The Lord’s Supper: Its Proper Recipients

Posted by on Sep 14, 2008 in Rev. Serven

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:27-34

Who should participate in the Lord’s Supper? Some churches have an open Communion where any who wish to participate are welcome to the Lord’s Table. Other churches have a closed Communion where only those who are members of the local church are welcomed to the Table. Our own church practices a close Communion where all baptized Christians who are members in good standing of any evangelical church are welcome to participate in the Lord’s Table. What do we mean by this?

  • Baptized = meaning that they have received the sign and the seal of entrance into the visible church (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2: 37-39; Rom. 4:11-12; Col. 2:11-12).
  • Christian = meaning that they have given a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ to the church leaders (Matt. 10:32-33; Mark 8:38; Rom. 10:9-10; 2 Cor. 13:5).
  • Members in good standing of any evangelical church = meaning that they are accountable to Christ and His Church; they are not under the discipline of the church leaders (Matt. 16:19; 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 5:4-5; Gal. 6:1; Tit. 3:10-11).

Why is it important to “fence” the Lord’s Table? Paul tells the Corinthians that those who participate in an “unworthy manner” are “guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” These are very serious words. In essence, those who partake “unworthily” will be judged by our holy god–through weakness, illness, and even death. Therefore, Christ’s Church is responsible to admit to the Lord’s Table and when necessary to exclude from the Lord’s Table. This is the proper jurisdiction of Christ’s Church and its officers.