Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why Partake?

Does it really make a difference whether one partakes of the Lord's Supper or not? Many professing believers seem to feel that they can have a perfectly normal and healthy relationship with Jesus Christ without the Supper. But perhaps a quick look at our catechism can dispel this dangerous notion.

What are the outward and ordinary means by which the Holy Spirit communicates to us the benefits of redemption?
The outward and ordinary means by which the Spirit communicates to us the benefits of redemption are his ordinances, especially the Word, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer; all of which are made effectual to the elect for salvation. Rom 10:17; Jas 1:18; Acts 2:41-42; Eph 4:11-16.

The Holy Spirit gives us the benefits of redemption, we all recognize. Yet we must also recognize that he does not do this by hooking us up to an invisible, spiritual power grid. He communicates Christ to us through the means that he has ordained to use, which the catechism says are "especially the Word, baptism, the Lord's Supper, and prayer." It is then through these that the Spirit accomplishes his work of leading us to glory.

Of course, we do not at all believe that these means infuse grace into us, as the Roman Catholics falsely teach. In this way, we make it clear that we do not trust in the Lord's Supper to save us. We trust in Christ.

But we must also hasten to add that Christ has given us a way to participate with him, and that includes the Lord's Supper. "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" the apostle Paul asked (1 Cor 10:16, ESV). Therefore, one who distains to participate regularly in the Lord's Supper should ask himself if he truly participates in Christ. How can one be a follower of Christ and yet turn a cold shoulder when Christ invites him to partake? This is rude, ungrateful, and faithless.

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