sin-bearer, the substitute, the mediator, the “Lamb o f God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Each Communion Service is to us, consequently, a solemn proclamation. Among other great doc trines we are preaching Christ crucified. We are proclaiming in a public way our biblical beliefs (1) that Christ was substituted for us, (2) that God was satisfied with Christ’s substitution, and (3) that man can now be justified because God is satisfied. These three doctrines, substitutionary atonement, satisfaction o f justice and justification by faith, are central New Testament teachings that Bible-believing Christians have held dear through all ages. Communion is, first of all, a proclamation that Christ died in our place. Theologically, we call this vicarious atonement. A vicar is a substitute in office, a representative, a proxy; he takes the place of someone else. Therefore, in athletics we depend upon substitute players; and in education we pro vide systematically for substitute teachers. Saccha rine replaces sugar; a red-tipped cane and trained dog become eyes for the blind. Needless to say, many substitutes are inferior, but the Lord’s Sup per proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Perfect Sub stitute for the sinner. As a Substitute He bore our sins (I Peter 2: 24). As a Substitute He carried our guilt (Isaiah 53:4, 5, 8, 12). As a Substitute He died our death (I Peter 3:18). As a Substitute He became the sin-offering for us (II Cor. 5:21). Thus it is throughout our whole Bible and so it is preached from the Lord’s Table. Jesus became a curse in our place; He bore the fair wrath of God’s judgment and the necessary penalty o f our rebellion in His own body. His innocent life was given, His untainted flesh was rent as a veil, His righteous blood was poured out that the guilty might live forever. Therefore, we proclaim sym bolically at each communion service that His sub stitutionary death brought us unending life. Com munion is a proclamation that Christ died in our place. Communion is, secondly, a proclamation that God is satisfied with Christ’s substitution. Theo logically we call this “ propitiation.” The term pro pitiation refers to the work o f God by which He set forth His Son as the satisfactory ransom to settle justly His wrath against sin. Our sin is an offense, an insult and a rebellion against God’s personal dignity. It is a strike with out limits against His holiness which has produced a necessary wrath. Such holy wrath must be in finitely satisfied before God’s love can be expressed justly. From a very human point of view we see
C J 'l M / t C j 'b O F THE
The Proclamation of Redemption
by Kenneth L. Fischer, Pastor of Magnolia Baptist Church
Exterior of Sanctuary of Magnolia Baptist Church o f Anaheim.
A s J esus held the bread in one hand and a cup ^ in the other, He not only said, “ This do in remembrance of me,” but He also declared, “ For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come” (I Cor. 11:26). The Greek word here translated shew means to declare, publish, proclaim and preach. When ever we share together in the Communion of the Lord’s Supper, we are making a public confession of faith, an open declaration of salvation, a bold announcement of believing in the death of the Risen Christ. This thought is excellently rendered in the New American Standard Bible, “ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” Some congregations maintain that the death of Christ is not necessary, not important and no longer civilized. They preach Jesus but not “ Christ cru cified.” As an evangelical Baptist Church, we be lieve the Lord’s Supper is intended to keep pure this central doctrine. It proclaims not only Jesus as the greatest prophet, teacher, example and re ligious leader, but, by means of symbols for flesh and blood, it preaches Christ crucified, Christ the
THE KING'S BUSINESS
Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs