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

What is God Like?

These chapters are about the Lord’s Supper, and worship. We worship our loving “Abba” Father ( Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6 ), Who by grace and mercy, has given the full measure of His love to us (Ephesians 2:4-7; Romans 8:31-32 ) in His Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 4:9 ). The Lord’s Supper is a picture of that love, showing the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God (John 1:29 ), Who died on the cross for our sins. Our purpose here, as explained in the mission statement, is to foster a devotion to the Lord. Our devotion to Him is our proper response after reflecting upon His revelation of Himself in the Scriptures.

In order to understand God’s grace and mercy, and His love to us, it is necessary to see Him as He is, “according to the Scriptures”, rather than how we might imagine Him to be. That is what this chapter is about. Paul was very careful to tell us that the Gospel he preached was “according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

God’s measureless love, His grace and mercy to us is shown by, and our salvation stands on, the blood sacrifice of His Son, Jesus,

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:11-15)

The Father requires such a tremendous blood sacrifice because of Who He is: holy and righteous, and hating sin. Scriptures tell us that,

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9:22)

The blood shed for the remission of sin is the blood of Jesus. When He instituted the Lord’s Supper He said,

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:27-28)

He has described Who He is, and what He is like in the Scriptures. He has revealed Himself to us and wants us to know Him. Some of it is frightening to think about, but it is necessary to know so that we can have a balanced understanding of Who He is.

The value of this study of God’s revelation of Himself is meant to lead us to Christ, to be a school master to us, just as the Law is. We are not to be left cowering in fear and dismay but instead find a new appreciation of the freedom of our salvation and the love He has shown us in Christ. Despair is called a deadly sin because it is a cry that the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23) is not obtainable. That is to call God a liar because He has said “… whosoever will …” (John 3:16 ) may receive that gift.

Studying this gives us a foundation to think about the Lord’s Supper and worship. And this will affect why and how we will worship, as well as equip us to give our best in worship.

The first thing to firmly get hold of is that God intends to receive worship. We read in the book of Romans,

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Romans 14:11)

The Apostle Paul is quoting the Old Testament text of Isaiah 45:23,

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isaiah 45:23)

The passage in Isaiah is a prophecy of Christ’s dominion over all things, and this worship is his due. Christ is one with the Father and as Matthew Henry explained it, “Divine honour is due to him, and must be paid.” So it is clear that worship belongs to the Father and Jesus Christ his Son. God’s people will worship the Son, but this prophecy includes all flesh as well. Matthew Henry went on to say, “… all his (Jesus') friends do it freely—the soul’s cheerful, entire, and avowed subjection to Jesus Christ.” And , “All his foes shall be constrained to do it, whether they will or no. When he shall come in the clouds, and every eye shall see him, then, and not till then …” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Romans 14:11)

The things of the Law, from the Old Testament, reveal God to us, they often have a prophetic typology that finds spiritual application in the New Testament. These things of the Law were shadows of the heavenly. They were sensuous, outward, earthly forms that expressed heavenly truths about worship. But they speak to the high importance God places on worship. And this high valuation by God of worship, commanded to Israel in the Law, shows that Israel was called, and given a vocation by God to worship in an earthly fashion that was a prophetic typology of Heavenly things (Hebrews 8:5 calls them the “shadow of Heavenly things” within the larger context of Hebrews, chapters 7-10). We, who are members of Christ’s body, the Church, are also called to be worshipers, but worshipers in a new way: worshipers in spirit and in truth. We have a vocation from God.

The Law, mediated by Moses from God to Israel, specified in exacting detail how Israel was to worship. How, where, when, why, were all explained and commanded and hedged about with dire penalties for failure. The entire weight of the Law speaks loudly and authoritatively to the importance of worship commanded from Israel under the Old Covenant. It speaks to this importance when it specifies the place and structure of worship in its rituals and days and seasons; in its detailed prescriptions of the correct and required manner of observance.

The phrase, “…. every knee shall bow …” is the English translation of the Greek word kampto which literally means to bow in honor or veneration of another. It is an act of worship very like that in the Old Testament as described by the Jewish word, shachah. An example of the use of shachah is found in Exodus 43:14,

For thou shalt worship (“shachah”) no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God …
(Exodus 43:14)

This bowing is an act of worship, submission, to God. When we read the word shall in Romans 14:11, it tells us that God will bring this to happen. And we must understand that He will receive worship both from the willing and the unwilling, either freely given or by force. This is God’s prerogative because he is the sovereign creator.

Take note also of what name God used for Himself in the passage from Exodus 43:14: “Jealous”. This is what God has said of Himself in the Scriptures, therefore according to the Scriptures we know something of who He is. And this is so whether we like to think of Him this way or not. To be jealous is to want what is one’s own, and to not tolerate that another have it. (To covet is to want something that belongs to someone else, and to envy is to resent that they have it.) God is jealous of His own glory.

God is jealous of what is His, He has said that He will not share His glory with another,

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42:8)

And in another place in Isaiah we find it written,

For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. (Isaiah 48:11)

Though spoken to Israel, the principle stands, God is jealous of what belongs to Himself alone, and will not share it (But consider Romans 8:32 and John 17:22 in the light of this.). This is His prerogative.

Moses received the Covenant of the Law directly from God. About that Covenant, God said this:

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
(Exodus 20:1-6)

The Scriptures reveal to us that God is jealous, but we can understand that He is still merciful because He has taken great measures to lead us into the truth. For example, Terah, Abraham’s father was an idolator (Joshua 24:2) and Abraham, then called Abram, probably grew up surrounded by idolatry and the worship of false gods. But God showed Abraham the truth of the matter when He called him out of Ur of the Chaldees (see: Genesis 11). Also consider that Israel left idolatrous Egypt and must also learn that there is only one God. The account of Israel’s deliverance details the lessons they had to learn. And then also consider the many judgements that later fell upon Israel in order to finaly teach that lesson.

There can be no question in the matter, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”, and, “I the LORD thy God am a jealous God”. God intends to receive worship and will not tolerate that it should be given to another.

God has declared Himself not only to be jealous, but has characterized Himself as a “consuming fire”. The sense of that is that He will pour His wrath out upon those who excite His jealousy. He put it this way, giving a dire warning to Israel about what would happen to them if they violated the covenant stipulations of the Law:

Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:23-24)

Hebrews 12:29 applies this principle to the New Covenant. The Old Covenant, or the Law, is the covenant God made with Israel through Moses. The New Covenant is the covenant which God has made with us through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 12:29 reads,

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25-29)

Notice the word serve , “serve God acceptably with reverence …” The Greek word is latreuo, it means to minister as in giving religious worship. The word liturgy is related to this word. Then notice the word for, it indicates a reason why we ought so serve, which is because “our God is a consuming fire.”

Nahum the prophet spoke against God’s enemy, Nineveh. But the point is made about the jealous wrath and the consuming fire that is the only expectation His enemies may have for the day they come into judgment,

God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. (Nahum 1:2-8)

The direct reference is to an earthly judgment of His enemies. But the character of our God is plainly seen. This is the very same Father, of Whom Jesus is the express image and revelation. And of Jesus it is written,

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Vengeance belongs to God, He has called it His own. Jealousy is also His. His vengeance is a consuming fire. His ways do not change. He has said that He seeks worshipers to worship in spirit and in truth. And we know that His purpose is that His son is to have the preeminence in all things. And we know from His revealed character that He will not tolerate that His own worshipers should dilute their worship by worshiping something else (the character of a jealous husband revenging adultery is shown in the Old Testament: Proverbs 6:27-35 ).

Hebrews 12:29 speaks of the precious sacrifice of the blood of God’s Son Jesus, Who is pictured, and worshiped as the “Lamb slain” before the foundation of the world ( see: Revelation chapter 5:6-10 ). And it speaks of what will happen to those who reject Chirst. The consistent teaching of Scripture is that God the Father takes His glory, and the glory of His Son, with the utmost seriousness, and that He is fiercely jealous and will visit dire vengeance upon His enemies.

Ours has been characterized as an age of indifference and self-centered living. One thing we can learn from this is that worship must not be carelessly offered, be halfhearted, or a matter of casual nonchalance on our part. These thoughts of God take us out of ourselves. When we think of these things we gain a sense of what Peter was saying,

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,(1 Peter 1:16 20)

There were dire warnings for Israel not to share their worship with another, there have been many dire warnings of wrath to God’s enemies (Nahum for one example), there is dire warning to those who do not worship the Lamb,

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:28-31)

Peter echos this by his prophetic statement of the coming judgment,

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:7)

In Revelation we are given a glimpse of our Saviour in the day of God’s wrath. He who in the days of His flesh on earth came as the “Lamb of God” who did not open His mouth, upon His return is shown to be the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16)

In the last verse of this chapter we read,

And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:21)

The sword written of is the word of God. It was by His word that the world was created. It is by His word that vengeance shall be taken. This is who God is, He has told us this. Someone might say that we are in a Covenant of Grace, and this type of thinking is a form of legalism, wrongly applying the Covenant of the Law, which applied to Israel but not the Church. The answer is that we are not considering an act, or work of righteousness that in any way justifies us. We are learning the character of God as He reveals Himself. Has God changed? Do we have a different God? No, Jesus is one with the Father, Jesus is the creator God, God does not change. Our God is not a changeable God, He is not “variable”,

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

and again,

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Jesus is the Creator, and who are we but His creation. That means we are His, and that He created us for His own purposes. This is important to grasp, and not ignore or soften it by jumping ahead to say that He made us to love us and for us to love Him. Though true, that misses the point at hand, that God is God and we are His creation created for Himself. We must start from the humble idea that it is all about God, not the comfortable idea that it is all about us. Remember the retort Paul made to any objection that Pharaoh was hardened by God and did not receive mercy,

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Romans 9:20-21)

This is in the context of a discussion of Israel being cut off for our sakes. But the essential truth is that God has mercy upon whom He will, and withholds mercy from whom He will (Romans 9:18). Look at this in the context of Romans 9:6-23: God has chosen to show us mercy in Christ, this is His sovereign prerogative. In other words, God is sovereign, the Creator. All things are made for Himself, we are made for Him. The import of this is that if He wills that He should receive worship from all, and is jealous that none other receive it, that is His prerogative. We must humbly learn from this that God intends to receive worship for Himself and His Son.

Not only does God intend to receive it, He is seeking it. Jesus plainly says the Father seeks worshipers in John 4:21-24,

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24)

This is proof that worship is for God, we have the direct statement that the Father is seeking worshipers for Himself. Jesus said, “… the Father seeketh …”. This tells us that God wants something for Himself. Because of the words, to worship him, we see that it is God Himself who will receive it. God seeks worship for Himself. There is a must here also, the words, “must worship him”, indicate an imperative is involved. How must we worship? In spirit and in truth (John 4). For our purposes here we can simply say that in truth certainly means sincerely, single mindedly, and according to the Scriptures. In spirit is opposed to in the flesh. This indicates two things. First it is not just outward, visible actions, but an inner set of attitudes and reverence to God in our hearts. Secondly it also means that it is not done in the power of our own humanity or by earthly means and wisdom, rather it means in our spirits, empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

It is God Who is seeking worshipers. He is seeking them for His Son, Jesus, to Whom preeminence in all things is to be given (Colossians 1:18). That is the stated purpose of God, and He is achieving it in part by receiving worship from us. In short, the Father desires something from us for Himself. We are being told, “do this for me”. Can we say it is for our sakes that the Father is giving Jesus Christ the preeminence in all things? No.

We are to worship the Father, through the Son. There is a difference and a distinction here. Nevertheless to worship the Son is to also worship the Father. And that is God’s plan, that the Lord Jesus Christ have the preeminence in all things, and receive honor and glory. Paul writes of Jesus,

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15-20)

Note particularly the phrase, “…that in all things he might have the preeminence.”, because, “… it pleased the Father …” This is the culmination of the eternal purpose purposed in the “determinate counsels and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23) by which Christ was delivered up as a sacrifice on the cross. An astounding thought it is, that Jesus the creator God, created us for Himself, and then He gave Himself for us. It is only right that in all things He might have the preeminence.

From the passage in John 4, we learn that God seeks for us to worship. God desires for us to worship. Worship from us is presupposed as our proper attitude and activity, and God seeks this from us. Now lest any say that God is being described as a tyrant forcing us to worship, this seeking for worshipers is done today (see: Hebrews 3:7-19) through the free offer of salvation, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is that God has loved us, has proved His love for us, and wants us to respond in love to Him in return. Remember the pattern: Up, In, Out: Revelation, Reflection, Response. God has revealed Himself in His Son Jesus. He has both loved us, and proved His love, by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins so that we may be reconciled to Him and adopted as the children of God. Hearing God’s word, in this case the Gospel, should lead us into reflection of our need for salvation. And the proper response is repentance and acceptance of God’s free gift of eternal life. Thereupon we are born again, become part of the Church, and respond with worship to our Savior God. Thus God’s quest for worshipers is fulfilled. This is what the commentator on the Bible, Matthew Henry, meant when he said, “… all his (Jesus')friends do it freely—the soul’s cheerful, entire, and avowed subjection to Jesus Christ.” This is the worship the Father seeks for His Son.

Christ is one with the Father, “Divine honour is due to him, and must be paid.” Worship thus belongs to God the Father, and Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. We need to understand from this that it is not ourselves we seek to satisfy, but rather God Himself.

There can be no mistake about this, God will be honored and worshiped above all else. And He has set aside this honor for His Son, Jesus, no one will share in it. The passage in Isaiah says,

Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isaiah 45:21-23)

In Philippians, Paul repeats this theme,

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Here we have been told in very plain words that Jesus shall be worshiped by all.

But we mustn’t forget that “all flesh” will worship one day. God has determined that this will be so, and will bring it to pass. God will receive worship from the unwilling. Those who have rejected His salvation given through Jesus will bend the knee and confess that Jesus is Lord. This worship will be taken by force from them. This is God’s prerogative because He is the sovereign creator. Today the offer is made to receive His salvation freely, and worship is received freely from those who accept salvation. But then, at the last judgement, it will be forced from those who have rejected salvation by rejecting His Son, Jesus.

Worship is an eternal vocation, we see worship being given in the heavenlies by angels and saints alike. Passages in Isaiah and Revelation make it clear that this is an ongoing and eternal worship. And beyond any explicit passages, the entire context of Scriptures dealing with the position of Christ as above all things, with all things under His feet, Him having the preeminence, and many many similar ideas expressed throughout Scriptures, tells us that He will be worshiped continuously. So it is our eternal vocation, both in the here and now, and then in heaven.

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:7)

Worship is not a burdensome duty laid upon the Church by a tyrannical God. He is our loving Father and seeks worshipers who will freely worship in spirit and in truth (John chapter 4), He doesn’t just want us bowing down because we must. It is clear that He wants us to respond to Him with the same love that He proved to us by dying on the cross. Yet the fact remains that God is sovereign and is a “consuming fire” and is “jealous”. He will be worshiped by all, either freely or by force. Jesus will rule His enemies with a “rod of iron” for His own “good pleasure”(that means for His own reasons). This tells us clearly that He will force some to acknowledge His sovereignty in an act of submission, a form of worship, taken by force from the unwilling. But we don’t make God out to be a tyrant.

These things magnify the connotations of our knowledge that worship belongs to God, not to ourselves. Can we imagine that God’s jealousy will ultimately tolerate a worship that isn’t sincere? When God says He is jealous, He is saying that He will not tolerate a rival. If we worship to suit ourselves, we become a rival to God for the worship that He seeks. Old time preachers used to challenge us about who was on the throne of our lives, us or God. But as His adopted children, He will correct us because He loves us. This is part of what it means that God is working within us to both will and to do His good pleasure. On the other hand God would not be jealous if worship were not His alone.

Better things are offered to us, we may accept His free gift of salvation,

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

We are to put on the mind of Christ, the Captain of our faith. Jesus leads the way in this by declaring,

… for I do always those things that please him. …(John 8:29)

It pleases the Father for us to seek after the things of God, not our own. It is the same in worship, let us put on the mind of Christ, to please the Father not ourselves. Jesus also said, “not my will, but thy will”. After the Last Supper, Jesus spoke with His disciples, and He made it very clear that His purpose was to please the Father by His obedience. What Jesus gave was truly and freely given for the good pleasure of the Father. We read in one place this,

But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. … (John 14:31)

And a little further on He said,

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (John 17:4)

Both those statements show us the way to true worship that pleases God not ourselves. The capstone is this, Jesus always sought to please the Father, not Himself. In the garden of Gethsemane He prayed,

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39)

Not His will but the Father’s will. What Jesus did was to please the Father, not Himself, yet at the same time it was His deepest self fulfillment to so do the Father’s will and therefore truly love Him. In the garden we see Jesus, the Captain of our faith, leading the way for us to do as Paul said in Romans 12:1. In the garden, Jesus presented Himself as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God. Thus when we read,

… for I do always those things that please him. … (John 8:29)

We know the truth of that, seeing in the pages of the New Testament Jesus prove it by His manner of living and by dying. Through knowing the mind of Christ, and through knowing His example, we can see that worship belongs to God, not to us. And knowing the severe character of God we can better understand His love to us, and His salvation freely given to us, which was purchased by His Son’s sacrifice. And by these things our worship comes closer to being in spirit and in truth. And we can better understand the value and place of the Lord’s Supper in our worship gatherings.

©FH 2012

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