Yesterday we started looking at reasons why we come to the Lord’s Table. Many Church people take what we call “communion”, yet many might not be Christian!
That seems like a harsh statement, yet how does one determine whether a person is Christian or not? You are right, we can’t look into one’s heart. We do not have spiritual vision. We are not God. But then, although we may not judge the world, we have the right to judge the Church (people) by how they live and speak. All too often we find people not living according to what they say they are … so I say again, not all people coming to the Lord’s Table are Christian in a Gospel sense … regenerate.
The exercise we started yesterday, apart from helping us lovers’ of Jesus understand what “do this in remembrance of Him” means … also helps us to gauge whether we are Christian or not! So far we have seen that when we come to celebrate the Lord’s Table, it is an act of obedience; an act of remembrance; a testimony to His death and to confess that salvation is through Jesus’ Blood alone. Today we continue declaring that …
5) We come to celebrate the Lord’s Table as an act of fellowship.
1 Cor 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
Participation in the Blood of Christ and in the Body of Christ reminds us that “participation” means fellowship. As verse 17 declares that there is “one loaf” … one Messiah, one Jesus, one Sacrifice. Being part of His Body … which is made up of all believers (called the invisible Church) … we all find our spiritual nourishment and assurance of salvation in Jesus alone … one loaf! This is why, when we partake of the bread, symbolizing His Body … we refer to this as “one loaf” … and the great idea of eating together (each having a small piece of bread, biscuit or wafer) signifies we all participate in the one loaf (Christ). Now there are two elements of fellowship coming out here. The first is fellowship with Jesus! The old divines would say Jesus is present at the Lord’s Table more than at any other time. We in Christ, at the Table, fellowship with our Lord because this is the most vivid way we are able to commemorate His Death and Resurrection (Gospel) and its benefits for our eternal pardon and salvation. The second element is that we fellowship with each other for at the Table we become aware that we are His Body and what He did for us, apart from salvation was to secure an eternity together with Him and each other. It might be a glorious moment when next coming to the Table to reflect upon this point!
6) We come to celebrate the Lord’s Table as an act of praise and thanksgiving. Is it possible to thank God sufficiently (enough) for Calvary because of Him electing or choosing us before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight? He could have given the nod to anyone. To those living a far more moral life than we were or could … yet He stooped down and beckoned us to surrender to His Lordship and gave us His Spirit to enable the act of New Birth, exercising grace, causing faith unto salvation. Paul writes
1 Cor 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
More than at any other time, when we come to the Table we come to thank God for His wonderful mercy … with us in mind.
7) We come to celebrate the Lord’s Table as an act of proclaiming Jesus’ second coming. Often Jesus’ Second Coming is neglected when it ought to be one of the main topics next to the gospel call. The fact that Jesus is coming again ought to be a motivation for holy living because when He comes again, He will end life as we know it. This will be the “end of the world” and before He ushers in the New Heavens and New Earth, He will be seated on the Throne of Glory … as Judge seated on the Judgment Throne. There He will exercise judgment according to the records about every soul ever born which are held in heaven. Those Born Again will be judged and found not guilty and ushered into the Land of Glory (Heaven), whilst those whose names are not to be found in the Book of Life will be caste into Eternal Darkness, where there will be gnashing of teeth in the Lake of Fire, where the agony never ends, which itself is eternal … for the eternally damned. The motivation for holy living and evangelism lies in the Doctrine of the Second Coming. Pray that the church starts preaching and living in the light of Jesus’ eminent return, His coming again … after all, at the Table we acknowledge this:
1 Cor 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
8) We come to celebrate the Lord’s Table to commit ourselves to holiness. Proof of separation from the world and separated exclusively to Jesus is seen in our personal pursuit of holiness and Christlikeness.
1 Pet 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God
Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Jesus’ Blood sacrifice was to make a people holy (separated) for God as well as a people holy (sinless) in practice. At this moment of time you who are Born Again are indeed positionally holy yet in practice there is much work to do, yet throughout life’s journey as a believer you will slowly see the gap between position and practice become smaller as you seriously and intentionally pursue the objective of God’s intention for you:
Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son …
Thank You my Lord for everything the Lord’s Table means to me as I intentionally follow Jesus. Amen.