The Ordinances of the Church

Three Things to Remember as a Church

1 Corinthians 11:2

July 10th  2011 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (1Corinthians 11:2)


A.    Jesus gave us some things to constantly work on as a group of believers. Three things to remember, to reminisce, to constantly review as a church.

B.     They are three “ordinances” – three special commands, just for believers, in a local church.


1.      People who are not saved are commanded to repent and believe the Gospel

2.      People who are saved, are commanded to become members of a Bible believing church near them – we call them, local, Bible Believing Baptist Churches

3.      Those already members of a local Bible believing church have some duties – some commandments to obey – they are called “ordinances”


C.     What is an Ordinance?


1.      It is not a sacrament – there are seven of those – and they all are steps towards heaven

2.      It is not a suggestion – to many churches, Christ’s commands are optional; but not to a Bible believing church!

3.      It is a command that Jesus gave to His disciples to cause them to act as a unified body of believers

4.      It is a memorial or reminder of some precious historical event of great significance.

5.      Usually a set of symbolic ceremonies that set forth a central truth of the Christian faith – they have no power of themselves, but are simply acts of obedience to remind us of the important things in the Christian’s life!


D.    Why all the Reminding?


1.      So that we will Protect our church

2.      So that we will stay Humble

3.      So that we can Promote the Foolishness of the Spirit instead of the Flesh


E.     Let’s talk about the three ordinances of a Christian church!


II.    Message


A.    Loving the Brethren (John 13:34,35; 15:12)


1.      This was the first ordinance that Jesus commanded His small group of followers


a.       Tens of thousands followed Him for the free food, and fun, and excitement

b.      But in the end, almost all left when the going got tough, and the preaching got hard and tough to understand (John 6:66,67)

c.       It was then that Jesus taught about loving one another!


2.      Of all the “ordinances” that Jesus gave to His followers, this is probably the most neglected! The most easily rejected

3.      Yet, this one act of obedience most clearly identifies a group of believers, not just by what they believe, but by how they live (John 13:35) – beyond feelings and human limitations!

4.      The command is, We are to love one another!


a.       It doesn’t come naturally – not a work of the flesh


1)      Loving people in spite of themselves

2)      Loving people because Christ loves them

3)      Loving them more than you love your needs


b.      It never gets easier


1)      It is easy to start out with love

2)      It is a whole lot harder to let it continue (Heb 13:1)


c.       We are to love one another “as I have loved you” (John 13:34)


1)      This is how to love one another…

2)      Not in word only (although that is important), but in deed and in truth (1John 3:18)

3)      Fervently (1Peter 1:22)

4)      Endeavouring to keep unity (Eph 4:1-3)

5)      Love as a servant, not the master (Gal 5:13)

6)      Embarrassingly – adapt to one another

7)      Sacrificially

8)      Forgetfully – as Jesus forgot about Peter’s denial – overlook 99%!

9)      Ruggedly – not letting the other person’s actions and reactions dictate our feelings!

10)  Patiently – allow the other person to grow


d.      1Cor 13:4-8 gives the greatest description of HOW to love anybody!!!


1)      Charity suffereth long, and is kind – always respond better than treated

2)      Charity envieth not – never think anything is unfair

3)      Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up – never worries about your reputation – only the other person’s

4)      Doth not behave itself unseemly – is always under the control of the Holy Spirit

5)      Seeketh not her own – doesn’t seek anything for self

6)      Is not easily provoked – has thick skin, and not offended easily

7)      Thinketh no evil – never let’s the mind surmise!

8)      Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth – never rejoices when another person gets into troubles

9)      Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

10)  Charity never faileth – that is some love!


5.      Believers in a local church MUST learn to love each other, or else they will never be a unified body – they will only be selfish creatures that meet together – and will leave when their needs are not met!


B.     The Remembrance Supper (Matthew 26:26-30; 1Cor 11:23-34)


1.      One the evening of His betrayal, just before being crucified, Jesus asked that His followers would always remember His death for their life.

2.      And He used two simple foods to remind us of His LIFE that was sacrificed


a.       Unleavened bread – His body

b.      Unleavened wine – His blood

c.       Leaven is a type, a picture of what? Sin in our nature


3.      The three ideas about the Lord's Supper.


a.       Transubstantiation: The Roman Catholic doctrine which teaches that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ when consecrated by the priest during mass, even though they still look and taste the same. Thus the one partaking literally eats Christ's flesh and drinks his blood. Needless to say, this is without scriptural support. In fact, it is totally refuted by the book of Hebrews (7:24-27; 9:12, 24, 25, 28; 10:11, 12).

b.      Consubstantiation: The Lutheran doctrine which teaches that, while the bread and wine remain the same, the presence of the body of Christ is nevertheless "in, with, and under" both elements. While this error is not as severe as the above, it too is totally unscriptural.

c.       Memorialization: The doctrine which teaches that the bread and wine are mere symbols to remind and aid the believer in observing both the first and second comings of our Lord. This belief is both scriptural and sensible (1 Cor. 11:24-26).


4.      The purpose of the Lord's Supper.


a.       The Lord's table involves a threefold look.


1)      We are to look backward. "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death" (1 Cor. 11:26).

2)      We are to look inward. "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup" (1 Cor. 11:28).

3)      We are to look forward. "Till he come" (1 Cor. 11:26).


b.      To remind us of Jesus, and what He did to make us free!


5.      The prerequisites (necessary conditions) of the Lord's Supper.


a.       What group is invited to this table?


1)      Salvation - The Lord's Supper is only for believers, but it includes all believers.

2)      Sanctification – only for those who are clean in their heart


a)      Prayed up

b)      Confessed up

c)      Yielded up – not rebellious


b.      Individuals who are forbidden to partake:


1)      The unsaved

2)      And the unclean.

3)      To the unsaved, God offers John 3:16,

4)      To the unclean (backslidden Christian), he extends 1 John 1:9.


6.      The penalty of the Lord's Supper (1Cor 11:29, 30).


a.       Several words deserve our consideration.


1)      Unworthily.


a)      Unsaved makes you unworthy

b)      Sinning makes you unworthy


2)      Damnation. Condemnation and judgment of life and health. This judgment may be manifested in a twofold manner:


a)      through physical sickness (11:30)

b)      and through physical death- "and many sleep."


b.      There is a wonderful way to become able to participate in this memorialisation (11:28,31)


1)      Examine yourself – your own heart

2)      Repent to God

3)      Humble yourself to the people you have sinned against


7.      The frequency of the Lord's Supper.


a.       As often as we want

b.      I wouldn’t do it every week – too precious – it would be like having Christmas every week!

c.       It needs to be more often than just once a year so that we don’t let sin creep into our lives!


C.     Baptism (Mt 28:19)


1.      The meaning of the word baptism.


a.       Baptism by definition means the placement of something into something else, as in immersion.

b.      The words sprinkling or pouring are never used in the New Testament for baptism. Every scholar knows that the original meaning in the New Testament for baptism meant immersion.


2.      In Acts, publically immersing new believers into water was to show everyone that they now were following the RISEN Jesus!


a.       At Pentecost, 3,000 were baptized by Peter and the apostles (Acts 2:41).

b.      In Samaria, many were baptized by Philip the evangelist (Acts 8:12).

c.       In Gaza, The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized by Philip (Acts 8:38).

d.      In Damascus, Paul is baptized by Ananias (Acts 9:18).

e.       In Caesarea, Peter baptized Cornelius and his friends (Acts 11:48).

f.       In Philippi, Paul baptized Lydia and the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:15, 33).

g.      In Corinth, Paul baptized Crispus, Gaius, Stephanas, and others (Act 18:8; 1Co 1:14, 16)

h.      In Ephesus, Paul baptized some followers of John the Baptist (Acts 19:3-5).


3.      The false views on baptism.


a.       Is it necessary for salvation? (Eph 2:8,9; 1Cor 1:17)

b.      Is it for infants? (Acts 8:36-38)

c.       Does it have any power at all? No! It is only an act of obedience!


4.      The symbolism of baptism. What exactly does baptism symbolize?


a.       The death of Jesus – and my death with Him when I got born again

b.      The burial of Jesus – and my old life and past being buried and put away like Jesus’ body was buried

c.       The resurrection of Jesus – and my new life now as a follower of Jesus


5.      The Purpose of Baptism.


a.       Identification with the Jesus Christ – like the wearing of a uniform.

b.      Baptism is also an identification with the right kind of church. A church that believes correctly about baptism, and about the Bible.

c.       It keeps people out of a local church who don’t want to obey the Bible. Baptism is the sign that someone is ready to start obeying the Bible, and will follow it all their lives!


6.      Have you been SCRIPTURALLY baptized? By a church that believes the BIBLE?


III. Conclusion


A.    Can you Remember the Victory in your Life when you were forgiven? Isn’t the Lord’s Supper a precious reminder?

B.     Have you taken the First Step since becoming a follower of Jesus? Baptism

C.     Are You Willing to Stay Humble? Love the Brethren as much as Christ loves YOU?