Friday, March 31, 2017

Should I Ever Abstain from Communion?

"Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup." 
-1 Corinthains 11:28

The thought comes from a feeling that one should not partake of the Lord’s Supper, because of a sense of not properly preparing at that given time. Feelings that it is wrong to take the Lord’s Supper if one is struggling with sin. A common misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 11:28 lies at the center of these feelings.

The warning in verse 11 cautions against partaking the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner, referring to the unrepentant self-centeredness of the Corinthians. The Corinthians were ignoring other members of the body. The same warning does not apply to those who are struggling with sin but are looking to the cross in repentance, hating their sin and yearning to be pleasing to God. When the understand of the people is that you must wait until you have been “good enough” or have gotten yourself into a moment of being “good enough,” we have turned this incredible reminder of grace into and ogre of legalism. No one is worthy. This is the point! Melancthon says it this way:

“Some will not venture to profess Christ until they can rather profess themselves. They wait for worthiness to come to the Lord’s table, not considering that it is unworthiness which they profess, along with Christ’s worthiness- their sins, along with His name for the remission of sins.”

The Lord's Supper reminds us again that Christ died for sinners like us. The requirement is that we come in faith and repentance. Too often, having stripped the Supper of any positive meaning, we are left only with the threat of divine judgment if we do it incorrectly. It is no wonder in such cases that many do not want to have Communion more frequently. They believe it won’t do anything for them if they take it correctly, and what’s worse, they suffer if they do it incorrectly. Judgment is real, but so is the truth of grace for the repentant.
If we have struggled this week and sinned (and we all have), that is all the more reason we need the Lord’s Supper. We need a tangible reminder that Christ has made provision for our sin. The only pre-condition for the believer to remain repentant. To refuse Communion is symbolical to reject the work of Christ. Therefore, the only time one should keep themselves from the Table is if he/she refuses to repent. Then, that person should realize he/she declares a refusal to submit to Christ and showing himself/herself as an unbeliever.
    Think of it this way. The Scriptures are not barring any who have ever danced with the Devil. We all have. You simply cannot come to the table still holding the Devil’s hand. As long as you repentant, come to the King’s table! Be reminded of the cost of your sin, hate it afresh, and be reminded that your Savior has paid the debt.

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