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We celebrate the Lord's Supper every week.  But do you know what is really happening during that time?  Find out in this issue!

Sup with Christ!

There’s nothing like sharing a meal with someone.  You really connect with people when you are able to sit down and eat with them.  I do not doubt that this is why Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper.

This might sound odd to you.  I understand.  A lot of people do not understand what really happens when we celebrate the table of the Lord.  Most people think of it simply as a time to remember what Christ did on the cross to affect our salvation. 

This isn’t necessarily wrong.  We are to “do this in remembrance of him.”  Reflecting on the sacrificial death of the Savior is most certainly a necessary part of the time.  However, it is not the whole of the rite.  There is something much more significant happening during those sacred moments.

At the communion table Christ really does come to be present to commune with his people.  Of course, he is not there physically.  After all, Christ’s body is in heaven.  His presence is a spiritual one.  By his divine nature, and by means of the Holy Spirit, Christ comes to us in a unique and intimate way.

This is seen in Paul’s discussion of the Supper in 1 Cor. 10.  Paul says, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ.”  The word participation can also mean “communion” or “fellowship.”  Paul seems to suggest that there is a real communion one experiences with Christ while at the table of the Lord.

We can contrast this with what Paul says about the pagan feasts. He says that one has “fellowship with demons” in the Gentile sacrificial feasts (1 Cor. 10:20-21).  Paul uses the same term with regard to demons.  In doing so, he puts the two spiritual realities in parallel. The conclusion is that Christ is really and truly there, and in a powerful way at that!

Remembering this can be of tremendous help.  Knowing that Christ comes to you in such a way to strengthen you and feed you makes the time much more sacred and meaningful.  Sure, you might not feel any different—there probably won’t be any tingly sensations, but you will have the comfort of knowing that you sit with the Divine Host at his table.

A Poison or Nurishment?

Partaking in a worthy manner:  Imagine your pastor throwning himself over the table holding the communion elements and shouting something to the effect of, "Over my dead body!"  You might not beleive it, but that is exactly what John Calvin did when two snide individuals attempted to assert themselves and partake of the elements.

Calvin knew that partaking the elements could be dangerous to one's health.  He understood well what the Apostle Paul meant when he said concerning the Lord's Supper, "That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died." (1 Cor. 11:30).  Calvin's actions were for their own welfare.

Understanding what was said in the previous article should make us consider well the implications of our partaking of the Communion elements.  The Scripture makes it clear that the Lord's Supper can be a deadly poison.  The Corinthians were failing to come to the table in a worthy manner.  They were failing to acknowledge their sins and the true intention of the meal that was set before them.  They failed to distinguish the Lord's Supper from any other meal and abused one another in it.  As a result, Christ brought a curse upon them and they were stricken.

Such things should not frighten us away from the table.  After all, the meal was instituted for the purpose strengthening the believer in his walk with the Lord.  It was designed to assist us in our growth in grace.  Nevertheless, these warnings and realities should remind us that our hearts must be set aright before we come to the sacrament.  

How do we do this?  How do we partake in a worthy manner?  The Scripture says, "Let a man examine himself."  That means primarily, that we determine whether or not we have true faith in Christ as the appointed Savior and sacraficial lamb.  We must examine ourselves as to whether or not we really do have a true interest in Christ and His gospel.  

Secondly, we must examine ourselves as to our sins.  In other words, the communion season is to be a time where we take an inventory of our spiritual state.  We must measure ourselves by God's standard and sincerely repent of those things that are contrary to His will.

This does not mean we have to be perfect in order to come to the table.  Not at all.  We need only to recognize our fallen state and be seeking to cast off the sins that we have.  If after such an introspection we "feel that we are not good enough," we should still be encouraged to come.  We should say, "Yes!  I am a wretch indeed!  Yet Jesus wishes to dine with sinners still!"

[As a note, Calvin did what he did because there was no repentance on the part of the two who had approached.  The men in the story above had been excommunicated from the church, and had not expressed any repentance.  This is what caused Calvin to react the way he did.]

In the endd, what we must remember is that Christ is near to the broken hearted and contrite in spirit.  As we come to the table, we come admitting that we are sinners and that Christ is our only remedy.  It is when we possess this attitude that Christ gives us the spiritual food that we need and the sustaining nurishment of his grace.

 

Go, Stand, Speak DVD discussion

Slotted for the next monthly Sat. group:  How important is the ministry of preaching?  What should we do with street preachers?  Should we shun that kind of thing today?  Our monthly Saturday evening discussion group will be dealing with these questions in their next meeting.  The group will meet September 8th at 5:30 for a cook out and fellowship time at the Tobias' place.  Afterwards we will watch and discuss Go, Stand, Speak: The Forgotten Power of the Public Proclamation of the Gospel.

As you can see from the description, this documentary will be sure to ignite questions and curiosity about how we as a church will carry out the Great Commission.  With men like Albert Martin, Paul Washer, and Ray Comfort (and more!), you will most certainly come to see the Biblical grounds for and role of preaching the gospel.

Give us a Yelp!

...and spread the word!:  Did you ever eat at a restaurant because someone else recommended it?  Sure you have.  Did you know that's the way a lot of people pick their churches too?  So why not Yelp! us?

For those of you who may not know, Yelp is an internet site that helps people find the best establishments around town.  Essentially, it is an internet phone book where you can give your review of restaurants, businesses, and such to help others determine which are the best places to frequent in town. 

Of course, Providence has a listing on yelp, and you can help spread the word by telling the world what you like about the church.  The more reviews we get, the higher our page will rate when someone searches for nearby places in this area.  

Worship at Providence

Focus on the majesty of God!:  Providence Church meets in the Lion's Club in Mifflin, OH on Sate Route 603.  Services begin each Lord's Day at 10:30 am.

At Providence you'll find a traditional service that integrates the great hymns of the church with quality contemporary songs and psalter selections.  The service is saturated with Scripture and focused on the majesty of God.

For more information go to www.free-reformed.net.

This Sunday Night!

Watch "Indoctrination": This Lord's Day evening we will be watching and discussing this latested documentary produced by the Gunn brothers.  The Gunn's have already produced films on feminism and homosexuality, and this latest work will be sure to follow suit.  

Meet at the Timmons' at 6:30 pm.
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