Here at Grace Church, we teach that two ordinances have been given by our Lord Jesus to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Both are essential to our worship, and both are deserving of careful consideration as we partake of them.
The Lord’s Supper, also known as communion, is a practice of remembering and recounting Christ’s death until He comes again (Luke 22:19). We practice this every month as a church family through the partaking of the bread and cup, which represent Christ’s body and blood. This act of remembrance is vital for us as believers, as it represents an actual communion with the risen Christ who indwells every believer by virtue of His death in our place (1 Corinthians 10:16). Communion, however, is even more significant and beautiful than simply understanding these facts—it is a commemoration that reaches backward, inward, and forward.
The Lord’s Supper, instituted by Christ on the night of his betrayal, has its roots in the Exodus. The night before the Exodus, God called Israel to have a Passover meal, designed to remind Israel of how He graciously delivered His people by “passing over” them in His judgment of the Egyptians. On the night Jesus was betrayed, He transformed this meal into something of even greater significance. Whereas the Passover meal reminded Israel specifically of God’s deliverance of them from Egypt, the Lord’s Supper recalls how God graciously delivers all believers from their sins forever by “passing over” them in His judgment.
In 1 Corinthians 11:27–29, Paul commands us to soberly examine ourselves before taking the Lord’s Supper. As interested as God is in the genuineness of our faith, He is just as interested in the integrity of our faith. Our faith in Christ, indeed, should produce a heart that desires to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects” (Colossians 1:10). As we come before the Lord at His table, remembering His precious sacrifice, it is imperative that we examine our hearts to discern whether we are coming before Him in a worthy manner, fully pleasing to Him.
Finally, the Lord’s Supper anticipates what is called the “marriage supper” (Revelation 19:9), where at last two great hopes will be fulfilled: victory over death (Isaiah 25:8 cf. Genesis 3:15) and the final consummate union of Christ and His now beautified bride, the church. As we participate in communion now, it is in expectation of this great future reality we have as believers.
Communion, then, is a practice with manifold significance for believers in Christ Jesus—displaying the glories of God in His delivering work in the past, present, and future. As we gather around the Lord’s table as a church family today, it is important that we focus our hearts and minds on these truths. If you have any questions about communion, please stop by the Member Center after either morning service or contact our Membership Department.