Thoughts On The Lord’s Supper 1…

newborn baby (12-24-17)

The Lord’s Supper is what separates Christianity from every other belief system:
God did for us what we could never do for ourselves:
became fully human while remaining fully God,
lived the perfect sinless life we should have lived,
died the terrible death that we should have died
as the Father’s holy judgment against sin,
and rose again bodily from the grave,
conquering death itself.

THIS is what we celebrate during communion, loved ones.

But we must never assume that we have all received this free gift
just because we attend a local church—
there is no automatic upload via WiFi!

We must never think that this glorious grace & atonement for sin
applies to everyone
simply because it happened.

Not everyone is healthy simply because hospitals exist…

This gift, like all gifts, must be received, loved ones—
the present must be opened, as it were.

Oh loved ones we must be certain about this,
we must not take it for granted—
upon leaving on a road trip
you would go back & check
if you thought you left your garage door open and stove on—
you would check; too risky not too.

Same with salvation:

  • Have you received this glorious free gift of grace?
  • Or is the present still wrapped under the tree?
  • Is the outfit just hanging in the closet with the price tag still on, unworn?

You might casually say, “Yeah, I believe in Jesus. I’m a Christian. I’m set.”

Belief is good, and belief is important. Praise the LORD!

  • My friend, when you are sick, does believing in medicine make you well?
  • Does believing in hospitals cure you?
  • Don’t you actually have to take in the medicine?
  • Don’t you have to go in to the hospital
    & be admitted for you to be cured & healed?

Same with salvation,
same with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
& His death on the cross
& return to life three days later—
not only do you believe that it happened,

but do you believe that it happened for you in particular,
to pay your personal staggering debt of sin?

Do you claim this free gift by faith
as your personal forgiveness & adoption & new life?

By faith alone,
have you applied Christ’s sacrifice on the cross
as the only payment
for your personal sinfulness & rebellion against God?

This is where many stop because moving to this step
applying the Savior’s death & resurrection to our account—
means we must by faith
sign the full confession
that we in fact deserved the wrath that Jesus received.

But our sinfuless doesn’t want that,
surely we aren’t THAT sinful,
surely if Christ hadn’t been crucified
we wouldn’t have been punished like THAT?

Our sinfulness wants a loophole,
wants to either plead the 5th or be acquitted on a technicality—
“I didn’t know, nobody told me, I’m not as bad as him/her!”—
but on no grounds does our sinfulness
want to fully expose our brokenness before a holy God
and fully admit that we do not deserve Him
and that we need Him to pay our penalty for us.

Oh how humbling that is—the full confession, taking full responsibility,
appearing spiritually naked before the LORD;
Adam & Eve wouldn’t do it
& they hid from God and tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves.

We their ancestors have been doing the same ever since.

And thus many church attenders are stuck at mere intellectual belief
but have not received Jesus as their Savior & King,
have not applied, by faith alone,
His death & resurrection as the payment for their own horrific sins of rebellion,
of treason against God as we all, in different ways,
have sought to be in charge of our own lives.

The Lord’s Supper is our confession & celebration
that the Lord Jesus is not an add-on to our old life,
but the death of our old life, old nature, old dreams, old goals.

The Lord Jesus is not that extra boost to put you over the edge
to accomplish your dreams,
the free-agent, one-year rental signing toward the end of the season
to help you win your definition of the championship.

The Lord Jesus is not the fast food extra value meal upgrade for just a dollar more
He is a completely new meal entirely, a completely new restaurant…

Without surrendering to Jesus as Savior & Lord,
we are on a train hurtling toward an eternity apart from God.

Many, when they hear something insightful in the Bible,
may try to apply that wisdom
to help them become more peaceful, more generous, etc.

But without surrendering to Christ,
they are merely getting up on the train and walking in the opposite direction,
changing their seat only.
They may improve a behavior or two
but they are still on the train hurtling toward the terrible destination.

Becoming a Christian is not this, not just applying a few principles in your life
as a new year’s resolution to make you feel better.

Receiving the Lord Jesus as Savior is pulling the emergency break on the train
and crying out to Christ to get you off the train entirely,
a new life revolution—
new King (Jesus, not yourself), new goals, new dreams, new purpose, new beliefs,
and then after believing
to begin walking in the opposite direction of the train
with the Lord Jesus Himself leading you.

This receiving of Christ is no casual event, no inadvertent occasion,
no nonchalant impulse buy at the last minute
that you casually throw in your cart while you are waiting in the checkout line.

It is not buying a used car
and having the salesperson offer to throw in floor mats for free…
”Yeah, sure, that’s nice thank you—I guess I’ll take it”
as we shift our attention quickly to other more important things.

The floor mats are free,
and Jesus’ grace is free,
but they are not the same thing.
One is eternity changing, the other is not…

Babies are not born casually & neatly & quietly & painlessly
they are born with a cry, but it is the beautiful cry of life!

Same with Christians
receiving the grace of Jesus is new life, is literal rebirth,
and it doesn’t automatically happen as a little add on
simply because we have attended church for years.

Sinners are reborn through faith in Jesus Christ
as the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to our sinfulness
and our unpayable moral debt to God the Father
and our need for a Savior
and as the Holy Spirit enables us to realize that the Lord Jesus Christ is that Savior,
that His torturous death on the cross
is that payment for me, for you,
that His return to life is THE PROOF that Christ has conquered death and is willing & able to enable all who cry out to Him to conquer death as well…

Has this happened to you, loved one?
Have you fled to Christ to be your Savior,
or is He merely a consultant for your behavior?

Have you treated Him like a life raft
when you’re spiritually shipwrecked in the middle of the ocean,
or is He the atv that you don’t really need
but is nice to have a little fun riding on every now and then?

By faith, have you placed yourself on the operating table
to receive a total heart transplant from Him,
or do you just want Him to do a little cosmetic/plastic surgery
to improve your external looks?

Hebrews 6:18-20: [God promised to bless Abraham with many descendants
& God promised by taking an oath against His very own character].

“God did this so that,
by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled
to take hold
of the hope set before us
may be greatly encouraged
19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
20 where our forerunner, Jesus,
has entered on our behalf.
He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Have you fled to Christ
to take hold of His forgiveness
for you & your crimes against God?

This is the difference between
intellectually knowing that a person on Death Row
can appeal to the Governor of the state for a pardon…

…and realizing that you are on Death Row and
you are appealing to the Governor of the universe for pardon.

Please reflect on this, loved ones…
this is what we celebrate & confess at the Lord’s Supper…
no wonder the LORD tells us not to enter into it casually…
(1 Corinthians 11:27-32)