July 28 – LD 30, Day 6: Supervising Our Confession and Life
Wednesday the 28th of July
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Read: Ephesians 4: 11 - 16
In celebrating the Lord’s Supper, the church must be united together in the blessed truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Her members must also be committed to live by this truth in all godliness and sincerity. There is freedom and space for differences on minor issues, but the church must be truly one in knowing, loving, and confessing the great doctrines of Jesus Christ and of salvation in Him.
Paul admonished the church of Corinth because when she celebrated the Lord’s Supper, there were divisions and heresies among her. I Cor 11: 18 - 19.
There are many churches where it does not matter what a person believes. Everyone has the right, these churches say, to their own opinions and private interpretations of scripture. There is no absolute truth. There are many different interpretations of scripture. One is not more right than the other. The members of such churches come to the table of the Lord in some sort of vague spirit of brotherhood and human friendliness. Everyone claiming in a very shallow and general way to be a Christian is allowed to come to the table of the Lord. Differences with official positions of the church are allowed. Often, in these churches, even grossly ungodly living is tolerated in a false spirit of so-called Christian love.
The truth of God can and must be known from the infallible scriptures which are the Word of God, and by the enlightening of the Spirit of Christ in the church. The elders must be constantly engaged in teaching and preaching the truth of the Lord and admonishing the members of the church to live by this truth. They must be courageous to defend the truth and resist false teachers and evil works. By so doing, the church is built upon the truth and is able to stand strong in a world of confusion and ungodliness.
Members of the church must walk humbly with one another, putting down every inclination of pride and self-exaltation in the church which can so easily arise from our sinful nature. The elders must labor among members of the church when divisions threaten her blessed and glorious unity in Christ.
Heresies divide the church. Knowledge and love for the truth unites her. False teachers must be identified and corrected, and if they do not repent, they must be rejected. Titus 1:9 - 11 and 3:10.
Impenitent wickedness must be properly dealt with by the elders of the church through the use of the keys of the kingdom, which is Christian discipline.
By the Lord’s Supper, we show our unity in Christ in doctrine and life. We read of the church of Pentecost that her members “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers …And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking of bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Sinful divisions in the church may not be ignored when she celebrates the Lord’s Supper. They must be resolved, and peace and love must prevail among the members of the church before the Lord’s Supper can properly be administered. The name of our Lord Jesus Christ is exalted when we know and love and maintain His truth in His church. The elders of the church are appointed to guard the church from errors and preserve her blessed unity.