Read: Hebrews 13: 7 and 17 - 21
Up to now, we have been considering the need of every believer who comes to the Lord’s Supper, to prepare himself through self examination. This is a deeply personal calling and responsibility.
The elders of the church have the calling to supervise the administration of the Lord’s Supper. I Cor 4:1 speaks of the fact that the ministers of Christ are ‘stewards of the mysteries of God’. In I Cor 11, where Paul gives extensive instruction about the proper observance of the Lord’s Supper, he in fact admonishes the whole church concerning this serious matter. Because the church of Corinth was careless about the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and was tolerating heresies and divisions among her members, therefore the judgment of God came upon the whole church. Many were sick in the church and many were asleep. The reference to falling asleep is to death. So serious was the judgment of God on this church!
Elders, properly elected and ordained in the church, receive their authority from Christ and His apostles. The members of the church must submit to the oversight of the elders.
The matter of who may come to the Supper of the Lord must not be left entirely to the discretion of the members of the church. It is common in many churches, that the only thing that is done to fulfill the calling of the elders to supervise the Lord’s Supper, is to make a very general announcement before the celebration of the Supper, that sincere Christians who have repented of their sins and confessed faith in Jesus Christ, may come to the table of the Lord. More is involved than this in the oversight of the elders.
The Lord’s Supper was given to be celebrated by the church spiritually. There are hypocrites mixed with the true members of the church. This is Satan’s work as the parable of the wheat and tares teach us.
The Lord’s Supper is not a public ceremony. It is not one to which the whole world is invited. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he was in the upper room in intimate fellowship with His disciples who by His grace,were one with Him, believing in Him and keeping His commandments. It is wonderful that true people of God join together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in close fellowship with the Lord and with each other.
Evil men and false teachers do not belong to this communion. We believe that the right reading of the gospel accounts suggests that Judas was dismissed before the Lord instituted the Supper. There are often those who join the worship services, but do not know and acknowledge their sins. Some are ignorant concerning the truth. Some, even though they know their sins, will not acknowledge and confess their sins, and wrongly imagine that their sins need not be confessed and repented of.
Christ, through His apostles, has appointed elders to have spiritual oversight of the church. No one who will be a member of the church, may despise this oversight and refuse to submit to it for his own spiritual benefit and correction. The Lord has given to the elders the calling to watch over the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, to guard the honor and glory of the name of the Lord every time this sacrament is administered in the midst of His church.
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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