Reformed Baptist Fellowship

What Happens at the Lord’s Table (Part Two)

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on March 1, 2010 at 7:33 am

Having considered the engagements of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the Supper in Part One, let us now consider two more “actors” who share in the fellowship of the Lord’s Table.

Consider our action as we do this in remembrance of Him.  To “remember” means more than merely recollecting a past event.  It means more than mentally rehearsing orthodox doctrine concerning Jesus and His atoning death.  Certainly it involves that, but “remembering” means more than that.  It is the kind of remembering that was done in conjunction with the Passover.  In remembrance, we bring the past event into the present and identify with that event so that we are defined by that event and live as though we experienced what is being remembered.  And how do we “remember?”  We do this.  We observe the Lord’s Supper.  When we do this in remembrance of Jesus, especially remembering His broken body and shed blood, we embrace Jesus’ work on the cross and His victorious resurrection as the defining reality of our lives.  We identify with Jesus so as to now live as those who have died with Him, were buried with Him, and rose triumphantly with Him.  His experience is remembered in a redemptive covenantal sense as the defining deliverance which now determines how it is that we know God, that we worship God, that we experience God’s salvation, and that we now live for God.   We remember when we do this, when we observe the Supper, not merely by external physical eating, but when we do this in remembrance, when we eat and drink as physical actions which depict the faith actions of the soul whereby faith eats and drinks Christ as the true food of eternal life (Jn 6:53-58).  This means that we are active at the Table.  We bring the action of a living faith that is informed by the gospel and enabled by the Spirit to pray, to commune with Jesus and to return to Him expressions of the love which He conveys to us at His Supper.  This action of faith assumes that we are alive in the Spirit, having been regenerated and thus able to eat and drink with faith.  It is Christ upon whom our faith feeds, specifically, Christ given for us as our atoning sacrifice.  Our union is not simply with Jesus’ example or Jesus’ teachings, but with Jesus Himself as our Savior and Lord.  In the presence of Christ, we are compelled to examine ourselves, to renew our covenant allegiance to Jesus, to affirm that He only is our God.  We are taught by the Spirit to grow in fresh repentance and to turn from anything that would grieve Him or hinder our maturation in grace and conformity to Christ.   As the Holy Spirit communicates Christ and the blessings of New Covenant salvation to us, we are spurred on to greater holiness and cleansed for an enlarged and more fruitful service.  As we experience being loved by Jesus and returning love to Jesus, we are taught by the Spirit to love one another, for the Supper is a corporate ordinance of the gathered church.  As a body, we gather at Jesus’ Table, seated as brothers and sisters, adopted into His family.  The Table serves to delineate and distinguish us from the world out of which we’ve been saved.  We no longer sit at the tables of demons, sacrificing to the idols of this age (1 Cor 10:19-21).  As children of God, we are learning gospel love and to be zealous to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:1-3).  Together, as a body, we proclaim His death until He comes (1 Cor 11:26).  Regardless of what aspect of biblical truth we’ve been learning from the ministry of the Word, the Supper always brings us back to the foundational essentials of the gospel.  We’re saved sinners.  We’re recipients of grace.  We’re heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ who have received the Spirit as the down payment of our eternal inheritance.  Already, by faith, we can commune with Christ and taste, and see that the Lord is good.

There is one other whose actions at the Table we should consider: our Father.   The action of which I speak is the Father’s delight in His Son who is lovingly joined to His Bride who is made alive and holy by the Spirit.  In union with Christ, we are brought into the joy that the Father has for His Son, we are loved with the love which the Father has for Jesus Himself (Jn 17:26).  At the Table, we have a foretaste of that glorious eschatological banquet which we will enjoy together with Christ to the praise of the Father.  God’s purposes for creation and for sending His Son to save sinners and bring them into His eternal joy are but tasted when we, in the peace and unity of the Spirit in communion with Jesus, experience being loved by the Father to the praise of Christ.  Certainly, together at Jesus’ Table, Paul’s prayer is being answered: that he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God (Eph 3:16-19).

Let us do this in remembrance of Him and receive the active love of the Son and the Spirit and the Father.  Let us come to His Table and believingly love Jesus and learn from Him how to give His love to each other.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Rev 3:20).  Jesus will dine with us!  The Greek term is the same term for the Lord’s Supper.  How could we refuse the prospect of dining with Jesus?  What is happening at the Lord’s Table?  We are experiencing being loved by our Triune God and love Him in return as we feed by faith on Jesus.  Let us love and be loved and do this in remembrance of Him.

Alan Dunn, Pastor
Grace Covenant Baptist Church
Flemington, NJ
A
What Happens at the Lord’s Table? (Part One)
  1. “At the Table, we have a foretaste of that glorious eschatological banquet which we will enjoy together with Christ to the praise of the Father.”

    Amen to that, and to the rest of what was said!

  2. Pastor Dunn it is writings like this that make the RBF the best site on the Web! Thank you brother.

  3. Ran across this quote on another blog and immediately recalled the wonderful words here…

    “We come as children to our Father’s table and to sit there with Jesus Christ, our elder brother. Now a father does not love to have his child sitting in a sullen and dogged way at his table or to be crying, but would rather have the child sitting in comfort with a holy cheerfulness, with a holy freedom of spirit, not in a sullen way, but as a child in the presence of his father, and not as a servant with the master.”

    Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship (Ligonier, 1990), page 330.

    Pastor Dunn, thank you for your words that excite such a “comfort with a holy cheerfulness, with a holy freedom of spirit…as a child in the presence of his father.”

  4. I want to praise God for your writing. You are an encouragement. Your writings are such a powerful source of knowledge which is lacking in most churches these days. Please continue the good works.

    Alan C

  5. Thank my brother for your writing.

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