Thursday, August 02, 2012
We celebrate the Lord's Supper this Sunday. We also refer to this sacrament as Communion, because it is a symbol of our union with Christ. The Apostle Paul told us that the bread we break is the communion of the body of Christ, and that we all are one body since we eat of one bread.
In salvation we are united to Christ. We become one with Him in a mystical and covenantal sense. He obeyed the Father perfectly, and died for the sins of His people. When we have faith in Him, we are united to Him, and these benefits become ours. His perfect obedience is counted for our obedience, and His death pays the price for our sins. That is true in a legal or covenantal sense, but that union goes beyond the merely legal. We are united to Him really and truly. The Holy Spirit becomes the link between us and Christ, and by the Spirit's power Christ's perfect human life is worked in us, so that we gain access to His strength, knowledge and wisdom. All of these things, by the power of God, are worked in the life of the Christian. This is what it means to be united to Him.
When we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we celebrate this union with Christ. It is a powerful symbol to us of what it means to "eat" Christ, to lay hold of all of His benefits by faith and to be sustained by His life. Further, it points us to the real communion we have with each other. It is impossible to draw close to Christ without also drawing close to all other believers; as we eat of that living bread, we are transformed by it, and by that transformation we gain more and more closeness to all others being transformed in the same way.
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