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Getting More from The Lord's Supper - 1 Corinthians 11:23-25

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1. The Lord's Supper was such an important activity in the weekly assemblies of the early church it was even recorded outside the Bible:

a. The Didache (ca. 95 A.D.) indicates Christians were to come together on the first day of the week to break bread – Didache 14:1

b. Justin Martyr (ca. 150 A.D.) records how Christians assembled on Sunday and partook of the Supper - Apology I, 67

c. "...the early church writers from Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, to Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Cyprian, all with one consent, declare that the church observed the first day of the week. They are equally agreed that the Lord's Supper was observed weekly, on the first day of the week." - B. W. Johnson, People's New Testament

2. It is an activity that can be easily abused

a. The church at Corinth abused its observance of it - 1 Corinthians 11:17-22

b. The weekly frequency can easily lead to it becoming a meaningless exercise, with grave consequences - 1 Corinthians 11:27

3. But when properly observed, it can be

a. A truly spiritual manifestation of worship

b. A source of wonderful fellowship and great blessings

c. A key element of serving the Lord with gladness





1. Note Paul's account as given by the Lord Himself - 1 Corinthians 11:23-25

a. We eat the bread in memory of His body

b. We drink the cup (fruit of the vine) in memory of His blood

2. We therefore commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross - Matthew 26:28

a. Whose death make the new covenant possible - Hebrews 9:16

b. Whose blood was shed for the remission of sins - Ephesians 1:7

3. As the Passover was a memorial commemorating Israel's deliverance from Egypt through the blood of the lambs on the door post, so the Supper is a memorial of our Lord's death that makes our deliverance from the bondage of sin possible


1. We proclaim our faith in the Lord's death - 1 Corinthians 11:26a

a. That His death was indeed for our sins

b. If we did not believe He died for our sins, then why keep the Supper?

2. We also proclaim our faith in the Lord's return - 1 Corinthians 11:26b

a. For it is to be done "till He comes"

b. If we did not believe He is coming, then why keep the Supper?

3. Thus the Lord's Supper looks forward as well as backward, and will ever be observed by His disciples who trust in His redemption and anticipate His return!


1. A fellowship or sharing in the blood of Christ - 1 Corinthians 10:16a

a. As we partake, we commune with the blood of Christ

b. Perhaps in the sense of reinforcing blessings we enjoy through the blood of Christ - 1 John 1:7, 9

2. A fellowship or sharing in the body of Christ - 1 Corinthians 10:16b-17

a. As we partake, we commune with the body of Christ

b. Perhaps in the sense of reinforcing fellowship together in the body of Christ, as we break bread together

3. As a fellowship meal, the Supper brings us closer to Jesus and to one another




1. It should be observed "in a worthy manner" (NKJV) - 1 Corinthians 11:27, 29

a. The KJV says 'worthily', which some have misunderstood

b. It is an adverb, describing how we take it, not whether we are worthy

2. It should be observed with respect for the supreme price Jesus paid for our sins

a. E.g., the cruel torture and humiliation of His physical body

b. E.g., the anguish suffered as Jesus hung on the cross

3. Failure to observe with proper reverence brings condemnation - 1 Corinthians 11:27,29

a. One will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord

b. One will eat and drink judgment to himself

4. To make light of this memorial puts one in the same category as those who mocked Him as He hung on the cross


1. To reflect on the suffering Christ endured - 1 Corinthians 11:24-25

a. By reading passages like Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and the gospel accounts of Christ's suffering

b. By singing songs written to prepare us for partaking of the Supper

2. To reflect on one's spiritual condition - 1 Corinthians 11:28

a. Are we living in a manner that shows appreciation for His sacrifice?

b. Have we accepted the grace of God in our lives? - 2 Corinthians 5:18-6:1

c. Are we living for Jesus who died for us? - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Galatians 2:20

d. Are we guilty of willful sinning? - Hebrews 10:26-29

e. Do we, by refusing to repent of our sins, crucify Him again? - Hebrews 6:4-6

3. The Supper is a very private time between a Christian and his Lord; a time to reflect on Christ's death and its meaning for our life


1. There is ample indication the Supper is designed to be a communal meal

a. The disciples "came together" to break bread - Acts 20:7

b. When they came together, they were to "wait for one another" - 1 Corinthians 11:33

c. Partaking together of "one bread", they demonstrate they are "one bread and one body" - 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

2. We commune not just with the Lord, but with one another as brethren

a. Make a special effort to assemble with others for the Lord's Supper each Lord's Day

b. Give thanks for the unity Christ's death makes possible for us to share - Ephesians 2:13-16

3. The Supper is a time to reinforce our oneness in the Body of Christ



1. The Psalmist proclaims why we should "serve the Lord with gladness...", "...It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." - Psalm 100:3

2. And how is it possible for us to be 'His people and the sheep of His pasture?"

a. Because Jesus is the Door of the sheep - John 10:7-10

b. Because Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep - John 10:11,14-16

3. This is why the Lord's Supper should be a weekly observance done with gladness

a. It is a time of reverence in respect to Him who died for us

b. It is a time of reflection which should renew us to live for Him

c. It is a time of reunion in which we experience the union for which He died


Shall we not make the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper an important element in our serving the Lord with gladness?


Are You Saved?


-- Don Treadway, January 2010 --


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