In the last post, we began to look at how baptism and the Lord’s Supper are related. In today’s post, we will complete that thought. So picking up where we left off:
…As baptism is the front door into the family of God, the Lord’s Supper is the family meal. It marks off the church from the world.Relating Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Who Can Participate in the Lord’s Supper?
This is why, understanding what baptism is and what the Lord’s Supper is and what they do, I believe only baptized believers should participate in the Lord’s Supper. All I’m really saying there is that the Lord’s Supper, making the church visible, should be let out only to those who have publicly identified with the Lord and His church (affirmed by said church) in baptism, which makes the Christian visible. Put another way, baptism says, ‘here’s a Christian,’ such that without baptism, we and they have no rite to the Supper that says, ‘here’s a Christian church.’ Baptism says you belong to Jesus and His people. The Lord’s Supper reaffirms that. And by the way, historically, every sect of Christendom has made this connection, just some more biblically than others.
It’s for this reason that I think it’s most prudent and honoring to Christ that at least four things be required for participation in the Lord’s Supper. One, a credible profession of faith in Christ. It’s for believers, not unbelievers. Two and three, baptism and what follows, church membership. These are what make one’s profession of faith ‘credible,’ visible. Four, good-standing as a member of a Gospel-believing local church. Baptism and membership in a heretical ‘church’ invalidates one’s profession of faith. This should be obvious. If a non-Gospel believing church has affirmed your ‘faith,’ it’s not likely a true faith. Charity and prudence here. More, if you are a member of a Gospel-believing church, but not in good-standing, that is, under discipline for any reason, or even if, as we saw in 1 Corinthians 11:29-34, your relations in the church are strained and embittered without repentance, I would ask you to kindly abstain from taking the Lord’s Supper.
So who would we invite to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper? After addressing the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, I would ideally say something like this, “This meal is for (1) believers who have been (2) baptized upon their profession of faith in Christ and are (3) members (4) in good-standing with this local church or another Gospel-believing local church (as I believe it likely that ‘visiting communion’ is taking place in Acts 20:7).”
Next time, we’ll finish our study with a few details about practice in our gathering for corporate worship. Until then, continuing to aim only for fully-informed minds begetting fully-rejoicing hearts as we, in spiritual unity and with holy accountability, come to remember the Lord’s death until He comes again. Devoted to the most Scriptural display of Christ’s glory in and through you,