What are the qualifications of those that participate in the Lord’s Supper?

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By BibleAsk Team


The Lord’s Supper is a central sacrament in the Christian faith. It commemorates the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and celebrates the new covenant established through His blood. As such, participation in the Lord’s Supper carries significant spiritual and theological implications. The New Testament provides various principles and teachings for those who partake in this sacred ordinance.

Understanding the Significance of the Lord’s Supper:

Before delving into the qualifications for participation, it is essential to grasp the significance of the Lord’s Supper. In 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, the Apostle Paul recounts the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, where He instituted this sacrament:

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (NKJV).

The Lord’s Supper serves as a memorial of Christ’s sacrificial death, a proclamation of His victory over sin and death, and a foretaste of the future marriage feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). It is a solemn and sacred act of worship that unites believers with Christ and with one another in a communion of faith and love.

Repentance and Faith:

One of the fundamental qualifications for participating in the Lord’s Supper is genuine repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, Paul issues a solemn warning to those who partake of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner:

“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (NKJV).

Participation in the Lord’s Supper requires a sincere acknowledgment of one’s need for salvation, a heartfelt confession of sin, repentance, and a genuine trust in the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Those who partake must examine themselves and ensure that they are approaching the table with humility and faith in Christ.

Unity and Fellowship:

Another important qualification for participation in the Lord’s Supper is unity and fellowship with the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, Paul emphasizes the communal nature of the Lord’s Supper:

“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, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread” (NKJV).

Participation in the Lord’s Supper signifies our union with Christ and with one another as members of His body, the church. It is a visible expression of our shared faith, fellowship, and commitment to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, those who partake should do so in a spirit of unity, love, and mutual respect, recognizing the bonds of fellowship that unite them with fellow believers.

Discernment and Reverence:

In addition to repentance, faith, and unity, participation in the Lord’s Supper requires discernment and reverence for the sacredness of the ordinance. In 1 Corinthians 11:29-30, Paul admonishes believers to approach the table with seriousness and reverence:

“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep” (NKJV).

Those who partake of the Lord’s Supper must recognize the solemnity of the occasion and discern the significance of Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf. They should approach the table with humility, gratitude, and reverence, mindful of the price that was paid for their redemption.

Examination and Preparation:

Prior to participating in the Lord’s Supper, believers are encouraged to examine themselves and prepare their hearts for communion with God and with one another. In 1 Corinthians 11:28, Paul instructs:

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (NKJV).

Self-examination involves introspection, confession of sin, repentance, and a sincere desire to align one’s heart and life with the commandments of God. It is a time for believers to reflect on their relationship with God and with others, to seek forgiveness for any wrongdoing, and to renew their commitment to following Christ.

After examining one’s relationship to the Lord, let the Christian partake of the table of the Lord with praise and thankfulness for all that the crucified Savior has done to him. The Psalmist wrote, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Bible provides various principles and teachings as guidance for those who partake in this sacred ordinance. Participation in the Lord’s Supper requires genuine repentance and faith in Christ, unity and fellowship with the body of believers, discernment and reverence for the sacredness of the ordinance, and examination and preparation of the heart. By approaching the table with humility, gratitude, and reverence, believers can experience the richness and depth of communion with God and with one another as they remember and proclaim the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ until He comes again.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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