Only Baptized Believers are Qualified to Eat the Lord’s Supper

David Burchard Doctrine Leave a Comment

Assertion: Only baptized believers are qualified to eat the Lord’s Supper.

Point 1: Believers, people of faith, are to regularly eat the Lord’s Supper with the church.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 11:23-29

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 being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Note, from 10:17, that “we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” Eating communion together constitutes a church as a church. We are partakers of one bread. Therefore we are one body. So the Lord’s Supper is to be eaten with the church (not at a Bible study, wedding, etc.).

Note, from 11:24, that Jesus commands us to eat His supper “in remembrance of me.” From 11:29, those who eat are to do so discerning the Lord’s body. So, not only are we to eat with and as a church, but we are explicitly, and only, to eat with faith. To do otherwise is to disobey. Only believers are able, by the grace of God, to eat remembering the Lord’s death in their place for their sin, to discern the Lord’s body.

Point 2: Faith always bears the fruit of obedience. Always. And baptism is the obedient firstfruit of faith.

Acts 2:38, 41

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Note, in verse 38, Peter commands those listening to his gospel preaching to turn from their sin and turn to Christ in faith. And then what are they to do? They are to be baptized. Repentance and faith. Baptism.

Note, in verse 41, everyone who gladly receives the word, a glad reception that is in faith, is baptized. They don’t do some other Christian duty first. Their first Christian duty, upon believing on Christ, is being baptized in His name.

Point 3: Believers enter the church through baptism.

Acts 2:41

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Looking back at Acts 2:41, we see that not only is baptism the first step of faith, it is also the mechanism by which a believer is added to the church. They were baptized and so added to the church, 3,000 of them. This makes sense, since the church is that assembly gathered in the name of Christ, and we publicly take the name of Christ in baptism.

Recap: We eat the Lord’s Supper in faith and in the church. When a man is given faith, he must first be baptized in the name of Christ. And through baptism he enters the church.

Therefore…

Point 4: A believer who has not been baptized, although he has had opportunity to be baptized, is in unrepentant sin. And a believer who has not been baptized has not entered the church. So, such a believer could only unworthily eat the Supper, for he would be doing so in unrepentant sin and not in the church. Not having entered the church through baptism, he could not eat in the church, partaking and so being of the one body.

Assertion: Only baptized believers are qualified to eat the Lord’s Supper.

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