When We Come Together
(Preparing Our Year Ahead for Worship)
1 Corinthians 11:17-26
The Vital Issue of Public Worship (1 Corinthians 11:17) (4 facts that make participation in a public worship service necessary) Newspaper editorial, why go to church? Can’t remember one sermon over 30 years. Response came, like eating my wife’s meals over 30 years, yet can’t remember one of them but they nourished me and without them I would be dead.
- The Bible encourages accountability to a particular church ministry. Hebrews 13:17, leaders keep watch over you and will give an account. Our pastor knows us personally, not like a TV preacher.
- The Bible gives examples of how spiritual breakthrough can happen in public worship. Psalm 73 – when I came into the sanctuary, it all became clear. God bats last. The truth of God was revealed. In the context of public worship.
- The people of God are called together corporately for worship. Psalm 95:1-6 – shout before him, worship bow down kneel down. Ephesians 5:19 – come together to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
- The biblical model of the original meetings of the church included fellowship as a priority. Acts 2:22 – come together to break bread… Hebrews 10:25 – don’t forsake coming together. Hold one another up, to encourage one another.
A Critical Problem to Confront (1 Corinthians 11:18-22) (Paul’s Instructions with the Lord’s Supper) Bonhoeffer quote, not an ideal ritual to do every month, but it is a privilege to participate.
- The Primary Concern: the proper attitude and practice of public worship. Division, factions, spills over to the fellowship. Worshipers needed the proper attitude in public worship.
- The Cultural Context of this Concern: the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Observance of the Lords Supper. It is not going well with you all. People wanted their own portion. The meal attached to the Lords Supper, love feast, activity was building from former pagan influence. In homes, of the more affluent, more notable members get the premiere seats in the dining area, other where assigned out back. The wealthy brought a better menu. Arguments over coming to the table, wanting their own preferences?
- The Spirit of The Problem: personal preferences over unity. What I desire becomes a priority, then fellowship begins to diminish and social hierarchy rises.
- The Accountability: “shaming the house of God” – unjustifiable.
A Re-commitment to the Centrality of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) (The Importance of the Lord’s Supper) All things revolve around Jesus. Paul brings in the contrast from Jesus’ words to the fact of reality.
- The Proper Framework: the bread and the cup
- The Proper Symbolism: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our Salvation. The sacrifice for our salvation.
- The Proper Witness of the Church: proclaiming His death until He comes. He provides a proper witness. The entire gospel… suffering through his return.
Remember: “I am not here for my portion, but to bring glory to Christ.” Reaffirm the centrality of Jesus.