Last Sunday’s sermon was from 1 Corinthians 10, and was the second in my series on communion. This week, I focused on the fact that in eating the Lord’s Supper, we are fellowshipping with God, and in doing so making a statement about our unity and solidarity with Him. That is, we are stating that we are His people.
Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to put away their association with idolatry, since eating at the altar is fellowship with the altar. Therefore, eating at the altar of demons is fellowshipping with demons, since the pagan nations (albeit unknowingly) worship demons. If we try to fellowship with God at the same time as we are fellowshipping with the enemies of God, we will fail, we will be hampered in our efforts by our divided loyalties and muddled allegiance.
This is a warning most specifically against those who believe themselves to be strong in the faith. The Corinthians’ argument was, “We are strong, and we know an idol is nothing in the world. Therefore we can fellowship with these pagans in their pagan practices and not be affected by it.” Paul’s answer to that is, “He who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”
Are demons still active in the world? And if we wanted to fellowship with those demons, where would we go to find them? Satan is the father of lies, and wherever you find the lies that lead people astray in our own age, there you will find the demons of our own age. And wherever you find people engaging the activities that express those lies, you will find people fellowshipping with demons.
It is difficult to apply this precisely to every believer’s own situation. We have liberty in Christ and we ought not infringe on another believer’s liberty. But we should also not use our liberty simply to protect our amusements and lifestyle. Our question should be, how do we grow closer to God? How do we aid our fellowship with God, and with God’s people? And what should we avoid doing to avoid hindering that fellowship?
This is the subject of last week’s sermon. If you’d like to pursue this topic in greater detail, listen to the sermon and / or leave me a comment.
7 thoughts on “The Table of the Lord, and of Demons”
Matt, what do you think about demon possession? Have you seen the movie “The Exorcism of Emily Rose?” Is that for real, do you think? I’ve been checking out Mark, and Jesus cast out a lot of demons. Is that level of demonic activity the same today? It’s really scary. Can demons mess with weak / new believers?
It’s clear from Scripture that there was a great deal of demonic activity in the time of Christ, which also appears to be very unusual, not the normal course of things. You don’t read about that kind of demonic activity to the same extent at other points in Biblical history.
I believe that Revelation teaches that Satan is “chained”, that is, limited in his activities today. He’s still a very real threat, but not in the same way as then. Demon possession is real, I believe, but not something that can take the believer away from Christ.
In conjuction with your sermon how do we view Ephesians 5:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”
What does that really mean in application to our own lives, our own daily battles? Does it mean that all of our spiritual battles are actually wrestlings against the kingdom of darkness, i.e. sin, battles within the church, the old man/new, etc? Could you explain that a bit?
Also, how do we try and have fellowship with the enemies of God? Would that be being friends with the world, or at least part of it?
Makes one do some thinking!!
I think when we understand the nature of our warfare we understand with what weapons we fight the war.
Principalities and powers, demonic forces, etc. Are these our main opponents, in the day-to-day struggle of being a Christian? I’d say yes and no. What we mainly struggle with are lies. We believe lies about ourselves, what makes us valuable, what rights we do or should have, what will make us happy etc. Satan is the father of lies and it is from His kingdom that these lies originate. So we struggle against demonic forces in that sense. I don’t think we have some kind of power battles with some demon that slipped into our house when we weren’t looking though.
People who go on about spiritual warfare all too often cast the battle in essentially carnal terms- their enemies just happen to be invisible most of the time. So they pray over doorways and think anointing with oil or posting Bible verses around will combat these things. We combat these things by learning the truth of God’s word and praying to God for the gift of the Spirit to protect our weak hearts from the lies we so easily fall to.
As far as fellowshipping with unbelievers- there is no fellowship with unbelievers. Fellowship implies unity and oneness, and darkness has no unity with light. We should love unbelievers and do what we can to communicate with them. We should take opportunities to befriend them and socialize with them, in order to be good witnesses to them. But we cannot fellowship with them. Not in the Biblical sense.
I was asking about fellowship with our enemies in response to your statement:
“If we try to fellowship with God at the same time as we are fellowshipping with the enemies of God, we will fail, we will be hampered in our efforts by our divided loyalties and muddled allegiance.”
I just wondered if that was alluding to the possibility of Christians ‘trying’ to fellowship with the enemies and what that might be, hence, trying to be friends with the world and we know that we cannot serve two masters. Maybe my question doesn’t even make sense, wouldn’t surprise me in the least. 🙂
And yes, there is never true fellowship between light and darkness, that cannot be!
Oh, I’m sorry. I misunderstood your question.
I think we fellowship with the enemies of God when we try to be like the world, act like the world, think like the world in order to gain the world’s approval. Fellowship means unity, and unity means shared truth. If we try to share the world’s “truth” then we alienate ourselves from God’s truth, because the two are contradictory.
Or another way of looking at it- Jesus’ statement, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Our hearts will not be with God when our treasure is on earth. When we value the things of this world instead of the things of God, or even when we try to mix and match, try to have our foot in both worlds, then we hamper our fellowship with God.
Hope this helps.
Helped a bunch, thanks!