This week, as we continue in our Devoted vision series, we are looking at Communion. If we are to build the church according to God’s vision, we must be devoted to remembering what the death of Jesus means through taking bread and wine together.
Summary: Communion is an important opportunity for self-reflection in order to repent and realign our lives to Christ.
‘So then, 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. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world. So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.’ (1 Corinthians 11:27-34)
LOOK IN - EXAMINE YOURSELF BEFORE PARTICIPATING
Paul encourages us to self-examination before taking Communion:
‘Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.’ (1 Corinthians 11:28)
God is not so much interested in what sort of bread or wine we use. These issues are not mentioned. But He is interested in what we believe and our hearts toward Him. We are warned:
‘For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.’ (1 Corinthians 11:29)
We are to examine ourselves regarding whether or not we ‘discern the body of Christ’:
Firstly, ‘we are to discern the body of Christ’ in that communion is time to reaffirm our faith that Jesus came in a ‘body: He was both man and God. He came into this world as a man in order to die for us (the incarnation). This is vital, as John writes:
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14)
‘This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…’ (1 John 4:2)
Secondly, communion is a moment to ‘discern the body of Christ’ as we reaffirm our faith in His death for us. we are to ask ourselves, “Do I ‘discern’ (Judge, recall) that I’m saved by His death for my sin?” God is interested in whether we actually believe the gospel!
If you don’t believe the gospel you must not take the bread and wine. If you don’t believe that Jesus was fully man and God, you are not to take Communion. Children, like anyone else, who have a simple faith and understand that Jesus died for their sin should take the bread and the wine.
Here is a really good song on the subject of Communion:
TOGETHER IN SEPTEMBER
During September 2022, at CCP, we are having 'Together' meetings instead of our usual Community Groups. You are very welcome to attend these gatherings.
Please come to the church building at 7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings - refreshments and a meal will be available.