Sermon preached on Sunday, September 9, 2012 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
Turn in your Bible, if you will, to the eleventh chapter of the book of 1 Corinthians - 1 Corinthians eleven where we continue our study on the Lord´s Table.
I invite you to stand in the reading of God´s Word. Read 1 Cor 11:23-26.
Here we call it the Lord´s Table because it emphasizes that the Lord is the author of it. He instituted this holy ordinance.
It is also called the Lord´s Supper because it was instituted when Christ was eating the Passover supper with His disciples.
It is also called the Communion because in partaking of this ordinance rightly, we have communion and fellowship with Christ, share in Christ all the benefits of the gospel, and also have communion with one another.
The Reformers long ago fought so diligently to restore the Lord´s Table to its original significance. Much of the debate at the Reformation centered on Communion.
They argued that the Supper is a feast and is to be administered at a table, not on an alter.
As the German theologian and church historian, Heinrich Heppe wrote in 1861 -
"The Lord´s Supper is not an act of sacrificing, but a feast of communion resting on the sacrifice of Christ, it is not to be celebrated on an alter, but on a table, the table of the Lord."
Not only did the church in the 16th century abuse the Lord´s Table, but this practice is as old as the 1st century church.
It was so with the church at Corinth.
As you may recall, in this portion of Scripture the Apostle Paul addresses:
1. The Perversion of the Lord´s Table (vv. 18-22)
2. The Purpose of the Lord´s Table (vv. 23-26)
3. The Preparation of the Lord´s Table (vv. 27-34)
THE PERVERSION OF THE LORD´S TABLE (vv. 18-22)
In abusing their communion with the saints, they were abusing their communion with the Lord and so as v. 20 states -
20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord´s Supper,
They had defiled this holy, pure, and solemn ordinance by their selfish, gluttonous, drunken disposition, creating for social-economic divisions among them that were never intended within the church of God.
"You are despising and shaming God´s church."
They had lost track of the one of the main purposes of coming together as a church - to celebrate the Lord´s Table in all its beauty, glory, and honor.
THE PURPOSE OF THE LORD´S TABLE (vv. 23-26)
It might be helpful to give you some sub-points at this point to hang our thoughts upon while we move through this portion of Scripture.
As we move through vv. 23-26 I want to answer this pivotal question:
What is the purpose of the Lord´s Table?
I believe Paul reveals his answer in three ways:
a. THE LORD´S TABLE is to be imparted to all the saints.
b. THE LORD´S TABLE is to commemorate the Last Supper.
c. THE LORD´S TABLE is to proclaim the Lord´s Death.