IN the same manner we believe and confess concerning the Lord's Holy Supper, that it is a holy sacramental sign, instituted of the Lord himself, in the shape of bread and wine; and left to his own in remembrance of him, Matt. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; 1 Cor. 11; which was also thus taught and administered by the apostles among the brethren, according to the commandment of the Lord, by which, first, the Lord's death is proclaimed, 1 Cor. 11; and also to remember how he offered his holy flesh and shed his precious blood for the remission of our sins, Matt. 26:27; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:19.

Secondly, it is an emblem of christian love, of unity and of peace in the church of Christ. Paul says, "For we, being many, are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread," 1 Cor. 10:17. For as a loaf being composed of many grains, is but one bread, so we, also, being composed of many members, are but one body in Christ; and as the members of a natural body are not disunited but are in every respect united and peaceable among themselves, so it is with all those who in Spirit and faith are true members of the body of Christ; and for this reason this same supper was called by Tertullian a brotherly meal, or supper of love.

Thirdly it is a communion of the flesh and blood of Christ, as Paul says, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" 1 Cor. 10:16; which communion is, that Christ has accepted us in his great love and we are become partakers of him, as Paul says, "We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end," Heb. 3:14.

Inasmuch as it is a sign, which is left us of Christ, in such power that it is to represent and admonish us of his death, the love, peace and unity of the brethren and also the communion of his flesh and blood, as was said, therefore none can rightly partake of this Supper, according to Scripture, but he that is a disciple of Christ, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, who seeks the reconciliation and remission of sins in no other means than, alone, in the merits, sacrifice, death and blood of Christ, who walks in unity, love and peace with his brethren, and who leads a pious unblamable life in Christ Jesus, according to the Scriptures.

Here you have the true Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ together with what it represents, briefly stated, which the mouth of the Lord has left and taught you by his holy word. If you would be a becoming guest at the Lord's table, and would rightly enjoy his bread and wine then you must also be his true disciple, that is, you must be an upright, pious and godly christian. Therefore, prove yourself according to the doctrine of Paul, 1 Cor. 11:27, before you eat of this bread and drink of this cup; for before God no feigning avails. He did not institute this ceremony with the intention that God would be pleased in the mere eating of the bread or drinking of the wine. O, no. But he instituted it that thereby you should observe and faithfully conform yourself to that which is represented and admonished by this sacrament. For not the ceremony itself, but the meaning represented by it, rightly understood and fulfilled in actions, constitutes a sincere christian.

« Previous   Next »