BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
People who are followers of Jesus Christ are asked by Jesus to be baptised and to regularly participate in the Lordâ€™s Supper. This is not optional for the Christ-follower.
Following Christ is a journey which begins for us with a decision. Our decision is really a reaction to what Christ did for us. This is faith. We respond to Christ who went to the cross and offers us the “Way of the Cross”. This way is a new life journey of dying to selfishness and coming alive to Christ living in us, by his Holy Spirit.
We declare that God is faithful to us and we commit ourselves to his faithfulness through a ritual we call baptism. After we declare that we have come to Christ in honesty, seeking forgiveness and purity, we are baptized by immersion/submersion in water. This declares an end to our old way of life and a start to our new way. Jesus, who was baptized, identified himself with us, and he asks his followers to be baptized, identifying ourselves with him. The journey begins.
Scripture: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The Lord’s Supper is another command that Jesus gave his followers to regularly remember his gift of forgiveness and life. In worship, once a month, we take bread, representing the body of Christ, and a small cup of grape juice, representing the blood of Jesus Christ in a ritual we sometimes call communion.
We do this because we believe that the journey of following Jesus should be lived in constant renewal and refreshment, depending on the Crucified Christ, who is now our shepherd, guiding us in life-giving ways. The journey continues.
Scripture: “23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lordâ€™s death until he comes.” I Corinthians 11:23-26