Timeless Truths at the Lord's Table

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  11 : 23-26
Subject: Lord's Supper; Foot Washing; Communion
Introduction

A student of God’s word cannot approach the Lord’s table without being reminded of other things that surrounded the Lord’s table. In John 13:1-17, we have the record of a major event that took place just before the disciples received the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Table seems to draw a major focus on the Declaration, while the John 13 account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet reminds us also that we cannot approach the Lord’s Table without being confronted with Christ’s Crucifixion and His glorious Resurrection. All of these truths are before us at the table, and all are so magnified in Phil 2:5-11.

I want us to see the major truths applied to our own lives in these three happenings:

I. Foot-washing: Opportunity for Service

John 13:12-17

Humility – is seen in Jesus emptying Himself of divine privilege by becoming human

Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself …”

Speaks of lowliness of mind or self-abasement. It describes the attitude of one who willingly serves, even in the lowliest of tasks.

As Master, He had every right to command their service. Instead, He served them. He gave them a true example of Christian ministry. By becoming a servant, our Lord did not push us down; He lifted us up. He dignified sacrifice and service.

A. EXPLANATION

John 13:14, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.”

The act of foot-washing stands for all kinds of acts of self-denying love. It is a call to loving care for others that regards no task as too menial, no service too great.

B. EXAMPLE

John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”

Jesus took the place of a slave.

C. EXPECTATION

John 13:17, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

Happiness does not consist in knowing, but in doing.

James 1:22-25 reminds us that we are to be doers of the word, not hearers only.

II. Baptism: Obedience to the Savior

Romans 6:4, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

The Apostles Paul and Peter magnify baptism by showing us that it identifies us with Christ and gives witness that we have broken with the old life and will, by His help, live a new life.

Baptism is an act of faith and a powerful testimony to the believer’s union with Christ. An outward symbol or indication of the inward change which has been effected in the believer.

Baptism does not produce any spiritual change in the one baptized. We practice baptism simply because Jesus Christ commended it and because it serves as a form of proclamation of our salvation.

1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”

Baptism is the public demonstration in which one pictures the spiritual transformation that has already occurred. Baptism never cleanses the filth of the flesh. However, since Christ commanded it, baptism must be accepted as the answer of a good conscience towards God.

Anyone who has been saved, receiving a good conscience toward God, will answer by submitting to baptism as Jesus mandated

While baptism does not save, it is unthinkable that one who has been saved would reject baptism. To do so is to reject the command of Christ.

Baptism is a picture. Christ was immersed in death, one death, yet arose triumphant over it. We picture that vicarious sacrifice by our own immersion in water.

FACT: People sometimes fear baptism. Why? The death aspect, going under the water. No one fears the “being raised.”

III. Lord’s Supper: Overwhelming Truth for the Saints

It magnifies Calvary, Cleansing (Blood), and

His Coming.

The Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the death of Christ and of its sacrificial character on our behalf, a symbol of our vital connection with the Lord and a testimony of His second coming.

In the Lord’s Supper, I am reminded of what He did for me, (done) that I could not do for myself.

The Lord’s Supper sets forth the message that salvation is by grace alone, on the merits of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and not by anything that we can do.

Conclusion

Augustus Toplady wrote “Rock of Ages” in the 1770’s. He later died, 1778, at the age of 38. His hymn gives the language of the Lord’s Supper.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood,

From thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,

Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

Not the labors of my hands

Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite known,

Could my tears forever flow,

All for sin could not atone;

Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress;

Helpless, look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly,

Wash me, Saviour, or I die!

When I draw this fleeting breath,

When my eyes shall close in death,

When I rise to worlds unknown,

And behold Thee on Thy throne,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.