Sacrament of the Altar
Today we continue our series on the Sacrament of the Altar. Last week, we discussed the first way of getting the most out of communion by understanding just what communion is. This week we will talk about the second way, that is what benefits we derive from receiving communion. But first, let’s review the passage of scripture we are studying:
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it and broke it. He gave it to the disciples and said, `Take this bread and eat it. It is my body.’ He also took a cup. He thanked God for it. Then he gave it to the disciples and said, `All of you drink from this. This is my blood. My blood is the blood of the new agreement. It is given so that many people will be forgiven for the wrong things they did.
Matthew 26:26-28 WEB
What are its benefits?
The above description of Communion is likely shocking or offensive to most Christians. But that is likely because they have not thought through the reason for Communion.
Many Christians in America today believe Communion to be nothing more than a sign, a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago. This is not entirely wrong. For that is one of the reasons we ought to go to receive the Sacrament often (every week if possible).
The benefits of the sacrament are:
- So that God may teach us to believe that Christ died for my particular sins due solely to His great love for us
- So that we may recall the death and the shedding of Jesus’ blood in order to understand that no creature but the God-man Jesus Christ could make satisfaction for our sins
- So that we may learn to look with terror on our sins which caused Jesus to suffer as He did
- So that our faith may be strengthened against the onslaught of the evil one
The devil, our enemy seeks to ruin the faith of everyone that he can. Even if he cannot remove our faith, he will not stop until he has worn us out so completely that we renounce or become indifferent to our faith just to escape his attention. God knowing this, leaves us this great gift to strengthen us in the fight for faith. That all of the benefits of faith may become our own in us as a sure pledge from Christ refreshing us for the coming battles.
The saving faith the devil seeks to rob us of, God seeks to build and strengthen in Communion that we may not be lost, for He loves us so much that He not only sent Christ to die for us but commanded that His body and blood be given to us to strengthen us while we are in this world.
Keep awake! Watch! Your enemy the devil is walking around like a growling lion. He is looking for someone to catch.
1 Peter 5:8 WEB
Today we looked at the benefits that Christ gives us every time we partake of Communion in faith. We know from scripture the devil seeks every day to rob believers of their saving faith. Thankfully our loving Lord has not left us without a means to strengthen ourselves against his assaults. How can knowing this encourage Christians to receive Communion more often in their worship together?
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Until then, “be a sinner and sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger”. God love you and keep you. Amen.