Doug Wilson on Communion

December 8, 2015

The ordinances are visible signs of internal realities. They are used by God to sustain us on our way through this pilgrimage to heaven. Just as physical food sustains our physical bodies, so the Lord’s Supper helps to keep us going spiritually. It symbolizes Christ’s work and our involvement in that work. It is the Word of God in visible form. We meet with the Lord and His people. It is not primarily a time of introspection. Granted we want to make sure we are current with God, however, it is a celebration. Doug Wilson helpfully echoes this truth.

Through the course of church history, some have wanted to treat the communion of the Lord’s Table as a penitential discipline, instead of what the New Testament sets it out to be, which is that of a Eucharistic celebration. We are not here to get forgiven; we are here because we have been forgiven. This is a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name (Heb. 13:15)

Now whenever sin has been committed, there is no problem whatever with repentance. Repentance is a good thing, but when penitence becomes a constant frame of mind, it is very difficult to keep the whole thing from turning into an ongoing exercise in penance. And it is terribly hard to keep that from turning into a form of works righteousness.communion20elements20-20dickow

The Old Testament sacrificial system was described as deficient because it kept having to be repeated. When we confess particular sins in the course of our lives, or at the beginning of the service, we are not doing it to improve on our justification. Justification, from the first moment of imputation, is perfect. It is the imputation of the obedience of Jesus Christ, so how could it be less than perfect?

We confess our sins in order to keep our relationship with God honest, and refusal to confess sins to Him is nothing less than dishonesty farming. Whether we are doing that in the right spirit can be measured by how we approach Him at His Table here. If this is a time of joy, gladness, refreshment, peace, gratitude, and hope, then you have been confessing your sins rightly. If this is a time of self-accusation, sternness, or grim resolve, then you are not coming in the right spirit.

You are sons and daughters of the Most High. You have been forgiven for everything. Come then.

So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.


2 Responses to “Doug Wilson on Communion”

  1. phfs9 Says:

    Man! That was refreshing to read!

  2. Mark Says:

    Me too. I very much appreciated this line: “We are not here to get forgiven; we are here because we have been forgiven. This is a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name (Heb. 13:15).”

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