The Communion of Christ

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1 Corinthians 10:14-17 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

When we gather to partake of the Lord’s Table, we do so in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The Lord’s Table is a time for us to examine ourselves, to recommit our lives to walking with our Lord.

We Belong To Jesus And Are Dearly Beloved

The Apostle starts out by calling the Church dearly beloved. The Lord’s Table is given to the dearly beloved of Jesus Christ. The Scripture tells us how deep the love of Jesus is. We read:

Ephesians 5:25-27 Christ also loved the church (that’s you, if you have received Him as Lord and Savior), and gave Himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The Christian, saved by the Grace of God, purchased by the Blood of Jesus Christ, is loved of God. Jesus gave His Blood to purchase us, and never abandons us.

His Church, the gathering of believers all saved by faith in Christ, is beloved of God. Jesus Christ gave everything He had for us. He stepped out of Heaven, and into the creation He made. He left the splendor of Heaven to live among us, to share Heaven with us, and to give His life for us. Jesus died for our sins:

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 … Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen…

Jesus gave His life for ours. He died a horrible death on Calvary. He rose again on the third day, proving that God received His payment on our behalf. The Bible says that

when Jesus had BY HIMSELF purged our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

This same Jesus is on the right hand of God the Father showing He loves you by makingdaily intercession for us as our High Priest (Hebrews 8:1).

This same Jesus Christ offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Hebrews 10:12) for us.

When the Father looks at us, because of what Jesus did for us we are no longer sinners, but sons; no longer far from God but are close to God.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

We are made nigh by the blood of Christ. We are brought near to God by Jesus, by our Beloved. Our Beloved bids us to flee idolatry. Idolatry is anything that takes the place of your love for God. Some have allowed the pursuit of earthly possessions to take the place of love in their hearts. Jesus admonished us:

Matthew 6:19-24 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be {focused on the light}, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be {focused on the evil}, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

We are saved by the Blood of Jesus to be members of His Family, members of God’s Kingdom. We are to follow Him, not the darkness. We are to live for Jesus. As Christ’s dearly beloved we are to:

  • Avenge not ourselves, but let God take vengeance for us (Romans 12:19)
  • Be more like Jesus in our behavior daily (2 Corinthians 7:1)
  • Choose to stand with Jesus regardless as to what the world says (Philippians 4:1)
  • Ditch all sexual and sensual sins as offensive to God (1 Peter 2:11)

God Proved His Love By What He Did,
Not Just By What He Said

1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

What is interesting about Paul’s presentation of the Lord’s Table is that he (as guided by the Holy Spirit) out of its natural order. Years ago I assisted my mentor, Dr. Benny Woods, in serving the Lord’s Table. Afterwards he sheepishly told me, “David, I messed it up. I did the Blood before I did the Bread”. I told Benny I didn’t think he “messed it up”, but maybe God allowed it for a reason.

Benny’s “mistake” helped me remember this lesson. BEFORE the Blood can be spilled, the BODY must be broken. Unless the Container is opened, the Precious Liquid cannot be dispensed. This is why Jesus presented the Lord’s Table by breaking the Bread, saying:

Take, eat: this is my Body” (Matthew 26:26)

Then said, “This is My Blood of the Covenant, which is
poured out for many” (Mark 14:24)

Why did the Apostle reverse the order? This isn’t a mistake, as the Apostle lays out the proper order of the Communion in the very next chapter (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

I believe the Apostle places the Blood first because it is the shed Blood that gives us “communion” (κοινωνία koinōnía, [pronounced koy-nohn-ee’-ah]) partnership, fellowship, unity, and community with both God as well as with one another.

The Blood Is Emphasized Throughout Scripture

It was the Blood of the Lamb that saved Israel out of Egypt. The message God gave to Moses to give to Israel was:

Exodus 6:6-8 …. I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will {deliver} you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord.

God gave 7 “I Will” statements to Israel. God fulfilled these promises through the shed blood of an unblemished lamb (Exodus 12:5). To celebrate the Feast of the Passover, Orthodox Jews celebrated this Feast with four cups. The Enduring Word Bible Commentary notes:

The cup of blessing was the last cup presented in the Passover ceremony; this was the cup that Jesus blessed at the Last Supper, and the one interpreted as “the new covenant in my blood.” When early Christians took communion, they were aware of its connection to Passover and with the Last Supper of Jesus with His disciples”.

Preach This!: To the Jews, the fourth or final cup represented God saying “I will take you to me for a people” (Exodus 6:7). When Jesus share this Cup with His disciples, He is saying “I will take you to Me for a people under a New Covenant. It is not by the sacrifice of an animal that saves you, but the Sacrifice of Me, the Son of God. I took death to Me, so I could take YOU to ME”.

God established the shed Blood of the innocent as a covering for sin. He said:

Leviticus 17:11 (ESV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.

It was the blood of the lamb that redeemed Israel from Egypt, and the Blood of the Lamb that redeemed us from our sins. God loved us so much that He gave the Blood of His Son for us, the BLOOD of Jesus Christ. We are redeemed from sin and death “through the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without spot or blemish” (1 Peter 1:19).

The commentary at interestingly notes:

The blood of Christ is mentioned nearly three times as often as the cross of Christ and five times more frequently than the death of Christ. The word blood is the most common way of referring to the death of Christ.”

When Jesus said that the Cup represented “My Blood of the Covenant”, He was announcing the end of the Old Covenant of animal sacrifices (which could not save) and the start of the New Covenant – aneverlasting covenantthat saves the believer in Christ once and for all. Only …

Hebrews 13:20 … our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant …

made payment for our sins FOREVER! Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Jesus shed His Blood through His broken Body.

1 Corinthians 10:16 … The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

Jesus’ body was broken for us. A crown of thorns were pushed down on His head for us. The soldiers beat Him with rods for us. Jesus was stripped naked, and nailed to a Cross for us. As He hung on that Cross, suspended in a living hell, He was abandoned by the Father for us. He cried out,

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God,
my God, why have you forsaken me?” (ESV)

Jesus did this for us. The Bible says:

John 19:28-30 (ESV) After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

We have “Communion” or fellowship with God our Father, the indwelling of the blessed Holy Spirit, and a unity within the family of God because of Jesus’ faithfulness. He has truly “taken us to Himself for a people”. We are reconciled to God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18). And we are to be in ONE ACCORD because of what our Lord Jesus did.

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

We are united to God because we are all partakers of that one bread. We have access to God, and a common fellowship with one another, because Jesus is “THE Bread of God Who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33, ESV). We are all partakers of the Living Bread that came down from Heaven.

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

There Is But One Way To God:
All Other Ways Are Devilish!

1 Corinthians 10:19-20 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

It is a common thing today for people, attempting to be politically correct, say something like “There is only One God, but many ways to Him”. Such doctrine is devilish. The Gospel Coalition notes:

“… the very claim that there are many ways to God, assumes that some religions are wrong. Why? Because not all religions are trying to get to God. Most forms of Buddhism, for example, are atheistic and as such the goal has nothing to do with God. Similarly, most forms of Hinduism are pantheistic—you are part of God and the goal is not to reach God, but to realize you are already God.”

The Christian Faith clearly states that there is no way to unto God but through faith in Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus said:

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And the early Church preached:

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

All other ways to God is – according to the Scripture – devilish. “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14, ESV).

Many are uncomfortable at this teaching. Let me put it this way: I agree that there are fine, morally upright people found in every religion on the face of this earth. There are good citizens who are Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, followers of Bahá’ís, Mormonism, Judaism. Name a religion and you are likely to find what we might call “good” or “nice” people in it. But being “good” or “nice” does not get anyone into Heaven. Only the Christ can do this. Only Jesus Christ.

There is only One Person Who can give us the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:19). There is only one Person Who has the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18). This one Person is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ you can have your sins forgiven. It is only through Christ that you can be given everlasting life. It is only through Christ that you can enter the Family of God. It is only through Christ that you can approach God the Father, and be in union with God the Holy Spirit.

This Lord’s Table is a reminder of this great truth.

1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

Jesus Christ demands our exclusive love. As we now come to the Lord’s Table, we examine our hearts. Is Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord? Is He our hope for Heaven? Or are we relying on other things, others gods, to get us into the Family of God. Examine yourselves. Put your entire trust in Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit draw you close to Him through this His Word. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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