to contemplate that into repentant and if you're holding some sinful pattern in your life to to confess that into to commit your heart toward repentance. Turning away from it before you take the elements because in communion we remember a sacrifice for sin. How unworthy. Would it be for us to in one hand beholding on the sand and with the other hand, putting the remembrance of the sacrifice for sin into and onto our tongues. I would be right.
Would it so we need to contemplate these things walking in Christ, not perfect, but with your heart devoted to him your heart, seeking him your heart, hating sin, when it when it manifests itself in your life and that's what's true of you and your conscious of your trust and faith in Christ to take communion in a worthy manner for you as an obedient Christian. Let me encourage you to take it with joy to take it with gratitude to realize that that you are remembering the one who is loved your soul and truly redeemed you and that he gladly accomplished redemption for you that he gladly fulfilled the law on your behalf that he gladly paid all of the sin that he invites you and welcomes you to come to this table to remember him to be blessed and encouraged in the remembrance of his love and the sufficiency of his sacrifice on your behalf and to remember and to anticipate that one day soon enough you'll be with him with this world with sin in the sinful flesh left behind and nothing to hinder the full fellowship of the died to bring you into and so in that sense we take it in a worthy manner. When we take it with heart felt gratitude. The next time you take communion at your church.
We hope you will remember what you've learned in today's message titled heartfelt communion. Pastor Don Greene will have more edifying teaching from Scripture next time on the truth, pulpit, and we hope you'll join us then, but right now, here again is done with a special invitation or friend. If you are anywhere near the Cincinnati area and you don't have a good church home.
I invite you to visit us at truth community church.
I'm in the pulpit. Almost every Sunday and we have a loving congregation that would simply be thrilled to meet you and welcome you to our body, we are striving to manifest the principles that you heard taught today. Why not come and see us. Bill will help you find us on our website.
Just visit the truth. Pulpit.com for directions and service times.
Again, that's the truth. Pulpit.com you can also learn more about this ministry. I'm Bill Wright.
Join us next time. For more from the truth. Pulpit as Don Greene continues teaching God's people. God's word