COMMUNION: BE FREE! (1 CORINTHIANS 5:7)

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O'Neill


Did you know that some of the stars that we see in the sky no longer exist? I think it is difficult for those of us who don't know much about astronomy to conceive of that, but I believe the way they put it is; the star itself ceased to exist millions of years ago and what we see coming towards us is its light. It just boggles your mind when you think of that. and I've thought that if you got on a certain star in the universe you could see the light passing by on its way to earth. I suppose in some funny way that's it.

You remember Einstein used that kind of illustration to say you can see that somewhere in the universe, everything that has ever happened is still going on. So even though the star has ceased to exist, its light is going on through the universe and somebody is seeing it and that's going on forever. And so, in a sense, anything that is done in the universe is being seen forever somewhere else in the universe.

Even though your mind beings to crumble as it pursues that thought, you get hold of the idea, that time is just a little finite way we have of looking at our localized earth and that time and space are almost a concession that God makes to us little human beings. In actual fact, if you could get high enough- above all the stars and above all the solar systems- you could look down and see the whole thing taking place at this moment. You could see the light that started off from the star, billions of miles away. You'd see it at that point and you'd see at a midway point, and you'd see it when it gets to earth as well.

So, in a strange way you can see time and space are very-very relative and really what we're faced with is one great eternal moment. But for us this morning, the important point is the thought that even though the star ceased to exist millions of years ago, the light is still on its way, and that's the meaning of this communion.

For we are convinced, in the words of scripture, that "One has died for all therefore all have died. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come." In other words, the "old" in you died when Jesus died. If you're still putting up with the anger, and the selfishness and the anxiety and the jealousy of that "old" that was destroyed millions of years ago in eternity, then you're putting up with a mirage, something that you don't need to endure.

You may say, "Brother, this anger I feel is real." No, it has real effects only when you let it run in your life. It has real effects just as the light from the star has real effects. You can see the light, it can provide light for you, but the star died millions of years ago. So it is with you and me. All that we were, died with Christ. All the power of it has died. We are being deceived to think that we have to continue to let the light of that old self shine in our lives. It's a lie, loved ones, it's a lie.

For we are convinced, Paul says, "That Jesus has died for all of us, therefore all of us have died" - with all our anger and our envy and jealousy. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, (we all are in Christ because Christ has died for all and therefore all have died) he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come". You can believe that this morning and you can live in it.

It's as easy as that. You can believe that and live in it or you can go out of this door and say, "Well, it's logical what he said and it fits into the analogy he used with the star, but I am going to hang onto this anger and resentment and envy. I am going to keep on with my drinking too much and smoking too much and I am going to keep on with my tranquilizers. Yes, I know it's logical what he says, but I am going to keep on with these things anyway."

You can do that. But you can just as easily this morning turn the other way. You can say "That makes logical sense what he said. If this God who is able to continue the light shining from a star that has died a million years ago, then he is able to put me into His son and destroy all that is evil in me. I am certainly able to believe that and I am certainly able to live it." Loved ones, that's the truth.

I won't mention the brother's name, but he sat here for years listening to this truth and then suddenly he realized, "I can stop being angry, I can because the old self that produced it was crucified. I can do it." He changed that Sunday night a few months ago. He just changed like that. So can you if you want to. You can stop sinning if you want to.

A lot of you are going to do it the old way. You'll try with all your own power. But why not do it the new way? Believe what we've just said is true and then stop it. It will work. That's what Paul said to the Colossians, "For you have died and your life is hid with Christ in God, put to death therefore what is earthly in you". Put away fornication, anger, envy, jealousy. Put it away. Just take it off and put it away. Put it off. There's no reason you can't. It's not stuck to you. God separated it from you when He crucified you in Jesus. You can just put it away.

So you say, "Lord I believe that, Lord Jesus, I believe that this morning and I am going to live in that". Faith is belief plus obedience. It is belief plus living in the light of that truth. So loved ones, that's the only condition you need to fulfill to have communion this morning. You don't need to be a member of the church, but you do need to be real about your attitude to the fact that you were crucified in Christ in eternity. All that is old and spoils your life has been destroyed in Him. And because of that, you are able to stop doing it, this morning.

So, if you are honest about your sins this morning and are no longer going to make excuses for them and rationalize, then do receive communion and receive the only one into your heart who has been there all along, the only one who is able to help you walk in that grace. It's really very simple.

If you are willing to do that loved ones I would ask you then to receive the invitation, let's stand.

You that do truly and earnestly repent of your sins and are in love and charity with your neighbors and intend to lead a new life following the commandments of God and walking from henceforth in His Holy ways, draw near with faith and take this holy sacrament to your comfort and make your humble confession unto Almighty God.

Let's be seated as we pray.

We do not presume to come to this thy table most merciful Lord trusting in our own righteousness. But in thy manifold and great mercies we're not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table. But thou are the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore gracious Lord, so by faith, to receive thy Son, our savior Jesus Christ that the bread which we break may be unto us the communion of His body and the cup of blessing which we bless may be the communion of His blood and that we may evermore dwell in Him and He in us.

The Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread and broke it and said, "This is My body which is given for you, this do, in remembrance of Me." In like manner He took the cup after supper saying, "This is the cup of the new covenant in My blood, this do, as often as you drink it", for as often as you eat the bread and drink the cup you proclaim the Lord's death till He come.

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