Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Chapter 28, Paragraph 2.
“These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 4:1
Friends gathering together wish to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. They are all believers, but none of them are elders in their church. Is it right for them to celebrate communion in that setting?
A young man comes to faith in Christ and desires to be baptized. His father, while not an elder, proudly baptizes his son. What a touching event, sure to be remembered by both family members – but is it biblical?
When we read about baptism and the Lord’s Supper, it seems at first glance there are no stipulations regarding who is to perform these ordinances. Doesn’t Matthew 28 pertain to Christians today? Aren’t Christians supposed to observe the Lord’s Supper? To have such events occur only at church seems stifling to our modern sensibilities, yet those who penned the LBCF state that only those qualified and called (i.e. the elders in the church) are to administer them. Why would they think this?
When we realize the importance of the assembly of saints, and the respect given to Jesus Christ as head of the church, we will rethink how lax we are with the institutions He has given the church. Jesus directed the Great Commission to the apostles and the church as a whole. Sam Waldron writes:
The Great Commission is not addressed…to every individual Christian….The right conclusion is that the Great Commission was given to the church corporately and not to the Christian individually.
Elders are given the responsibility for feeding the sheep in their care. That includes administering the ordinances. As we look into what baptism and the Lord’s Supper do for the believer, we will guard more carefully how they are performed.
Questions to Consider
- Why is it important that the ordinances are observed correctly?