“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.”
(1 Corinthians 11:26)
This week we have the rare opportunity of celebrating Easter on the same Sunday that we observe the Lord’s Supper. The scriptures do not give an imperative command concerning the frequency of the Supper, so we are in no way obligated to partake of the Supper in conjunction with Easter. Neither do we consider the celebration of Easter an imperative since the scriptures do not command us to preserve one Sunday per year to be especially dedicated to remember the resurrection of Christ. Rather, every Sunday is a commemoration of the resurrection and was denoted so by the apostles as the specific day of the week to gather for corporate worship.
As a matter of solemn importance, the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ to be a memorial of His death on the cross. Each time we take the Supper we remember His body that was bruised and broken and His blood that was poured out for our redemption. The nature of the Lord’s Supper precludes the participation of anyone that has not received Christ as Lord and Saviour. Those who partake do so because of their love, allegiance, and obedience to the Saviour. Since the Supper was given to the church as an ordinance, only those who have received Christ by faith and have joined themselves to the local, visible New Testament Church may participate. We believe the communion is for those who are in close fellowship with the church which can only be judged by those who have committed themselves to the same local body. Therefore, the Berean Baptist Church invites only members to participate and expects that members of other churches will be present to observe the Supper with their own congregations. We believe church membership is vitally important and we therefore teach accordingly.
We realize this interpretation of scripture is not popular. However, this has been the practice of Baptist churches up until the last generation when the ordinances of the church began to be reinterpreted. We see no scriptural reason to change this doctrine which is biblical and comes from the original institution of the Supper and from the heritage of our Baptist forefathers. This evening, before the church observes the Supper, the message will concentrate on explaining these doctrinal considerations. If you are not a member of this church, we invite you to come for instruction.
It is the desire of our church to keep the commission of Christ. We preach the gospel for the salvation of lost sinners; we baptize for identification with Christ and for church membership; and we teach believers to observe the commandments of Christ. Paul said to redeemed, baptized church members, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.”
Pastor V. Mark Smith