Preparation for Worship

1 Corinthians 11; Luke 22

The Look in – 1 Corinth. 11:28 “Let a man examine himself.” There must be preparation before there can be participation in a worthy way.

There must be introspection, self examination, self-judgment, self-analysis, and an in depth soul searching. Following this there must be confession and repentance.

We should examine and judge our motives. Not to pray, nor to remember your blessings. Whom have we come to see? Remember ME. The crowds came to see Lazarus. The Greeks came to see Jesus.

As we come to the meeting what are our motives? What is the purpose in attending? Is it to be heard? Is it to share? Is it to minister the Word?

At the Lord’s Supper we come to see Jesus, we come to remember the Lord, we come to worship the Him.

Four times: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22; 1 Corinth. 11. We must not be taken up with anyone, nothing must supercede our worship of Christ. “O fix our earnest gaze.” etc. Transfiguration. Present – precious – preeminent.

Or it can be deeply spiritual and moving experience.

The Place of Ministry at the Lord’s Supper.

Many have forsaken the worship of Jesus Christ, for the ministry of the Word. In many instances this ministry is far removed from the Object of our gathering. We come to worship not to teach.

In some instances the Lord’s Supper has degenerated into a sharing time. At the Lord’s Supper, if we feel constrained by the Spirit to minister before the breaking of the bread, let us see to it that the ministry is Christ centered, Christ exalting and is a stimulus to worship.

There is a vast difference between worship and ministry. Ministry in its ideal form comes down to us from God, through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Then it is delivered through the instrument whom God has prepared, and gifted, for this purpose. This can be stimulating to worship. Christ honoring – exalting.

Worship, on the other hand, is that which I generate in my spirit, then it ascends by the Holy Spirit, through the Son, to the Father.

Ministry descends from God to us. Worship ascends from us to God.

The Lord, at His Supper is not seeking your intellect, your talents, your tongue. He is seeking your worship. John 4. The meeting place.

Worship is costly. Psalm 45:1 “My heart is bubbling over.” etc. You will learn to worship at the feet of Jesus, or leaning on His breast. You don’t learn to worship at Bible School or Seminary.

Mary’s alabaster box was filled with costly and precious ointment. Three hundred pence – a year’s wages. This may have been her life’s savings.

Worship is also costly emotionally. Mary shed tears – tears of love – of gratitude – adoration – they were tears of worship. In order to express her deep, deep (agape) love, and gratitude to the Savior, she bowed low at His feet and gave Him her all. Mary never spoke. Our Lord was never more honored than on this occasion. – tombstone in France

It cost the Wise Men a great deal of discomfort, they made great sacrifices. They exposed themselves to dangers. Then after they saw Jesus, they worshipped Him, and gave Him costly presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Worship also cost Abraham a son, Isaac. “Take now thy son” etc.

Not the difference between Prayer – Praise – and Worship. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord for His blessings. But the highest form of worship is to offer to God the excellences and glories of His Son. T Bethany – Heb 11 The importance of worship. Abel – Enoch – Abraham.

The danger of false worship. The story in Lev 10-15 is very sobering. Two young priests entered God’s presence totally unprepared to worship Him. They offered strange fire, and for doing so they lost their lives.

Some of the Corinthian believers were sick, some were weak, and some had died, because they had come to the Lord’s Supper without first judging themselves. These warnings are clear. When we come to the Lord’s Supper we should be purged, and cleansed from all sin, and our baskets should be filled with first-fruits.

The time has come for us to consider this grave principle of truth. May we use the evening before us to prepare ourselves for the worship of the morning.

Let us take that introspective view of ourselves, and engage in a soul searching, self-analysis, so that when we appear before the Lord our hearts will be sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb 10.

Spontaneously flow from worship falls short of the Divine ideal.

Notice the order as the Lord brings worship and service together in Matt. 11:10 “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only wilt thou serve.”

The place of worship.

To be a true worshipper the priestly-believer must learn to distinguish between the place of meeting and the place of worship, within the veil.

The meeting place.

“Where two or three are gathered together in My name there am I in the midst” Matt. 19:20. We meet Him in fellowship – we also may only meet Him in the Breaking of Bread.

We can engage in all of these privileges as Royal Priests – and yet never worship in its purest and highest sense. In other words never enter within the veil into the Most Holy Place.

Heb 4 and 9 show us that Christ has passed through the heavens into heaven itself – the Most Holy Place. The place of worship. Holy priests worship where their Great High Priest is, in the Holiest of all. While most believers meet with the Lord in the Holy place. There are few who leave the Holy Place and enter through the veil into the Holy of Holies to worship “in the beauty of holiness.”

Our hearts can be right with God, and we can function as Royal Priests, but our spiritual vision can be dimmed that we fail to worship in spirit and in truth, in the beauty of holiness.

“Amidst us our Beloved stands – and bids us view His pierced hands – points to the wounded feet and side – Blest emblems of the crucified. If now with eyes defiled and dim – we see the signs but see not Him – O may His love the scales displace – and bid us see Him face to face.”

Yes, it is possible to meet Him, and serve Him, and praise Him – and this is good. But it is better to enter into the Holiest, within the veil by the blood of Jesus and worship God (the Father and the Son) in all the dignity of Holy Priests.

James G. Deck wrote: “The veil is rent Lo! Jesus stands – Before the throne of grace – And clouds of incense from His hands – fill all that glorious place.

His precious blood is sprinkled there – before and on the Throne – and His own wounds in heaven declare – the work that saves is done.

Within the holiest of all – cleansed by His precious blood – before the throne we prostrate fall – and worship Thee our God.

What is worship?

We will learn more about this great subject at the feet of Jesus than we ever could by any amount of intellectual study. The feet and Breast of Jesus.

In true worship we must prostrate ourselves in reverential fear and adoring awe and wonder. Worship is the expressed love of the heart toward a beneficent God and His Son.

Worship is the overflow of the redeemed heart as it contemplates the Goodness – Greatness – and Glory of God. Psalm 45:1 “My heart is bubbling over with a good matter” etc. – Might – Glory – and Majesty. As the Psalmist meditated on this his heart warmed until it boiled over and there ascended to God the matchless fragrance of worship. “My cup runneth over.”

One of the highest acts of worship recorded is the anointing of the Lord Jesus by Mary. Mary was wholly occupied with Christ. We find from this incident that worship is costly. The perfume was costly – 300 pence – one year’s wages – precious. Worship is costly emotionally – time wise. Tears of worship – in worship Mary shed tears – tears of love – gratitude – adoration.

In order to express her deep, deep love and gratitude to the Savior she bowed at His feet and gave her all. Gravestone on the beaches of France. These actions were not her worship – they were the evidence of the worship in her Spirit. The fragrance of this action filled the house and for over 1,000 years has filled the world. At no time was Christ more honored.

Worship is the overflow of a redeemed heart which appreciates the glory of God the Father, and God the Son.

The wise men came from afar at great discomfort – cost – sacrifice – and danger to worship the king.

They worshipped until they “saw Him.” see also Matt. 28. When they “saw Him” they fell down before Him and worshipped Him.

In deepest humility, and gratitude they poured upon Him the love of their hearts, and gave of their substance Gold – Frankincense – Myrrh

Worship is costly and can only be engaged in at great sacrifice.

The Breaking of Bread (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)

The Passover was immediately followed by the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

“With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you.”

“With passionate longing I desire to celebrate My remembrance feast with you.” “With Jesus in our midst we gather round the board” etc.

The Lord asks us four times to remember Him. My Supper. This simple request, is His dying request.

Why are we here this morning? Have we come to see Jesus? Have we come to remember Him? Have we come to worship Him?

Notice the importance of worship in Hebrews 11. Abel – Enoch – Noah

At this time we must not be taken up with anyone or anything. Nothing must supercede our worship of the Lord. “O fix our earnest gaze so wholly Lord on Thee.” etc.

We must not make the same mistake as Peter made at the Transfiguration by suggesting to make three booths. One for Jesus – Moses – Elijah.

Jesus Christ is not one among equals.

From the cloud of glory God said “This is My Son.” Unique – Special

When they heard the voice they fell on their face. Jesus then touched them. They saw no man except Jesus. He is present – precious – preeminent.

As we meditate upon the Lord this morning considering the Glory of His deity – the Fragrance of His life – and the horror of His Sufferings and atoning death, may our hearts overflow in worship.

Note the different postures at the Supper in John 12. Martha served – Lazarus fellowshipped – Mary worshiped

Mary was wholly occupied with the Lord.

In remembrance of Me. We do not come to remember a dead Christ. The remembrance feast is an affectionate calling to mind the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In remembering Him we feel His spiritual presence and realize who and what He is in view of His atoning sacrifice.

Memorial Day – a day for honoring dead members of the armed forces.

Phil. 2; Col. 1 prayer – thanksgiving – worship

The Remembrance feast is an occasion that serves to bring the Lord Jesus in His fullness to mind. “Then I was beside God as one brought up with Him and was daily His delights, rejoicing always before Him.” Preincarnate glories – virgin birth – virtuous life – vicarious death – victorious resurrection – glorious ascension – His advocacy – His soon return.

1 Cor.11

v24 this is My body

v25 N.T. in My blood

24-25 In remembrance of Me

v26 the Lord’s death

v27 the cup of the Lord

v27 body and blood of the Lord

v29 the Lord’s body

The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is that we might remember Him.

The Greatness of God Isa 40

The Omnipresence of God. David’s description Psalm 139:7-12. See also Jeremiah 23 – Amos 9. (Astronauts)

Hiding from God. Belshazzar, Adam – Eve

Suicide – Cremation. These do not solve any problems etc. Darkness.

You cannot run or hide from God – Jonah. The Wilson Boy. Zachaeus. David and Hilary.

Change of scene. Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall. “hark, what meaneth this sudden call” etc.

Revelation ch 6 – The Great White Throne

Omnipresent God.

There is never a time when Jesus is not speaking NEVER. There is never a place where Jesus is not present NEVER. There is never a room so dark – an office so sophisticated – a home so remote, that the ever-present, ever-pursuing, relentlessly tender friend is not theretapping gently at the door of our heart – waiting to be invited in.

“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

From the arrest in the garden of Gethsemane to the last spear thrust in His side on Golgotha, every principle of justice was violated.

Consider the majestic silence of the Lord.

Never a man spoke like that man. He does all things well. We have seen strange things today. Truly this was the Son of God. “Which of you convicted Me of sin?” “The prince of the world cometh and foundeth nothing in Me.”

The Lord’s Supper Luke 22:19-20

The Lord had just celebrated the Passover with His disciples. At the Passover the Jews commemorated their redemption, deliverance from Egypt. They did this annually.

It was the last Passover. There would be no more need for the Passover as the Jews knew it. The focus was about to change from the Pascal lamb – nation, to the Lamb of God – world. Christ was about to become our Passover 1 Cor. 5:7.

At this point HE instituted the Lord’s Supper as a “feast of remembrance.” Not in memory of Me. (see sheet) To carry our minds back to the Lord’s preincarnate glories and forward to His coming again 1 Cor. 4:26. At this time we should remember His love and grace, we should recall His sufferings and death and we should never lose sight of His promise to come again. Phil. 2:6-11.

The Offerings – the gifts of the Wise men

In the celebration of the Lord’s Supper we are to be occupied with Christ alone. (See sheet on 1 Corinth. 11) Like Abraham, we say to all earthly or fleshly affections “Abide you here, while I and the lad go yonder and worship.”

Two phrases from the Passover narrative story. “When the hour was come, He sat down” etc. v. 14 “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you.” v. 18

Transfer them to the Lord’s Supper. “With passionate longing I have desired to celebrate My remembrance Supper with you.” The Lord passionately longs for us to remember Him at His Supper. Immeasurable tenderness.

In Luke 22 and 1 Cor 12 the Lord asks us four times to “Remember Me.” Jesus Christ is not one among equals. “O fix our earnest gaze so wholly Lord on Thee.” etc. “O Christ Thou art enough the heart and mind to fill.”

It is the Lord’s Supper, He instituted it. He is the Host. The leader of the praise – focal point – point of concentration. He is the center – the circumference. He is the object of our worship. He is predominant – primary – absolute. He is paramount – matchless – unequaled – unexcelled. He is preeminent – superior – incomparable.

Why do we attend the Lord’s Supper? Ritual – Brazen Serpent. Do we come to meet Him and see Him? Sirs, we would see Jesus (John 12). Do we come to remember Him? This is al He asks us to do.

As we meet Him and see Him and remember Him, our heart overflows in praise, thanksgiving, adoration and worship (Psalm 45:1-2).

Note the importance of remembrance and worship in Heb 11. Abel worshipped, Enoch walked, Noah worked. Difference between prayer – praise – worship. Tabernacle. Martha served – Lazarus fellowshipped, Mary worshipped.

Notice the simplicity of the Supper. “What meaneth these stones?” Joshua 4:6 death resurrection. Bread and wine set upon a simple table. The Lord took a loaf of bread – He gave thanks for it – He then broke it – then gave it to the disciples and said, “This is My body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.” Break a piece and eat it.

He took humanity upon Himself. He broke, He was about to be broken on the cross. He gave, He gave Himself for us.

This bread represents My body. Since His body had not yet been given on the cross, it is clear that He is speaking figuratively, using the bread to symbolize His body. Transubstantiation – Consubstantiation.

Note that in Luke it is “given for you.” Matthew – Mark it is “shed for many.” Note not for all. The Lord’s blood was sufficient to provide forgiveness for all but it was only effective in removing the sins of those who believe.

Secondly, “He took the cup.” (of wine) Leonardo DaVinci. The container is used to express the element it contained.

When He had given thanks – He gave it to His disciples and said, “This is the new testament, ratified by My blood which is to be poured out for you.”

What is the New Testament or New Covenant? O.C. Israel. The New Covenant between God and His children is that we have eternal life, this agreement is sealed with the precious blood of Christ.

On this particular night the Old Covenant was about to pass away and the Lord was about to ratify the New Covenant with His blood.

Meaning of the Lord’s Table 1 Cor.11

There were many irregularities at Corinth. Paul deals with two of them in this chapter. The head covering – the Lord’s Supper.

Note the changes and regression over the years.

1. as instituted by the Lord Luke 22

2. as practiced by the church immediately after Pentecost Acts 2

3. new development in Acts 20

4. the debacle at Corinth 1 Cor. 11

Many of the Corinthians were so absorbed with the physical and material aspects of the gathering that their conduct precluded any true remembrance of the Lord.

The “love feast” that preceded the remembrance feast, had gotten out of hand. Instead of being a time of mutual sharing and caring, the rich believers shamed the poorer brethren, by sitting down to lavish meals with no though of sharing.

Some of the slaves who came late went hungry. While others were full and some were actually drunk.

As the Lord’s Supper immediately followed the Love Feast some were drunk as they partook of the elements. Others having indulged in the activities of the flesh had lost perspective. Paul condemns their actions strongly. “They were eating and drinking unworthy and were guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the Lord.” v.27

Paul received a personal revelation of the Lord’s Supper form the Lord Himself. V.23

Though not present at its institution, he describes perfectly the scene in the upper room, plus some further information and instruction. v.23 The same night the Lord was being betrayed He took bread. v.24 He gave thanks for it; to whom did He give thanks? For what did He give thanks?

The bread was symbolic of His body. He was thanking God that he had given Him a human body in which He might die for the sins of the world.

“This is My body” – this bread is symbolic of My body, which is broken for you. Partake of it in remembrance of Me. Inexpressible tenderness. V.25 In the same manner He took the cup, and said, “the wine in this cup is the New Covenant sealed by My blood.” Whenever you drink it, remember Me. The New Covenant. God has unconditionally promised to grant forgiveness to every sinner who confesses as Savior. Eternal security. This promise is ratified or sealed by the precious blood of Christ. v.26 This verse reminds us that as often as we eat the bread and drink this wine, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Conduct at the Lord’s Supper

v.27 If we eat and drink in an unworthy manner. Describe. We will be sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. v.28 Before partaking of the Supper we should have examined ourselves. Before bringing our gifts to the altar all sin should be confessed. The looking – backward – upward – forward. v.29 Not discerning the Lord’s body and blood. Some of the Corinthians were taking the elements with drunken hands and were not capable of discerning the Lord’s body. Think of some of the things that keep us from discerning the Lord’s body. The consequences. v.31-32 Self-indulgence prior to the Lord’s Supper is the remedy to avoid the judgment of God.