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The Four-Fold Look from the Lord's Table

February 7, 2021 Speaker: Jerry Lindell Series: Individual Messages

Topic: Communion Passage: 1 Corinthians 11:17–29

Slides for 2-7-21 Sermon


Anything that we do regularly can become rote.  When this happens, we engage in a vain practice which neither honors our Lord nor strengthens us in our Christian walk.


To help prevent this, 1 Corinthians 11 gives us a four-fold perspective on the Lord’s Supper.


  1. THE BACKWARD LOOK (vv. 23-25)


The words “in remembrance of me” are attached to receiving both the bread and the cup.


A real key to partaking of the Lord’s Supper, then, is a remembrance of Jesus Christ, not primarily as a teacher, or a good example, but as a sacrifice.


As we gather around the table of our Lord, we must always do so with a deep appreciation of the sacrifice of our precious Savior.  He died in our place.  He suffered and shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins.


The backward look should fill our hearts with gratitude and adoring love.


  1. THE FORWARD LOOK (v. 26)


As we partake, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  We are not celebrating a dead, fallen hero, but a risen, living Savior.


The forward look should fill our hearts with hope and encouragement.  Life is not a meaningless existence!


The forward look should also give us a genuine concern for people all around us and move us to greater compassion, greater prayer and greater boldness in our witness.


  1. THE INWARD LOOK (vv. 27-28)


An important question: “What does it mean to eat and drink in an unworthy manner?”


Answer:  Coming to the Lord’s table in an irreverent or half-hearted manner, where we fail to gripped by the deep meaning of Christ’s death.


Partaking in a worthy manner means examining ourselves, which might include asking things like:

  • Am I truly a believer? Am I trusting in the life and death of the Lord Jesus and his shed blood as a sacrifice for sins as my only acceptance before a holy and just God?


  • Would the Lord Jesus be pleased with how I have obeyed him since I last participated in the Lord’s Supper?


  • Are there ways I have offended God in thought, word or deed that I have not confessed?


  • To what am I giving my life? Would Christ be pleased with my goals, ambitions and values?


The very nature of the Lord’s Supper requires an inward look – a careful, thoughtful examination.


  1. THE OUTWARD LOOK (vv. 17-22)


We celebrate Communion not as isolated individuals, but as part of a family, the church.


As members of the church, we must be doing our part in living in peace and harmony with one another.


The existence of harmony and peace in the church is not just important for us.  The unity and beauty of the church is a key factor in evangelism.


When we as a church do not exhibit love and unity, it does not make the gospel untrue.  But it does put unnecessary obstacles in the way of non-Christians as they consider the gospel.


The outward look demands that those who partake of the Lord’s Supper take seriously their duty to demonstrate in their personal relationships the same sacrificial service, love and forgiveness that Christ has shown to us.


May this this Backward, Forward, Inward and Outward- at the Lord’s Supper help us all to partake of the Sacrament in a richer, fuller way, not only this morning, but also in the days to come.

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