God Seeks to Be Worshiped Through the Lord's Supper (John 14:23-24)
1. According to John 4:23, God seeks "true worshipers" to worship Him. 2. True worshipers are those who worship God "in spirit and in truth." 3. Today: "God seeks to be worshiped through the Lord's Supper." 4. The first point we need to make is that . . . Discussion:
I. THE NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORIZES CHRISTIANS TO EAT THE LORD'S SUPPER IN WORSHIP
A. This is where we need to begin because we are to only say and do those things that Christ has authorized us to say and do (Colossians 3:17, 16). B. Jesus instructed His followers to eat His Supper in Matthew 26:26-29. 1. Vs.26 begins by telling us that Jesus and His disciples "were eating." 2. According to vs.17-20, they were eating the Passover meal. C. Passover was 1 of the great feasts the Jews observed each year -- it provided a time for them to remember what God had done for them in Egypt. D. While Jesus was eating the Passover meal with His disciples He gave instructions for eating His Supper. 1. Jesus chose unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine as the elements. a. Concerning the bread, He said, "this is my body." b. Concerning the fruit of the vine, He said, "this is my blood of the new testament." 2. Jesus said He would eat this Supper with His followers in His Father's kingdom [the church -- Matthew 16:18-19]. E. Just before Jesus died He authorized His followers to eat His Supper in worship. F. Since this is the case, we must do so "in spirit and in truth." II. EATING THE LORD'S SUPPER "IN TRUTH" [according to God's revealed will in the New Testament]
A. We have identified which elements the Lord has authorized for His Supper. 1. He authorized unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine. 2. This is also taught in Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20. B. To eat the Lord's Supper in truth we must also eat it at the authorized time. 1. It is not recorded that Jesus commanded a specific time when His Supper is to be eaten, but He did say that it would be eaten in His Father's kingdom. 2. To find out the authorized time, we must search the Scriptures and determine when the members of the early church ate the Lord's Supper. a. (Acts 2:42) The members of the Jerusalem church were steadfast in eating the Lord's Supper [gave constant attention to it]. b. (Acts 20:6-7) The Christians in Troas ate the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week [an inspired apostle was present to endorse this practice]. c. The authorized time for eating the Lord's Supper is every first day of the week when the church assembles for worship. C. To eat the Lord's Supper in truth we must use the authorized elements, and it must be eaten at the authorized time. III. EATING THE LORD'S SUPPER "IN SPIRIT" [with the proper disposition]
A. To help us eat the Lord's Supper in spirit we must understand what it is. 1. (1 Corinthians 10:16) It is the communion of the body and blood of Christ. 2. (1 Corinthians 11:23-25) It is a memorial of Christ. 3. (1 Corinthians 11:26) It is the showing forth of the Lord's death. B. The purpose for eating the Lord's Supper is to remember His sacrifice. C. (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) We must eat the Lord's Supper "worthily." Conclusion:
1. This evening we will study the instructions in 1 Corinthians 11 in more detail. 2. When we eat the Lord's Supper in spirit and in truth we show our love and appreciation to Christ for the death that He suffered on our behalf. 3. This is a special privilege for certain people ["disciples" -- Acts 20:7; 11:26b]. 4. Are you a disciple of the Lord? 5. You can become His follower by contacting His death (Romans 6:3-4).