“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”
This coming Lord’s Day we will come to the Lord’s table for a covenant meal we call the Lord’s Supper. It is a meal meant to reinforce faith that already exists. As a means of grace, the Lord’s Supper communicates the work of Christ and the benefits we receive through faith in Him. But the partaking of the elements is never meant to be done with a mere formalistic approach; rather, we are to eat the bread and drink the cup with grace in our hearts. The right administration of the Supper is not only important but also the worthy partaking of it. To that end, the Westminster Larger Catechism gives helpful and Biblical instruction for our feasting on Christ Jesus.
- 171. How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper to prepare themselves before they come unto it?
- They that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper are, before they come, to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves of their being in Christ, of their sins and wants; of the truth and measure of their knowledge, faith, repentance; love to God and the brethren, charity to all men, forgiving those that have done them wrong; of their desires after Christ, and of their new obedience; and by renewing the exercise of these graces, by serious meditation, and fervent prayer.
- 174. What is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper in the time of the administration of it?
- It is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, that, during the time of the administration of it, with all holy reverence and attention they wait upon God in that ordinance, diligently observe the sacramental elements and actions, heedfully discern the Lord’s body, and affectionately meditate on his death and sufferings, and thereby stir up themselves to a vigorous exercise of their graces; in judging themselves, and sorrowing for sin; in earnest hungering and thirsting after Christ, feeding on him by faith, receiving of his fullness, trusting in his merits, rejoicing in his love, giving thanks for his grace; in renewing of their covenant with God, and love to all the saints.
- 175. What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper?
- The duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, is seriously to consider how they have behaved themselves therein, and with what success; if they find quickening and comfort, to bless God for it, beg the continuance of it, watch against relapses, fulfill their vows, and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance: but if they find no present benefit, more exactly to review their preparation to, and carriage at, the sacrament; in both which, if they can approve themselves to God and their own consciences, they are to wait for the fruit of it in due time: but, if they see they have failed in either, they are to be humbled, and to attend upon it afterwards with more care and diligence.
Let us come to the Table “hungering and thirsting after Christ, feeding on him by faith, receiving of his fullness, trusting in his merits, rejoicing in his love, giving thanks for his grace.”