Communion with God

The crescendo of our worship service is the Lord’s Supper.  In the beginning, man’s communion with God was symbolized and fostered through his access to the grain plants and fruit trees/vines of the garden (Gen. 1:11; 2:9).  Upon sinning, man lost communion with God and access to the tree of life (Gen. 3:24).  Nevertheless, God’s gracious plan of salvation has always involved the provision of sacramental meals, such as when Melchizedek the priest granted Abraham a meal of bread and wine in conjunction with a divine blessing (Gen. 14:18-20).  The holy place of the Israelite tabernacle was furnished with a table, upon which the bread of God’s presence and personal blessing sat (Ex. 25:23-3).  The priestly sacrifices themselves often included the elements of bread and wine (Lev. 23:13), while the animal sacrifice ascended heavenward (as smoke), signifying the manner in which the one offering the sacrifice had entered into communion with God (Lev. 1:9).  In the New Covenant, Jesus has explicitly sanctioned a sacramental meal, in which He identified bread and wine as His body and blood (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-25).  In so designating the elements of communion, Jesus was indicating that He would empower, comfort, inspire, and direct us to His ends through the bread and wine, just as He did when He encountered men and women bodily during his earthly ministry.  Through communion believers are knit together with Christ and with one another as one body (1 Cor. 10:16-17), as an expression of Christ’s heavenly rule on earth (Eph. 2:5).  When received in faith, the communion meal is a guarantee to all the faithful that they have been united to Christ in the present, and that they will eat with Him face to face in the kingdom of heaven (Luke 22:18, 28-30; Rev. 19:9).  Communion is preceded by a confession of our faith, using the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, or portions of the Westminster standards (see beliefs).  We declare our faith using historic confessions as an expression of our unity with the church in ages past, and with the departed saints who enjoy face to face communion with our Lord Jesus in the present (Heb. 12:22-24).

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