Praise God everyone! As you all know Mumbai had almost drowned, nevertheless, you all are here gathered in the house of the Lord. Today we will learn about ‘Listening and Obeying’.
God gave His only son, what more can He give. Our God is a faithful God, same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You are hare not by any accident, God has a plan for you!
The city of Corinth was very prosperous with many people coming from different cities for business. Financially the city was doing very well however morally it was going down. Paul is writing to the church in 1 Corinth 11. Those days the communion was not like us, it was more like a potluck lunch or dinner. They never had church buildings but they used to meet at different houses. At one instance, Paul says you have so much to eat and so many things to do, but it is not acceptible in the body of Christ.
"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 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." In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come." - 1 Corinthians 11:23-34
The apostle here describes the sacred ordinance, of which he had the knowledge by revelation from Christ. As to the visible signs, these are the bread and wine. What is eaten is called bread, though at the same time it is said to be the body of the Lord, plainly showing that the apostle did not mean that the bread was changed into flesh. Matthew tells us, our Lord bid them all drink of the cup, as if he would, by this expression, provide against any believer being deprived of the cup. The things signified by these outward signs, are Christ's body and blood, his body broken, his blood shed, together with all the benefits which flow from his death and sacrifice. Our Saviour's actions were, taking the bread and cup, giving thanks, breaking the bread, and giving both the one and the other. The actions of the communicants were, to take the bread and eat, to take the cup and drink, and to do both in remembrance of Christ. But the outward acts are not the whole, or the principal part, of what is to be done at this holy ordinance. Those who partake of it, are to take him as their Lord and Life, yield themselves up to him, and live upon him. Here is an account of the ends of this ordinance. It is to be done in remembrance of Christ, to keep fresh in our minds his dying for us, as well as to remember Christ pleading for us, in virtue of his death, at God's right hand. It is not merely in remembrance of Christ, of what he has done and suffered; but to celebrate his grace in our redemption. We declare his death to be our life, the spring of all our comforts and hopes. And we glory in such a declaration; we show forth his death, and plead it as our accepted sacrifice and ransom. The Lord's supper is not an ordinance to be observed merely for a time, but to be continued. The apostle lays before the Corinthians the danger of receiving it with an unsuitable temper of mind; or keeping up the covenant with sin and death, while professing to renew and confirm the covenant with God. No doubt such incur great guilt, and so render themselves liable to spiritual judgements. But fearful believers should not be discouraged from attending at this holy ordinance. The Holy Spirit never caused this scripture to be written to deter serious Christians from their duty, though the devil has often made this use of it. The apostle was addressing Christians, and warning them to beware of the temporal judgements with which God chastised his offending servants. And in the midst of judgement, God remembers mercy: he many times punishes those whom he loves. It is better to bear trouble in this world, than to be miserable for ever. The apostle points our the duty of those who come to the Lord's table. Self-examination is necessary to right attendance at this holy ordinance. If we would thoroughly search ourselves, to condemn and set right what we find wrong, we should stop Divine judgements. The apostle closes all with a caution against the irregularities of which the Corinthians were guilty at the Lord's table. Let all look to it, that they do not come together to God's worship, so as to provoke him, and bring down vengeance on themselves.
I would like to focus on four points from this set of verses:
1: Rememberance. 2: Do it. 3: Examine yourself. 4: Ask for forgiveness and do not judge.
Verse 24 - "Do this in rememberance of me". God is interested in our actions and our obedience.
"You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish." - Deuteronomy 8:18-19
Then Moses said to the people, "Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten." - Exodus 13:3
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." - Exodus 20:8
"So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God." - Numbers 15:40
In all these verses, God asks us to remember. In verse 28, God also suggests us to examine ourselves. Many times we have noticed, rather than examining ourselves, we examine others especially others. Come and remember, examine yourself and come to seek forgiveness from the Lord father than condemning yourself. There are six types of people.
- Hearers and listeners. They only talk and the know that they dont do anything. "May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you." - Jude 1:2 "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." - James 1:22
Illustration: A preacher was going for a funeral service of his wife along with his children. As soon they were driving, suddenly a big truck came out of nowhere and almost hit their car. The entire shadow of the truck on the car, but they were all safe. The preacher told his children, at times the shadow is so powerful that it is able to distract us easily, however it doesn't harms. Likewise death is to us. So do not fear and do not be distracted as the Lord keeps us.
- Relative hearers: However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan." But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, "Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it." Then the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are." So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, "The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them." - Numbers 13:28-33
- Superstitious hearers: Few people put the Bible under the pillow to sleep in order to stay away from nightmares. These are the people who use bible as an object or as a magic.
- Emotional hearers: God has created us as emotional beings. There are people who are more interested in feeling rather doing the word of God. They feel that they will do it and that they are so much motivated but at the end kf the day, nothing happens.
- Theoretical Hearers: There are people who have no interest in implementing rather collecting information. They will come up with new queries and new discoveries. However they are limited to this only.
- Hearers who are the doers: These are the people who hears from the word of God and then they implement it in their lives.
"Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, "Why are we sitting here until we die?" - 2 Kings 7:3
Illustration: The 19th-century Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard identified two kinds of religion—Religion A and Religion B. The first is “faith” in name only. It’s the practice of attending church without genuine faith in the living Lord. Religion B, on the other hand, is a life-transforming, destiny-changing experience. It’s a definite commitment to the crucified and risen Savior, which establishes an ongoing personal relationship between a forgiven sinner and a gracious God.
What kind of person would you like to be? The first five or the last one, the doer? Or the one from Religion A lr Religion B? So come to Lord today and pray that, "The word I hear from you O Lord, help me apply it to my life. I put my trust on you and I give me courage to face every situation. In Jesus' name, Amen!"
We hope you feel encouraged from today's sermon. We look forward meeting you next Sunday. God bless!