April 20, 2000
1 Corinthians 10:16-17 [18-21]
Holy Communion Is A Participation In Christ
Introduction: In any poll ever taken of the greatest men in history, Jesus has always come at or near the top. Jesus is universally admired as a self-sacrificing human being and a gifted teacher. For us Christians, Jesus is far more, however. He is the Son of God and our beautiful Savior. As such He is surely worthy of all the admiration we have for Him.
But we do not just admire Jesus from a distance of almost 20 centuries. We actually approach Him so that we come very near to Him and He to us. That’s what Paul is saying in our text. He reminds us that Holy Communion Is a Participation In Christ.
I. It is a exclusive participation
A. The real Christ unites Himself with us in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.
1. We take into ourselves His very body and blood.
2. We participate intimately in God Himself
B. We participation in Christ excludes participation in idolatry.
1. By worshiping the gods of money, prestige, and sex we divorce ourselves from Christ (1 Corinthians 6:25-20)
2. God will have no other gods before Him (Zech. 1:14)
Transition: The exclusive participation in Christ in Holy Communion reminds us that we are to be done with participation in anything that usurps Christ’s place within.
II. It is a satisfying participation.
A. Christ satisfied us with His forgiveness.
1. We need forgiveness for our unfaithfulness, an unfaithfulness that can never satisfy (Ezekiel 16:28).
2. We receive full and free forgiveness, for Christ gave His body and blood to secure that forgiveness. His forgiveness takes away our guilt and calms our conscience (Psalm 65:4; 107:9).
B. Christ satisfies us with abundant life (John 10:10)
1. We need Christ’s life because we live in bodies that will die.
2. We receive the life of Jesus, over whose body death no longer has dominion (Romans 6:9)
Transition: The satisfying participation in Christ in Holy Communion results in the life of Jesus being manifested in our mortal bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).
III. It is a unifying participation.
A. Since we partake of one bread we receive the one and the same Christ, we also are one body.
1. Our oneness manifests itself in our united affirmation of the real presence of Christ in Holy Communion.
2. Our oneness manifests itself in our unanimous confession of all that Christ has taught (Matthew 28:20)
3. Our oneness manifests itself in our sharing tasks, joys, and sorrows (1 Corinthians 12:14-26).
B. As we participate in the one Christ, we have a oneness that enables us to stand against Satan.
1. We will not be such easy prey for Satan when we remain in fellowship with one another.
2. We can better escape Satan as we strengthen our fellowship by partaking of Holy Communion (Acts 2:42)
Conclusion: The unifying participation in Christ in Holy Communion enables us to be a body of Christians who together confess Christ, support each other, and stand firm against temptation. As members of families and as citizens of a country we all participate in many kinds of activities. But none of these compares with our participation with Christ in Holy Communion.