A Heart Check Before the Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:27–34

Posted by Dan Jarms on December 3, 2023
A Heart Check Before the Lord’s Supper
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Main idea: Check your heart well before taking the Lord’s Supper

  1. Am I giving the Lord’s Supper it’s proper weight?
  2. Am I causing division or strife in the church?
  3. Am I considering the Lord’s discipline?
  4. Am I taking practical steps to unite the church?
  • Automated Transcription
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    We are stepping into First Corinthians chapter 11. It's our second half of that Nathan looked at it last week. And if you're new with us today, you're coming in in the middle of a scene that something is very common in a church, which is the Lord's Supper we take, we do a ceremony where we take some elements and we share and eat them together to remember Jesus death. Now, Nathan preached on the meaning of that last week, and it's set in a setting where the church and currently in Corinth was treating it very sinfully. And Paul has to correct that. Now this comes to the correction part of it. But as we read this, I remembered a good friend of mine, Andy Schneider, who's theologian, Pastor, once posted on social media about evangelicals, Protestants, confusion about the Lord's Supper. As Protestants, we don't think that the Lord's Supper infuses any grace, that we pay as offsets for our sins that judgment day. We don't believe that. So on one hand, we say the Lord's Supper does nothing for you. But it could kill you if you take it wrong. Like what? Yeah, we're going to try to clear up that confusion, stand with me for the reading of God's Word.

    First Corinthians 1127, through 34. Whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks, the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself then and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup for anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined, so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another, if anyone is hungry, let them eat at home, so that when you come together will not be for judgment, about other things. The other things I will give directions when I come, this is the word of the Lord. Father, thank you for how you love us. Thank you for giving us Christ, who is the payment for our sin. Jesus, thank You for Your spirit, which empowers us to obey. That's the core of the new covenant. And we would pray that You would help us walk in holiness. That's father what you want. That's why this urgent appeal is made here to think carefully before we take the Lord's Supper. So I pray that you'd help me be clear, understanding the scriptural text that it would be a powerful, make a powerful impact on our hearts, that we would demonstrate unity and we would demonstrate our devotion to you every time we take the elements together. And now we pray that You would help our church family we are burdened and grieved. There are members here who are doubting their faith, turning their back on Christ, and we are burdened. There are some just so struggling in sin that they have doubts help them. There are other brothers and sisters who have serious illnesses, cancers recovering from long term illnesses, ongoing suffering, give them grace this morning, and help us make sure we keep them in our hearts and prayers. Father, I pray that You would help help us now as we understand this, help the churches around our city hold fast to the gospel of Christ and to each other, proclaiming him in this precious season that we celebrate Christ's name, Amen. You may be seated. Well, we were honored. Linda and I and my daughter Brenda were on a tour bus in between the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem about the fifth day of our trip in Israel in 2019. Linda was sitting in the front with our daughter Brenna, both of them get motion sick so they need the front seats. I was in the back, giving up the other sets of seats so that other motion sick people could could have a good window. They were chatting with our guide about his family and how many kids he had and how long he'd been married and, and suddenly Linda realizes that we both had fun gotten that it was our anniversary. She said to Brian, I think today's our anniversary like as if you have to say, I think I think today's our anniversary and both that and I forgot. And they both laughed. And we got up for lunch. And they didn't say anything all through lunch to see if I'd remember. Just Just before we got back on, she asked a few questions to jog my memory. And when I finally remembered I did what any embarrassed guilty husband would do. I made a defensive excuse. It's bad enough to forget your anniversary, it's worse to treat it sinfully you know, a marriage ceremony and anniversaries have something in common with the Lord's Supper. The first Lord's Supper, expressed the ceremony that began the New Covenant. And a marriage is about the only thing left in our culture that expresses a covenant. That is a mutually committed relationship. The first or the first Lord's supper expressed the ceremony that began the New Covenant. And that is where God committed to make a people for Himself who would truly love Him, follow Him worship him, and he would bless them for all eternity. That's what the elements represent what it took to create that covenant. And the Lord's Supper that Jesus instituted then and now we celebrate is like the anniversary. Only we celebrate every week. And there are plenty of ways to ruin an anniversary. I can tell you some. And there are plenty of ways to ruin the Lord's Supper. But I have to say this that I'm going to use a technical term. The New Covenant is a gazillion times more important. technical term. It doesn't even underlined in red in, in my Word document like it's a real word. It's so much more important than a wedding ceremony. The eternal realities that it portrays are a gazillion times more significant than even an anniversary and that's an important one. And last week, Nathan took us through verses 17 through 26. To show how the Corinthians were mishandling or abusing the Lord's Supper and what Jesus really instituted. This week, the apostle Paul is calling us to take it in a proper manner. At the Lord's Supper, Jesus presides at the table through His Spirit, maintaining his commitment to his bride, and the Church, His Bride eats the meal remembering what he did, and renews her commitment to him. That's what we're doing week in and week out. Now, if you're new if you're not a follower of Christ, one of the things that I hope to help you see today is that salvation in Christ not only has to do with rescue from sin, it does have to do that. But it also has to do with being included into God's kingdom into a relationship with the King of the universe, and into a family. Brothers and sisters, princes and princesses of the king. And if you're a child here today, and you're sitting with your parents, and you watch the elements go by every week, I want you to see how wonderful Jesus is. How awesome he is how true faith and repentance then produces grown up commitments. The other passage that deals with the Lord's Supper outside of what Jesus did all the Gospels have something about the Lord's Supper three of the times, it's very much like the one that was just preached on last week in Acts chapter two, the Lord's Supper as part of the ongoing gatherings and if you read Acts 242 through 48, you would see what happened in the community was awe and wonder and joy and rejoicing and singing at what God has done. And that should be the norm. That should be what it's like most of the time. But the self righteous and class conscious Corinthians had brought the sinful excesses of Corinth into the Lord's Supper. Somewhere getting drunk, the rich, everybody brings potluck The rich brought the good stuff. And then they didn't really want to share it with the poor. And so they went ahead and ate the poor who struggled in had what was leftover. And it was the equivalent of the Old Testament abuses or oppression of the poor. Impulses that's that's a shame. That's a shame. So Paul has to correct that. But I don't want to tell you right up front, it only takes two things, two things. To celebrate the Lord's Supper in a worthy manner, and experience that awe and that joy it only takes two things humble faith and repentance. A person who is continually trusting Christ and repenting of sin before Christ, and before brothers and sisters, will really experience that blessing from God.

    That's what Paul wants to get Corinth back to. And that's what he wants us to ensure that we keep. So the big idea this morning, is this, it's really a heart check. Check your heart well, before you take the Lord's Supper. Check your heart well, before you take the Lord's Supper. Don't Don't just think about it. Oh, boy, here are the plates coming, I should think about this. This is going to produce a mindset and that you think of well ahead of coming to the Lord's supper with how you deal with your conflicts, how you deal with your attitudes toward other people. And it helps you be prepared. I take that from verse 28. Verse 28, says, let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. I take it from verse 31. If we judged ourselves truly we do a proper heart check. We really discerned we really put it the proper judgment toward it. Discernment toward it, we would be taking it in a worthy manner and experiencing the blessings that God intends. So this morning, I'm going to give you four questions to ask how do I prepare for the Lord's Supper are four questions to ask right out of this text? Well, before you show up on Sunday mornings, to take it with the saints. For questions that will help you take it in a worthy manner and experience the joy and resolve that it's designed to produce. Alright, here we go. Number 1am I giving the Lord's Supper its proper Wait, am I giving the Lord's Supper, it's proper Wait. There's a lot of confusion about the importance of the Lord's Supper, a lot of confusion about it, I gave you one of those. It does nothing for you. But it could kill you if you take it wrong. Like that's, that's confusion. So we should we should understand what it is and give it the proper way that it's do. While on the one hand, it doesn't make us more of a child of God or earn us merit. On the other hand, it does signify important realities. And there's two realities that I want to drive home for you today. One has to do with covenant realities, because I don't think we often understand salvation in covenant terms. And the second has to do with Christ's love and humility. What Christ was willing to do to restore us to the eternal King. Verse 27, says, Whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. eating the bread drinking of the cup is just what he talked about in the previous verses, those two elements of the Lord's Supper. And then he talks about an unworthy manner it and I use the word weight because the Greek word for Worthy is the idea of matched scales. So whatever the truth is, of the gospel, we are to walk worthy we are to live in in balance with that or in a way that matches it. If we've been giving these privileges we need to walk in those privileges and unworthy manner is to treat it out of balance is to distort it.

    It means practically to disrespect, dishonor, or treated carelessly. Remember the Lord's supper now is the ongoing ceremony, remembering the new covenant in Jesus blood. Jesus death then deserves great honor. So covenants are really important in the Bible. And today we only have marriages one functioning covenant that seems to make sense to us. But in the Bible covenants are the backbone of quality, enduring relationships between humans when you see them there, and especially between God and man. Quality, enduring relationships between God the King, the New Covenant when you saw it last week versus verse 25. This cup is the new covenant in my blood when you see New Covenant, the New Covenant finishes the line of six major covenants in the Bible. And I wish I could go through them. Each of the covenants had a covenant leader, like Noah, or Abraham or Israel. And, or David and, and those covenants had a leader and those, those leaders were united with the people or they had descendants. Something like a covenant was there with Adam, and all his descendants, God gave him a sacred set of vows to commit. Same with Noah, same with Abraham, same with David, and all of them failed in keeping the covenant, and so did their descendants until Jesus. Their problem was so bad that God had to promise throughout the later prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, a new covenant in which he would provide permanent forgiveness lasting forgiveness, and obedience. Remember, a covenant a covenant was focused on a relationship between God, the King of the universe, and a people. They were to express an enduring, loyal love to each other. And the result was to be glory to God and get blessings to his people, there were obligations to fulfill, there were usually oaths, the consequences for failure were spelled out. There were often signs and ceremonies for the people to remember and renew their commitment for generations afterwards. And we think, again, of marriage as being a good example of that at a wedding ceremony. There are, there's a wedding charge of how to fulfill mutual love. And then they each couple each of the couples, each of the people make vows to each other. They put a sign on their hand a ring to remember that this is a serious commitment. When it comes to these biblical covenants, the signs and ceremonies were so serious, that there were deadly consequences for failing to perform them with the right heart. God was always faithful to his side, always faithful to his side, never broke a promise. And his people always broke their promise. The promise of the new covenant is so important to us. Because this this is what salvation is. God the king forges a way to make a people who would be able to stand in his holy presence by providing full forgiveness and obedience in their heart. Because of what Christ has done, then his payment, we have forgiveness because Christ sent his spirit we are empowered to obey.

    Why is the body and blood as a symbol so important? Because Jesus body and blood was the culmination of all the obedience for all the covenants for all his people, in the past, and in the present. Jesus obedience provides our obedience. He obeyed all the way to the cross. And his death provided the full payment for all sin. For all God's people who are covenant breakers in the past, and for all God's people who would be covenant breakers in the future, that one death provides forgiveness for all. So when we repent and trust Him as LORD and KING, we're united to him, you're in union with Him, and we receive His righteousness and His obedience. And there was an actual payment for our sins. In the New Covenant so amazing because Jesus guarantees that we would now be obedient from him from the heart and be truly forgiven. We would truly know Him. And we Why is taking the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner so serious? Because it makes a mockery of the obedience and forgiveness that Jesus provided by his blood to end our sin. It would be to spit on the blood in the ground of the cross. To be crass would be to urinate on it. It would be to treat it as something unimportant.

    It's a covenant remembrance meal. So he says, If you drink it, if, therefore, Whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. It treats that covenant, sealing work with contempt. But it also treats his love and grace with contempt. What is what is the core of a good marriage relationship, a committed and loyal love. In the Old Testament, there was one word that describes this I said, if you get a little spit in your mouth with the then you you can set and you can sound a little cooler. I still don't get it quite right. But that word is usually translate translated as loyal love or steadfast love when you see the word steadfast love, in your English Bible, in your ESV are loyal love in your NASB. When you see that it's always the word has said, which is the defining affection and commitment between the partners and God never backs off on his loyal love. In the New Testament. It's so hard to translate that the New Testament writers have to use two words love and grace. It takes two to put them together.

    So it's treating Christ's love and grace with content. Remember, Jesus died to forgive all our sins and to empower us to live holy lives. We we are focused on the visual image. As we see this, you know, we have visual image throughout this Christmas season we we pick that image of the manger as part of not only the Advent series, but the life of Christ series all the way through Easter. And that manger is a classic Christian theme at this time of year, it's like it's one of the well trodden paths to remember the humility of God. Christ, who is with the Father and the Spirit, co creator of all the heavens, all the earth, all the universe, all the universe. lives both outside and within it. Where Heaven is his throne and the earth is his footstool. And here we see every Advent season, Christ condescending to be born as a baby and, and again, it's a well worn theme at Christmas time that we should celebrate where was he put in a manger? He didn't have a midwife. He didn't have hospital attendants. He didn't have a bunch of nurses to care for him afterward, like any royal son would normally have. He's born in a stable, laid in a manger. Not in the palace house, not not in the palace room, not not put in a nursery. And that's just the beginning of his humility, just the start. Because it's going to go all the way to the cross. Jesus came through the poor Marian Joseph

    He came as one who was thought to be an A child of adultery. In our context, in First Corinthians where we are today, Jesus came to the poorest, to save the poor and the rich. So this question overflows into this. How can we take the Lord's supper with any kind of sense of superiority without trampling on the love and grace that He has shown all at the cross?

    So how can we take an in an unworthy manner? Well, back in chapter 10, it was worshipping and idle at an idle feast and then coming to the Lord's Supper. I mean, imagine how well this would go, it's your whatever number at the anniversary and you say to your spouse, you know, I have, I have a new boyfriend and I just thought I would bring them to our anniversary how's that gonna go? Not, there's no anniversary, brought a new girlfriend, bringing her to do our anniversary. In our day, you could hear Jesus words. You cannot serve God and money. You cannot serve God and anything else. You can take in an unworthy manner by acting superior to others ignoring or mistreating the poor among us by harboring bitterness or jealousy. By having a broken relationship that you're not trying to bring peace to, among brothers and sisters in Christ. He says, Let us let a person examine himself, then then So eat of the bread and drink of the cup. So are you giving the Lord's Supper the weight that it deserves? If you do with humble faith and humble repentance, then you should be able to come in and celebrate it just like they did an axe with awe and wonder and excitement and thanksgiving. So first, am I giving the Lord's supper with proper weight second, am I causing division or strife in the church? Since Jesus died to purchase a people for Himself, I must see myself as a brother and sister and fellow worshiper in all of the church. This is now down 1128 29. For if any, anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. I'll get to the judgment in a minute. This phrase discerning the body. Paul's been using these Greek words that have to do with discernment and judgment, like proper, like at a proper court. Really make sense of this, think it through his uses this word discern the body now something that discerning the body is properly understanding the elements in the body of Christ. And that is certainly the point of verses 27 Verse 27. Something it is a person's life examined, discern the body, my own life, how I'm living. And that is always a good idea, you should do that. But if we look back at 1017, it makes the statement says because there is one bread, we who are many are one body. So now he uses a different metaphor. Jesus is the head. We are the body. For we all partake of one bread, we all come together, taking one bread, we're talking about taking the Lord's Supper, this one feast, Jesus is the one savior. And since Jesus is the head, and we feast together, we are one body. That one body we would call the church. Christ is the head, the church is the body. Then if we jump ahead to 1213 the next chapter, says for in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body. So discerning the body is to recognize to think properly and honor the whole of the gathered Church, the whole of the members and your local church. Let me illustrate it. I need my friends. All you have to do is stand on the stage and lock arms. Come on up. Come on up, brother. Just stand right here. If we get six or seven of you, that's all it takes to illustrate the point. Okay, while they're doing that you stand over here and do that everybody just lined you're going to lock arms just do anything awkward. Like hold hands, you can hold hands. You can do this, just like that. Okay, I gotta step aside because I need the just move over. There you go. Okay, we got it. Thank you. Okay, one of my all time favorite books, outside of the Bible is Pilgrims Progress. John Bunyan wrote to individual Christians to help them finish their Christian life. And there's a certain point in Pilgrims Progress, where Christian has been carrying this massive burden, the illustration illustrative versions of it do it right, this massive burden. It's got all his sin and all his guilty knees. He wants to make it to the celestial city to see the king, but he's got this awful burden and he finally comes to the cross. And when he finally recognizes what Jesus has done to forgive his sin, the burden falls off at the cross. And he's free. Now every time we take the Lord's supper, we remember that Jesus blood freed us of the burden. But if I could get the whole church to stand on stage, and lock arms, and everybody had their backpacks piled on, you start to get a picture of what's going on all of our burdens, all of them were taken, and it would be a mountain of these massive weights a burden and sin. But that's not all. We are then united all together in one body, one group, if I could turn us in a circle, and we would do what they do at a con Sega game, and the guys go back and forth, whoo, whoo, oh, we are united and we're ready to play the game. We're ready to finish the race together, representing Jesus together, carrying out the great commission together until his glorious return. It's about all of our burdens, and all of our unity altogether. That's what we do every time we celebrate the Lord's Supper. Thank you. Nice job. It wasn't hard, was it? Thank you volunteers. That's what we do.

    Paul's point is that incorrect judgment about other members of the Body of Christ is going to lead to sinful division.

    When some were rushing ahead, to eat the good food, not waiting for the poor and the needy, they were breaking apart. That unity of the body. They weren't discerning it. Anytime we make divisions within the community of believers, we are failing to discern the body. I mean, doesn't happen all the time. But it still happens even at my favorite church in the world, Faith Bible Church, somebody's going to come. Usually it's to me or John, because it has something to do with something upfront. You know, some of us have been talking. And we go, Oh, no. And then somebody the person is talking to you is kind of the hero of the group. You know, I just wanted to say this, because because some of us agree about this. music's too loud. This is to this, this is to that that's this this and like, as soon as I hear some of us have been talking, I'm like, What are you doing? What do you mean? Like, are you are you creating this this little now? Hey, 10 of us have this opinion. So you should listen to us. That's what politics is. Have you got a problem? Just tell us, man, it was too loud today. Okay, we'll try to figure it out. Like we love you. We don't want anybody to have pain. So I will try to figure it out. Like we don't mind feedback. But how often does that sort of thing happen in the church, where nobody's wanting to be divisive in the church, but you can do it actively. You can do it passively, actively, you can avoid certain people refuse to serve or care for them actively. You can gossip and slander passively, you can just go about your life without a thought or care for anybody else in the church. You can think about the people that are just the people that are important to you passively, you can just be bitter, you can be bitter harboring offenses. You can pull away from them or distance yourself. We need to discern the body. If that's really hard for you, to get over your bitterness, it's really hard for you to know how to make and reconcile offenses. We have a great biblical Counseling Center. And you have really good growth group leaders that can help you do this. They can help you do this go to your growth group leader I'm struggling with bitterness I have this conflict. I don't know how to resolve it. I want to resolve it. So first, am I giving the Lord's Supper its proper weight second, am I causing division or strife in the church? Third, am I considering the Lord's discipline by considering the Lord's discipline and by taking into account that God really does chastise many for taking the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner? This is verse 29. For if anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died. This took quite a turn didn't it? The Lord the Lord is so serious about the unity and love within the church sometime to use his illness, or even death as a rod of correction. Now when you say this is a pastor, I am usually very slow to tell someone that his or her illness might have some sinful source. The last thing I want to be the last thing you want to be our Job's friends. Remember, Job, Job, God, His discipline because he was the most righteous man on earth. Read, read job one, the author goes out of his way to say there's nobody more righteous than job. And that's why he got his discipline to refine him even further in the end and give us a model for how to lament and talk to God. So I have no idea if any of you got sick because you misuse the Lord's Supper. I don't think I've ever seen it I've ever known it. But let's just not miss the point. That God exercises fatherly discipline. Now notice it's fatherly discipline. He's not kicking somebody out of the kingdom. Look at verse 31. But if we judged ourselves truly there's our discernment idea, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined, so that we may not be condemned along with the word, the world. So here's this discipline, which is the word that he uses in Hebrews chapter 12, where God the Father uses discipline, what son is there whose father does not discipline us and the Lord disciplines us for our holiness. It's not to lead us into everlasting judgment, it is to chastise us to purify us. Yes, apparently, at the time, some were even purified by death. Not gonna let him keep doing that this is a child, this is my child. Obviously, he didn't do it with all of the believers. But my point is, he doesn't sweep us into eternal destruction, but he does chastise us. There is a link to this kind of thing. And James 514 through 16, where there is a call to pray is anyone among you sick, let him call for the elders of the church and let him let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. So it might restore him to health. And if he has committed sins, not, because he's committed sins, and some of those people are sick, because they're experiencing chastisement for their sin, and they're sick. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven, Therefore, confess your sins to one another, pray for one another, that you may be healed. He's talking about spiritual and physical. But the point is quite clear. The Lord's Supper is a wonderful celebration that we should be joyful, that should be joyful, and leave us spiritually renewed. But if we don't take it seriously, and if we don't consider the unity of the church, God may use means to refine us. Which leads to the fourth question, am I taking practical steps to unite the church? There was a passive way. And then there's, there's now now there's active there was a judgment. Now there's what do we do? Here it is, am I taking practical steps to unite the church. So when we gather each week and celebrate the Lord's Supper, we should be actively taking steps to promote unity. First, 33 says so then my brother's when you come together to eat, wait for one another, if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that when you can't come together, it will not be for judgment. Now, this is really interesting word. And we go back to the beginning and verse 1718, and 19, where Corinth was dealing with this problem that the rich were gathering first in their nice place in the house, and the poor would come along later, usually their servants or the servant class, or the people would show up, bring a tiny bit of potluck, but all the good stuff was eaten. They were treated as second class citizens. Since there's, there's an answer to that. And remember that there's always a heart problem going on. What's the heart problem? Well, for some, it was self control. Here's a big meal and I'm one of the wealthy class, I'm hungry, I'd like to eat and so because there's a lack of self control, then I then I go ahead and pick out and I don't consider the person head of me. So he says, When you come together, wait for one another. Now, this word Wait, is a great word. On one way you could say it's look out for pay attention for sometimes in other passages. It's actually translated as welcome. But the idea is to hold everyone in the church so Dear and so precious, that you're going to wait until until they are there so that you can celebrate it. We've all been at meals where you can't start the meal until the important person has arrived. Birthday girl, we don't start the birthday girl celebration until birthday girls at the table. You don't start a meeting unless the chair of the meeting starts the meeting.

    And so the idea is that every single person in the church is anticipated looked out for cared for waited for. Often, you know, you you bring a visitor to church, or there's somebody who saw midweek and you say, you know, we haven't sat together in church for a long time, would you sit with me? So what do you do you wait in the foyer until they're there there is this whole idea of of waiting, looking, I'll look for you so that we could sit together. So we're not going to let differences in class, wealth, race, nationality or personality divide us. We're going to look out for each person. Paul's naturally applying this to the potluck at the Lord's Supper that they were part of. So that's the practical eyes. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, you know what we're gathering for? Is it really the potluck? It's the Lord's Supper. So if you're really hungry, and we're not going to meet until six, and it's four, and by the time you know the meal is actually going to be ready to eat at seven o'clock. Go ahead and have early supper. It's fine, because what we're really gathering for is the fellowship and the shared celebration of what Jesus offered. So often people say, Why don't we have a big meal before every Lord's supper and well, you organize a big meal for 600. And you'll be pretty happy that we just do juicing cups. When Jesus instituted at the Lord's Supper, they the 12 guys took this loaf about this big and broke up little tiny pieces and ate it, it wasn't really for the dinner. It was for the remembrance. So there were practical things to do. Kids if you if you want to start this mindset right now, in grade school, you're in youth ministry. Step in your Sunday school class or step into youth ministry, ready to notice and include new people who show up ready to notice and include kids who don't have a lot of friends, they're refusing to just, you know how we had our circle of six, just like a six no more. You know how we use this metaphor. We want to be a cup, not a circle, we don't want to catch the new people coming in. You just want to have that mindset. We all have our friends. But man, when we gather, everybody is our friend. So we do what we can to be ready to include as many as we can. He takes practical steps. practical steps might mean an issue of bitterness has to be dealt with an issue of unmet expectations. This person didn't see me notice me do this for me and I really wanted them to and you you think they sin because they didn't love you like you'd like to be loved. Really they just meet your expectations you're getting I got to deal with my expectations. I actually have to go in as a servant, not as as a king to be served. The variety of things if you want to see what that looks like spiritually Ephesians four one through six talks about walking in a manner worthy with all humility and patience and forbearance demonstrate care for one another

    this greater principle is so powerful not just the if you're hungry, eat before church. I mean if you're expecting to get fall from the from the little nugget and the juice, like obviously that's a mistake. But the greater principles really powerful if every person looked out for the others in the room for their spiritual well being for their relationships and sought to unify the church. The church would be a powerful display of unity, a newcomer coming in today who's been at church for the first time seeing Christianity for the first time. Who knows that this is a people that's locked arms and loves each other and ready to bring them in and fellowship and life and care and love. That's a powerful testimony. We proclaim the Lord's death until He comes when we anchor in this

    You know this the severe problem in Corinth allowed Paul to bring some of the clearest and most in depth teaching about the Lord's Supper. It's been very helpful for us

    for questions to examine your heart come back to Israel four years ago, when we got back on the bus after I had responded, defensively embarrassed shame and guilt. Brenna and Linda told our guide Microsoft to the story of how we both forgot so in a few minutes, Doctor Asante stood up on the PA and said told the whole bus there was an anniversary. It was mine and Linda's 29th and Mike asked from the front of the bus to the back of the bus for everyone to hear what are your big plans for the anniversary hanging my head in shame. Take my wife to Israel I still feel bad for years later. Linda of course wasn't that hurt. She was very gracious. She forgot to she just remembered first. But you know, celebrating an anniversary of any wedding causes you to remember your commitment and renew that commitment. That's what celebrating the Lord's that's that's what the Lord's calling us to celebrate. The Lord's supper does for us. It's like an anniversary, remembering what the Lord committed to do to make us as people and then remembering that we commit back love and commitment to him. And by the grace of Jesus, He empowers us to do it. Let's get ready to celebrate right now Father, thank You for powerful grace and mercy. Father, I pray that you would be at work. In us each week as we celebrate these elements there. They are powerful to remember what commitments you took on but also powerful for us. I pray that each and every week, we would be grounded again on the truths of the gospel, Jesus death for undeserving sinners, that's brought us into His eternal kingdom. And as we celebrate and examine our hearts now be pleased, even as we take these elements, Christ's name, Amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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