Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Three Arguments for Weekly Communion

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on April 19, 2012 at 8:13 am

“. . . communion at the close of each service has a way of tying the service to the gospel. Too easily a well-intended sermon can end up preaching only the commands of Scripture, failing to undergird the people with the hope of gospel provision and power. The Table anchoring the conclusion of the service has a way of shaping all that comes before it, focusing on the cross of Christ and his return as our hope and joy. Unbelievers are also confronted visibly with the gospel as they see the work of Christ portrayed before them and yet are reminded that these benefits are only available to those who believe.”

– Ray Van Neste is associate professor of biblical studies and director of the R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies at Union University.

Read it here

  1. First, one can be in favor of weekly communion but to make it an uncompromisable principle is unwarranted and divisive. It may have been the pattern of the Apostolic church (although that’s not indisputably clear) but it is not commanded. Second, if we preach the gospel in the sermon, as we should, that “has a way of tying the service to the gospel.” Third, the way Dr. Van Neste comment is written goes beyond telling us to have weekly communion but exactly where in the service it should properly be: at the conclusion. Why can’t having it at the beginning on in the middle tie the service to the gospel? Finally, I’m a bit intrigued by the appeal to having a “visible” portrayal of the gospel? So then, why not a passion play every week? Or show “The Passion of the Christ”? Or paintings or even statues of Christ, so as to remind unbelievers of the “work of Christ”. It’s true that the Lord’s Supper is a visible reminder of the work of Christ but it is one for believers. I don’t know any where in scripture that we are told to present the gospel to unbelievers through the Lord’s Supper. Unbelievers are the encounter the gospel through the preaching of the Word of Christ (Romans 10).

  2. A hearty amen to weekly communion! Why would we not desire it. Taste and see the Lord is good! But I suppose if it was merely a Zwingliian emblem then I can see how people wouldnt care that much for weekly communion. But if it is a spiritual feasting and communion in our Lords body and blood as 1 Cor 10:16 says then I propose that weekly communion be a hallmark for all RB churches to the glory of God and the edification of His elect.

  3. Actually the vast majority of churches that practice weekly communion are, and always have been those who hold to a Zwinglian memorialistic view (Baptist, Brethrenism etc.), contra the less frequent practice of those who hold to the Calvinistic (Most Presbyterians; Free Church of Scotland, RPCI/S/NA, and many/most RB congregations) position of real spiritual presence.

    In other words those who see it as Zwingli did, very much care for weekly communion, though I believe on a faulty basis, whereas historically Calvinists have not in general chosen weekly celebration.

    I’m not really making any point other than to highlight this reality which ought to considered in this discussion.

  4. Not in my experience. Being in non denominational churches for years we celebrated at most once a month, whereas every single reformed church in the last 10 years I’ve been in and visited had weekly communion with bread and wine.

  5. A researched examination of weekly communion, The Bible and Weekly Communion:

    http://www.denverprovidence.org/Weekly_LS_Booklet_Booklet_Version_2.pdf

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