How Should Communion Be Received?
Q: How should Communion be received?
A: As Christians it is important to understand that Jesus has given the Church two primary ordinances to follow—namely Communion (also called The Lord’s Supper) and water baptism (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:36-41; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).
Communion is an essential part of the Christian life. As a believer, you have the same right to bless and serve Communion as that of any ordained minister. Revelation 1:6 says that as believers we have been made priests unto God. This gives you the right to serve Communion, and 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 gives you the example to follow.
Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is symbolic of the blood and body of Jesus Christ. Jesus told His followers to receive Communion as a remembrance of Him (verse 24). While receiving Communion, we are to remind ourselves of the saving work Jesus did for us on the cross. His body was broken, bruised and stricken for our complete healing. His blood was shed for our sin. Communion is the tangible reminder of Christ’s completed work on the cross. We can rejoice as we receive Communion, knowing that we have been freed from the curse of the law and are no longer in bondage to poverty, sickness or (spiritual) death.
It is extremely important that when we receive Communion we take it seriously, being mindful of all that Christ’s redemptive work did for us. Before receiving Communion, we are to examine ourselves closely so as to receive the Lord’s Supper worthily. We are to search our hearts to find if we need to repent of anything or to forgive anyone, confess our sins before a loving and forgiving God, and rid ourselves of any hate or unforgiveness in our hearts against fellow Christians. When we receive Communion in this way, we do so having judged and considered our own hearts (verses 27-31).
The elements themselves are not what make Communion holy; it is the manner in which they are taken. If you know that God desires for you to receive Communion, don’t miss the opportunity because you don’t have special elements on hand. Whether you use bread and grape juice or a cracker and water is secondary in importance to what really matters, which is receiving Communion with a pure heart as unto the Lord.
Finally, there is no scriptural restriction on how many times or how often we may receive Communion (verse 26). Taking Communion often is a dynamic discipline to implement into our lives. It reminds us of the eternal covenant Jesus purchased for us with His own blood and broken body. When we choose to make much of this precious gift, we begin to walk in the fullness God desires for us to experience as joint heirs with Jesus.
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