Lord’s Supper has become a very misunderstood act. Some traditions believe that the act imparts grace while others see it as a mere symbol. To many, it has become a time of shame and guilt while others see it as an inconvenience. The practice today is sadly individualistic. The Lord intended greater blessings than these views offer.
Much like my last post, I am presenting a small portion of an unusually practical project for my last Doctoral seminar intended to help local churches develop policies and practices concerning certain issues. I have also included a guide to help a worshiper prepare to celebrate Lord’s Supper. I prepared and recently distributed this guide to our church members the week before we celebrated Lord’s Supper and some of them found it very helpful to increase their spiritual health and the significance of Lord’s Supper.
What is the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord’s Supper is an ongoing ordinance of the church which Christ instituted as a remembrance of salvation whereby the elements represent His sacrifice and the church celebrates their salvation in unity. Jesus instituted the Supper at Passover, the night of His arrest. The Supper represents the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus. As the believer receives the bread and cup, he receives them as signs of what Christ has accomplished on his behalf for his salvation.
The Lord’s Supper represents the believer’s regeneration through Christ as He revealed that this Supper would commemorate the New Covenant ratified by His blood. In this covenant, God will write His law on His peoples’ hearts, He will be present with His people and know them intimately, and He will forgive their sins. As the believer partakes of the supper, he is reminded of His reconciled relationship with God and His new life in Christ.
The Lord’s Supper is an act of worship and obedience. Jesus commanded the church to do so “in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor 11:24-25). The believer partakes of the Supper in adoration of Jesus. Therefore, when a local church takes Lord’s Supper, they are obeying Jesus and worshiping Him as God in the flesh.
The Lord’s Supper is an act of anticipation. Jesus told the disciples He would not drink it of it again until He did so in the Father’s Kingdom. (Matt 26:29). Paul said that when believers partake, they “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor 11:26). Therefore, when a local church celebrates Lord’s Supper, they celebrate and remind each other of the future return of Jesus.
The Lord’s Supper is an act of unity. It is an ordinance which one must only observe with the gathering of the whole local body recognizing and loving each other as Paul said, “rightly judging the body” (1 Cor 11:29). Therefore, the practice of Lord’s Supper by couples, families, small groups, para-church organizations, or any other portion of the church is inappropriate. One must examine himself before partaking, making sure that he is a true believer who is repenting of sin, baptized, and in good standing and fellowship with his respective local church (1 Cor 10:20-22; 1 Cor 11:27-34).
A Guide to Preparing for Lord’s Supper
Celebrating the Lord’s Supper is a very special time for a church family. It is a time when we remember the substitutionary death of our Lord on the cross. It is a time when we worship Jesus by obeying His command to observe this rite. It is a time when we celebrate the victorious return of our Lord. It is a time when we express our unity with one another as the body of Christ. As such, it is helpful to spend the week prior to the celebration preparing. Here are some recommendations.
Read and Meditate upon Mark 15.
Thank God for sending His Son to die for your sins in your place.
Read Exodus 20 and ask God to reveal to you any unconfessed sin.
As He does so, repent of it.
Fast one meal to spend extra time with God in prayer and Bible study if possible.
Read John 15 and ask God to help you abide in Him, love your brothers and sisters in Christ, and help you to remain faithful and testify about Jesus.
Read the Good News Baptist Church covenant (included below, but make sure to read your respective church’s covenant) and Acts 2:36-47.
Ask God to show you how you might be a more faithful church member.
Call a brother or sister with whom you need to strengthen or reconcile your relationship.
Read Revelation 20-22. Ask God to give you a hopeful anticipation for the return of Jesus.
Try to go to bed early enough to allow for a spiritually alert yet peaceful Lord’s Day morning.
Wake early and spend a few minutes in prayer to prepare your heart for worship and Lord’s Supper. You may want to come early and spend this time in the Worship Center.
Good News Baptist Church Covenant
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we so now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most seriously and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We agree and commit, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and grace; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also agree and commit to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the Christian faith and the Bible; to seek the salvation of our family, friends, and acquaintances; to walk wisely in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our actions and attitudes; to avoid all gossip, unkind remarks, and excessive anger; to encourage and support each other in sustaining God’s design for marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime; to refrain from all sexual immorality and avoid living together intimately with another person outside of Biblical marriage so that the Bible’s instruction for singleness is upheld; not to participate in homosexual, bisexual, or transgender relationship(s) or actions, as well as any other unbiblical sexual state or behavior as recognized as contrary to Biblical teaching by this church; to abstain from pornography, drunkenness, illegal drugs, the abuse of prescribed medication, and from all practices that jeopardize our own or another’s Christian faith; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior;
We further agree and commit to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian compassion in action and speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the commands of our Savior, to obey them without delay.
We moreover agree and commit to be faithful in attendance to this congregation’s meetings; to willingly submit ourselves to the discipline of this church as described in the Bible and this church’s constitution while holding this church, its leaders, and representatives harmless; and that when we relocate, we will as soon as possible unite with some other Biblical church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
 See Matthew 26:20-35, Mark 14:12-31, Luke 22:1-23, and 1 Corinthians 11:23-34.
 See Jeremiah 31:27-40, Ezekiel 36:22-38, and Matthew 26:27-28.