Sermon delivered June 27, 1998

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Quotations from the Bible are from the New International Version

The Way of Life

Let us pray: Dear Father in heaven, before this sermon I pray that your Holy Spirit will come into our hearts. Prepare us to receive the manna from heaven. May we be strengthened and empowered I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

About once a week I take my van to the gas station and I fill it up. This empowers that vehicle. Unfortunately many Christians operate about like that. About once a week they come to church and they get filled up hoping that it will last them an entire week. That's wrong, because most of us are gas guzzlers. We run out unless we supplement. And so, what is going on with this communion service isn't going to last a whole quarter of the year. (We have the Communion Service four times a year.) It's great, but you must supplement it with a personal relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ. We must have that. You don't want to run out of spiritual gas. You want to be filled up with strength.

Jesus says the spiritual life is like eating. That was in our scripture reading today. Now let me just ask you a question: How many of you just eat once a week? Of course we eat daily. Some of us eat perhaps twice a day, some people eat three times a day. Some people just eat one meal a day - all day long. Once-a-week is not enough.

John 6:51- "I am the living bread (That's what kind of bread He is.)" I am the living read that came down from heaven. (Doesn't all manna come from heaven? Jesus came from heaven. "If a man eats of this bread he will life forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." So Jesus is the life of the world, isn't He? He's the Light of the world, He's the Life of the world. And I need that! That is my Spiritual Infilling.

    Now, I want to make four points about eating.
  1. - Eating is mandatory! If you don't eat, you're going to die. I tell my wife that it's time to eat. My stomach operates just like a clock. Twelve, noon: It's time to eat.

    I can take a loaf of the finest bread ever baked. I can look at that, admire it. I can analyze it, talk about it, smell it's exhilarating aroma, feel it's softness, .... But unless I eat it, I will never be nourished by it.

    The table may be loaded with exquisite delicacies, savory casseroles, vegetable that are cooked just right and mouth-watering home cooking. A generous serving may have been dished up on my plate, but until I get on the outside of that food it won't do any good. But until I personally EAT it, all that food does me about as much good as the money that a rich miser has hoarded away.

    Only when I eat the food will it become a part of me, supplying health and vitality to my being. Not until I receive Jesus Christ as my very own Savior will I benefit from Him. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Only when I eat Jesus will I receive strength. That food will become a part of me, supplying health, supplying strength and vitality. And not until you receive Jesus Christ personally will He benefit you.

  2. - Eating is a personal act. You can vote by proxy but no agent can eat for you. For me to stand in a fine restaurant and observe people eating, won't do me any good. I could go to Taco Bell, that's my fine restaurant, and watch all those people eating their burritos, but it will do me no good unless I personally get involved in eating. No one can believe in Jesus for you. Not your mother or your father or your wife or your husband. Jesus said: If anyone will eat this bread, HE will live forever. You must personally receive Jesus as yours. He will give you power from on High.
  3. - John 6:58- "This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." He who feeds on this bread. Does this mean that you just eat it once? That means that you eat it and you continue eating it. So point number three is a daily act. We need to eat it and continue eating it. We need to FEED on Jesus. Jesus said that if anybody would eat this bread, he would live forever. The person who eats will live forever. You must personally RECEIVE Jesus as your Savior in order to benefit by His salvation. Then He will give you power from on high, and you will reflect the Divine image in your life.
  4. - Jesus is the only Bread that gives real life when it is eaten. There is no other bread. He is the bread that gives real life. You can feed on a diet of fat free chips, HBO, classical music, Choplets, the Review and Herald, the best Novels, the best apple pie, but you will eventually succumb to old age and kick the bucket. There is only one food that will instill eternal life into your being. That is the bread of Life... Jesus Christ! And I urge you to daily receive Jesus into your life. He is the Bread of Life. Jeremiah 21:8- "Behold I set before you the way of life..." I want to tell you that Way of Life is Jesus Christ.

John 6:51 says that Jesus is the Life of the world. I beg of you, I urge you to dine on Jesus. He is the only regenerator of the human race.

He had no corn-fields or granaries, but He could feed thousands of people. He never walked on velvet carpet but He walked on the waters of the Sea and they held Him up. When He died few men mourned, but a black crepe was hung over the sun. Men trembled not for their sins, but the earth beneath them shook under the load. Nature honored Him. But only sinners rejected Him.

The soil that had been reddened by His blood could not claim His dust.

He wrote no book, built no church building, He had no bank account, but today He is the central character of human history. Only Jesus the bread of life can rescue you and prevent you from becoming celestial dust.

And so I urge you, I beg of you to dine on Jesus Christ. He is the aroma of the world. He is the bread of the world. He is the bread of life. Feed on Him daily. Personally accept Jesus into your life and you will never ever be the same.

It's time for the celebration of our Communion Service. We do this four times a year in the Adventist church. If you are not a Seventh- day Adventist, you are welcome to participate with us. We invite you to partake with us. We want you to do that.

We will first of all have the Ordinance of Humility, which is the foot- washing service, unique to many churches. We will reassemble back here to receive the emblems of the bread and the cup. Before we separate, let us pray.

Dear Father in heaven, Please bless this service, give us strength through this, forgive our sins, cleanse away all iniquity and weakness in our life. Give us strength to live the Christian life. May we accept Jesus as our Savior, our personal Savior today, I pray in Jesus' Name, Amen."

We will separate at this time. The upper room is reserve for husbands and wives and couples. The primary room is for men and the fireside rooms is for women.

(At this point in the service, the people go to the rooms of their choice and couple wash each other's feet. Jesus did this to his disciples to help them understand their equality. When we realize each one is equal in God's sight we can look toward each member of the church as equal with us. None of the disciples was designated as greater or higher rank than any other, and so this service of Humility shows our equal position in God's kingdom.

Upon returning to the sanctuary, the people wait prayerfully for the pastor and the elder return with the deacons.

The Elder stands up and tells of the symbolism of the bread and the wine to the body of Christ and His blood. Then we all kneel while he asked God's blessing and our re-dedication to Him.

The bread (unleavened) and the wine is passed out to the congregation.

The Pastor stands and says, "This bread is the symbol of Jesus' body. Take, eat ye all of it." And we all eat the bread that was given to us.

Then the Pastor says, "This wine is the symbol of Jesus' blood. Drink ye all of it." And we drink the wine (grape juice).

We sing a hymn and as we leave the sanctuary, we place our offering for the poor in plates the deacons have ready for us.

Opening song: #73  Holy, Holy, Holy
Scripture Reading: John 6:53, 54
Closing song: #300  Rock of Ages

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