Present Your Bodies
15 Nov 2003, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
TITLE: PRESENT YOUR BODIES
Holy Communion or Ordinances of the Lord's House.
Scripture Reading : Matt 26: 20 - 29
PRELIMINARY THOUGHTS before the washing of feet as outlined in John 13.
In Romans 12:1 Pastor Paul admonishes us to "… present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Sacrifices of the Old Testament period pointed to the "Lamb of God", who would die to take a way the sins of the entire world. Here Pastor Paul uses the symbol of sacrifice to encourage Christians everywhere to present their bodies to God as a "living sacrifice". This is a reasonable request of God and a reasonable reaction from His children. When done through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ and faith in Him, our sacrifice is holy and acceptable to the Godhead.
The washing of each others feet is in fact an act of faith by which we act out a ceremonial cleansing from sin. As water cleanses so Christ's sacrifice cleanses us and by faith we are Holy and acceptable in God's sight. Christ makes us fit persons to meet with the Godhead at the table commemorating Christ's sacrifice on our behalf. Our reasonable service is to obey His instructions in John 13 and having done so present ourselves at His table.
BACK AT THE LORD'S TABLE
Christians who present themselves at the Lord's Supper table have washed each others feet and are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. You are people who have not been continually "conformed to this world:" but have been "transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may demonstrate what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." We come to this Holy Ceremony of the Lord's Supper with "renewed minds." Accepted by God.
THE BREAD The unleavened bread is a symbol of Christ's body. His sinless humanity crucified and broken for us. His life is to give us life and it produces Christians who are not conceited. People who "think soberly". People who make sober judgments by the measure of faith that God deals out to us according to our capacity. Romans 12:3. Each Christian is only a small part of the "body" of believers. We are not all the same in office, role, talent or capacity. Never-the-less we are Christ's through His body, which the bread represents. He is Truth. But we are "not the same". We are not the same on two counts. One in capacity and two, our minds have been changed and renewed by the body of His love and truth. We have, "different gifts according to the grace that is given to us." Romans 12:2, 4, and 6. All this is represented by the bread.
THE WINE Unfermented wine represents the sinless life of Christ. His life blood which was drained out for our reconciliation, salvation and redemption.
It represents His love that is to be our "love without hypocrisy". It is a love life with Christ and each other which, "abhors that which is evil." It represents Christians who, "cleave to, (superglue to) that which is good." Romans 12:9.
Those of His blood and family will, "be kindly affectioned to one another with family love, in honour preferring each other. Romans 12:10 They are hard working in business, strong in the spirit of life, and in it all, "serve the Lord." Romans 12:11.
Although Christians endure trials and serious troubles they, "rejoice in hope" of being in the eternal kingdom eventually. For this reason they are, "continually faithful in their prayer life." Romans 12:12. The life blood of Christ represented in the unfermented wine is seen in a Christian people who, "give for the needs of their fellow saints." Romans 12:13.
The bread and wine represent Christ in us making us un-normal human beings. Un-natural saints. People who do not pay-back evil with evil. People who are peacemakers. People who are not "natural" humans. Christ's people , "who overcome evil with good." Romans 12: 17-18, 21.
The reason why we feast at the Lord's table is because, "the night (of sin and this life) are nearly over, and the day,( of the Lord), is almost here." So we have cast off the works of darkness and have put on the weapons of the light. We behave decently as in the daytime. We do not riot. We are not drunk or disorderly. We are not into sexual immorality or debauchery, neither are we into strife or jealousy.
Today at this Lord's supper we have "put on the Lord Jesus Christ ," so that we, make no provisions for the human carnal nature and its desires. Romans 13: 12-14
Bread and unfermented wine are our icons of life in Christ. Life from Christ by the Holy Spirit. Life of Christ obeyed by the power of the Holy Spirit. God's riches blessings as you demonstrate His principles in your obedient life style.
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