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Can We Talk About The Lord’s Supper?
I ask us to reexamine our traditions concerning the Lord’s Supper.

A Means to An End

The Lord’s Supper is a means to an end. God has purposes for our celebration of it, the main purpose is to place the Lord Jesus Christ at the center of our attention so that He has the preeminence in all things. The various aspects of the Lord’s Supper chiefly describe how we give Him the preeminence in many ways. These aspects also describe the character and behavior God is developing in us to conform us to His Son. Our celebration of the Lord’s Supper is first and foremost a time of worship. But as we worship it also has the effect on us of revealing His Son, and therefore helping us to grow more in the grace and knowledge of Him. He has devised this in His determinate counsel and foreknowledge, and given it to us, as recorded in Scriptures. For these reasons we call it God’s work and say that we should prefer nothing in its place.

We should neither make too much of it, nor too little. It has a reason, and a season. It is not to become the thing itself, it is not to become a ritual that is itself the important center of our attention. We can worship the Lord with or without the Lord’s Supper celebration. But it is given to us by the Lord Himself to be a servant pointing us to Himself. To honor Him means that we do as He said concerning it.

Think about it this way. God hid the body of Moses (Deuteronomy 34:6). Many commentators suggest that God hid it so his tomb wouldn’t become a shrine or place of worship. God is a jealous God and He will not share His glory with anyone or anything. He will not have us worship anyone or anything, but only Himself. This is perhaps the reason we don’t have the original autographs of the Scripture, no doubt they would have become objects of worship in themselves. The same thing applies to relics of the temple or of the Lord Himself, such as pieces of the cross or other things which could become objects of worship.

What do you suppose God would have done had Israel ignored Him but began to worship the Temple and its furniture? What if Israel began to worship the priests? It is possible that God hid Moses' body for that very reason.

As to the Lord’s Supper, it is true that the Lord commanded us to take eat, drink ye. And it is true that He commanded Baptism. But those things, like preaching are the methods God has chosen to use. Consider preaching, and the preacher for a moment. Are they the center? Is it they that we are gathered unto? No, they are servants to the Lord. It is the same with the Lord’s Supper, it is a servant. We are gathered unto the Lord Himself.

Therefore we must keep the Lord’s Supper in proper perspective. God will not have a ritual upstage His beloved Son. But He has given us the Lord’s Supper as an organizing principle in our worship of His Son. Paul in Colossians makes it clear that God intends for Jesus Christ to have all the preeminence, in all things whatsoever.

Have there been abuses of the Lord’s Supper? Have some made too much of it? Haven’t many made too little of it! We must not forget the old principle that right use is never negated by abuse. Israel must attend the Temple, and come to the priests. The Church likewise is commanded to preach the Gospel, and baptize, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. And in these things Jesus has the preeminence, and they are for His glory. As Paul said, let all things be done decently and in order.

The question all of us must answer is whether or not we are making good use of the Lord’s Supper as God intended. It is God’s work to which we should prefer nothing.

©FH 2012

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