Zero Factor

            My daughter started going to a church that practices communion or the Lord’s supper every Sunday morning.  She chose to attend the communion service only on certain weeks because she had been told repeatedly at another church that she should examine herself and be sure she was worthy to take communion.  She felt like she should confess as many sins as she could think of to be prepared.  I had a talk with her to correct her misguided perception.

            Does this notion of worthiness to take communion have merit?  There’s no way I can confess every sin since the previous communion.  What if I miss one?  Will some holy Joe tap me on the shoulder and ask, “What about those swear words you uttered last Thursday at 3:17?”  And that would just be the beginning of the list for me I’m afraid.  As for worthiness, I’m a big fat zero.

It’s all about the marvelous, matchless grace of God.  The Lord’s supper is a memorial to the death of Christ for our sins, usually using crackers and juice to symbolize His body and shed blood.  It’s deeply humbling to meditate on God’s mercy and grace.  None of us deserves the salvation God provides.  If it weren’t for God choosing you and me to be His children, we wouldn’t have any right to have communion together at all!  It’s only because of Christ’s shed blood that we’re anything more than zeroes in God’s sight.  Consider Jesus’ words in John 15:5. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  In Romans 8:1 Paul says, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Frankly, worthiness isn’t the issue at all.  Paul urged proper respect for partaking of the Lord’s table and discouraged abuse of the ceremony.  Look carefully at I Cor. 11:20-34: When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible Study, Christian Life, Thoughts from John

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