Steps in Communion
Originally scheduled for November 24
There is popular set of books available on the
market these days with titles like
Brain Surgery for Dummies.
The authors of these books break down what appears to be a
complicated process into simple steps with the hope that you will
buy the book knowing that even a dummy can do it. The method is
fairly simple: break things down into simple steps. Communion has
its simple steps as well.
It begins with the recognition that each and
every one of us, as an individual, is a sinner. If you don’t do
this, you are in essence denying that there is a problem in your
life with sin. If there is no problem, you don’t take steps to fix
it. So this part is very necessary.
We must also recognize that everybody else is a
sinner too. That carries a couple of implications as well. Since we
know that we are both sinners, we have every reason to refrain from
judging the other person. Your mother taught you that the pot should
never call the kettle black. More than that, there is an aspect of
“do unto others” that we must practice. We must be ready to forgive
those who have sinned against us — because we are sinners just like
You might as well confess your sins to God; he
knows all about them anyway. He just wants you to acknowledge it.
It’s an aid to humility; more than that, it means that you don’t
think God is so stupid that he doesn’t see the obvious.
You are also required to confess your sins to
others. This has two beneficial effects. The first is that the
others get an honest opinion of who you really are. The second is,
now that they have that honest opinion of who you really are, they
are much more willing to help.
Finally, it sometimes occurs at the confession
must be made in public in church. Let me give you an example: if a
member of the staff of your church has an adulterous affair,
confession is necessary for forgiveness. Public confession is
necessary so that the church will not conclude that adultery is
Faith without works is dead. If you change your
ways in repentance, the Lord is disposed to look upon you with
kindness and mercy. If you don’t change your ways, he’s inclined to
look at you as a hardened sinner. So follow through on recognition
and confession; repent. You will find that this is an excellent
cause of humility and fosters a right relationship with God.
Well, there’s the summary. Do you have anything
to think about today before you take the cup and eat the bread?