Cleaning Up For Supper

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  11 : 23-32
Subject: Lord's Supper; Confession; Commitment; Joy

Most of us, if not all, can remember our mothers telling us to wash our hands before supper. We need to be spiritually clean before taking the Lord's Supper. The Lord loves His children and He knows what is best for us. He hates the sin in our lives because He knows the pain and destruction it causes us. He wants us to be in fellowship with Him. Unconfessed sin breaks that fellowship with the Lord.

Dr. James Dobson has shared some of the letters he has received from his listeners concerning the funniest thing which has happened to their family. There is one story which is both humorous and relevant.

This family lived in the Northeast part of the country. In the bitterly cold part of winter their car had become especially dirty with road salts, frozen slush, and other wintry deposits. Conscious of the condition of their car, this family was driving down the road and came across an unusual sight. Water was gushing into the air from a broken pipe, beneath the surface of the road. A work crew had arrived and was just getting set up. Simultaneously, the family concluded that this was the perfect occasion for a car wash. They pulled the car far enough forward to park under the shower of water. The road crew watched, somewhat puzzled, and a little amused.

Since it was still bitterly cold, they left the engine running, and kept the heater going as well. In a short time, a rather unpleasant odor began to dominate. It was about this same time that the family noticed that the water which was running down the windshield was not clear, not clear at all. Finally they understood the problem—they were not parked under the shower of a broken water main, they were under the shower of a broken sewer main. Quickly they departed, watching the filthy matter freeze to their car in the bitter cold of that day.

We are living under a shower of filth from the sewer of this world. I am talking about the moral and spiritual filth that we are confronted with every day. We hear filthy talk and see godless behavior on the TV, internet, and in magazines. Some of the people we come into contact with each day are profane. Then, we have to deal with our old sinful nature all the time. We become contaminated with sin from within and without. We need a good cleansing.

We shall give our attention to verse 28 this morning. Paul warned the Christians at Corinth to take seriously their need to deal with their sins before taking the Lord's Supper. This admonishing is for us today.



The person who is saved has been thoroughly cleansed by the blood of Jesus. When Jesus saves a sinner, it is a finished transaction. A person doesn't need to be saved again every time he sins. (Rev. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19)

We do need to examine our lives and confess our sins before coming to the Lord's Table.

As Christians, we fall into sin and we need to be cleansed. We don't need to be saved all over again, but we need forgiveness and to be restored to fellowship with Jesus. This is explained in Jesus' conversation with Peter.

In John 13, Jesus washed the disciples' feet. When He came to Peter, he refused to have Jesus wash his feet. Jesus said to Peter, "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all." (John 13:10 KJV)

There are two different Greek words used in the idea of washing in verse 10. The first word in this verse is used of washing only a part of the body. A person may wash only his face or maybe his feet. The second word means to bathe the whole body. Jesus said that the person who is bathed all over needs only to wash his feet.

In those days a person would go to a bath house and take a complete bath. As he walked to someone's house from the bath, his feet would get dirty. He wouldn't need to take a complete bath again, but he would need to wash his feet.

So it is with a person who is saved. When he sins, he doesn't need to get saved all over again, like washing the whole body. He needs to repent and turn to Jesus. His feet need to be clean in a spiritual sense.


Unconfessed sin causes our fellowship with Jesus to be broken. Jesus said to Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." (John 13:8)

There are more results from a broken fellowship with the Lord. We feel spiritually defeated. Sin can cause depression and discouragement. It interferes with our relationships with other people. Unconfessed sin hinders our prayer life. We lose the joy of our salvation. Our testimony for the Lord is damaged. Our ministries are affected by our sins. When we have unconfessed sin in our lives and refuse to deal with it, we will experience the chastening hand of God. Sin affects us spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

We need forgiveness in order to have fellowship with the Lord. Jesus arose from His place and began to wash the disciples' feet. He does not wash our feet literally, as He did the disciples, but His action teaches us the necessity for daily cleansing from sin.



There is only one cleansing agent for sin, the blood of Jesus Christ. All the water and detergent in the world cannot wash away our sin. Sin is more lasting than a permanent markers.

Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet symbolized the washing of their sins away. The dirt on their feet implied the dirt of sin in their lives. The water represented the blood of Jesus that washes the dirt of sin away.

Sin that has not been confessed and repented of makes us dirty. Jesus' blood can make us clean.

Isaiah wrote: "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:2 KJV) God doesn't see our sins as being small and insignificant. Any sin is an affront to a holy and righteous God.

John wrote: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 KJV)


There is power, power, wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb. The blood of Jesus is powerful enough to clean every sinner in the world from sin. John the Baptist said as he looked upon Jesus, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)

The blood of Jesus has the power to wash your sins away. As long as we remain dirty and defiled by sin, Jesus will have no fellowship with us.

John declared that "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7 KJV)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to Grandma's back yard, he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead. The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day, Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn't you, Johnny?" And she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So Johnny did the dishes.

Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, "I'm sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally smiled and said, "That's all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it." Again she whispered, "Remember the duck." Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing. After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, finally he couldn't stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he'd killed the duck. "I know, Johnny," she said, giving him a hug. "I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you." Steven Cole.

The Lord knows the sins you and I have committed. He sees all and He knows all. We punish ourselves when we delay the confessing and repenting of our sins. The Lord takes no delight in chastening His children, but out of love He does chasten us. Sin brings with it its own punishment and pain to the unrepentant child of God.

When David had sin in his life, he felt the heavy weight of that sin as well as the conviction from God. "For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer." (Ps. 32:4) When Peter denied the Lord, he wept bitterly over his sin.

The parable of the prodigal son is a beautiful picture of God's forgiveness. The son left his father and went into a far country. There he wasted his inheritance and had to eat with the hogs. The young man came to his senses. He returned to his father only to find him waiting with open arms to receive him. His return home shows his repentance. On his arrival, the young man confessed to his father his foolishness.

When you change your mind about your sins and confess your sins to God, you will discover the Heavenly Father is waiting for you with open arms.

David prayed: "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin." (Psalm 32:4-5 KJV)

In Psalm 51, David asked of the Lord: "Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest." (Palms 51:2-4)

In verse 10, David asked: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:2-4, 10 KJV)

Like David, our prayer should be, wash me and create in me a clean heart.



The lives of David and Peter illustrate the blessedness of fellowship restored after having sinned. David recovered his joy and Peter was convinced Jesus loved him.


Sin will strangle a person to the point that he feels like he can't breathe. Guilt is a terrible emotion to have to deal with in your life. Unresolved guilt has destroyed many Christian testimonies. David was a miserable soul before he got right with God.

Guilt like the red warning light on the dashboard of the car. You can stop and deal with the problem, ignore the light or break out the light. The last two options are not solutions at all. Guilt will make a slave out of you or destroy you.


Jesus said: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." (John 15:11 KJV)

Joy is good for the soul. Many Christians are living their lives joylessly. Jesus wants His children to have joy. We are a redeemed people. We are pilgrims passing through this world on our way to that heavenly city prepared for us. In heaven, we will rejoice for evermore. The Lord wants us to have joy today. We have been purchased by the blood of Jesus and are washed in the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

That should make us rejoice and praise God.

Life is in the blood. (Genesis 9:4) The shedding of blood symbolizes death. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. (Heb. 9:22) Jesus shed His blood. "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28) Jesus washed us from our sins in His own blood. (Rev. 1:5)

Blood symbolizes life. The juice we drink when we take of the Lord's Supper symbolizes blood. As you take of the bread and juice this morning, remember what Jesus said. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." (John 6:53-55 KJV)

The reference Jesus made to eating His flesh and drinking His blood is not to be taken literally. Believing in Jesus is how we “eat” His flesh and “drink” his blood. Jesus is as essential to our spiritual life as bread and drink is to our physical life. We cannot live physically without food and water; neither can we live spiritually without Jesus. We are to place our faith in Him completely. Christ is the source of our spiritual life.


The Lord's Supper has a special meaning to those who have been born again. The Lord's Supper reminds us of the price Jesus paid to redeem us from our sin. It reminds us of Jesus hanging on the cross, suffering and bleeding in our place. The Lord's Supper also reminds us that we are His children. While our relationship with Him does not change when we sin, our fellowship does. Sin keeps us from having a close fellowship with our Savior and Lord. He wants us to be clean from sin's defilement. We should desire to be clean from sin in His presence. As we take of the Lord's Supper, let us examine ourselves and confess all known sin.

If you are not saved, you have no part with Christ or the Lord's Supper. All of that can change right now if you will call out to Jesus in faith and ask Him to save you from your sins. Turn to Jesus and receive Him as your Lord today.