29 May 2005
1 Corinthians 11:28, John 6:53-56, Zechariah 12:10, 1 John 4:19 & Romans 6:4
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 97. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
A. It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgement to themselves.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.97. What is the right way to receive the Lord’s Supper?
A. The right way to receive the Lord’s Supper is to examine whether we discern the Lord’s body, whether our faith feeds on Him, and whether we have repentance, love, and a new obedience - so that we may not come in the wrong way and eat and drink judgement on ourselves.
1. How can we best prepare to receive the Lord’s supper?
First, we can best prepare to receive it by recognising that we are not worthy in ourselves. We do not come to the Lord’s table by any merit of our own. Second, we can best prepare ourselves by coming to it with a right relationship with our Lord. This would entail the putting off of things that are sinful according to the Word of God.
2. How can we examine ourselves as we come to partake?
We can examine ourselves by means of self-judgement of the following: our true sense of repentance; our true Godly sorrow for our sins; our love for Christ and for one another; our sincere desire to walk in obedience to the Word of God.
3. How can we best prepare regarding our attitude toward God?
We can prepare by being certain we have had adequate prayer and meditation. There should be, on our part, much prayer to Him that He might draw from us all possible adoration for Him.
4. How can we eat and drink judgement to ourselves?
We can participate unworthily by neglecting to prepare ourselves and by coming to the Lord’s table with known and unconfessed sin in our hearts.
5. How would God possibly punish us by our unworthy partaking?
He could punish us by sending upon us physical, mental and spiritual afflictions. When we come unprepared we are insulting God for it is His Table to which we are invited guests.
6. Should all be allowed to partake?
Only those should be allowed to partake who are believers and who are not living in any scandalous way before God. (Note Larger Catechism No. 172, 173).