Communion Letter August 7th
Dear Family at Christ Community,
This coming Lord’s Day Sabbath we will have the opportunity as sons and daughters of God in Christ to have our faith nourished by the bread and cup of the Lord’s Table. The Holy Spirit will use this means of grace to bless and fortify us in the redemptive promises of God as secured in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Through the elements, we are called to look back to who we were apart from Christ recognizing salvation to be an utter impossibility apart from His sacrifice. It was Christ alone who covered the entire span of our separation from God in order to redeem us. We are also called to look forward to the blessed hope of the return of Christ when we will be glorified in the resurrection and all things made new. This is the glorious backward and forward orientation of the Lord’s Table that affects how we live now by God’s grace.
In looking backward and forward through what is represented in the table, we are granted the grace necessary to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” as Paul writes in Titus 2:12. The broken bread and filled cup, though meager in portion, serves to sustain and empower us in the requirements of the Christian life as we have been fashioned into a peculiar people who are to be zealous for good works according to Titus 2:14. In commenting on these passages from Titus 2, R. Kent Hughes and Bryan Chapell write in 1-2 Timothy and Titus: To Guard the Deposit, “Paul intends for the combined message of such an intimate and immense salvation to have an effect upon us. Our hearts should flood with wonder, thanksgiving, gratitude - one more thing – determination. When we realize we have been rescued from the clutches of evil against which we were helpless, our resolution is strengthened never to go back there. We never want to allow the evil to take hold again. That is why the rescue of grace results in requirements. Not because the requirements rescue but because the rescued, who truly recognize the danger they were in, desire and strive to be forever free of its clutches.” Hughes and Chapell put it even more succinctly: “Grace – rightly perceived – compels holiness.” Communion as a means of grace should compel and aid us in this maturation process as we are being transformed into the image of Christ as we are becoming ever more holy as God is holy.
In preparing for the Lord’s Supper, meditate on your understanding of grace as displayed in the person and work of Jesus Christ and granted to you through God’s love. Consider how God’s grace redeemed you through the broken body of Christ and how it sustains and matures you between the now and the not yet. Repent of false views of grace that suggest that how you live doesn’t really matter or that demands perfection and withholds forgiveness leaving you exhausted. Take stock of whether or not you are offering true grace to others in your life. Take heart knowing that God so loved you that He sent His Son to die so that you might live life more abundant lavished in His grace!