Monday, May 23, 2011

HC: Lord's Day 30-Excommunication

Q: 80. What difference is there between the Lord's supper and the popish mass?
A: The Lord's supper testifies to us, that we have a full pardon of all sin by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself has once accomplished on the cross; and, that we by the Holy Spirit are grafted into Christ, who, according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in heaven, at the right hand of God his Father, and will there be worshipped by us. But the mass teaches, that the living and dead have not the pardon of sins through the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is also daily offered for them by the priests; and further, that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshipped in them; so that the mass, at bottom, is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.

Q: 81. For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?
A: For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves.

Q: 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?
A: No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath kindled against the whole congregation; therefore it is the duty of the Christian church, according to the appointment of Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.

1. Here we come to the warnings concerning the Lord's Supper. First, hypocrites are not to be admitted to the table. Those who claim Christ, but do not walk worthy are to be excluded. This does not mean sinners cannot come to the table. It means unrepentant sinners cannot come to the table. Sinners must come, but they must come ready to turn from their sins. Those who are excluded from Supper are those who want the privilege of being counted among Christians, but do not want their life to conform to Christ. These hypocrites are to be cast out the church until they repent and turn. Second, if someone chooses to eat and drink while not turning they will be judged by Almighty God. Even if the elders do not know, God does. He will bring the person who profanes the table to account.

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8