Finding a Redemptive Rhythm: Communion, Culture and Co-Mission Pt. 2
Last week we saw the covenantal nature of communion and how the Lord's Table not only creates a thick relationship with Christ but also with one another. This week's sermon furthered that discussion looking at ways we must resist the pulls of demonic-inspired idols.
In an applicational message on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22, I argued
- Communion creates culture-for good or bad; therefore,
- Gospel culture reinforces communion with Christ; and
- Godless culture resists communion with Christ; so
- We resist the table of demons by taking our gospel culture public.
From these four points, we considered further how to recognize and resist modern temples, false gospels, and demonic idols. Specifically, we looked at the way iPhones function as modern-day temples with gospel promises, inviting us to make them our functional idols.
1 Corinthians 10:14-22
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
- Review the relationship between communion and covenant. How does sitting down at the Lord's Table (vv. 16-17), or the altar (v. 18), or the demon's table (v. 19-21) create communion? What is communion---vertical and horizontal? What does communion with Christ require? In other words, how can we grow in our communion?
- What does communion with Christ require of us in the world? (Consider the analogy of marriage: to say 'yes' to your covenant partner requires a thousand 'no's' to other suitors).
- What are the four premises of the message (see above)? What kind of culture does the gospel create? How does a healthy church culture reinforce the gospel? What is a healthy church culture? And why can't a culture create converts? What happens when a church depends on the culture, instead of the preached Word, to create life?
- How does the world's culture push against Christians and the church? In what ways are we blind to this cultural resistance? Is it helpful to think of stores and cell phones in terms of temples, gospels, and idols? How will it change the way you go into the world?
- What is the Great Commission? How does a rich gospel culture empower the church to fulfill that Commission? What would it look like for us as a church to be on mission together? How can we have a Great Co-Mission?
- In light of this focus on covenant, communion, culture, and co-mission that we've seen in 1 Corinthians 10, how important is the local church? Can we fulfill God's will for us as isolated individuals? (The answer is 'no'). In what ways do we need to grow in our understanding of the local church? Consider John 13:34-35; 1 John 2:19; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25; and 1 Peter 1:22 ([saved] "for a brotherly love").
For Further Study
A Biblical Theology of Technology
In 2014 I wrote a five-hour study for my systematic theology class at SBTS. It covered the way in which the study of theology is effected and hindered by our unrestrained consumption of media. I've included the notes here. These are notes, not full paragraphs, but if you are interested in the subject, your should be able to follow my train of thought---if you're not overly distracted by your device.
- Lecture 1: Introduction
- Lecture 2: A Biblical Theology of Technology
- Lecture 3: Technology and Its Effects
- Lecture 4: Redeeming Technology
- Lecture 5: Knowing God Amist Endless Information
- David Wells, God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World (2014)
- Jamie K. A. Smith, You are What You Love (2016)
- Tim Challies, The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion (2011)
- John Dyer, From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology (2011)
On Cell Phones
- Six Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
- Get Alone Undistracted by Tony Reinke
- The Mistress in Your Pocket by Rob Hurtgen
- Twelve Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke (forthcoming, 2017)
Lord, grant us eyes to behold your beauty and hearts willing to say no to the endless sirens crying out for our affection and attention.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds
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