"No one has seen God at any time.
If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us."
1 John 4:12
The longer I endeavor to seek the LORD and learn from Him, the more evident it is to me that everything I am has its foundation in my heart, the newly created spirit man, born from above.
Jesus put it this way, “out of his heart will flow rivers of living water, but this He spoke concerning the Holy Spirit.” Our glorious Helper and Teacher is the One who anoints us to do far more than we can on our own. In fact, we can do nothing of value without Him.
With that in mind, let’s continue our study of Communion. Part 1 & 2 should be read first. Just scroll down for previous lessons.
Let’s begin with what the LORD revealed as we ended our last lesson.
The Meal before the Cross
John’s gospel account of the Passover Meal gives us a visual example of the agape love of Jesus as He washed each of His disciple’s feet in the upper room.
“You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
"If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” See John 13:13-17.
The Heart of a Betrayer
“One of you will betray Me.” Here, in John Chapter 13, the Holy Spirit reveals the depth of Jesus’ grief. “He was troubled in spirit.” Later, during the Passover Meal, Jesus shared a piece of bread with His betrayer. Satan entered into His disciple. “What you do, do it quickly.”
- The Passover Meal was a worthless formality to Judas.
- During the meal, his thoughts were focused on something else, how to sneak out of the upper room.
- He had an appointment to keep.
Judas’ last plot to pocket 30 pieces of silver would be his final reward for a devious life. See Matthew 26:15 & 1 Timothy 6:10.
The Heart of a Believer
A thankful heart of love and surrender to the One who took our place of punishment must be the focus of the believer’s attention while taking Communion.
If it isn't, the Holy Spirit, through God’s Word, must bring correction so that we line up with the true reason for Communion: Jesus Christ so loved us that He gave His life for us. Nothing can even come close to this kind of love. Nothing!
Jesus is what our hearts embrace during Holy Communion.
Laws of the Church
“Which is the first commandment of all?
"Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31
These two commandments are Kingdom principles that operate in Heaven, the homeland of which we are citizens. These laws were written in our hearts by God when we received Jesus as Lord and Savior.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’” Hebrews 10:16-17
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
The Book of 1 Corinthians is an amazing letter that is full of revelation knowledge.
Along with that however, correction was needed because of Believers who hadn't grown up and were still acting like babies. “For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” 1 Corinthians 3:3
These same actions carried over into how they were taking Communion. Behaviors such as pushing ahead of each other to eat, getting drunk, division and factions are all conduct that begins within an immature self-centered heart.
For some, loving God and others was not evident in their lives and even serious enough to bring the consequence of an early death. 1 Corinthians 11:30.
Putting on the New Man
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
- put on tender mercies
- bearing with one another
- and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another
- even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
Discerning the Brethren: The Glorious Church!
“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” 1 Corinthians 12:27
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all …” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
“… there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” 1 Corinthians 12:25
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
"For in fact the body is not one member but many.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
Matters of the Heart Matter
Cliques, discord, conflicts, quarreling, contentions, strife, incompatibility, unforgiveness should not even be named among this End Days Church. If these things are blatantly practiced in church, how will the world know us, or distinguish us as being different?
They won’t. Our behavior is like mere “unsaved” men.
How offensive to the Lord to have the people that He died for behave hypocritically as they assemble to join together to celebrate Holy Communion with hearts infected with unforgiveness, strife, and hatred.
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.
He who does not love his brother abides in death.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:14-16
Communion: Discerning the Lord’s Body
“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
“For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
"For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
“Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment.”
Read 1 Corinthians 11:27-34
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26
Back to the Heart
We are responsible to examine our heart before proclaiming the Lord’s death—His sacrifice for our sins. If we judge ourselves, we will not be judged.
This opens our heart so we can receive the fullness of God’s love which empowers our faith to receive healing, deliverance, restoration, and wholeness. The Glorious Church needs to be healthy, Saints!
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
Loving God—Loving Others: Unity
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
Every time we take Communion, whether privately or with the Assembly of Saints, we make a personal declaration over us and into the heavenlies of the reason that Jesus Christ died for us.
It is a proclamation that confirms our covenant rights that we inherited from Jesus’ death. Shouldn't it be a whole lot more than a ho-hum experience?
The days are evil around us, Saints, protect your heart. Effective prayers come forth from there.
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