Guy Prentiss Waters: Sign of the Promise From Genesis to Revelation, there is a succession of covenants. There are basically two covenants in the Bible: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. God made the covenant of works in the garden with Adam and, in Adam, with all his ordinary descendants. This covenant was conditioned upon Adam’s obedience. When our representative Adam disobeyed God, he plunged himself and all of us into sin and misery. The way to eschatological or eternal life by our obedience was forever closed off. Soon after Adam’s fall into sin, God introduced a second covenant into history, the covenant of grace. This covenant was conditioned upon the obedience of the second and last Adam, Jesus Christ. He pledged to obey where we failed to obey. Part of his obedience involved bearing the penalty due to us for our sin. On the basis of his obedience, those who trust in him are brought from
The Lord’s Supper
Grow in Grace at the Table
David Mathis: The Lord’s Supper is an extraordinary meal. To be sure, it is simply an ordinary means of God’s grace to his church, but as eating and drinking go, it can be an unusually powerful experience. Along with baptism, the Supper is one of Jesus’s two specially instituted sacraments for the signifying, sealing, and strengthening of his new-covenant people. Call them ordinances if you please. The true issue is not the term, but what we mean by it, and whether we handle these twin means of God’s grace as Jesus means, to guide and shape the life of the church in her new covenant with the Bridegroom. The means of grace — also known as the “spiritual disciplines” — are the various channels God has appointed for regularly supplying his church with spiritual power. The key principles behind the means of grace are Jesus’s voice (the word), his ear (prayer), and his body (the church). The various disciplines and
What Does It Mean to Remember Jesus in the Lord’s Supper?
Dustin Crowe: Evangelical churches typically recite these words when taking communion—or the Lord’s Supper: “Do this in remembrance of me.” Whether your theology of communion leans toward the Calvinistic “spiritual presence” or Zwingli’s memorial view, or you find yourself floating back and forth between the two, I would guess we all desire a heightened sense of what God holds out to us in these dynamic symbols. In 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 (see also Luke 22:17-20) Paul recounts the instructions Jesus gave the disciples when inaugurating the new-covenant meal. Jesus says as we grind the broken bread (his body) in our teeth and as the bitter taste of the wine (his blood) lingers on our throats, we remember Christ’s death. More Than Recalling So what does it mean to remember? Does it simply suggest we shouldn’t let thoughts slip out of your mind? Does it mean we reminisce on the sufferings of Jesus so I feel really thankful or really awful? For many Christians, to remember
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What Should You Be Thinking about During the Lord’s Supper
J. I. Packer: I don’t think we can ever say too much about the importance of an active exercise of mind and heart at the communion service. . . . Holy Communion demands us of private preparation of heart before the Lord before we come to the table. We need to prepare ourselves for fellowship with Jesus Christ the Lord, who meets us in this ceremony. We should think of him both as the host of the communion table and as enthroned on the true Mount Zion referred to in Hebrews 12, the city of the living God where the glorified saints and the angels are. The Lord from his throne catches us up by his Spirit and brings us into fellowship with himself there in glory. He certainly comes down to meet us here, but he then catches us up into fellowship with him and the great host of others who are eternally worshipping him there. We are
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