Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Holy Moments of Communion

Holy Moments Of Communion


Would you turn in your bibles to 1 Corinthians 10. For those of you who are viewing our broadcast, if possible, prepare something and get ready to take communion along with us in a moment. If you are watching this from the archives, click the pause and I will wait for you to get ready.

1 Corinthians 10 (NIV)

1 ¶ For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.

2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

3 They all ate the same spiritual food

4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Even in the Old Testament, God’s children were saved from sin, (Egypt), baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit, and they partook of Holy Communion with Christ.

It was all a type and shadow of things to come which we now see and know. The Apostle Paul explains and is setting us up to understand and properly observe the Holy moments of communion God has given to us. Let’s look further into the New Testament period. Turn to:

1 Corinthians 11

20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat,

21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.

22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

During this period it is thought by some theologians that the church at Corinth, in like manner as other congregations in their respective cities, came together each Lords’ Day, Sunday, which is the first day of the week, in the evening to celebrate The Lord’s Supper.

Since Jesus had first eaten the Passover meal before taking the loaf of bread and cup of wine and sharing the communion with His followers, it is also considered that some congregations, including this one at Corinth, held to that tradition.

In the early evening the church would begin to gather for a festive meal. The rich would set a grand table while the poor of the church a more modest and often meager supply. Those indigent in the church would have nothing of which to bring to the festival and so would come empty handed and empty of stomach as well.

The Apostle Paul observed that the way in which this congregation was coming together was not in accordance with the intent of the Lord Jesus Christ when He first instituted this Holy Communion.

The fact that the rich would segregate themselves from the poor at these meals, eat and drink to drunkenness while allowing the poor to go hungry was in fact a slap in the face if we were to call this The Lord’s Supper.

Paul goes on to tell that eating and drinking was not the goal, nor the course of intent for a holy communion. He went further to say that not properly discerning the Lord’s body could bring judgment upon a person and if continued could even result in sickness or premature death for the Christian.

Here are some:

Unworthy Acts & Attitudes

which can bring judgment upon Christians.

1. Carnal participation in a Holy observance

* not having our head and our heart in what we are doing

* losing focus and respect for this holy moment

> There is a difference between church and a party or a game (though church may be fun - fun is not its purpose)

> it’s not about how we look, where we sit or who we talk to or how many people are there … but it’s all about Jesus

* We need to realize, “This cost Jesus His life.” It’s not a game

* We must reverence the Holy moments God gives us.

2. Segregation

* Which one of these, rich or poor, black or white, Asian or Hispanic, young or old, is not a child of God?

* If a child of God then a brother or sister to each one of us.

* Who can have the love of God in them and segregate themselves from a brother or sister for image sake.

* Segregation belies our brotherhood in Christ.

3. Greed

* To have enough and more than enough for ourselves while others with us have nothing and we are not compelled to share?

* John says of this attitude, “How dwells the love of God in you?”

The Apostle Paul goes on to say that:

We need examine ourselves to insure these acts have been abolished and these attitudes repented of before we dare call ourselves to partake of The Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 11

27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.

Tonight we partake of a Holy moment in which we believe, although we do not know how, we believe that God will transform this bread as the Body of Christ and this cup to contain not just the fruit of the vine, but the Blood of Christ.

I don’t know how God sees the waters of baptism as a grave for our old man … I don’t know how God sees my sins which were as scarlet now as white as snow … I don’t know how God sees these blessed communion sacraments as the broken body and shed blood of Jesus … but just because I don’t know how, does not mean that I don’t know that --- He does!

At Church On The Rock we have open communion. For all who name the name of Jesus and have received Him as Lord and Savior, you are welcomed at the table of the Lord in this house.

Family, Friends, Guest …

Would you pass by the communion tables and receive the sacraments and then return to your seats and maintain a holy attitude of prayer and reverence. When all have gotten their cup and bread, we will partake of this holy communion together.

1 Corinthians 11

23 ¶ For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,

24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me."

Lets pray for forgiveness and partake of the bread.

25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Let’s pray for a renewing of the covenant and partake of the cup.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

The New Thing

The New Thing


This morning we are going to be taking our main text from The Book of Joshua. If you like to get ahead, you can turn there.

Today I will be reading the major portion of our scriptures from the NIV.

The whole counsel of God‘s word confirms that:

God is continually positioning us for our greatest day.

Key Scripture: Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Every day, in each life and challenge, God gives us His best.

God has a dream for the future and His dream includes each of us.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God is conscious of us and has already thought out His will concerning us and has made good and prosperous plans for our future.

What may seem like a surprise to us is actually a plan to God.

God does not have to first get our permission before He upsets our plans for ourselves, in order to give us His plans for our lives.

God is offering His very best to us each day.

Today is a day in which God is doing a New Thing

In lives, families, churches, businesses, communities and nations.

The next step to our destiny is waiting right now, right in front of us, waiting for any one of us to take the dare and embrace it.

Have you found the book of Joshua?

This book is a story about a New Thing, a New Day, if you will. The story begins with the scripture in:

Joshua 1

1 ¶ After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant:

2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.

3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

Amazing … there was an ‘after’ - ‘after the death of Moses’. There was a New Day - A New Thing, well not really a New Thing in the mind of God, but it was a New Thing for these people. God had already planned it and talked about it and dreamed about and prepared for it but it was certainly a New Day for these people.

What did God say?

Moses, (yesterday), is gone … it’s over. Not the promise and not the plan, just how you thought I was going to do it - it’s over.

Now then, you and these people get ready … I am about to do something new with your lives.

“I’m gonna do what the old day promised I would do.”

Now look on over in:

Joshua 3 (NIV) The congregation is given instructions for their New Day

1 ¶ Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over.

2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp,

3 giving orders to the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.

4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before …

Follow the anointing of God which is upon the shoulders of the chosen leaders and move out from your positions.

This is how you will know the way to go … follow the ark and the priest who have been commissioned to carry it.

You have never been this way before …

Even though the children of Israel had never been this way before, they had been right up to it.

Forty years earlier, when the ones who were now priests, elders and leaders were under 20 years old, they had come right up to this point with their fathers.

They had been up to the will of God before, but never actually over into it. Their fathers would only accept one New Day in their lifetime.

They had been living in the dead old yesterday of God’s will for the last 40 years of their lives. Ever since the former generation failed to cross over into the next New Day.

For forty years they had been walking around and around the mountain of God, in the rut of life, waiting on the enemies of the New Day to die off so they could get on with God’s plans for their future.

God speaking through our key scripture this morning said:

“See, I’m doing a new thing … can you recognize it?”

Neither your enemies nor God’s enemies want you to have the New Thing - they want you to die unfulfilled in the old thing … but God who does not sleep nor slumber has great plans that include you and no enemy of the New Thing has the power to deny your destiny!

Let’s look at some of the Enemies Of The New Thing

1. The Old Thing (Moses would have done it Moses is dead)

The church is not a refrigerator to preserve the Old Day, but an incubator to birth the New Day.

2. The Same Thing (I don’t like change … but it‘s not working)

Why sit we here till we die … sitting in our own pew.

3. The My Thing (I like it this way … maybe it’s not about you)

This is Father’s house, not elder brother’s house.

These enemies are roadblocks to the New Thing.

I promise you … no God promises you that:

* The New Thing is better than the Old Thing.

* The New Thing is better than the No Thing.

* The New Thing is better than My Thing.

Not New Thing for New Thing sake, but New Thing because God’s plan is being put together like a puzzle, little by little, block by block, stone by stone. We see through a glass darkly and God is continually clearing up our vision and repositioning us according to His plans.

God has a New Day for each one of us.

Without regard to where we are or how we got there, God has a best for us from here.

Even David, after he had committed adultery, conspired to betray his friend, murdered a loyal follower, taken another man’s wife and abdicated his royal responsibilities. When David turned to God and repented, God offered David a New Day.

One day it was not God’s will for David and Bathsheba to consort together, become intimate and have children. It was not God’s best for David nor for Bathsheba.

Then, after the sin, after the judgment and after the true repentance from David, God offered David and Bathsheba his very best for them. God offered David and Bathsheba their greatest day; God offered David and Bathsheba a New Day.

From David’s loins through Bathsheba’s womb came Jesus the Christ, Messiah and soon returning King of the Universe. Bathsheba is one of the great grandmothers of Jesus.

One day God spoke to Abraham to sacrifice his promised son Isaac upon the mountain of Moriah.

Three days later, while obeying God’s command, God spoke once again through and angel and told Abraham not to sacrifice his son.

God was offering Abraham a New Day.

With the first word, ‘sacrifice the child’ … and …

With the second word, ‘don’t sacrifice the child’

Both words from God had their particular challenges but Abraham responded correctly.

To the first word … and …

To the second word.

Abraham did not let the old word, the former word, the first word to be the last word.

Abraham lived his life ready to hear a fresh word, embrace a new day, accept a new thing from God … even when it looked like it was very different than the old thing, not the same thing or what he wanted.

God is continually positioning us for our greatest day. Don’t worry about change, especially when it’s is evidently out of your control.

God is committed to transforming us and working with us to help us:

Make a living, Make a life and Make a difference

The Apostle Paul said it this way:

Philippians 3 (NKJV)

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Let’s not let the old thing, the same thing or the my thing become roadblocks and hold us back from embracing the New Thing.

Let’s pray that we do not miss the chance for a great New Day.

It’s going to happen anyway, with or without our consent, approval or participation. God will have His way, even with us.

Why not work with Him and learn to enjoy the journey.

The journey really is your friend.