HOW TO PREPARE FOR COMMUNION (THE LORD’S SUPPER)

 

By Reverend Michael Babcock [i]

Paul instructs the believer that he/she should prepare for the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:20, 29. We are to examine ourselves by asking some serious questions concerning our relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. –Augsburg Confession.

1. Do you understand that the bread and wine are pictures of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross? The bread shows forth His broken Body and the wine shows how his life-blood was poured out to bring forgiveness of sins to all who believe [the Gospel]. Those who communicate feed upon His Body and Blood to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.

2. Do you understand that the Lord’s Supper is a covenant renewal whereby the communicant receiving the bread and wine in faith renews their fellowship with others in the Body of Christ?

3. Do you understand that the taking of the sacrament is not a magical thing, but that one needs to exercise faith in God’s promises as they are given in the Bible and displayed in the sacrament?

4. In taking the Supper, have you acknowledged your sins, and you are sorry for them?  Here we are encouraged not only to recognize our general sinfulness, but to look at our particular sins, grieve over them as having offended a holy God, and repent of them. Are you holding on to any sin against God? Have you sought reconciliation against your spouse, your children, your neighbor, your fellow Christian?

5. Have you turned to Jesus Christ as the only one to forgive those sins and give power to overcome them? Do you believe Jesus died in my place as the punishment for my sins and was raised for my justification?

6. Do you rejoice that you have been saved by grace alone though faith alone in Christ alone? Do you understand that salvation is not due to any good works or good life, or even on repentance, but salvation is wholly due to the perfect work of Christ?

7. Do you love Jesus Christ – maybe not as much as you ought, not as much as you hope to, but truly love Him?

8. Do you want to grow in grace and increase in knowledge of Christ through His Word, through prayer, through the sacraments, and through the ministry of the church?

9. Have you submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ by becoming a member of His church visible, i.e. by becoming baptized, by making a public profession of faith, and by submitting to the elders of a local body?

If you cannot affirm these questions, we ask you refrain from the Lord’s Supper.  Please consider the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ upon you. If you have any questions, please talk to an elder of the church.


[i]  Michael Babcock is the pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Phoenix, Arizona

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