Should you take the Lord’s Supper at Immanuel?
In our Sunday gatherings, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper almost every week. We share bread and fruit of the vine to remember the death of our Lord Jesus Christ for us. The bread symbolizes His body given for us. The fruit of the vine celebrates His blood shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins. We do this because Jesus commanded us to: “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). When we take the Lord’s Supper, we are remembering the central treasure of our faith. If you are visiting Immanuel, we want to help you decide if you should take the meal with us!
You are welcome to take this meal with us if…
You are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ
The Apostle Paul says this meal is to be taken when Christians come “together as a church” (1 Cor. 11:18). Who is the Church? Christ’s Church is made up of all those who have turned away from their sins and trusted Jesus to be their Savior and Lord. True Christians are not people who merely come from a Christian background, but they are people who have turned away from loving themselves to loving God. If you know that you are a sinner who deserves God’s wrath and have trusted Jesus’s death on the cross to take that wrath for you, then this meal is for you! It is not a meal that will save you, but it is a meal that will remind you of the salvation Christians have in Jesus Christ.
You are a believer baptized by immersion
Historically, almost all Christian groups have insisted that believers are to be baptized before taking the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38-42). Baptists have sometimes offended their Christian brothers and sister because many of us do not believe that infant baptism, or baptism by sprinkling, is New Testament baptism. It is not our desire to be offensive to our fellow believers, but it is our desire to practice what we are convinced the New Testament teaches. For this reason, we only invite those who have been baptized by immersion to the Lord’s Table. We hope that if you are a brother or a sister in Christ that you will not see our practice as a way to offend you, but as our attempt to be faithful to God. We know many churches who would have different practices than ours, and while we might not agree with them, we celebrate their desire to obey God above all else.
You are a Christian walking in good fellowship with your local church
Paul’s strongest words of warning come to those believers who take the Lord’s Supper while they are being unChristlike to their fellow Christians. He warns Christians like this, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will 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. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Co 11:27–32). Before we take the Lord’s Supper, we are to judge ourselves. We are to ask, “Is there any way I have offended or am offending a brother or a sister in Christ through my sin?” If the answer is “yes,” then we should do all we can to be reconciled with that brother or sister before we take the Lord’s Supper. If we refuse to do this, the Lord may bring severe—even deadly—discipline upon us.
If you are not welcome to this meal…
You are still welcome here!
Every week, Immanuel is privileged to have guests from other Christian traditions, guests from other religions, and even guests with no religious commitment. We are delighted that God has brought you to worship with us. Whether you are curious, skeptical, or hostile, we are glad you are here. In fact, we are honored you are here. We would love if you would introduce yourself so that we can get to know you. While the Lord’s Supper is our family table, we are delighted whenever our family gets to show hospitality to those who do not share all of our beliefs. So please stick around, start a conversation, visit a Gospel Community Group, attend a Bible Study. We would love to have you around, even if you’re not ready to join our faith family!