The Relation of Baptism to the Lords Supper

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Through the waters of the Red Sea, God opened for the people an avenue of escape from slavery. Through the waters of the Jordan River, God made for the people a solid path into freedom. Soaked by the waters of the Jordan River, Jesus advanced his self-understanding.

Baptism becomes a tactile way by which we recall that in moments of danger or searching, God shows us the way. When the disciples were alone and frightened, Jesus broke bread with them in an upper room, on the Emmaus road and by a lake. Communion is a tactile way by which we recall that in moments of hunger and desperation, God provides. Every organization has its special, and sometimes somber, rituals. As pastors, we all have attended or even presided at such ceremonies.


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Rituals connect us to our core values, higher loyalties, deeper bonds of friendship and commitment. Christian rites and rituals connect us to the story of our faith, to transcendence over our lives and world. They mark the passages and moments of transition that give our lives meaning. Clergy have the responsibility to practice these rites and rituals in ways that maximize their meaning. When we carry them out poorly or carelessly, the story they tell and the meaning they represent are not conveyed.

The Lord's Supper: who should partake?

Forms convey substance. When we treat baptism like a prefix to worship and communion like a suffix, what message are we sending about the initiation to faith and church membership, and to the towering events of our faith -- the death and resurrection of Jesus? The central affirmations of our faith are Christological: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

They call us to remember and to anticipate.

Forgiveness and the Lord’s Supper

This was not lost on the Apostle Paul. Communion, therefore, is a visible act of memory and hope. As far as I know, there is no scripture which definitely teaches on this topic, but in any case, this is not what your friend is concerned about. She has learned the Catholic doctrine of Sacramentalism, which is that simply participating in certain rituals has the effect of saving us and giving salvation.

This is NOT biblical.

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We are saved by grace, through the blood of Jesus, as activated by our faith and brought to fulfillment at baptism. Oakes Podcast. Question: I was talking to a member of a church with different beliefs on salvation from mine, and she gave reasonable and biblical evidence for why communion is the way to salvation. Answer: Personally, I would advise getting into a debate over the question of the communion, at least in part because it is probably a very emotional issue, and arguing over emotional issues generally does not make much progress.

Should non-Christians participate in the Lord's Supper?

Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper Quotes

What is the message of John ? Do you have a book to recommend on the time the Lord's Supper should be celebrated? Questions about salvation. John Oakes. A Survey of World Religions by Dr. All rights reserved. It is the bread given and received and the cup distributed and received that point to Jesus Christ. Christ is present in the Supper, but he is present to his people in the Supper in the way that he is present to his people on any other occasion, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit working by and with the Word of God, to the faith of the believer.

At this covenant meal, we truly dine with our covenant Head. But because of the warnings that Paul issues in 1 Corinthians —34, we need a more nuanced understanding of who may come. We may make three further observations. First, the Supper is available to those believers who have demonstrated the capacity to examine themselves and to discern the body and blood of Christ. They must understand the gospel. They must have an awareness and sense of their own sin. They must be trusting in Christ for their salvation and endeavoring to walk in obedience before him.

They must be carrying out their pledged obligations of fellowship and unity with the local church, the body of Christ.

To be sure, every individual must decide for himself if he meets these qualifications. Ultimately, however, as Paul reminds us, responsibility lies with the individual for communing properly 1 Cor. The Supper reminds us that our Savior is committed to bringing us to [the] banquet—he died for us on the cross to bring us near to him. Second, there are occasions when even professing Christians should be barred from the Table by the elders. Paul envisions such a situation in 1 Corinthians 5. Paul has in mind a person who is a professing Christian and is known for a lifestyle of sin.

He forbids the church from eating with such a person. It is incongruous for an impenitent sinner to approach a Table representing the death of Christ for sin.


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  5. It is wrong for one who knowingly and willingly gives himself to a particular sin to seek to commune in this ordinance with the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is not necessarily saying that this person is unsaved. The offender may well be a Christian. His exclusion from the Table is not designed to punish him.

    It is designed to chasten him and to recover him to full communion with Christ and his people. How is that the case? They should see that unless they repent and turn from their sin to Jesus Christ, they will perish eternally, under the covenant curse of Christ. This realization should prompt them to repentance and faith and, upon restoration, to return to the Table. It is also necessary to exclude offenders from the Table for another reason.