Like I said before, I believe communion and baptism to be the two main ordinances of the church. In baptism we are displaying the fact that God has placed us in Christ. We are saying that we agree with what God has done, and we have been crucified, buried and raised again in him. We are placed in water as an outward showing of what has taken place in our spirit.
I would like to look at communion or “The Lord’s Supper” as some call it. In this, we “The Church,” are participating in something Jesus seemed to place importance on also. Here, in the Lord’s Supper, we are showing that we now have taken Christ into us. Before, in baptism we are placed in him, and now in Communion we are receiving him into us. So we can see the reasoning behind two of the most important phrases found in the New Testament. Being “in Christ” and “Christ in you” is what God is after; this is the bulls’ eye of Christianity. The scriptures tell us that “in him we live and move and have our being.” They also say “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Just as in baptism, communion may be understood differently depending on what denomination you belong to. Once again I am not here to debate these things but only to see what the scriptures actually tell us. If we look in the Gospel of John we read where Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” He goes on to say, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” Now that is some pretty provocative talk isn’t it? Let’s look a little further along in the text and see what Jesus truly means.
Jesus knows these statements are difficult to hear. He clarifies what he is talking about for them and says, “Does this cause you to stumble?” Those listening must have thought Jesus was advocating cannibalism. So he says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” Right here we discover Jesus is talking about spiritual food and drink and not physical. This explains that eating and drinking bread and wine, or grape juice for the teetotaler, is symbolic of taking in Christ.
Now hopefully we can see why these two ordinances of baptism and communion are so important. They are the two ways we say to everyone around, “we are in Christ and Christ is in us.” If these two statements aren’t true of you then you are not his! We are to be placed in Christ by baptism, and Christ is received into us in communion.
Written by Louie