Today was my wife’s first official communion as a baptized believer in Jesus Christ. It was such a joy and a blessing to witness. Seeing this, I praise God for the means of grace which He’s given us. The sacraments are the signs and seals of our membership in the New Covenant. How appropriate that today’s sermon addressed the New Covenant! I’m reminded of what the 1689 Confession says regarding the Lord’s Supper:
Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
( 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:23-26)
I’m once again motivated to do a greater, in-depth study on the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. I have Keith Mathison’s book on the subject sitting on my shelf, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it all the way through. One of the much needed reforms that needs to take place in the modern church is a recovery of the biblical doctrine of the Lord’s Supper (a la Calvin). Like most Christians I know, I grew up with a very Zwinglian view of communion–that the elements themselves were merely “bare signs” which signified a memorial of Christ’s death.
In the portion of the Confession quoted above, the writers make it very clear that the Scriptures teach the Calvinistic doctrine of a real presence of Christ within the Lord’s Supper–not a physical presence of His body, but that He is present spiritually. Hence, like most Reformed Baptist churches, we take communion every week. Something to ponder as we take a closer look at that which many Christians so often practice with little thought.