What is the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord’s Supper is a church’s symbolic meal of bread and cup that unites the church, renews the believer, and proclaims the gospel.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic meal. The bread represents the body of Jesus given for His people (Luke 22:19) and the cup represents the blood of Jesus shed on the cross (Luke 22:20).
The Lord’s Supper is the church’s meal (1 Cor. 10:17; 11:17, 18, 20, 33-34). It is not a private meal among Christian friends, but the church’s public celebration of Christ and His crucifixion.
The Lord’s Supper unites the church (1 Cor. 10:16-17). During communion we celebrate Jesus’ body and blood that makes us family.
The Lord’s Supper strengthens the believer, reminding us of the joys of redemption (1 Cor. 11:23-26) and adoption (1 Cor. 10:16-17).
The Lord’s Supper proclaims the gospel to the world (1 Cor. 11:26). By taking communion, we proclaim the sinless life and substitutionary death of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 11:23-26).
Who Should Celebrate the Lord’s Supper?
All are welcome to attend our worship services, but not everyone is invited to receive the Lord’s Supper. This is a meal reserved for (1) Christians who (2) have made their faith public through believer’s baptism and (3) are in good standing with a local church.
Why just Christians? In communion, the believer recommits his or her life to follow Jesus. It makes little sense to receive a symbol of Jesus’ body and blood if you haven’t yet received Jesus by faith.
Why just baptized Christians? Because believer’s baptism is the initial symbol of commitment to Christ (Col. 2:11-12) and communion is the ongoing symbol of commitment to Christ (Luke 22:14-20). In baptism the believer initially professes his faith in Jesus, in communion he continually professes his faith in Jesus.
Why just baptized Christians in good standing? Local churches must sometimes enact loving, restorative discipline on members persisting in unrepentant sin (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; Titus 3:10-11). The final step of discipline isn’t refusing entry into church services, but removing the unrepentant sinner from church membership and refusing to celebrate communion with him or her until he or she repents and is restored (1 Cor. 5:12).
What if I Don’t Meet the Criteria?
First, we want to thank you for worshiping with us. We know it may feel awkward being one of the few who doesn’t receive the bread and cup, but please know we love you just as you are.
If you’re not a believer in Jesus, we hope you’ll repent of your sins and put your faith in Him. We hope you’ll do it right now, right where you are (Rom. 10:11-13).
If you’re a believer who hasn’t been baptized, we hope you’ll let us know so we can talk with you about baptism (Acts 2:37-41).
If you’re not in good standing with PBC or another local church, we hope God uses this time to restore you to Himself and His people.
If any of these are true of you, we still invite you to come forward during our communion meal for prayer. Just let one of our leaders know why you’re not receiving communion and we’ll pray with you and (with God’s help) begin the process of preparing you to celebrate communion with us in the future.
How Do We Celebrate the Lord’s Supper at PBC?
- Please remain seated until an usher dismisses your row to come forward down the center aisle to receive communion.
- While you wait, we encourage you to quietly prepare your heart by examining yourself (1 Cor. 11:27-28) and confessing any known sin to Jesus (1 John 1:9) and others (Matt. 5:23-26).
- When you come forward to one of our communion tables, a pastor or deacon will pray over you then serve you the bread. You’ll eat the bread at the table, then bring your cup back with you to your seat. Please return to your seat via the side aisles.
- Once everyone has been served, we’ll stand and take the cup together as a church family.