Read: Ephesians 4:11 - 16.
For our last meditation on Lord’s Day 28, we consider one more phrase in its beautiful discussion of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, “and that we live and are governed forever by one Spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.”
The whole of the first part of Eph 4 speaks of this truth. No doubt, Paul is not speaking in this passage about the Lord’s Supper directly. Yet the catechism is correct when it makes reference to what Paul says in this passage, in explaining the rich and blessed meaning of the Lord’s Supper.
The church as the body of Christ, is united by the Spirit of Christ in the bond of peace and unity. In that bond, she confesses together one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, in all, and through all, and in all the saints who are members of the church. The reality of this is celebrated in the Lord’s Supper.
The church is, and must be united together in the truth. She may not tolerate heresies and divisions among her members. Paul admonished the church of Corinth concerning this in I Cor 11:18 - 19. “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” Paul admonished thechurch of Corinth because of this situation. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is a celebration of the unity of the members of the church.
In I Cor 10, Paul speaks of the unity that must characterize the church, with explicit reference to the celebration of the Sacrament of Communion. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” I Cor 10: 16 - 17.
The church grows up into this unity through the preaching of the Word in her midst, and this unity is also strengthened by the proper celebration of the Lord’s Supper. In Eph 4, Paul speaks further about this. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working of the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Eph 4:15 - 16.
The application of the truth of the Lord’s Supper in the lives of the members of the church is that they must live together in the unity of faith and love in Jesus Christ. When this is not the case because of sin and division among the members of the church, the Lord’s Supper is desecrated and the name of the Lord is greatly dishonored.
In the church, and in connection with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the members of the church must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The members of the church must live together in humility with one another and in unity in the love of Christ for one another.
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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