What is the Lord's Supper?
The Lord’s Supper is the visible gospel. It is not a mere symbol of a Savior who is not really there, but a sign and seal of God’s promise of salvation in Christ, and the means through which Christ imparts his very flesh and very blood to us through the Spirit.
The sacrament is not merely a reminder that Jesus died for us – it is the real, life giving communion with him, in his flesh and blood given to us by the Holy Spirit. In the Lord’s Supper, we do remember his sacrifice for us, but we also receive his grace through the spiritual sharing in the body and blood of Christ.
In the administration of the bread and wine, God more fully declares, assures, and seals to us the promise of the Gospel: that He grants us out of free grace the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life, for the sake of the one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross. To all those who are united to Christ through faith, he is truly, objectively, really, and spiritually present in the elements of bread and wine.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is:
- A Holy sign and seal of the gospel
- (cf. Ex. 12:13; John 6:53-58; Matt 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:17–20; 1 Cor 11:23-26)
- A spiritual sharing in the very body and blood of Christ
- (cf. 1 Cor. 10:3, 4; 16; 11:27)
- Administered every Lord’s Day
- (cf. Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor 11:33)
The Lord’s Supper is not about our own effort to remember him and seek him in the depths of our souls. Rather, it is God’s act of sealing his promises and imparting Christ’s very presence to us by the Holy Spirit who unites us to him through faith. It is not about what we do, but about what the Trinity does to us.
In the Lord’ Supper, Christ assures us that, as certainly as his body was offered and broken on the cross for us, and his blood shed for us, he himself feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life. Through faith, in the Supper we are united more and more to Christ’s sacred body by the Holy Spirit who dwells both in Christ and in us. Although He is in heaven, and we on the earth, we are nevertheless flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones, and we live and are governed for ever by one Spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul (cf. Heidelberg Catechism, questions 75-82).
Who Can Partake of the Lord’s Supper?
Visitors need permission of the elders prior to joining us at the Lord’s Table. Elders are available to speak with you before the service each Sunday between 10:00-10:20 AM in the room adjacent to the foyer. The requirements for partaking in the Lord’s Supper are:
- Belief in the articles of the Apostle’s Creed
- Baptism in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
- Church membership (exceptions allowed for those seeking membership)
- Affirmation of the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, as explained above
- Children must make a public profession of faith
There is no enjoyment of the blessings without participation in the faith (cf. John 6:29-47). Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord; one must discern the body of the Lord rightly so as not to eat and drink judgment to himself (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27-32).
Nevertheless, to all believing sinners who trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins, and who seek to be renewed, refreshed, nourished and sustained by his body and blood, the visible gospel on the table is freely offered: “taste and see that the Lord is good!”