My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

05 January 2006

Preparing for Worship

If you're worshipping in Lafayette this week, here's the scoop.


Pastor Long will be preaching on John 8:30-47, "Characteristics of Faith." In the evening, we'll be celebrating the Lord's Supper and I'll be preaching on Numbers 6:22-27, "The Lord's Blessing."

By way of helping us prepare for communion, here are some Q&As from the Heidelberg Catechism to chew on.

Q66: What are the sacraments?
A66: The sacraments are visible, holy signs and seals appointed by God for this end, that by their use He may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the Gospel, namely, that of free grace He grants us the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life for the sake of the one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross.[1]

1. Gen. 17:11; Rom. 4:11; Deut. 30:6; Heb. 9:8-9; Ezek. 20:12

Q67: Are both the Word and the sacraments designed to direct our faith to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?
A67: Yes, truly, for the Holy Ghost teaches in the Gospel and assures us by the holy sacraments, that our whole salvation stands in the one sacrifice of Christ made for us on the cross.[1]

1. Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27; Heb. 9:12; Acts 2:41-42

Q68: How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the New Testament?
A68: Two: Holy Baptism and the Holy Supper.

Q75: How is it signified and sealed to you in the Holy Supper that you partake of the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross and all His benefits?
Q75: Thus: that Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup in remembrance of Him, and has joined therewith these promises:[1] first, that His body was offered and broken on the cross for me and His blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup communicated to me; and further, that with His crucified body and shed blood He Himself feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, as certainly as I receive from the hand of the minister and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, which are given me as certain tokens of the body and blood of Christ.

1. Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; I Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-25; 12:13

Q76: What does it mean to eat the crucified body and drink the shed blood of Christ?
A76: It means not only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to obtain the forgiveness of sins and life eternal;[1] but moreover, also, to be so united more and more to His sacred body by the Holy Spirit,[2] who dwells both in Christ and in us, that, although He is in heaven [3] and we on earth, we are nevertheless flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone,[4] and live and are governed forever by one Spirit, as members of the same body are governed by one soul.[5]

1. John 6:35, 40, 47-48, 50-54
2. John 6:55-56
3. Acts 3:21; I Cor. 11:26
4. Eph. 3:16-19; 5:29-30, 32; I Cor. 6:15, 17, 19; I John 4:13
5. John 6:56-58, 63; 14:23; 15:1-6; Eph. 4:15-16

Q77: Where has Christ promised that He will thus feed and nourish believers with His body and blood as certainly as they eat of this broken bread and drink of this cup?
A77: In the institution of the Supper, which says: The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come. And this promise is also repeated by the apostle Paul, where he says: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, so we being many are one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.[1]

1. I Cor. 11:23-25; 10:16-17

Q78: Do, then, the bread and the wine become the real body and blood of Christ?
A78: No, but as the water in Baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, nor becomes the washing away of sins itself, being only the divine token and assurance thereof,[1] so also in the Lord's Supper the sacred bread [2] does not become the body of Christ itself, though agreeably to the nature and usage of sacraments it is called the body of Christ.[3]

1. Matt. 26:29
2. I Cor. 11:26-28
3. Exod. 12:26-27, 43, 48; I Cor. 10:1-4

Q79: Why then does Christ call the bread His body, and the cup His blood, or the new testament in His blood; and the apostle Paul, the communion of the body and blood of Christ?
A79: Christ speaks thus with great cause, namely, not only to teach us thereby, that like as the bread and wine sustain this temporal life, so also His crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink of our souls unto life eternal;[1] but much more, by this visible sign and pledge to assure us that we are as really partakers of His true body and blood by the working of the Holy Ghost, as we receive by the mouth of the body these holy tokens in remembrance of Him;[2] and that all His sufferings and obedience are as certainly our own, as if we ourselves had suffered and done all in our own person.

1. John 6:51-55
2. I Cor. 10:16-17


Jeff Kessler said...

For those in 2nd hour adult class, we'll be looking at Rev. 10 and if time, most of Rev. 11

Jeff Kessler

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