Spiritual Partaking of the Lord's Supper

Date: AM
Text: II Corinthians 13; Lord's Day 30
Psalters: 401, 324, 299, 284
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2013-15)
  1. His spiritual presence.
    1. The Reformed churches reject any concept of Christ's presence being physical.
      1. The church of Rome believes Jesus is physically present in the elements ? transubstantiation.
      2. Luther taught that Christ was present ?in, with, and under,? i.e., really and substantially present in the bread and wine.
    2. The Reformed churches teach that Christ is present in the Supper in a spiritual sense.
      1. First, Jesus is in heaven, where He is to be worshiped.
      2. Christ is present only in a spiritual sense.
      3. Thus, this is an important way to show (demonstrate) the Lord's death (as the way to salvation) until He returns.
  2. The administration of the sacrament must be spiritual.
    1. Spiritual administration means: Jesus is seen as the Host through His representatives who administer and distribute it.
    2. Second, spiritual administration requires that the Lord's Table be guarded properly.
      1. The elders supervise who partakes by discipline: silent censure prevents (I Cor. 5:11).
      2. Also the elders practice "close", not "open communion" (the historic Reformed practice).
      3. And the elders determine which non-members may partake, judging closeness in doctrine and practice.
    3. Third, spiritual administration requires the preaching which displays the Jesus and the death He died.
  3. Spiritual partaking requires the exercise of active faith.
    1. Faith holds for truth the once for all death of Jesus, which fully accomplished complete salvation (Heb. 7:27).
    2. Three groups are not proper partakers.
      1. Those who by confession and life declare themselves to be unbelieving and ungodly.
      2. Hypocrites, i.e., those who are church members but know they are false.
      3. Insincere believers, i.e., those who do not turn to God with sincere hearts.
    3. When believers do it SO, then blessings result for the believers and for the church.
      1. The Supper gives visible assurance that He gave Himself, and that full salvation is given to those who believe.
      2. In this way our faith is stimulated to greater hunger and thirst for Christ.