El Dorado News

Monday
September 25, 2017
El Dorado News Times

From the pulpit, 7-15-17

This article was published July 15, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

Ancient Words —

Cup of Blessing, Cup of Demons

Communion is a very precious and eternally important facet of Christian worship. The body of Christ and the blood of Christ bear common observance by all Christians. The practice of communion, however, varies throughout the sector of Christian churches. Observance of communion can be seen daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly.

By faith, people practice communion in some degree of regularity according to the way they believe scripture, according to the teaching of their local church, and according to the traditions passed down through time. The elements of communion are commonly unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (grape juice or red wine). All churches relate the significance of the body of Christ to the bread and the blood of Christ to the “wine.” There are some who go further and give significance to the bread being one loaf and to the “wine” being served and shared in a single chalice or cup. Communion is generally held on the first day of the week, Sunday, but is also found on special days like Christmas Eve, Passover before Easter and on special occasions like weddings and birthdays and even baptisms.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in his first letter: (1 Cor. 10:16-17), “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.”

Communion, as explained, is a participation in both the body and blood of Christ. Our communion is a memorial to the greatest man ever born of woman. It is a memorial to the perfect one without blemish who gave himself freely as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. It is a memorial to the most powerful and righteous and holy one who conquered death through love; who lives forevermore through God’s Holy Spirit making atonement and salvation for all who will eat his flesh and drink his blood.

Jesus says to us in John 6.53-57, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.”

In communion, we need to demonstrate outwardly what we should seek to practice inwardly. Communion should be our outward expression of our inward passion. We should be ever grateful for the opportunity to share and participate in this divine memorial. Our communion is truly a Passover when we observe the essential commands passed out in the scripture because our sins are passed over and indeed canceled on Christ’s cross.

Our instructions are twofold – first we are to examine ourselves (and not another), next we are to discern the Lord’s body (and not another). As written in 1 Cor. 11:27-29, “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”

Communion is a blessed event for man to share with God above. Communion is not about who is right in frequency or what is right in serving emblems. Communion is about our sinful state before God’s amazing grace! There are differences of administration but the same Spirit, different kinds of working but the same God. If we offer our service to God in faith, then God freely credits our faith as righteousness. The one who mistakenly judges others by his standard of faith is walking on precarious ground.

First, we are told not to insult the Spirit of Grace and two, we are told– judge not that you be not judged. Paul says, if we will take the moment to judge or examine ourselves in communion, then we will not come under judgment.

The Ancient Words further explain, you cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. The cup of demons includes judging and as such judged our Savior as being worthy of death on a cross. The cup of blessing is profound, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Cor. 11:26).”

(Scott Johnson is pastor at East Faulkner Church of Christ and author of the BRG Bible).

• • •

Sparks From The Gospel Anvil

Acts 8:1

Do you remember the last time that El Dorado or even Union County or even our nation had a true revival? I am speaking of a true revival, where people repented of their sins, paid their debts, love God supremely and love their neighbor as they love themselves? Did you know that the Bible records many times when true revival took place among God’s people. Of course, we see it in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and during the reign of King Josiah, in which is found in 2 Chronicles chapters 34 and 35; and also in Nine-veh, in which Jonah proclaimed the Word of the Lord and the whole city repented and turned to the Lord!

But is this what El Dorado desires? Or even Union County? Now, some people may call me a dreamer and think that I am constantly talking about this, but what else is there to speak of? Have you seen the condition of our country? We are not the United States of America, but a melting pot of confusion, chaos and corruption.

Now, I am not saying that everything is wrong, but what exactly is going right? When one reads in the newspaper that a 16-year-old is found packing weed and weapons, then that is not only their problem but the entire county as well. When are we as believers going to stand up and say enough is enough, and meet and pray for our county and our country to repent of its sins and follow Christ?

I am speaking about a revival where Christians genuinely get right with God and lost people get saved, where marriages are restored, alcoholics are delivered and rebellious teens are brought to their knees, where liars become truthful, thieves are made honest, prostitutes are made pure, adulterous men made faithful. Would you like to see that in El Dorado?

Did you know that revival can start with one person? Only one person that is willing to pay the price and is hungry for God to do something in people’s lives to change them. One person can realize it only takes a spark to start a roaring blaze. You see never was the church more richly organized than she is at the present hour. Her ministers were never more thoroughly equipped for the proclamation of the gospel, yet who doesn’t feel that there is something lacking, some large and heavenly baptism of power, to give authority to those who preach and reality to those that hear.

A large baptism of the Holy Spirit is the church’s deepest need for today! We in the church, want to see a great move of God! We want to see souls saved, we want to see revival, but it’s not going to happen until we do it God’s way! Can we say as David did in Psalm 24:3-5, do we have clean hands and a pure heart?

When Gipsy Smith Sr. was asked how to have a revival, he said, “Go home, lock yourself in your room, draw a circle around yourself, and ask God to start a great revival within that circle! When God has answered your prayer the revival will be underway!” Are we willing to be used by God?

(Lieutenant Charles Smith is commanding officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado).

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