Monday, February 10, 2014

Communion is a Mighty Weapon

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” - 1 Corinthians 11:25

How do you think of communion? Maybe your church does it just once a month and you often forget what it's for. Maybe it's just a weird religious ritual, or maybe you don't even know why the church does it. But have you ever thought of communion as a mighty weapon?

First, what is communion? During Jesus' last mealtime with his disciples before His crucifixion, it's recorded in Luke 22:19f, "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.'" For centuries Christians have celebrated this Last Supper in remembrance of Jesus death in our place for our sins. Different churches celebrate with different frequency and traditions, but the core is the same: bread and a cup for the remembrance of Christ's death.

What is the significance of communion? Why is it that Jesus asked us to remember Him in this way? Consider three things to remember about the the Cross of Christ:
  1. Remember who you WERE without Christ: Paul speaks in Ephesians 2 about how you were dead without Christ. Dead in your sins, shackled to your idols. No life, no hope, no way of getting free. And God's just wrath was upon you, with no escape. You were destitute, afflicted, condemned, guilty, and walking to your death.
  2. Remember who you now ARE in Christ: God has had mercy on you!! Oh what glorious good news! He made you alive in Christ, set you free from your bondage, gave you eternal life, adopted you into His family, forgave all your sin, and caused you to be a completely new creation
  3. Remember who you WILL BE in Christ: God is at work in you! Not only has He saved you and forgiven you for all your past sins, but He is now at work in you to progressively change and grow! Look at this amazing promise in Philippians 1:6, "he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." God started the work, and He will finish it. One day, you will be PERFECT. No more sin, no more weakness, no more struggling, no more FIGHT. It'll be over. Finally. And you will live in joy with Christ FOREVER. 
We are so prone to forget the gospel, to get distracted, to forget our sin, to just start to coast. Sometimes we begin to see ourselves as good people, not in need of Christ's death. Sure, maybe we needed a little help when we were younger, but we've got it from here, right? That's why communion is a mighty weapon. It FORCES us to remember the gospel, to fix our mind on the broken body and shed blood of Jesus. WHY was His body broken? WHY was His blood shed? Because HE died the death of a sinner, to save sinners who trust in Him. As you crush the bread in your mouth, between your teeth, REMEMBER the crushed body of Christ for forgiveness! As you drink the wine or grape juice pouring down your throat, REMEMBER the blood of Christ poured out of His veins for YOUR sin. That's the gospel! And He has commanded us to remember His death.

If you take communion in this way, remembering the gospel, there will be these precious fruits:
  1. Confession: No longer will you hide your sin in the dark. Seeing that it is forgiven, you will thrust it out into the light, and let it die (1 John 1:9). 
  2. Repentance: No longer will you love your sin, but a break will be made. The bridge will be burned. In your heart you will resolve to turn away. 
  3. Joy: To look upon the work of love your Friend has done for you, it will spark a fresh sense of gratitude and joy! What a Savior! 
  4. Violence: This sin caused your Savior to be crucified. Fight it! Now that it has died with Christ, it is a dying sin, a forgiven sin, a mortified sin. You have authority and power to kill it, to destroy it, to wage war with all the power of heaven against your sin. Start the barrage.
Remembering Christ,
The Relentless Fight