Worship Preparation Guide for Sunday, May 21
Sermon Text: A Review of Isaiah 40-55
During the past six months we have journeyed through Isaiah 40-55. Through the prophetic vision of Isaiah we have stood on the mountaintop of God’s sovereignty and seen the glorious plan of God and the finished work of Christ. When we began this section last November I wrote, “To read the words of Isaiah …. and believe them means you can rest in the confidence that in Christ Jesus God is working in human history to accomplish his gospel plan. To read the words of Isaiah….. and believe them means that God’s word is sure and it can be trusted. To read the words of Isaiah ….. and believe them means you can rest in the confidence that his kingdom will come and it will know no end. To read these words and believe them means you can rest in the confidence that the Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, and eternally blessed are those who trust in him.”
Last Sunday we heard God’s gracious invitation to,
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourselves in rich food. (Isaiah 55:1-2)
This Sunday we will share in the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is the continuing sign of belonging to God’s people. The specifics of how it should be served and received are not mentioned in New Testament and are not important. It is meant to be simple.
Each time we gather at the Lord’s Table for Communion we take three ‘looks’. First, we look within ourselves, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin that needs to be repented of, confessed and forgiven (I Cor. 11:27-30, I Jn 1:9). Second, we look back to the finished work of Christ, his substitutionary death and resurrection ( Lk 22:19-20, I Cor. 11:23-26). Third, we look ahead to the return of Christ, anticipating his return and the gathering of God’s people at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19: 6-9)
The Gospel is demonstrated in the Lord’s Supper. It is one of the ways you publically testify to your personal relationship with Jesus. It is not to be taken lightly or casually. Paul wrote a letter of stern correction to the Christians in Corinth because they were allowing those who were in unrepentant sin to take the Lord’s Supper. Paul told them that this should not be.
God called us all to repentance in Isaiah 55:
“Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, t
hat he may have compassion on him,
and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)
The Lord’s Supper is only for sinners. But it is only for repentant sinners. As you prepare for worship I encourage you to prayerfully read Isaiah 53, 54 and 55. Let the prayer of David be yours: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps 51:10)
I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.