In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we conclude our discussion on Lord’s Supper. These questions are a substantial extension and expansion of question 108 in the Keach Catechism. The extended responses are based on Questions 172 – 175 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the questions below.
Q. 169: Should those who have doubts about their position in Christ or their due preparation come to the Lord’s Supper anyway?
A: Those who have doubts about their position in Christ or about their readiness to take communion may nonetheless have a valid interest in Christ, even though they are not yet assured of being in him.1 In God’s view, if such people are aware of and grieved by their lack of assurance,2 sincerely want to be found in Christ,3 and want to get away from sinning,4 and (since promises are involved in the sacrament, and it has been established to aid even weak and doubting Christians5) if people in that condition are truly sorry for their lack of faith6 and work hard to resolve their doubts,7 they may and ought to come to the Lord’s supper, so that their faith may be further strengthened.8
6. Mark 9:24
Q. 170: Should the Lord’s Supper be withheld from anyone who professes the faith and wants to come to it?
A: The sacrament should and must be withheld by the authority Christ has left in his church from those whose profession of faith is based on spiritual ignorance or whose lives have scandalized the church,1 until they are properly instructed and demonstrate by their behavior that they have reformed their lives.2
Q. 171: How must we receive the Lord’s Supper when it’s offered?
A: In receiving the Lord’s supper when it is offered, we should reverently and attentively wait on God,1 as we carefully observe the sacramental elements and their administration.2 We should take specific notice of the Lord’s body3 and meditate feelingly on his death and suffering4 and so stir up in us a lively effect of God’s spiritual gifts.5 We should critically examine ourselves6 and be sorry for our sins.7 We should earnestly hunger and thirst after Christ,8 feeding on him by faith,9 drawing from his fullness,10 trusting in his merit,11 rejoicing in his love,12 and giving thanks for his grace.13 We thereby renew our covenant with God14 and our love for fellow believers.15
4. Luke 22:19
13. Psalm 22:26
Q. 172: What should we do after we have received the Lord’s Supper?
A: After receiving the Lord’s Supper, we should think about our participation in the sacrament and whether we got anything out of it.1 If we have been spiritually renewed and comforted in that participation, we should bless God for it,2 pray for the effect to continue,3 watch out for relapses,4 fulfill our vows,5 and be encouraged to take communion frequently.6 If, on the other hand, we have not received any immediate benefit from our participation, we should more carefully go over how we prepared for and participated in the sacrament.7 If this review reveals no fault in us before God and our own conscience, then we should wait for the spiritual fruit of participation to come to us in due time.8 However, if such a review finds us at fault in either preparing for or participating in the sacrament, we must humbly9 resolve to be more careful and diligent in the future.10
5. Psalm 50:14