Daily Scripture Reading1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Verse of the Day
Acts 2:42 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Matthew 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Devotional Thoughts
The Fifth Mark of a Sound Church: The Ordinances of Baptism and Communion are Faithfully Administered

A healthy, properly functioning church will observe often the ordinances that Christ initiated and left as a sign of His death and resurrection. It is absolutely necessary that a church observe faithfully and rightly these two ordinances.

The first is the ordinance of Baptism. In the Biblical text, the word “baptize” means to dip or immerse in water. It is necessary to be obedient to the Lord that we baptize those who profess faith in Him. Baptism, though, while having no active part in our salvation is a direct evidence of our obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

He said that we are to baptize those we disciple. We are to go and baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This way the new convert is obedient to our Lord’s first command. And this way they give a living testimony to the change that has taken place in their lives through the grace of God.

Baptism is a vivid sign, an outward symbol of an inner truth. When a person is baptized they are saying with their actions that they have died with Christ and been raised with Him to a new life. We are “buried” under the water and “resurrected” as we are brought up out of the water. Signifying the death of the old self and the new birth and new life of the inner man (Romans 6).

This ordinance is to be administered by ministers of the church to those who have professed faith in Christ. It is to be performed in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father of His own free will and by His sovereign grace saved us, the Son lived a perfect and sinless life and died in our place, thus giving us His righteousness while taking away our sin and its penalty and then was resurrected from the dead giving us victory over death and life everlasting in His presence, and the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and regenerates us by the Word of God preached and heard, going on then to serve as the seal of our salvation and our Helper and Comforter forever.

The Lord’s Supper, or Communion as it is commonly known, is the fulfillment of the Passover Feast. We follow His example, in that on the night He was betrayed, He participated in the last legitimate Old Covenant Passover feast with His disciples. He took the unleavened (free from yeast which was a sign in the Bible of sin) bread and the wine (also free from yeast, the sign of sin, signifying His sinlessness) and gave it to the disciples to eat in commemoration of the sacrifice He was about to make of Himself as the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world.

When He had taken the bread and given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

And then later in the supper he also took the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Paul adds that as often as we commemorate His death with this meal, we proclaim His death until He returns (1 Cor. 11:24, 25, 26).

The bread is symbolic for us of His body, perfect and sinless, yet broken and put to death as an atoning sacrifice. The wine is a sign of His blood, shed for the remission of our sins. And as we eat and drink, we are told to remember Him and the price He paid to redeem us.

Paul also lets us know in 1 Corinthians 11 that this commemorative meal is to be used always as an occasion for self-examination. We are to use the Lord’s Supper not only to remember His death, but also as a time to allow the Spirit of God to convict us of sin and prepare us for worship. This offers us the opportunity to make absolutely sure that we have all things right with God and between our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is indeed a time for reflection and a time not to be entered into lightly.

It is also a meal that is to be celebrated often within the church! The New Testament found the young church celebrating this Supper sometimes daily. Can we really celebrate the Lord’s death and victory over sin and the grave too often? Why relegate it to once every few weeks, months, or only at special times? It is to be observed often. The examination is to be thorough. And the results are wonderful communion with the Lord and the opportunity to bless others by proclaiming His death until He comes again.

For further study, the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith includes 3 chapters on Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Chapter 28, 29, and 30.

BONUS: You can listen to 2 sermons on the Lord’s Supper at these links:
Passover, An Everlasting Ordinance
Instructions for the Observance of Communion

Bible Reading For Further Study
Romans 6:3-6
Exodus 12
Luke 22

Recommended Songs for Worship
Break Thou the Bread of Life
In Sweet Communion, Lord, With Thee