14 Jun 2020
"How often should we take the Lord's Supper? " "Can taking the Holy Communion heal my physical illness? " "How can we take the Lord's Table in this Covd-19 situation? " "Why is the Lord's Supper important to the church and to the Christian? " These and much more will be biblically explored in the sermon here. Find out how the Lord's Supper is a blessing for you today!
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A very good morning to all of you and welcome to Gospel Light Christian Church and our Sunday service this morning. Glad you can join us. First of all, I'd like to apologize for all those who wanted to join us in our, “Meet your Pastor Session, Q&A Session” last Sunday, but were not able to do so. We reached the capacity of 100 and … but be rest assured, this Sunday we have expanded that capacity. So we look forward to many more of you being able to join us.
Some of you may be asking, “How do I join this?” Well, if you're lost, very simple, what I do is, I go to Google, key in ‘GLCC Events’. And I will be able to find the “Meet your Pastor Session”, under the list of events that we have. Just click on that link, enter the password as given there, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Well, this Sunday morning, let's continue our journey in “48”. “48” is a series that focuses on the last one or two days of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, before He will go to the cross.
Now many years ago, I went to Milan, in Italy. The … I don't think there are many things to see in Milan, except this museum, or this church, where there is a famous painting called, “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.
I had to queue for more than an hour. Pay, I think 12 Euros, which is a lot of money then, to enter to see this picture for just about a minute. However, it is sad to say that this picture doesn't even correctly depict what must have taken place on the last night Jesus had His last supper with His disciples.
For one, I think they were not seated in a right way. I think this picture, actually might be more accurate in that all of them were seated around the table in a semi reclined manner, the Roman style of eating, as it were.
Nevertheless, we are going to look at the Bible and see the actual story for the Last Supper. So let's look at verses 26 to 29, in Matthew 26. It says here, “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it, broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you that I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom.””
And so this is a story, this is a narration of the Last Supper. This is the last meal, the last dinner Jesus had with His disciples in the upper room there in Jerusalem. Now, Judas has already left this meal to betray Jesus to the religious leaders. So now, Jesus and His 11 disciples are now continuing that last meal or the Passover meal, that night.
This is a very significant event that has lasted—or its memorial has lasted—till today. Churches all over the world celebrate the Lord's Supper. We read of the early church, gathering in the book of Acts, day by day breaking bread. Then we read in Acts chapter 20 and verse 7, how they gather on the first day of the week to break bread. We read also of the Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, telling them, teaching them, correcting them with regards to the Lord's supper.
So, this is something that is celebrated from the time of Jesus, up till now in many, many churches, all across the globe. We give it different names; we call it, “The Lord's Supper”, or “The Lord's Table” or “The Holy Communion”. Some call it, “The Eucharist”, based on verse 27—giving thanks. That's the word, ‘Eucharist’. But whatever you call it, it is something Christians and churches all around the world celebrate.
So let's learn about what this Lord's Supper or this last supper is supposed to teach us.
1) The Symbols
Number one, I'd like you to notice together with me the symbols that are used in the Last Supper or the Lord's Supper. “Jesus took bread and Jesus took a cup.” [Matt 26:26] So these two items, the bread and the cup are symbols for remembrance. They are meant to teach the disciples wonderful spiritual lessons.
Now, Jesus makes it clear that they are tokens of remembrance, when He said in Luke chapter 22 and verse 19, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” The apostle Paul, reinforced the symbols, reinforced the need of remembrance when he said in 1st Corinthians, chapter 11:24, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” And then in verse 25, again, “Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
So, the bread and the cup, in the Lord's Supper are tokens, are symbols of remembrance. Now, there is a doctrine, preached in some religious circles, that does not quite fit this understanding. This doctrine is called, ‘Transubstantiation’. Wow! You say, “What is this word?” Well, it's a … it's a difficult word. We don't really learn of it anywhere else—transubstantiation.
It is a teaching that says, after some prayer by some religious leader, that bread and the cup is literally transformed into the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. So transubstantiation, trans is across. The substance is changed from one form to the other. It might still look like bread and grape juice or wine, but they say, “It is now actually the body and the blood of Jesus.”
Now, I don't really think that's what Jesus meant. I don't think he's saying that the cup, the bread, literally are His body and His blood. Suppose today, I … I whip up my iPhone and I scroll through and I say, “This is me!” I show you a picture of myself, a photograph of myself. And I say, “This is me!”
Now, I'm sure you will not say, “This is literally Jason Lim.” Because this picture can't listen, this picture can't talk, this picture can't feel, [sic: this teach], this picture cannot respond to you—it's just a picture. And when I say, “This is me!”, you all know that this picture is a representation of me. This picture shows my face, shows my picture. That's all.
So I think the best way, the right way to look at what Jesus said, “This is my body and this is My blood”, is saying, “These are the symbols that remind you of My life that is laid down for you.”
Now those who teach transubstantiation also coupled together with it, an—a reenactment of the sacrifice of Jesus. They say, “This is the body, this is the blood.” They also reenact the sacrifice of Jesus, so that when people take this bread and cup, somehow they take in forgiveness and cleansing and so on and so forth. However, that would not be quite right.
You don't put Jesus through a repeat sacrifice, isn't it? Because Hebrews 10:10 tells us, ‘And by that, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.” Not over and over and over and over again, when we have Lord’s supper.
Verse 12, in case you don't get it, “When Christ had offered for all time, a single sacrifice,” not over and over and over again, and then, “… by a single offering.” [verse 14] So it's clear that whatever Jesus is telling us to celebrate, He is not saying, “Crucify Me over and over again. Let My body be laid down for you over and over again. Let My blood be spilled over and over again.” Nope!
So we don't believe that the Bible teaches transubstantiation. It doesn't teach that the symbols, the bread and the cup literally become the body of Christ.
Now there are others, who besides teaching transubstantiation, they teach something quite similar, it's called consubstantiation. You say, “What's that?” Well, con is together with, trans is across. So con is together with.
The idea here is that, when someone prays over the bread and the cup, it still is bread and cup. But somehow the spiritual elements, the essence of Christ, is now invested into the bread and cup. So it's a little bit different from transubstantiation, but they're also adding that idea of some mystical power and blessing and element into the tokens of the Lord's Supper.
When I was young, I remember that when I was sick, my mum would take some talisman, some amulet. And she'll burn that piece of paper, and the ashes would be then drowned into a cup of water. She would then make me drink that cup of water, believing that somehow there will be spiritual blessing as I drink in this talisman water.
There are people who believe that blessings come with what you eat and drink. However, Jesus did say, right? “That it is not what you eat or drink that defiles you.” That's not how it works. And I think on the same note, I … it is not drinking and eating some supposed spiritual elements that bring you forgiveness.
So, I again think that the best way, to looking at the Lord's Supper is not to believe that there is a literal 100% transformation or translation of this bread and cup into the body and blood of Jesus. Neither are we saying that, “When we pray, this bread and cup contains now the body or the essence of the body or the essence of the blood of Jesus.” But I believe Jesus is saying, “These are symbols for remembrance.”
Again, I think it's very clear when He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” [Luke 22:19] Paul says, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” And then again, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” [1 Corinthians 11:24-25]
So, they are symbols, they are not actual body, nor do they contain, I think, the essence of the body or the blood of Jesus. And I think it would be quite wrong for us to think that when we eat the bread or drink that cup, somehow, we are blessed by that act in and of itself. Or we are forgiven of our sins because we eat that bread or drink that cup, in and of itself. They are symbols.
But what do they symbolize? And I think that's the main crux of the message. We know they're symbols; they're supposed to remind us of Jesus. But what about Jesus? What about His works? Well, there's a very important concept in this Lord's Supper.
2) The Significance
And so let's study the significance of these symbols, the significance of the Lord's Supper. The Bible says in verse 28, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” Now I'd like you to focus on the word, ‘covenant’. The Lord's Supper is meant to symbolize, it's meant to remind us of a covenant.
What's a covenant? A covenant is an agreement between two parties. And so Jesus is saying, “By this meal, by this bread, by this cup, I'm inaugurating a … a New Covenant. I'm inaugurating an agreement between myself and you and My disciples.”
There's a new understanding. There's a … there's a new relationship based on this covenant. And this is officialized, this is signed by this drinking of cup and eating of the bread. Now, I want to remind you that many, many years ago, before this event, God made a covenant with the nation of Israel. He made an agreement with these people.
He brought them out of Egypt into the land of wilderness, into Sinai. He gathered them at the foot of the Mountain, Sinai. And there, He made an agreement, a covenant with the people. He said in Exodus, chapter 19:5, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all peoples.”
So God said, “This is My covenant with you.” Alright. “You keep My commandment. You keep My covenant. You obey My voice. This is the part of your deal. And My part is that, I will be your God. You will be My treasured possession. So if you obey Me, I will be your God.” That's the agreement. That's the covenant.
And of course, you know that in Exodus 20, and so on, God gave them the laws—His statutes—in particular, what we know today as, “The 10 Commandments”. So God is saying, “If you keep My word, if you keep My laws, I will be your God, you will be My people.”
It's like a marriage. It's like a wedding ceremony. And you know, on that day, the people of Israel say, “Yes, we will do it”, in Exodus 24:3, “All the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.”” “We will sign the marriage register. We will make our vows. We will be with you, God.”
So, properly looked at, Mount Sinai was the place where they had a wedding ceremony. They had a covenant between God and the nation. However, as you know, the Jewish people in the Old Testament repeatedly committed sin and adultery against their God. They did not follow God wholeheartedly. They broke all His laws, and worst still, they flirted and they were engaged with other false gods and committed idolatry.
And God over the centuries are grieved with them. They have broken the Old Covenant. They have broken their original covenant at Mount Sinai. However, God did not give up on the people of Israel. Yes, they broke the end of their deal. But God did not give up on them, because in Jeremiah 31, hundreds of years later, after Sinai, when Israel just kept sinning and sinning and sinning, God then gave them a new agreement, a New Covenant, a wonderful New Covenant.
He said in Jeremiah 31:31-32, “Behold, the days are coming declares the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…” “So let Me give you a new deal. Let Me give you a new way of relating with Me.”
And He goes on to say, “…Not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.”
So you see, Mount Sinai was a wedding ceremony. But even though they said they will keep the covenant, they did not. They broke the covenant. So God, now graciously says, “Let Me give you a New Covenant. And this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord.” [Jer 31:33]
“After the Old Covenant has failed, and has been broken, I will give you the New Covenant, whereby I will put My law within them, I'll write it on their hearts, I will be their God and they shall be My people.” [Jer 31:33] Amazing! “And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor [sic: and his], each his brother saying, “Know the Lord, for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest declares the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” [Jer 31:34]
Likewise, in Ezekiel 11:19-20, “I will give them one heart, a new Spirit, heart of flesh that they may walk in My statutes and they shall be My people and I will be their God.” Do you realize something? The Old Covenant is: I'll be your God, if you obey My voice. There's something for them to do. Of course, they failed.
So what's so special about the New Covenant? Nothing for them to do. It's all God's part! Man is so helpless and hopeless, that God's way of relating with men in the New Covenant is, “It's not about you, it's Me! I will. I will. I will. I will. I will change your heart, I'll write My laws, I will cleanse you from sin, I'll forgive your iniquities, I'll put My Spirit within you.”
You see this beauty and the magnanimity in the New Covenant—nothing to do with what we can deserve, all to do with what God will graciously give. And then in Ezekiel 36:25-27, “I'll sprinkle clean water, I'll give you a new heart, a new Spirit, I'll put My Spirit within you.” You see again, it's all God!
But here, I think, it's very important for you to note that, there is a reference to the sprinkling of water and the giving of the Spirit. Now, Ezekiel 36, I think, which is a teaching of the New Covenant, is what Jesus was referring to, when He was speaking to the religious leader, Nicodemus.
Jesus said to him, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, He cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” What is Jesus referring to? Some people think it's baptism, but I say to you, no! The thief on the cross was saved without the waters of baptism. It is not baptism that saves. It's not the water that saves. But the water and the Spirit that Jesus was talking about is the operation of the Holy Spirit through the New Covenant.
So unless a man receives the New Covenant, unless a man is cleansed by God's grace and given His Spirit, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. So Jesus is saying to Nicodemus, “Hey! You thought there's something more you need to do. That's old covenant! Let me tell you, how can a man be saved? How can a man enter the Kingdom of God? It must be via the New Covenant, where God graciously, unilaterally blesses him with this new birth.”
So, Jesus then says, with the understanding of the New Covenant as promised in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, what He said here is super significant. Don't you think? “This cup that is poured for you is the New Covenant in My blood.” [Luke 22:20] He's saying, “I am now ratifying. I'm now officializing. I'm now signing the deal and say, “The New Covenant is now ready to go. It is now declared wide open.”
“And this New Covenant is in My blood. The signing, the officializing requires My blood, it requires My sacrifice, it requires My death. And when I die, and when I shed My blood, you know that the New Covenant is ready to go.”
You say, “Why?” Well, the logic is very clear in Hebrews 9:16, “For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.” If you write a will, the will never kick into effect until you die. So when Jesus gave this New Covenant, He's saying, “It will be operational after I die.” And then in verse 22 of Hebrews 9, we also read, “Indeed, under the law, almost everything is purified with blood.”
So the old covenant in the Old Testament requires the shedding of blood, to cleanse the equipment and materials in the temple worship. So likewise in the New Covenant, in order for it to be established, blood must also be shed. But now not the blood of animals, but the blood of Jesus Christ.
No wonder Jesus said, “This New Covenant is in My blood. I must die, so that the will and the covenant will be established. I must shed My blood, so that there is cleansing for your sin.” [Luke 22:20]
So when we take this Lord's supper, it is highly significant for us to realize that this New Covenant which promises forgiveness [Matt 26:28], and a change of heart is given because Jesus will lay down his life for you and for me.
A) Remember Your Forgiveness
Wow! The significance of the Lord's Supper is that it helps us remember our forgiveness in Christ. Our forgiveness is not earned by our works. Our forgiveness is found in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. Our forgiveness is not based on the old covenant of trying to work our way to God, of trying to obey, so that we deserve it. But it's based on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
When we take the Lord's Supper, we are reminded today, we are a people who stand in grace. And we should not be a people who live in self-righteousness or legalism. We should be a people filled with joy and gratitude, because Jesus paid it all.
So my friends, remember your forgiveness in Jesus Christ. When we take of the Lord's Supper, we celebrate the Gospel. We celebrate grace. We celebrate God's amazing love for unworthy sinners like us. “I will. I will. I will. I will. I will.” It's all applied to those who receive this salvation. What an amazing salvation this is!
B) Remember Your Fellowship
So, what's the Lord's Supper all about? The Gospel. The forgiveness in Christ. And not because we are worthy. But more than that, let me suggest to you, the Lord's Supper should also be a symbol or should be a ceremony that reminds us of our fellowship. It's very important to remember this as well.
I learned this in 1st Corinthians 10:16. Now, the Lord's Supper is a communal meal, right? You eat with other people, you share this bread, you share this cup. And so we read in 1st Corinthians 10, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ, the bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”
The word, ‘participation’ is Koinonia—fellowship. So when God's people, different ones, we take this meal, we are all saying to one another, “We share in Christ. We are one body in Christ.” So when we take the Lord's Supper, we are to remember that we are family. We are a fellowship, a Gospel fellowship.
And that's why, there were problems in the church at Corinth. “When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper that you eat for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, one goes hungry and another gets drunk.” [1 Cor 11:20-21]
Now, the Lord's Supper or the Lord's meal is something that the church gathered together to celebrate; when they have their meals, they remember the Lord. But what's happening in Corinth in those days, is that there's a kind of class divide.
The rich people who have plenty of food—they kind of have the nice part of their party first. They order all their KFC, pizza. They eat it all. When they are very full and they finish all the food, and then when the poor people come, there's nothing left for them.
So it's a very bad situation, where they don't understand, and they don't live out the family togetherness. They don't live out love. They don't live out fellowship. And that's what Paul is saying, “The Lord's Supper is not a time for you to have class divide. The Lord's Supper is a time for you to remember our union, our communion, our Koinonia, our fellowship in Christ.”
So, baptism—there are only two ordinances in a Christian church: baptism and Lord's supper. Baptisms celebrates our initial identification with Christ and His Church. We are baptized into His body. We are united. We are now publicly identified with Christ and His Church.
The Lord's Supper is also that identification with Christ and the church, but it's something we celebrate on an ongoing basis, to reflect the continual identification we have. So when we take of the Lord's Supper, let's remember that we are one people, one family, one Koinonia, in Christ. We remember our fellowship.
The first Passover meal that Israel celebrated in Egypt, created a nation. And this new Passover, Jesus is our Passover. So it's very significant that the ratification of the New Covenant is at the Passover meal.
So Jesus is saying, “This is how it's going to be done, the New Covenant is going to be inaugurated through My death, My shedding of blood. Because I'm like that Passover lamb that saves Israel.” But this new Passover, this Christ creates the church.
Whilst the first Passover frees people from Egypt, Jesus frees us from sin. And now, we are one church, we are one fellowship. No more Jews or Gentiles, male or female, slave or free. We are one people. So when you take the Lord's Supper, they are symbols. Remember today, your forgiveness, the Gospel, how we are free in Christ. How His blood cleanses us from all sin. How we are freed from legalism.
And number two, remember your fellowship in Christ.
C) Remember Your Future
But you know, there's something more, because I think in this text, we also learned that the Lord's Supper reminds us of our future with Christ. The glory that is to come. It's said here, “I tell you, I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day, when I drink it new with you.” [Matt 26:26-29]
So Jesus is saying, “I'm going to die. But that's not the end of the story, I'm coming back. And I would invite you into the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. So look forward to your glorious future, joyous future with Me.”
1st Corinthians 11:26, Paul likewise talks about, “How we proclaim the Lord's death until He comes via the Lord's table.” So, this is a beautiful text that teaches us the significance of the Lord's Supper.
Remember today, your forgiveness in Christ, your fellowship, and your future with Christ.
3) The Solemnity
Thirdly, I want to remind you about the solemnity we should have with regards to the Lord's Supper. By that I mean, we should not take of this carelessly or flippantly or irreverentially.
Because we are reminded in 1st Corinthians 11:27-30 that, “There are those who take of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. And if so, you'll be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died.”
So, this is serious stuff!
The Bible does not prescribe, what kind of bread, what kind of drink. The Bible does not prescribe what exact words need to be said. The Bible does not prescribe which place you need to do it in, but the Bible does tell you that, “You should do it in a worthy way.”
You should not go in flippantly, carelessly, disregarding the significance of these symbols. Otherwise, the consequences can be quite severe—sickness, weakness, and even death.
A) Look Behind
So, I want to make it very practical for you. Should we be able to regather and have the Lord's Supper soon, I want you to remember 4 things. When you take the Lord's Supper, very simply, I like you to look behind.
Look back. Look at what Jesus did for you on the cross. Look at His love. Look at the grace of God in bestowing you forgiveness when you don't deserve it. Look behind for forgiveness.
B) Look Around
And then number two, I'd like you to look around. Look around the people that you are gathered with because as you partake of this Lord's Supper, we are declaring to one another, we are one church, one people, one fellowship. And may God use that to banish bitterness and hatred and animosity.
May husband and wife make up. May brethren who are in loggerheads agree to forgive and to not bear grudges against each other. Let's look around at the fellowship in the bonds of Christ.
C) Look Forward
And then look forward, look forward into the future. Lord's Supper is not just a sad time where we remember the … the sacrifice of Jesus, it should also be mixed with joy and hope, because Jesus is coming again.
D) Look Within
And then I say, look within, in case there is any sense of flippancy, carelessness in us, that we may not take of this irreverentially or unworthily.
So 4 things, alright. Look forward or look backwards. Look around. Look forward. Look within. Remember the forgiveness, the fellowship, the future, and be careful about flippancy.
Now, I'm going to end here with a few FAQs—Frequently Asked Questions. There are just five of them that I can think of, maybe there are more, you can ask them in our Q&A session.
Q1: How often shall we observe the Lord’s Table?
But the first one I have is how often should we observe the Lord's table? My simple answer is, the Bible does not prescribe a certain frequency. The Bible says, “For as often as you eat.” [1st Cor 11:26] It just says that—whenever you eat. It doesn't say, “You must do it once a week, once a day, once a month.” It doesn't prescribe the exact frequency.
For example, in Acts 2:46, we read of them, taking or breaking bread day by day. And then, we come to chapter 20 and verse 7, “They do it on the first day of the week.” So the principle I want to leave you with, is that there is no prescribed frequency, and different churches will have different practices.
I know there are people who say, “Oh, Your Church doesn't do Lord's supper every week—I'm not coming to this church.” Well, I don't think that's … that should be a key reason for leaving a church, unless you think that it is the taking of this bread and cup that confers spiritual blessing and confers forgiveness.
But we are saying, “No! They are tokens of remembrance. They are symbols of remembrance, but they are not prescribed with regards to the frequency.”
Q2: What bread and “wine” can we use?
Second question: what bread and wine can we use? Did Jesus leave behind a certain brand of bread and cup? No! He doesn't. He didn't. Neither did Paul. So there are people who always have this creative thinking, right? What kind of bread and wine can I use?
So I went on the internet, they give all kinds of suggestions, all kinds of biscuits and bread and wafers. On the social media, on internet, I found people actually post what they use for Lord's Supper at home.
They use, I don't know, what kind of drink this is, wafer. They put the phone there, for live worship, and they take the communion. The Lord's Supper at home this way, using their own DIY or whatever I can find bread and cup.
There are those who use goldfish. They say, “This is the bread.” Well, I … I'm not sure. Some a little bit more scaled down, they just use water and some wafers here. Is this the Lord's Supper? I leave that discernment to each and every one of you. Some use potato chips and grape jelly.
Well, what bread and wine can we use? I think again, the Bible doesn't quite prescribe it. Some of you may say, “No! We must use unleavened bread.” Okay, I can understand that. But actually, there is no real prescription. And again, different churches will use different items.
But I say, the principle that this should be reflective and reverential, should be applied. I … I am not one to encourage very, very controversial items. And so please be mindful and discerning and appropriate in what you think should be used.
Q3: Can I DIY at home?
Number 3. Can I DIY at home? Can I do it myself? After all, as far as we read in the Bible, it does not always need to be administered by a pastor. I agree. It can be a meal amongst Christians. Really! So in a sense, you can do it without your pastor. There's … there's no need to feel that only after the pastor prays, will the bread and cup be useful.
But I do think there is a need to guard the table. What I mean by that is, those who are not believers, should not be made to think they become believers when they take of this meal. And I certainly don't think this is something we invite unbelievers for. Because this is a meal for believers, to remember our forgiveness, our fellowship and our future, which are totally not applicable to those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.
So there is a need to guard the table, so that unbelievers are not erroneously taking this. And we must also provide Biblical teaching, like what we are doing here; we are teaching you what this all means. So, this is the principle and I leave it to you to decide.
Q4: Can Lord’s Supper be for physical healing?
Number 4. Can Lord's Supper be for physical healing? There are people, there are churches today, huge churches today, who teach that you take the Lord's Supper for physical healing. I know of someone who had nosebleed and his conviction is that if … if he has nosebleed, he will take the Lord's Supper to be healed. And so, he went to take the Lord's Supper over and over again, many, many pieces, many, many cups, hoping that with all this intake, it will stop the bleeding.
Now, I would say to you that there is no reference in the Bible that teaches taking the Lord's Supper is the means to physical healing. Not at all! I think this is actually when it's not found in the Bible, it is superstition. When it's not backed up by God's Word, it is man's thinking. That is superstition!
So I think it is extra-biblical. It's outside the Bible and indeed superstitious to believe that the taking of symbols of remembrance brings physical healing. They are symbols of remembrance, they are not medicine.
And if you think that taking the Lord's Supper will bring healing, you are almost committing the same error as saying, taking the Lord's Supper gives you forgiveness. No! Jesus gives you forgiveness. You are remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, the salvation of Jesus. So we are not taking the Lord's Supper to be physically healed. Not at all! I think it's a dangerous false teaching.
Q5: What is our response in Covid-19 situation?
Number 5. What is our response? This is probably your biggest question. “So Jason, we have not been able to meet up as a big church, we have not been able to celebrate the Lord's Supper. What do we do?”
Now, I've been connected to churches and on social media as well, and I noticed that there are many churches who have done Lord's Supper at home. They tell their members, get some bread, get some juice. The pastor will pray online, streaming to you, and you just follow the instructions.
Now I … I don't really have a huge disagreement with that. And I think churches have done what they could, in the best way they can to meet that need. But this is what I think, while some churches allow for members to partake of the Lord's Supper at home, by themselves, of course with the leadership of the church online, we have chosen to go on a temporary fast, as we mourn the sense of loss, and look forward to our physical re-gathering.
So, we can't do it now. And I'm not trying to do it in any other way as yet. But we are praying and hoping that we would soon be able to gather together and celebrate the Lord's Supper as a fellowship, as a people, together. Till then, we are in a temporary fast and I think many churches have also adopted the same posture. It's not an easy solution, but this is our position at this point of time.
So, let me close with saying, “This is the significance of the last meal Jesus had. It's a Passover meal, it's a strong clue, hint, teaching that He will be the Passover Lamb. He will give His life. He will shed His blood. And with that the New Covenant will be ushered in. God's unconditional, unilateral, sovereign grace will be poured out upon His elect, upon His people.”
So when we gather together for our meals and when we conduct the Lord's Supper in our midst, let us rejoice in these symbols of remembrance, remembering our free forgiveness in Jesus, remember the fellowship that we are in, because of His blood. Remembering the future, glorious future that is to come, when He should return. So let's take off this worthily, reverentially asking God to apply these precious Gospel realities to our soul, each time.
And let us remember, that as Jesus unveiled these things at the table, He's saying, “I'm not going to the cross because it was an accident. I'm not going to the cross because it is a misfortune. I am doing what God has determined all along, that I will be that sacrificial lamb. I will be the One who is bringing the, bring in the New Covenant. I will be your Savior and I will glorify the Father.”
So we are keeping to that motif, that Jesus is not a victim, a helpless victim, but the conquering Victor. He is our King. Our King, who would lay down His life and shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins for many.
If you are here today and you do not know Jesus, I want to encourage you to turn from sin and believe in Jesus Christ. The way to God is through Jesus Christ. You cannot come to God by your own works of righteousness. There is none! We have failed. We will fail. No one has ever kept God's laws perfectly except Jesus Himself.
That's why, this New Covenant is so needed. That's why, you must be born again of the water and of the Spirit. That's why, you need to repent and believe in Jesus. May you receive this forgiveness. May you come to Christ. May you behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.
Father, we are thankful today for Your Word. I pray, even though we can't take the Lord's Supper today, the symbols and the lessons behind the symbols will be well internalized in our hearts and in our minds. Oh, may the Gospel realities of forgiveness and fellowship and future, so encourage Your people. Lord, may we then worship You with our lives.
We want to pray as we mourn the loss of this ordinance for these few months, that we would still preach the Gospel and drink in the Gospel, in our reading, in our fellowship, in our prayers.
Oh God, I pray also for friends who are here who do not know Jesus as yet. Turn them from their own self-righteous works to look at the finished work of Jesus Christ, to see that He's the Passover Lamb, slain for the forgiveness of our sins. Help them to trust in the shed blood of Jesus, to cleanse us from all our sins. So may this day be a glorious day of salvation for many as well. For this we’ll be thankful. We give You glory. We pray all this, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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