The Lord’s Supper is intended for the Lord’s disciples. This can be seen in the following.
- It is a memorial or remembrance of the Lord’s death (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
- It is an expectation of the Lord’s coming (1 Corinthians 11:26; Matthew 26:29).
- It was observed when the church came together out of the world rather than in the world (Acts 2:42; 20:7ff; 1 Corinthians 11:18).
- It is the new “Passover feast” of those who observe it in sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:6-8; cf. John 4:24).
- It is a communion for the partakers of “that one bread,” Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).
- It is not ecumenical, in the sense of embracing other religions (1 Corinthians 10:20-21).
- It requires a self-examination and discernment in relation to the body and blood of Jesus Christ, with associated judgment (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
[i] Although these terms don’t always mean the same things to all Baptists.
[ii] John Wesley, for example, believed that communion was a means of grace and that someone invited to the table might be converted to Christ at the table (The The Works of John Wesley, Bicentennial Edition, Richard P. Heitzenrater, editor, Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1984, Volume 19: Journal and Diaries II (1738-1743), p. 159). While I disagree with Wesley, his motivation was not the same as modern ecumenicists. He viewed these as unbelievers in need of being born again. Many ecumenists, on the other hand, believe all religions are valid expressions on the way to God – therefore receiving with open arms and free communion those who reject Jesus as the only way whereby we must be saved.