the Lord's Supper
Communion is celebrated each Sunday during the first worship service.
Communion is a holy sacrament and as such we follow the biblical teachings concerning its observance. The Lord's Supper is supervised by the elders according to scripture. It is for all who have confessed their sins and affirmed their faith in Christ. Christ himself promises us: Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink (John 6:54–55).
While remaining bread and wine, these sacred elements nevertheless become so united to the reality they signify that we believe that we receive in this meal the true crucified body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should always remember the exceedingly great love of our only Savior, Jesus Christ, and the innumerable benefits which he has obtained for us by his precious blood. This is why he instituted and ordained holy sacraments, as pledges of his love and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort.
We do not presume to come to this table trusting in our own righteousness, but in God’s great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under the table of God’ Son. God assures us by this bread and wine of His favor and goodness towards us, that we are members of the body of His Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people. He has made us heirs of His everlasting kingdom by the merits of the death and passion of His dear Son. Through this sacrament, by God’s own Word and Spirit, these common elements are set apart from ordinary use and consecrated, so that just as truly as we eat and drink these elements by which our bodily life is sustained, so truly we receive into our souls, for our spiritual life, the true body and true blood of Christ. We receive these gifts by faith, which is the hand and mouth of our souls.
Those who desire to come to the holy communion of the body and blood of our Savior must consider how Paul exhorts us diligently to examine ourselves, before we eat of the bread and drink of the cup (1 Cor. 11:28). For all who live in rebellion against God and unbelief, this holy food and drink will bring you only further condemnation. But all who repent and believe are invited to this sacred meal not because you are worthy in yourself, but because you are clothed in Christ’s perfect righteousness. Do not allow the weakness of your faith or your failures in the Christian life to keep you from this table. For it is given to us because of our weakness and because of our failures, in order to increase our faith by feeding us with the body and blood of Jesus Christ. As the Word has promised us God’s favor, so also our Heavenly Father has added this confirmation of his unchangeable promise.
If you are not a communicant member of Coram Deo, we welcome you to this table if:
1. You have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
2. You acknowledge that you are a sinner and repentant, trusting that your sins are forgiven by Jesus Christ alone;
3. You desire more and more to live a godly life;
4. You have made a public profession of faith and are a member in good standing (not under discipline) of a protestant church that practices church discipline and preaches the gospel that sinners are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
If this does not describe you or if you do not understand this, we ask that you please abstain.
Children also must have made a public profession of faith before communing.
The water of baptism signifies the washing away of our sin by the blood of Christ and the renewal of our lives by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). It also signifies that we are buried with Christ (Romans 6:4). Baptism reminds us that we are conceived and born in sin. This means that we are by nature children of wrath, and for that reason cannot be members of his kingdom unless we are born again. Baptism, whether by immersion or sprinkling, teaches that sin has made us so impure that we must undergo a cleansing which only God can accomplish. Moreover, the water of baptism signifies that we are raised with Christ (Colossians 2:12). From this we learn that we are to walk with Christ in newness of life. All this tells us that God has adopted us as his children, “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). Thus, in baptism God seals the promises He gave when He made His covenant of grace with us, calling us and our children to put our trust for life and death in Christ our Savior, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him in obedience and love.
God also graciously includes our children in his covenant, and all his promises are for them as well as us. He said to Abraham, the father of all believers: And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you (Gen. 17:7). The apostle Peter also testifies to this with these words: For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself (Acts 2:39). Therefore God formerly commanded that children be circumcised as a seal of the covenant and of the righteousness that comes by faith. Christ also recognized that children are members of the covenant people when he embraced them, laid his hands on them, and blessed them (Mark 10:16). Since baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of the covenant (Col. 2:11-13), our children should be baptized as heirs of God's kingdom and of his covenant. They ought to receive the sign and sacrament of what Christ has done for them, just as the Lord commanded in the law that by offering a lamb for them the sacrament of the suffering and death of Christ would be granted them shortly after their birth. This was the sacrament of Jesus Christ. By baptism, the sign of the covenant, they too should be incorporated into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers.
We are therefore always to teach our little ones that they have been set apart by baptism as God’s own children, and because of that, they are to repent of their sins and embrace God’s promise of forgiveness in Christ by faith.