East Side Church
(Baptist - Disciples of Christ)
201 Spruce Ave.
Sharon, PA 16146
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October 6, 2013
"Breaking Bread"
Acts 2:42

Intro: Past few weeks, completed two different sermon series, both drawn from Acts 2. First addressed questions skeptics leveled against Christianity. Discovered Christians have good reasons for beliefs. Last week, completed second series, answered question: "How does a person become a Christian?" Correct answer to that question is foundational to this final series of sermons drawn from Acts 2, which we begin today. Answering questions, "What does it look like when the Church behaves like it should?" "What are the necessary components of the Church being the Church?" (Read Acts 2:42.) Bad pastor! Rearranged list, WCS. But first point on list for a reason!)

Breaking Bread! In general, term could simply mean the church ate together, (very good thing!) Will talk more about idea of the church eating , living, being together in a future sermon. But not the nuance many scholars believe Luke is highlighting. Rather, "breaking bread" refers to early church's regularly sharing the Lord's Supper.

The Lord's Supper is...

International! Not just b/c of "World Communion Sunday." Meal communicates unity of Christian Church, around world and throughout history. (Read I Corinthians10:14-17.) Meal reminds us that individual Christians, congregations, are not just individuals! Part of Christ's body; participating in meal reflects our unity with Christian brothers and sisters of different churches, races, countries. This meal is international! How does sharing this meal unite us? To answer that question, must remind ourselves of meal's purpose!

Intentional! (Read I Corinthians 11:23-26.) Jesus' last meal with disciples before His death. Observing Passover, meal Jews ate to remind themselves of how God delivered them from slavery in Egypt. At Last Supper, Christ purposely changed the meal's focus; called His disciples to eat the meal to remind themselves of His death on the cross. This is what unites us: Our relationship to Jesus Christ, remembering, sharing in His death! This meal is intentional! It reminds us that we're all...slaves in need of His deliverance ...sinners in need of His forgiveness... looking back at His death, forward to His return.

Important! Early DOC wanted to observe communion often, to reflect its importance. Why we observe communion weekly. Yet sin clouds our perception; we can be lulled into a sense of dull duty. Don't let routine deceive you! This meal is important! You're sitting on the edge of eternity. Paul cautions us, as we approach the table, don't eat in an unworthy manner. Meaning? Not: Trying to live in a way to earn God's grace. Rather, live in a way that reflects Your trust in God's grace. (Read I Corinthians 11:17-22; 27-32.) Examine your hearts: Are you holding on to any sin? Any relationship you need to repair? (Read Matthew 5:21-24.) This meal is important!

Intimate! Don't let the ceremony, ritual, formality of the way we do communion confuse you. (Read Matthew 26:20-22.) As you share in this meal, you're gazing into the eyes of Jesus, who went to the cross for you! You whisper, "Surely not I, Lord?" but you know in your heart that you have betrayed Him, sinning in countless ways. I invite you to look into Christ's eyes, hear His whispered grace in His dying groans: "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing." Feeling uncomfortable? This meal is intimate!

Application : And so we are united as we share in this important meal. We are united in our sin. We are united in our need for God's grace. We are united in our joyful discovery that God's grace has been secured for us through the death of Jesus, His Son. We are united as we look back at Christ's death, and as we look forward to His return. We are united with our brothers and sisters in Christ, around the world and throughout history. As your pastor, as a fellow sinner saved by God's grace, I invite you: prepare your hearts, come to the table, receive our Lord's Supper!

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© East Side Church, 2013