In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we begin our discussion on Lord’s Supper. These questions are an extension and expansion of question 107 in the Keach Catechism. The extended responses are based on some of the language used in the 1689 Confession and in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the questions below
Q. 165: What is the Lord’s Supper?
A: The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of the New Testament1 in which bread and wine are given and received as Christ directed to proclaim his death. Those who receive the Lord’s Supper in the right way feed on his body and blood and thereby are spiritually nourished and grow in grace.2 They have their union and communion with Christ confirmed,3 and they publicly witness to and repeat anew their thankfulness4 and commitment to God5 and their mutual love and fellowship with each other, as members of the same mystical body.6
1. Luke 22:20
Q. 166: What are Christ’s directions for giving and receiving the bread and wine in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper?
A: Christ has directed ministers of His Word to administer the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. First, they should set apart the bread and wine from their ordinary use by the biblical declaration, thanksgiving, and prayer. Then they take the bread, break it, and give both it and the wine to the communicants, who, according to the same directions, are to eat the bread and drink the wine, thankfully remembering that the body of Christ was broken and given, and His blood shed, for them.1
Q. 167: How do those who receive the Lord’s Supper in the right way feed on the body and blood of Christ?
A: The body and blood of Christ are not present in bodily or physical form, either in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord’s supper.1 They are, however, spiritually present to the faith of the recipient just as truly as the external elements are obvious to the senses.2 And so those who receive the Lord’s Supper in the right way do truly and actually feed on the body and blood of Christ, not in a bodily or physical way, but spiritually,3 while by faith they receive and apply to themselves Christ crucified, along with all the benefits of his death.4
1. Acts 3:21
Q. 168: How do we prepare to receive the Lord’s Supper?
A: Preparation for the Lord’s Supper involves careful examination:1 of the condition of our life in Christ;2 of our sins and failings;3 of whether we truly and to what degree know God,4 believe in Him,5 and have repented,6 and of whether we love God and our fellow believers.7 We should have a charitable attitude toward everyone,8 including forgiveness of those who have wronged us.9 We must also assess how much we desire Christ10 and whether we are living in newness of obedience.11 Finally we must renew the practice of these graces in us12 by serious meditation13 and fervent prayer.14