Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 28
Lord’s Supper Meaning
Now before we continue our study let me say that we are nondenominational, and this is the way that I have been teaching for many years. We have always taught with the idea that people of course are active in their own local Church. We are not competing with the Church, but rather hopefully are enhancing it, and a lot of our folks are Sunday School teachers and so forth. In my teaching environment I’ve always tried to stay on neutral ground, in fact I’ve learned that if I try to have a class for example in a Baptist Church, then the Methodists, Catholics, and Lutherans aren’t going to come. So when we teach we always try to have everything on neutral premises, because we want to reach people from every denominational background. This Book is not a denominational Book, but rather it is for everybody. Remember heaven is not going to be divided by denominations, we are all members of the Body of Christ, and if we’re saved we’re going to be in the same place regardless of denominational handle.
Now as we ended our last lesson we were dealing again with something that is not applicable for us living over here in America, but it is still a problem in some areas of the world. And that is this idea that if something has been offered to a pagan idol, then can a believer have anything to do with it? Well you see Paul spoke his mind when he said as far as he was concerned that dumb idol couldn’t affect that meat, and he could eat it and think nothing of it. But just like Paul taught back in the Book of Romans, eating ordinary meat, perfectly legitimate meat, if there were some that had become vegetarians, through whatever convictions, and if it was going to upset their Christian experience by watching Paul not be a vegetarian, then what did Paul say? “I won’t eat another bite of meat as long as I live if it’s going to be a stumbling block to others.” Well, it’s the same way here with regard to meat that had been offered to idols. He says, “If it’s going to cause a problem to the unbeliever, as well as to the believer, then I won’t eat it.” Remember where we left off in our closing moments in verse 28:
I Corinthians 10:28
“But if any man say unto you, `This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it,…'”
Even that pagan is going to be taught a lesson if he tells this Christian who is now a guest at his table, “Hey, this meat is what I got back from the temple,” then the believer should reject it for that man’s sake to show him that he does make a difference. And on the other hand it could have been a fellow believer invited to that same feast, and that young believer did not have the strength to say, “This meat can’t be affected by an idol,” so for that young believer’s sake, don’t eat it. And you can carry that into every aspect of life. Anything that is going to cause a weaker believer to stumble, then for goodness sake set it aside. Now I think the crux of this whole thing is wrapped up in verse 31:
I Corinthians 10:31
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
And that’s the only reason we’re left here is to bring glory to His name. Even in the mundane things that we think don’t really count. Yes they do if we do it as unto the Lord and for His glory, then that’s the way God sees it. Now verse 32, and here is another admonition that fits just as well today as it did back in Corinth in Paul’s day.
I Corinthians 10:32
“Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”
In other words, that verse divided the population of Corinth, or any other city at that time, into three categories. We normally think of two, saved and lost, but here Paul puts it in three. Because the Jew was still a factor to be reckoned with when Paul writes to the Corinthians. Now a little later in his ministry Paul’s writings are a progressive revelation in themselves. Just like the Bible is on the whole. Because you’ve certainly seen that by now, when you come from Genesis all the way up through the scriptures, it’s a constant progressive revelation of things that were not revealed back there, but now they are. Paul’s letters work the same way. He works from a simple beginning, and he comes on up and finally he’ll end with those deep spiritual things that the carnal believer can’t comprehend. So here he is still showing that there is a difference between the Jew and the Gentiles, and those Jews and Gentiles who were members of the Body of Christ. Then to finish up the chapter:
I Corinthians 10:33
“Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”
Now as you study Paul’s letters I think you’re going to become aware of one overriding thought, and that is the man could never get lost people off his mind. All that Paul could think about was lost people. People for whom Christ had already paid their sin debt, people for whom the blood of Christ had been shed, people whose lives were ready to be ransomed by virtue of His resurrection from the dead. We never want to lose sight of the fact that when Christ went to that Cross, when Jesus died that death by crucifixion it wasn’t just another crucifixion because there were thousands of those. It wasn’t unique in that respect. But what made it unique is that He was the Creator God Himself Who took on human flesh to go to that Cross, so that on that Cross God poured out all of His wrath for sin. All the sin from Adam until the last person that will ever live in time, their sin was laid on Christ on that Cross and God judged it. He poured out His wrath on Him. Which means that even the vilest member of some mafia or whatever you want to think of as vile, lost, wicked people, their sins are already atoned for. They are already paid for. The only reason they’ll go to an eternal doom, if they don’t come into salvation in the meantime, is because they rejected Christ’s atonement. That’s why we maintain there’s only one sin that will ever put a person out in his eternal doom and that is rejecting the Gospel, because the sin debt has been paid.That has been finalized once and for all.
And so this is why Paul just burned until his dying day that he might get the Gospel of Salvation out to the lost people. And if each one of us would just get a part of that same desire, we’d make a difference. I think personally the world is too far gone. I don’t look for a great awakening. I hope I’m not small in faith, but I just can’t see it. But IF every believer would burn for the lost world like Paul did, then we’d still turn the world around. We could turn this country inside out and turn the world around, but it looks like believers aren’t going to. Of course, it’s all in God’s providence and we know that things have to come to their conclusion. But anyway, Paul’s whole desire any place he went was that lost people might be saved.
How many times do we think about it when we go our way, and I guess we’re most aware of the masses of humanity when we’re on the road. You just see this constant rolling of traffic into the city and out, and I don’t care where you go, it’s the same everywhere. Highways just chock full of people coming and going, and that’s when I become aware of the masses of people and to think that most of them are lost, and we could care less, seemingly. But if we could do like Paul and just burn with that desire. Now come with me back to I Corinthians Chapter 4 and drop down to verse 16.
I Corinthians 4:16
“Wherefore I beseech (beg) you, be ye followers of me.”
That’s contrary to what most people think. Now come on over to Philippians Chapter 3 and verse 17.
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”
Why does the Holy Spirit prompt the man to tell the world to follow him rather than to follow Jesus? Because this man is of the same human make-up that we are. He has the same failures, the same weaknesses, the same fears that we do. He went into one of these strange pagan cities and do you think he went in with a boldness and a facade that showed no fear? No! He trembled in his boots just like we would, not knowing what kind of a response he would get, but he went anyway. And that’s what we have to do. It’s a fearsome thing to take the Gospel out to a belligerent world. But this is what he means when he says, “Be followers of me,” and that we burn with that same desire as we see more people come to a knowledge of salvation. Now, if you’ll come back with me to I Corinthians and we’ll go into Chapter 11. And remember, he still hasn’t left the thought completely of the Lord’s Supper.
I Corinthians 11:1
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
Now remember Paul writes to Gentiles in the world today just as surely as he wrote to the Corinthians in his day and time. He says, “Be ye followers of me.” These are three verses right in a row that say the same thing. I Corinthians 4, Philippians 3 and now I Corinthians 11. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Now Paul isn’t setting himself up as the Savior of the world. He isn’t setting himself up as some god. Never! But what does he say? “As I follow the resurrected, ascended Lord, you follow me.” He makes that analogy throughout his letters. In fact, let’s go back and review for a moment. Let’s go back to I Corinthians 3. I know when I make statements like this I endanger myself to those who say I make too much of the Apostle Paul. Well, I don’t see how I can because the Apostle Paul is that man that God designated to take salvation to the Gentiles. And if God designated it, then I make no apology for it. And this is why he is defending his apostleship in all of his letters. I’m always stressing that Paul defends his apostleship because even the people of this day were accusing him of heresy and being an impostor, because he didn’t actually walk with the Lord Jesus those three years, like Peter, James and John did. But nevertheless, he still has to come back constantly and say, “I am an apostle! I am the one who has received all these revelations!”
I Corinthians 3:10,11
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that (foundation) that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Christ is the foundation of everything we believe in and hope for. The foundation and the finished work of the Cross. But who was the masterbuilder that laid it out? Paul was! And that’s why his letters are intrinsic to our doctrine, because he alone was given these revelations with regard to this Church made up of Jew and Gentile. Now Peter makes reference to it in his little epistles way at the end of his life, you might say. But Peter knows nothing of this in his early preaching. He absolutely has no concept of the Body of Christ, this composition of Jew and Gentile. But this apostle has had all of this revealed to him. Now let’s go on the Chapter 11.
I Corinthians 11:2
“Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, (the things that have been delivered, that have been taught by the Apostle Paul, and some of the other gifted men), as I delivered them to you.”
Now turn over a couple of pages to Chapter 15 when Paul says that “I delivered them unto you.” Now don’t lose sight of the fact that these Corinthians have heard none of this until the Apostle Paul came to town. It wasn’t that someone else had already been and had laid the groundwork and set the stage so that this guy could just come in and take all the glory. No way! When he first came to town there had never been a word concerning the Gospel of the Grace of God, how that Christ had died and been resurrected. He says it so plainly here in Chapter 15 and you’ve heard me say it on the program and in my classes in Oklahoma, and you all know it forward and backwards – that if you want a clear definition of the Gospel that will save a man, here it is:
I Corinthians 15:1
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you (not a gospel but ) the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand.”
He’s telling them not to get blown over with every little wind of doctrine and every false teacher that comes along. You stand on this Gospel and you won’t have to worry about eternity.
I Corinthians 15:2a
“By which (that is this gospel) also ye are saved…”
I always have to stop at that word. I had someone tell me years and years ago that they wished I wouldn’t use that word. It sounded too much like someone they knew in town. And I said, “Now wait a minute. This is not a denominational word. This doesn’t belong to one group of people. This is a scriptural word. You go all the way back into the Old Testament and what were the Jews constantly told to be looking for? Salvation! The salvation of Israel. The salvation of the individual. What does salvation mean? To be saved from something!” And again, I’ve always used this simple analogy: you take some old boy that’s just about gone broke and is about ready to throw in the towel. There’s no way he can pick up all his debts. Some rich uncle dies and wills him a whole bunch of money and all of a sudden he’s back on his feet and is going 100 miles an hour. What do we say about him? “That old boy’s estate was that guy’s salvation.” It saved him from bankruptcy. This is the same word. We are saved from an eternal doom and this Gospel is our salvation. Now let’s read on.
I Corinthians 15:2b,3
“…if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you unless ye have believed in vain.” (Know what you believe). For I delivered unto you (what’s the next word?) first (see how plain that is? This is the first time the Corinthians have ever heard the Gospel and it was from this one man.) of all that which I also received (Now you have to know your Bible to know what Paul is talking about don’t you? You have to understand that when God zapped him off his horse on the road to Damascus and saved him, God didn’t send him back to Jerusalem to go and check in with the Twelve and come under their ministry. He separated him totally from the Twelve and sent him out into the backside of the desert and revealed these doctrines to him and then, yes, he went to Jerusalem for 14 days and visited with Peter. But of the other apostles he never saw one. And immediately Paul began his ministry amongst the Gentiles. And so his ministry just continued and went west across Asia Minor which is present day Turkey. They over the Aegean Sea and Greece, where Corinth is. And here is what he received) how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”
Christ didn’t just die for the sins of Israel, but the sins of these pagan Corinthians, the sins of America, the sins of Europe, the sins of the Orient. He died for them all. This was the fulfillment of God’s whole design from day one. That He would go to the Cross and take upon Himself men’s sins. Now let’s go on to verse 4.
I Corinthians 15:4
“And that he was buried, (He had to be in order to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was dead. This was not some tomfoolery, or beguiling whatever. He died. He was dead three days and three nights in the tomb.) and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Again, the Sovereign God was in complete control. How can the unbelieving world continue to ridicule the Book when they know from history, from archaeology, that these Old Testament writers lived. They were real, they were flesh and blood. We’ve found excerpts of their writings, whether it be on clay tablets or whatever. They lived and we know those things were written a thousand, fifteen hundred, two thousand years before Christ came. But here He came. And we know that David wrote in the Psalms a perfect picture of the crucifixion. We know that David wrote in 1000 B.C. concerning His resurrection. But it was in such vague language that it took this Apostle to bring it out into the open. It was all back there and that was why he mentions it. It was according to the scriptures that the Gospel came about and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures. Now that’s the Gospel that he received and he took to Corinth.
Now let’s go back to Chapter 11 and we have it here again, that all the things that Paul had instituted in the little group of believers. You want to remember that none of these New Testament churches were in huge edifices as we see in America and Europe and so forth. Where did they meet? They met in homes! The average local church probably didn’t have more than a common ordinary home would accommodate. A dozen, two dozen, and if they had a huge home maybe they could get 30 or 40 in there. But they weren’t huge congregations, but nevertheless, whatever they rested on, they had gotten it from the Apostle Paul.