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America’s Most Tolerated Sin

6. The Lord’s Supper provides us with an opportunity to affirm our love for our fellow believers.

Gluttony insists on the satisfaction of our cravings, even if it means that other people have to go hungry. However, in the Lord’s Supper, everyone shares equal portions. No one hoards food and drink. No one goes without. This kind of meal is toxic to gluttony. What’s more, taking the Lord’s Supper together shows us that God intended food to foster the unity of the body of Christ. First Corinthians 10:17: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”

7. The Lord’s Table reminds us of the beauty of self-control.

If you’re like me, sometimes my hunger for lunch can make me antsy when sitting through a church service. On the Sundays when our church takes communion, it can sometimes feel like a cruel joke to taunt my stomach with a tiny piece of cracker. But in my saner moments, I realize this forced moderation is a gift to me. And so I can eat and drink with joy because I know that a full stomach is not my greatest good. I’m reminded that self-control is a precious fruit that the Holy Spirit is intent on bringing forth in my life.

8. The Lord’s Table reminds us that the real feast is yet to come.

Jesus said of the cup, “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29, “the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well-refined.” No steakhouse can match the bounty we will soon enjoy together. So we’re not missing out on anything when we rein in our stomach’s impulses. We’re just declining the appetizers so we can enjoy the main course.

Johnathon Bowers contributed a chapter on gluttony to the new book from Desiring God, Killjoys: The Seven Deadly Sins. All electronic versions of the book are free of charge at desiringGod.org. Print copies are available through Amazon.

Killjoys was written to lead you deeper in love with our God and further into war against your sin. Pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust are woefully inadequate substitutes for the wonder, beauty and affection of God.

This short message was part of the 2015 Conference for Pastors, which includes several more messages—all free of charge.  

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Johnathon Bowers is Instructor of Theology and Christian Worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, MN.