In the Lord’s Supper we eat and drink in remembrance of the risen and reigning Lord Jesus, who is present with us. In the meal, we’re confirmed in our identity as God’s covenant people and renew our commitment to trust and obey him. The Lord’s Supper is a perpetual proclamation of the Gospel and anticipation of Jesus’ Second Coming.
1. From the first century and throughout history, the Lord's Supper has been central to the church's worship (Acts 2:42).
2. There is freedom given to the church concerning how often the Lord's Supper ought to be celebrated, but it should be done frequently.
3. Churches have neglected the meaning and significance of the Lord's Supper to their own peril (1 Cor. 11:20-22).
4. The Corinthians were despising the church of God in their ungodly observance of it.
5. Five aspects characterize the Lord's Supper: remembrance, covenant, anticipation, invitation, and examination.
6. Remembrance: "Do this in remembrance of me." Remembrance is the purpose of the meal.
– The Old Testament describes many feasts of remembrance of God and His works of salvation (Ex. 12:17; Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23). They are not merely commemorative; these feasts are reminders that the God who delivered us long ago is with us, and delivering us still. We need to regularly remember that Christ is risen and is with us now and always (Matt. 28:20).
7. Covenant: The Lord's Supper is a meal of the new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34; Luke 22:20). This passage mentions three promises that are fulfilled in Christ, and confirmed in the Lord's Supper.
– "I will forgive their iniquity." The cup focuses us on the cross
– "We will know the Lord." This is a relational, biblical knowledge that characterizes the children of God.
– "I will write my law on their hearts" (Ezek. 36:26-27). This is a reference to the gift of the Holy Spirit. Coming to the table renews our promise to live as God's people.
8. Anticipation: "You proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." This passage reminds us that the Lord's Supper is a foretaste of a greater meal. When the veil between heaven and earth is lifted, we will no longer remember Christ; He will be with us, and we will eat a new meal (Rev. 19:9).
9. Invitation: It is the Lord's Supper – not the church's or the believer's. He has invited us to share in it (Luke 22: 14-15; John 13:1).
10. Examination: All of us are unworthy to eat this meal, but have been invited nevertheless. We must be sure to eat in a worthy manner. Eating in an unworthy manner has terrible consequences (1 Cor. 11:28-30). We are told to examine ourselves, and discern the body. "The body" refers both to Christ and to the church – are we in right fellowship with God and our brothers and sisters?
Our approach to the table ought to be characterized by six things: humility, repentance, faith, love, hope and joy (1 Pt. 1:8). Discuss these characteristics and the role each plays in celebrating the Lord’s Supper.