Lesson 9 The Lord’s Supper
THE LORD’S SUPPER
What is the Lord’s Supper?
Matthew 26:26-28: The Lord’s Supper is the sacrament that Christ instituted on the night before his death. It involves eating bread and drinking wine through which God gives us Jesus’ body and blood.
How are Christ’s body and blood present in the Sacrament?
Mark 14:22-24: Jesus doesn’t bother to explain how his body and blood are present; he only assures us that they are. We accept his words in faith without trying to explain how. As with the Trinity and baptism, we do not have to understand them in order to believe and enjoy the benefits they five us.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17: Paul explicitly says that Christ’s body and blood are present in the Sacrament. But he does not try to explain how. Both of God’s Sacraments are as transcendent as his essence (i.e. Trinity).
What do we still receive the Lord’s Supper today?
A. Luke 22:19: Jesus said that we are to continue celebrating the Lord’s Supper in the church in order to remember him and his work in our behalf.
B. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26: We also have an opportunity to proclaim Christ’s redeeming work to others when we partake of the Sacrament.
What are the benefits of receiving the Lord’s Supper?
Matthew 26:28: The Lord’s Supper is a means by which God gives his forgiving grace to the individual. We receive the forgiveness of our sins.
Romans 10:17: Whenever we receive forgiveness from God our faith is strengthened.
What gives the Lord’s Supper such power?
Matthew 26:28: The promise of Christ when he instituted the Sacrament.
Who may receive the Lord’s Supper?
1 Corinthians 11:26-29: Those who can and do properly examine themselves.
- Am I truly repentant of my sins?
Romans 6:1, 2: If we come to the Lord’s table with the intent that we will co0ntinue in any particular sin we are not truly repentant.
Matthew 5:23-24: A fruit of repentance is a willingness to make amends with anyone we have offended.
Matthew 6:14-15: A fruit of repentance is a willingness to forgive anyone who has sinned against us. We cannot bear a grudge.
Do I believe I am in need of forgiveness?
Jesus said the Lord’s Supper is for the forgiveness of our sins. When we celebrate it we are taking the opportunity to confess our sins and be cleansed from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8, 9).
Do I know and believe what the Lord’s Supper is?
A. It is a blessed Sacrament in which I receive Christ’s true body and blood for the forgiveness of my sins.
B. It is an opportunity for me to remember my Savior and to proclaim his death and resurrection to a fallen world.
Note: Because the Lord wants us to examine ourselves before taking the Sacrament, the insane, uninstructed, and unconscious should not receive the Sacrament. These souls still have opportunities to receive God’s grace through the Word and baptism.
If I feel weak in my faith, should I come to the Lord’s Supper?
Matthew 11:28-29: Absolutely! Come to the Lord’s Supper confessing your sins and weaknesses. In the Sacrament look for his grace and forgiveness which strengthen your faith in him.
What do other churches teach in regard to the Lord’s Supper?
- The Catholic church:
A. That the Lord’s Supper is an unbloody Sacrifice of Christ all over again.
B. That the priest, using the Words of Christ, changes the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. (Transubstantiation)
C. That Masses (the Lord’s Supper as Sacrifice) can be offered on behalf of others not present, even the dead.
D. That the forgiveness of sins offered in the Mass is received even if the person does not believe. (ex opera operata)
- Most Protestant churches (i.e. Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Evangelical Free, etc.):
A. That Jesus’ words. “This is my body . . .This is my blood” actually mean “This represents my body . . .This represents my blood.”
That the Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal only and not a Sacrament through
which we receive forgiveness. It is special to them, only it is not Sacramental.
NOTE: In the Lord’s Supper God comes to you individually and gives you the forgiveness of your sins. Accept such forgiveness with joy and continue using the Sacrament in order to strengthen your faith.
Multiple choice. Place an X before the answer which is most correct.
- Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper
a.——– right after he rose from the grave.
b.——– on the night he was betrayed, the night before he died in the cross.
c.——– during a time when he was alone with his disciples on a mountain.
- When a person receives the Lord’s Supper, he receives
a.——– only bread and wine
b.——– only Christ’s body and blood.
c.——– bread and wine, in, with, and under Christ’s body and blood.
- Just how Christ’s body and blood can be present in this Sacrament
a.——– cannot be explained, but it is clearly what the Bible teaches
b.——– can be explained by saying that the bread and wine are changed into Christ’s body and blood.
c.——– can be explained by saying that the bread and wine represent Christ’s body and blood.
- Two good reasons for receiving the Lord’s Supper are
a.——– to be assured of forgiveness and to show what good Christians are.
b.——– to remember Jesus’ death and be helped in doing good works to be saved.
c.——– to remember Jesus’ death and be assured of personal forgiveness.
- Receiving the Lord’s Supper with fellow believers is
a.——– necessary for the sacrament to have any power or purpose.
b.——– a beautiful expression of our shared unity in the Christian faith.
c.——– part of God’s will that must be done if we hope to earn eternal life.
- The Lord’s Supper may be given to
a.——– all people, regardless of age or beliefs
b.——– repentant Christians who can properly remember Jesus’ death and examine themselves.
c.——– anyone who is a church member, regardless of his personal faith or conduct.
- The Lord’s Supper is
a.——– a sacrament, that is, an instrument God uses to forgive sins and strengthen Christian faith.
b.——– a sacrifice, that is, something we do to complete payment for sins.
c.——– neither a sacrament nor a sacrifice, but a fine church custom.
- The practice of “close communion” is designed to
a.——– protect true believers from the corrupting influence of church visitors.
b.——– protect all communicants from receiving communion improperly or foolishly.
c.——– remind everyone that some disciples don’t need to receive communion at all.
- We will always love and desire the Lord’s Supper because
a.——– it is a very important part of getting to heaven by active obedience.
b.——– it keeps us good church members and sets a fine example for others.
c.——– Jesus lovingly commanded it and we receive in it a stronger faith in him.
PERSONAL PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION
Q: What does God tell me about myself in his holy Word?
A: He says that I am a sinner and deserve only his punishment.
Q: What should i do if i am not aware of my sins or am not troubled by them?
A: I should examine myself according to the Ten Commandments and ask how well I have carried out my responsibilities as a husband or wife or single person, as a parent or child, an employer or employee, a teacher or student? Have I loved God with all my heart, gladly heard his Word, and patiently endured affliction? Have I been disobedient, proud, or unforgiving? Have I been selfish, lazy, envious, or quarrelsome? Have I lied or deceived, taken something not mine, or given anyone a bad name? Have I abused my body or permitted indecent thoughts to linger in my mind? Have I failed to do what is right and good?
Q: When I realize that I have sinned against God and deserve his punishment, what should I do?
A: I will confess before God all my sins, those which I remember as well as those of which I am unaware. I will pray to God for his mercy and forgiveness.
Q: How do I receive his gracious forgiveness?
A: His Word assures me that Jesus led a pure and holy life for me and died on the cross for me to pay the full price for all my sins. Through faith in Jesus, I have been clothed in my Savior’s perfect righteousness and holiness.
Q: What further assurance do I have that Jesus is mine and I am his?
A: In Holy Communion he gives me his body and blood together with the bread and wine as a truly life-giving food and drink to unite me with him and my fellow believers. By means of this sacrament, Jesus not only forgives my sins but sweeps away all my doubts about his love for me, gives me his own strength to live a God-pleasing life, and grants me a joyful foretaste of heaven.
Q: How can I be sure that I receive all these blessings in the Lord’s Supper?
A: I have his own word spoken as his last will and testament on the night before he died. There he tells me: ”Take and eat; this is my body. Drink from it all of you: this is my blood which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Q: How will I respond to this priceless gift from Jesus?
A: I will daily thank and praise him for his love to me. With his help I will fight temptation, do my best to correct whatever wrongs I have done, and serve him and those around me with love and good works.
Lord Jesus, with joy and gratitude, I now come to your table to receive the precious food of your life-giving body and blood. May it strengthen me to remain in you as you remain in me, so that I bear much fruit in devoted service to you and in acts of kindness to others. Amen.
ABOUT THE LORD’S SUPPER: Whenever we receive the Lord’s Supper, we want to remember three important Scriptural truths:
The body and blood of Christ are really present with the bread and wine. This is not a mere representation but the actual body and blood of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:27)
In the Lord’s Supper Jesus gives each of us the forgiveness of all of our sins. The supper is not merely the symbol of forgiveness but in the supper Jesus actually gives his forgiveness to us. (Matthew 26:28)
When we take the Lord’s Supper we are united in a special way to everyone else taking it because we all partake of the one body and blood of Christ together. (1 Corinthians 10:17)
We know that not all Christians believe these truths about the Lord’s Supper. So, we ask that Christians visiting our service talk over these matters with our pastor or staff minister before communing with us. Also, if you do not as yet have faith in Jesus as your Savior he wants you to come to faith in him before taking his Sacrament.
If for any reason you are not in a communing fellowship with us, we will do whatever we can to iron out the differences and establish that fellowship as soon as possible. We hope that you will give us that opportunity. Please be patient with us as we will be with you. It is our love from Jesus that makes us reach out to you with these thoughts.
Note: There is a personal preparation for Holy Communion on page 156 in the front of the hymnal.