Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Lord's Supper

"I am convinced that where the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is taken lightly the people of God are sorely impoverished. Without both the Word and sacrament we face a spiritual famine." ~ R. C. Sproul

I just finished a preaching course that was focused on the sacraments (the Lord's Supper and Baptism) and after having taken this course, studied the sacraments, and preached on them, I am more convinced than ever that what Sproul says in the quote above is exactly right. The sacraments have taken a back seat in the Protestant Church and that is to our detriment. This is probably because of a reaction to Roman Catholic sacramentalism (which is the name for a particular erroneous view on the sacraments) and/or because of modernism creeping in and giving us an inadequate view of faith. The reasons, however, are not what I want to discuss here. I thought I would post the sermons I wrote on the Lord's Supper as well as some books I recommend you read. Hopefully these resources will serve to increase your view of the Lord's Supper, give you a more joyful and expectant reception of it, and increase God's glory in your heart for giving us this amazing gift.

First, the recommended reading: There are some good books out there on the sacraments and some bad ones, so I would like to suggest a few that I think are good.
  • Given for You by Keith A. Mathison: This is a book on the Reformation theology of the Lord's Supper, particularly John Calvin's work done on it and the Reformed changes since then. 
  • John Owen on the Lord's Supper by Jon D. Payne: This book was written by my professor and is a short summary of the history of the British Puritan battle with the Church of England for a proper view of the Lord's Supper, a summary of Owen's theology on the subject, and 25 of Owen's pre-Lord's Supper sermons, which will bless your soul (if you read them slowly because of Owen's old English style of writing).
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (Book 4, Chapters 14, 17-18): John Calvin's Institutes is one of the most, if not the most, influential Christian works of all time and for good reason. His writing on the sacraments and the Lord's Supper is wonderful. 
Second, my sermons: If you are interested in reading my sermons on the subject the links are below:
  • Short, pre-Lord's Supper sermonette: This assignment was to write what I would say before giving the Lord's Supper in a worship service. This sermon is only two pages and is written as if I were actually giving the words of institution for the Lord's Supper during a service. 
  • Longer, standard sermon: This sermon is a normal sermon that I would preach during a worship service on the subject of the Lord's Supper (with a few modifications since I wrote it to be preached to my class). Since it is a normal sermon it is a little longer--just over seven pages.
I pray that these resources would increase your view of the Lord's Supper and ultimately God's glory in giving this sacrament to us. 

By His Grace,


Big Jen said...

What were your insights gained on baptism?

A. Taylor Rollo... said...

You are getting ahead of me. :) I will be doing a post about that one soon.