Frequently Asked Questions about Communion
by Pastor Brady Martin
The Lord’s Supper is an incredible gift to the church. It’s a gospel meal that helps us remember the past, understand our present, and hope in the future. In short, God gave us the Lord’s Supper to get the gospel deeper into our hearts. God has given us two commands for His new covenant people which some have called “ordinances” in the past. The first is baptism. Baptism is the sign that someone has placed personal faith in Christ and signifies that they have been buried with Christ in His death and have been raised to walk in new life. The secon is the Lord’s Supper, or Communion. This sacred meal was instituted by our Lord Jesus on the night He was betrayed by Judas. Although, Jesus did not specify how often we are to take communion as a church, He did intend for it to be done on a regular basis. God wants to remind us of the gospel through a visual sermon where we remember the body of Christ broken for us and the blood of Christ poured out for us.
Therefore, we have made the decision to begin having the Lord’s Supper every first Sunday of the month beginning October 1st in both a.m. worship services. There will be no children’s church on this day where families will have the opportunity to celebrate this sacred meal together. With that in mind I wanted to answer some of the frequently asked questions about the Lord’s Supper?
Q . Why do some people call it Communion and others call it the Lord’s Supper?
A. They are both great terms that people have used over the years in Baptist churches. The Lord’s Supper is taken from 1 Corinthians 10:21 where Paul refers to this meal as the “Lord’s Table” which quickly turned into the term the Lord’s Supper. The term Communion is taken from the King James translation of 1 Corinthians 10:16 where 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?” Either terms is great! The important thing about the Lord’s Supper/Communion is not the name but that we do it in remembrance of Him! Therefore, I will use the terms interchangeably.
Q . Who should take the Lord’s Supper?
A. Anyone who has repented of their sins, placed their faith in Him, followed Him in baptism, and is in good standing with their local church.
Q . Who should NOT take the Lord’s Supper?
A. Anyone who exploring Christianity but hasn’t placed their faith in Christ yet, children who are too young to profess faith, children who are beginning to believe but haven’t followed Christ in baptism yet, those who have an unresolved issue in the church, and those who have not examined their heart for unrepentant sin.
Q . What Does Communion symbolize?
A. Communion provides a vision sermon to the church which proclaims Christ’s death on the cross, absorbing the full wrath of God for our sin through the suffering of His body and the pouring out of His blood. Communion also signifies the New Covenant that unites all believers across racial, economic, and political divides. It also points us forward to the great wedding feast between Christ and His Church. (Revelation 19:6-9)
Q . Should the Lord’s Supper be Reverent or Celebrative?
A. Yes. It should be both. It is reverent because we are called to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are to remember how Jesus took our place upon the cross. He absorbed the full wrath of God for our sin. He died and was placed inside the tomb. That should create a deep reverence. However, on the third day, Jesus burst through the grave in resurrection power. Therefore, we celebrate because Christ is risen! The Lord’s Supper calls us to remember how costly our sin was to reflect upon the cross. It also calls up to remember that there is an empty tomb outside of Jerusalem and to celebration. It’s the combination of a funeral meal and a wedding feast—reverent and celebrative!
Q . How should I prepare for Communion?
A. Spend time this week in prayer asking the Lord to prepare your heart for communion. Ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life. If you have an issue with a brother or sister in the church, seek them out for reconciliation. Talk about the importance of communion and what the meal represents with your family. Practice celebrating the gospel in your heart each day that you’ll be ready to celebrate all that God has done in Christ for you when you take the bread and the juice each first Sunday of the month.
So, whether you call it the Lord’s Supper or Communion, I encourage you to prepare your heart before each first Sunday of the month to receive this great gift of God to remind us of what God has done the body and blood of Christ. Let this type of reverent reflection lead us to joyful celebration!
For His Glory,
Bro. Brady Martin