Sunday Sermon: “In an Unworthy Manner: Approaching the Table Rightly”

This morning, we observe the Lord’s Supper. We do so as Jesus commanded us, giving this to us as an ordinance of the church (meaning, this, along with baptism, He ordained for us to continue to observe and practice until His return). Therefore, this observance, this ordinance must receive our full attention as part of the ebb and flow of our worship as a body of Christ. So much so that Don Whitney even asked his readers in one of his books, “Would you ever change your schedule and your priorities to be present at a worship service because the Lord’s Supper is to be served there?” It’s of such great importance, that this is referred to in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and 1 Corinthians and alluded to in John. 

Gregg Allison reminds us, “Baptism is the initiatory rite of the Christian faith; the Lord’s Supper is the continuing rite.”  From earliest times in the church, baptism is a part of this experience of the Lord’s Supper.  Baptism is the very basic and very first step of obedience—ordained by Christ himself.  And from earliest times, if this basic, primary, and obvious step of obedience are not observed, one was not permitted to partake of the Supper.  An area of our Christian walk needed to be addressed! In fact, if you are a follower of Christ and have not followed in believer’s baptism, follow in Christ’s steps and in His service and be baptized. 

Every two months, along with Good Friday and the Sunday before Christmas, we observe and celebrate what many call the Lord’s Supper, Communion (with God and with each other), or the Eucharist (which is a Greek transliteration meaning, “giving of thanks”).  

But the fact is, there is no timetable—only that it be observed.  Why?   The symbols of the bread and wine stand as a memorial to what Christ has accomplished to redeem his people.  They are signs of the real thing.    

I love what J. C. Ryle says on the subject:

I make no excuse for including the Lord’s Supper among the leading points of “practical” Christianity. I firmly believe that ignorant views or false doctrine about this ordinance lie at the root of some of the present divisions of professing Christians. Some neglect it altogether; some completely misunderstand it; some exalt it to a position it was never meant to occupy, and turn it into an idol. If I can throw a little light on it, and clear up the doubts in some minds, I will feel very thankful. It is hopeless, I fear, to expect that the controversy about the Lord’s Supper will ever be finally closed until the Lord comes. But it is not too much to hope that the fog and mystery and obscurity with which it is surrounded in some minds, may be cleared away by plain Bible truth.

My aim, like Dr. Ryle’s, is for us not to be ignorant of the subject.  Christ called for us to observe it, and observe it we shall.  With a gravity, a joy, a simplicity, and a connection—that connects us to all believers everywhere, past and present, 1st world to 3rd world, rich or poor… the ground is level at the foot of the cross!    The Lord’s Supper stands as a banquet upon which all of God’s people may feast. 

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