LD 28: Communion with Christ
by Rev Arie den Hartog
Read: John 6:47 – 56
The Lord’s Supper is indeed rich in its meaning. One of the names given by scripture to this sacrament, and commonly used in the Reformed church, is the name “Communion.” In the Lord’s Supper, we have communion with Christ, and are made partakers of all of His benefits. It is exactly because of this truth that the Lord made this sacrament in the form of a meal around a table. This truth of the Lord’s Supper should be preserved when the church celebrates this sacrament. In the Lord’s Supper, Christ is present with His Church. He is the host at the table, and we who join the Lord’s table receive by faith the spiritual food which He provides.
The Reformed church believes that Christ is truly present in the Lord’s Supper. He is not bodily present. After His ascension, Christ is now bodily present in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the majesty of His heavenly Father. The human nature of Christ, like our human nature, can only be present in one place at one time. Until the Lord returns bodily at the end of the ages, He remains bodily present in heaven, and not on earth.
Following the teaching of God’s Word, the great reformers, especially John Calvin, and the Reformed Church, restored through this great Reformer, , believe that Christ is really spiritually present in the church. The Lord Himself promised that where two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in the midst of them. He also promised that He would be with His Church to the end of the world.
Jesus is not only spiritually present with His church when she celebrates the Lord’s Supper. He is at all times present with His beloved Church through His Word and Spirit. The Lord’s Supper is a sign and seal of the presence of Christ with His church.
In the Lord’s Supper, Jesus reminds us of all the blessings of salvation which He merited for us through His suffering and death on the cross.
That we have communion with Christ means that He is invisibly, though really and spiritually present with us. God’s people through faith in Christ, have living fellowship with Christ. Christ is truly with us and we know that by faith. He is with us to bless us with all spiritual blessings of salvation.
In this sense, Christ feeds and nourishes our souls with His body and blood. He is to our souls the bread of life. Those who eat only earthly bread shall finally die. Jesus is the bread of life. Whosoever eats of this spiritual bread by faith will live forever. Read again the above passage.
If we have a right understanding of the Lord’s Supper, we realize that our fellowship with Christ is not limited to the few times in which the Lord’s Supper is celebrated in the church. Rather, by the Lord’s Supper, we are assured of the blessed reality of our communion with Christ, and this communion is more and more strengthened. It is enjoyed throughout our Christian life. It can be rightly said that the heart of true Christian living is fellowship with Christ. In this fellowship, we have a living, personal, experiential knowledge of Christ with us, and we with Him. In this communion with Christ, we have the hope and joy of everlasting and perfect salvation which is yet to come. In heaven, there will be an everlasting and blessed feast of communion with God and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Originally posted here.