HOW IMPORTANT IS COMMUNION TO SALVATION?
There are a number of steps to salvation. In this article we want to explore the taking of communion as an important step towards salvation.
The question posed caption of this article, may prove to be a strange question to most people who confess to be followers of Jesus Christ. Many people never think of the taking of communion as an important step to one’s salvation. Yet we draw your attention to the statement of Jesus found in St. John 6:53 “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”. Let us thoroughly examine this statement.
The chapter quoted above tells how Jesus knowing that He was about to go to the cross to purchase the Church, instituted the communion of the saints or what is commonly referred to as the “Lord’s Supper”. He tells the disciples in plain words “if you do not eat of my flesh and drink of my blood, you will have no life in you.” Remember, He was about to go to the cross, giving of His own body and his blood. His body hung on the cross and when He was pierced blood was one of the items that came from His side. He was setting things in order before He returned to the Father. He was giving them the steps to salvation.
So Jesus continues in St. John 6:54 “whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day.” This is a sure promise of eternal life to anyone who partakes of Christ’s body and blood. Here is another part of the promise; “He that eateth of my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me and I in Him.” St. John 6:56. This is a wonderful part of His promise to us. When we honour Him and trust Him by eating His flesh and drinking His blood, He comes to live in us and work through us. So He guides and directs our path and leads us in the way of righteousness.
Then in St. Luke 22:19, He gives us the command, “this do in remembrance of me.” Every time we partake of His body and blood, we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. How much He gave up for us; how Jesus used Himself to buy our salvation. Not, gold, not silver not any other precious stones, but He had to die so that we might live. He shows us our worth to Him. As we consider this gift and remember Him, each time we ought to be humbled at the ransom paid for us. We ought to bow before and worship Him and to be eternally grateful for His love, mercy and grace. Then we should be filled and bubbling over with unbridled joy to the Father and to His Son. We were thought of so highly; the part of the creation made in their own image and likeness, so as to be warranting this type of sacrifice that was made. We ought to weep before Him with such joy and ecstasy as we remember what he suffered in our stead to redeem us and present us to the Father as sons and daughters of His.
Thus as we consider the above scriptures, then we see that it is important that we take exactly what Jesus gave as His body and blood to the disciples way back then. He was very careful to inform us that taking his body and blood is important for eternal life. So we have to be careful that we are taking exactly what He gave. Many people never think of this. They just know that the ministers tell the church that at certain times during each month, communion will be served. It is a church, and the minister is serving communion so, they automatically think it has to be the correct thing. No one questions, “Am I being served what Jesus gave His disciples when He instituted the communion?”
One may say “It doesn’t matter, as long as you take communion.” I cannot agree with that. From time to time we visit the doctor for various medical conditions and we are very careful to follow the directives on the medicine bottles when they are dispensed to us. When we want to join an organization or we want a certain job or favour and there are directives given to us, we follow them to the tee, without changing any of these directives. Yet, when it comes to following God and His commandments, we feel very comfortable in imposing our own thoughts and actions. The excuse you usually hear is, “It won’t matter, God will understand and He is merciful”. We are willing to take liberties with God which we would not take with individuals and institutions here on earth.
Another excuse you hear is “but that is what everyone else is doing“. The crowd is not always right. Is God impressed when someone says , “But that is what everyone is doing or saying”. Have you done the research, what do the scriptures say? The temptation to fit in and be a part of the crowd is always there. It is so convenient and comforting. Yet we cannot serve God conveniently or comfortably, but continually and consistently.
The signs of the time show us that we are in the days of the end. The prevalence of earthquakes, famines, tornadoes, storms and other natural disasters show that the scriptures are true and that we need to search them diligently. We see the total break down of morals in the society. Basically, we live in a society where people do what they want to do. Whatever feels good and whatever suits their fancy. We have reduced God to what we want Him to be. So we do what we want to do and depend on His mercy, grace, and love to see us through. The thought becomes, God is merciful so he will pardon us if we get it wrong. Yet he reminds us in scripture that “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the end”. We know that story. We know how it all ended. Many people felt that they would be able to impose on Noah’s good nature and they would have been saved even if they did not take heed.
We cannot follow Christ and do it our way. We have to do it His way in order to be saved. We cannot say it any clearer than Jesus said it, “EXCEPT YE EAT OF THE FLESH OF THE SON OF MAN AND DRINK HIS BLOOD, YE HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU.” Be sure that you are truly drinking of His blood and eating His flesh. Your life depends on it!