What We Teach
The Sacrament of the Altar (Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper) is administered at Redemption as it was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ. The body and blood of Christ are really and truly present in the eating and drinking of the bread and wine. We believe, according to Scripture, that this Sacrament – like Baptism – is a Means of Grace – giving the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. This Sacrament is given to those for whom Christ intended it – namely, to penitent sinners who recognize the presence of the Lord’s body and blood and are able to examine themselves (see Bible passages below).
We also believe that attendance at the Lord’s Table is an expression of unity of faith and confession among those who partake; therefore receiving the Lord’s Supper at Redemption is only for those who share our confession of faith. This is the “closeness” of Christian fellowship described by the Apostle Paul (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10; 10:17). We practice “close” Communion out of obedience to Christ’s will for the proper use of this Sacrament and restrict participation out of love for souls, so that people do not partake of this Sacrament to their harm. This Holy Supper is a precious gift for our souls, worthy of frequent and sanctified use by all communicants.
Out of respect for God’s Word and Christ-like love for our non-member guests, we seek to humbly follow the commands of God regarding His Supper. We realize that not all churches in our society practice this close expression of fellowship regarding the Lord’s Supper, and therefore it can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with it. As an expression of good will we invite non-member guests to receive a verbal blessing from the pastor during the Lord’s Supper in our public worship services. The procedure for doing so is outlined below:
1 Corinthians 11:23-29: For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord, Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1 Corinthians 10:15-19: I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.