Navigate / search


Celebrating the Lord's Table, Pt. 4 (1 Corinthians 11:27-34)

Part of the Elders' Elective Series series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

David Torres
David Torres
September 30, 2012

Sermon preached on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on 1 Corinthians 11:27-34.

Turn in your Bible, if you will, to the eleventh chapter of the book of 1 Corinthians - 1 Corinthians eleven where we return one last time to Paul´s instruction concerning the Lord´s Table.

The desire and prayer has been that "flames of devotion should burn in our hearts"1 (Watson); that our hearts would be stirred unto greater faithfulness and love to our Great God and Savior as we come to celebrate the Lord´s Table.

I trust that our hearts would be engaged to carefulness as we approach this holy ordinance.

Rightly does Jonathan Edwards plead -

"This is a spiritual memorial to put us in mind of our covenant obligations that we are so apt to forget, and to engage us to carefulness that we don´t forget in the midst of so many temptations to unfaithfulness. And if the nature of this holy ordinance is thoroughly considered, it will appear to be every way wisely ordered as an excellent means to promote strictness and holiness of life, and would undoubtedly prove so if it was attended seriously and carefully and with proper consideration of the nature and design of it; for here we have a sensible, affecting representation of those that are the greatest motives to, invisible representations of, and the greatest encouragements to, God´s infinite mercies."2

To that end I invite you to stand in the reading of God´s Word.

Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.

In writing to correct the abuses that had occurred within the Corinthian church in connection with the Lord´s Supper, the Apostle Paul deals with...

The Perversion of the Lord´s Table (vv. 18-22)
The Purpose of the Lord´s Table (vv. 23-26)
The Preparation of the Lord´s Table (vv. 27-34)


The Perversion of the Lord´s Table (vv. 18-22)

Paul explains why he does not praise them, why their coming together does more harm than good.

18 For...when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it.

Q: What were those divisions?
A: The well-to-do were supposed to bring food to the fellowship meal and share it with the poor, but the rich would arrive early and eat all their food in their own exclusive groups before the poor arrived.

The first step in creating divisions in a church is to remove biblical love. It was not that they did not understand love (e.g. they held "firmly to the traditions" 11:2), they were simply not practicing love.

The rich were gorging themselves and even getting drunk, while the poor had nothing to eat and remained hungry.

It was the farthest thing from being a love feast. They were not coming together for "the Lord´s Supper" (v. 20). They were perverting the Lord´s Table with their conduct.

The Purpose of the Lord´s Table (vv. 23-26)

Up against an ugly backdrop of sin and selfishness, Paul establishes the purpose of the Lord´s Table.

You might recall that the purpose of the Lord´s Table is both to commemorate the Last Supper our Lord had with his disciples on the night before His crucifixion and to proclaim the Lord´s death until He comes (v. 26).

This is a holy ordinance, tradition, and institution initiated by our Lord on the night he was betrayed and passed on to His holy apostles to be delivered to all the saints.

It is no wonder that Paul begins in v. 23 saying -

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you...

They, along with all other believers, needed to know the authoritative nature of this tradition.

This special revelation came first from Jesus Himself and we dare not forget what it is that we have come to do as a church, as a body of believers, as saints with a most holy calling, set apart for His good pleasure to be a part of His Kingdom and household.

*In short, we align ourselves with all the saints in coming to the Lord´s Table.

We come to the Lord´s Table remembering that God in Christ has set apart these two elements to represent and symbolize both His body and blood.

For when we take the bread at the Lord´s Table it is about acknowledging and appropriate that Christ is God in human flesh and when we take the cup at the Lord´s Table it is about accepting, acknowledging, believing, and appropriating His sacrificial death.

We renew our covenant with Him. We commune with Him and with other believers, we proclaim the gospel, and we anticipate His return.

It is for this reason that we must come prepared; we must come prepared to partake at the Lord´s Table.

About David Torres: David Torres was born in San Salvador and moved to the States at the age of 6. He came to Christ at age 15. He is a graduate of The Master’s University (BA ’01) and The Master’s Seminary (MDiv ’06; Th.M. ‘19). He served as a pastor-teacher in Garden Valley, CA for 8 years. He works at Grace to You as the GAV Radio Producer serving the Spanish speaking world through the teaching ministry of John MacArthur. David is committed to expository preaching and shepherding God’s flock. He serves as a deacon at Grace Community Church and is a part of the Joint Heirs Fellowship Group. He was married to Angie in 2000, and they have been blessed by God with seven children: Isaiah, Emilia, Micah, Eva, Isabella, Elizabeth, and Jeremiah.