Elders Who Love Guard the Table

By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms:

How the Keys of the Kingdom Work in the Lord's Supper


The only reason any of the Larger Catechism questions under our watchful eye this morning can make sense to us is if something is spiritually happening when we gather together to partake of the bread and the cup in the Lord’s Supper. You need not safeguard anyone from the dangers of Romulans, because Romulans only exist in the mind of Gene Roddenberry, nor should you need to profess the benefits of being nourished by Jesus if it is merely a memorial. However, we make all kinds of necessary provisions against botulism due to the fact that food poisoning is a real-life problem that we need to make every effort to protect our own stomachs, and of those we love, from the inroads of bad bacteria. We do that not only through our knowledge of microbes and their effect on our guts, but through the way we must employ the Lysol to deal with the aftermath.

Without getting too negative part of the reason why we do not take communion as serious as we should is through our unwillingness, or just ignorance, to think through what we are doing at the table of Christ. We take the new covenant sometimes to mean that the mean god of the Old Testament who killed people that touched the ark of the covenant no longer disciplines those whom He loves. Something we learn from the principles of the ceremonial law is that God abhors sin, and that sin tarnishes all that it touches to the extent that every priest needed to be ritually cleansed before he handled the sacrifices of the Temple (Num. 8:6). If we are now the temple (1 Cor. 6:19) and you are a priest yourself (1 Peter 2:9) then how much more are you to likewise take seriously the commands given to those separated unto God? To do the work of self-examination (1 Cor 11:28) means to do that, and not in the minutes while you wait for the elders to complete the distribution of the elements. It means to live a life of assessing, in and through the grace of Christ, your spiritual state, so that when you do commune, you are ready to benefit.

Here are the Q/A’s for today:

Q. 172. May one who doubt of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation, come to the Lord’s Supper?

A. One who doubts of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation to the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, may have true interest in Christ, though he be not yet assured thereof; and in God’s account has it, if he be duly affected with the apprehension of the want of it, and unfeignedly desires to be found in Christ, and to depart from iniquity: in which case (because promises are made, and this sacrament is appointed, for the relief even of weak and doubting Christians) he is to bewail his unbelief, and labor to have his doubts resolved; and, so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord’s supper, that he may be further strengthened.

Q. 173. May any who profess the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, be kept from it?

A. Such as are found to be ignorant or scandalous, notwithstanding their profession of the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, may and ought to be kept from that sacrament, by the power which Christ hath left in his church, until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation.


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