The Purposes of the Lord's Supper
Topic: The Lord's Supper Passage: 1 Corinthians 11:17–11:34
What is the purpose of the believer’s taking communion? Why are believers cautioned to examine themselves spiritually before sharing in the Lord’s Supper?
The Purposes of the Lord's Supper:
1. To Commemorate the Death of Christ
Three Views of the Lord’s Supper:
• Traditional Roman Catholic View
- It states that the bread and wine actually become the physical body and blood of Christ.
- This is called transubstantiation.
- The theological problem is that Christ died once, and there is only one propitiatory sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; John 19:30)
• Lutheran View
- It states that the molecules of the bread and wine do not change into Christ’s flesh and blood. They remain bread and wine, but the body and blood of Christ are present in and with (or under) the elements.
- This is called consubstantiation.
• Baptist View (Zwinglian View)
- The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of the broken body and shed blood of Christ.
- The value of taking the Lord’s Supper is primarily to remember what Christ went through on the cross for you. (1 Corinthians 11:24-25; Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:11-14)
2. To Preach the Message of the Cross
3. To Anticipate the Return of Christ
4. To Encourage Purity in the Life of the Believer
Christ gave us the bread and wine as a visual example to help us focus our attention on Christ’s sacrifice for us. We get so easily distracted!
The caution in 1 Corinthians 11:28 is that the believer must examine his life to see if there is unconfessed sin. If we partake of it unworthily, we dishonor the Lord. Partaking in the Lord’s Supper unworthily will bring judgment on that person. Don't partake if you are not right with the Lord. Don't partake in a flippant way. Gaze at the cross; remember how you were before you were saved. Remember what Christ has done for you!