By Wang Ya In the past, I saw the Bible recorded, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway […]
Can We Be Cleansed by Our Sin and Enter the Kingdom of Heaven by Observing the Holy Communion? – Bible Study
Therecords, “And as they were eating, took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28). The instituted the Holy Communion, breaking bread and drinking the cup, in the night He was betrayed. The bread represents the Lord’s body which was given for us; the cup was the New Testament in the Lord’s blood, which was shed for our sins and brought us the forgiveness of sins. He required believers to remember that day. And because of His commands, all the Lord’s believers think it’s extremely important to break bread, drink the cup and keep the Holy Communion.
In order to remember the Lord’s death, and be forgiven of our sins and purified, we take the Holy Communion every month. Each time before eating the bread and drinking the cup, we repent and confess to the Lord with tears and ask Him to forgive all the sins which we have committed. After breaking bread and drinking the cup, we think that the Lord forgives our sins, that we are washed, become saints who have been purified by the Lord, and will partake of, and that when the Lord comes back, He will surely take us to the kingdom of heaven. Is this really the case? It’s necessary for us to discuss such great matters that relate to our entering into the kingdom of heaven.
1. Is Observing Holy Communion Really Equal to Being Forgiven of Sins and Sanctified?
Since we’ve observed Holy Communion and confessed to the Lord, we believe that we’ve already been forgiven of our sins, sanctified and purified. But what we can’t deny is: Though we’ve held onto the Holy Communion for years, we fail to stop sinning. The next time we celebrate Holy Communion, we will continue to confess our new sins then.
When we keep Holy Communion, confess and repent to the Lord, He forgives our sins. That’s true. But He never said this forgiveness meant being sanctified and purified. No one can deny this fact. Even we keep Holy Communion, we still live in a circle of sinning and repenting without being able to free from it. We can’t free ourselves from the binds and control of our sinful nature, but become more and more attached to the world. Many Christians who had faith in the past also lust for wealth and follow worldly trends to do business. Some, on their way home after breaking bread and drinking the cup, argue against and hate someone because of trifling details. In addition, there being barriers between some Christians, they bear each other and ask the Lord to forgive their sins by keeping Holy Communion, but they will quarrel incessantly when meeting again; furthermore, they often become angry, raise envy and strife, scheme against one another and struggle for fame and gain among themselves. In times of bitterness and trial, they often misunderstand and blame God. … Are they who live under such circumstances purified ones?
2. How Should We Understand Observing Holy Communion in a Way That Conforms to the Lord’s Will?
The Lord, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). From the Lord’s words, we can see that in order to take on our sins, the Lord established the New Testament using His own blood as a sin offering. Thanks to the sin offering, all that believe in and follow the Lord, from then onward, don’t have to be like people in the Age of Law anymore, who atoned for their sins by offering sacrifices. When we commit sins, as long as we confess and repent to the Lord, He will no longer remember our sins. Nevertheless, the Lord’s redemptive work only forgave our sins; it doesn’t mean that we are free from sins and have become those after the Lord’s heart.
When the Lord asked us to remember the Holy Communion, He reminded us: “But I say to you, I will not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). Speaking of “that day when I drink it new,” it certainly doesn’t mean the Lord’s redemptive work in the Age of Grace, but a new work. If we only focus on breaking bread and drinking the cup, and never heed the Lord Jesus’ words, “that day when I drink it new,” or investigate what new work the Lord will do in the last days, then we can only remain in keeping the Holy Communion and live in the vicious circle of sinning and confessing, and then we’ll never be approved by the Lord.
God said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (John 8:34-35). “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). God’s substance is holy, and He also requires us to seek to be cleansed and shed our sinful natures entirely. So, only those who are cleansed can enter into the kingdom of heaven. How can we with filthiness all over enter God’s kingdom? This shows that, for each of us Christians who live in the circle of sinning and confessing, it is our most actual needs to find a way of getting rid of sinful nature and being purified.
3. Where Is the Path to Break Free From Sins?
The Lord predicted He would surely come. 2 Corinthians 1:10 also says, “Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” 1 Peter 1:5 says, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” From these verses, we see that God’s work of saving man will not stop at a single stage, but is always moving forward.
The verse mentioned above, “Who delivered us from so great a death,” refers to God’s salvation in the Old Testament Age of Law. After our ancestors Adam and Eve were induced to sin, mankind became more and more corrupt and degenerate, so that they didn’t know how to revere God or live. To make the early Israelites have a normal life on earth, Jehovah God set forth laws and issued the commandments for them to abide, and judged them to be righteous or guilty according to the law and commandments. Whoever kept the laws was called righteous, and whoever broke the laws was condemned. Moreover, the sinning ones had to atone for their sins by offering sacrifices. Only in this way can they survive. This is what the words “who delivered us” in the verse mean.
Then, what does “and does deliver” in the verse refer to? After committing sins, people under the law needed to atone for their sins by sin offerings, and only then would they not be put to death. But by the end of the Age of Law, they became more and more corrupt, committed more and more sins, and didn’t have enough sin offerings to atone for their sins, so they faced the danger of being executed by the law. At that time, what they needed was the sin offering forever to take on their sins. Thus, the Lord ended the Age of Law and brought the Age of Grace, and He offered Himself once as the eternal sacrifice. This is the true meaning of “and does deliver” in the verse.
The Lord Jesus, however, only did the redemptive work. Our confessing and repenting toward the Lord can only make our sins be forgiven. But our intrinsically sinful nature still exists just as before, so we always live in the condition of sinning and confessing and can’t be purified all along. The verse says “in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” It means that when the Lord comes back in the last days, He will bring the salvation of the last days, which is to purify us. Therefore, it is important for us to attain the salvation God will reveal in the last days, because it’s related to how we are purified, gain eternal life and enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord Jesus prophesied, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12-13). From these verses, we see that upon the Lord’s arrival, He will definitely utter His words and express the truth. I saw a passage of words on the Internet, “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, we must search for God’s will, for the words of God, for the utterances of God—for where there are the new words of God, there is the voice of God, and where there are the footsteps of God, there are the deeds of God. Where there is the expression of God, there is the appearance of God, and where there is the appearance of God, there exists the truth, the way, and the life.” These words show us the accurate path to seek for God’s salvation of the last days. That is to say, since we are searching for the salvation God will reveal in the last days, we must look for the voice of God and be certain that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. Only God can express God’s disposition and what God is in His work, and make us humans break away from sins and be purified, bring us the way of practice in the new age, and bring us closer to Him. I believe that only if we yearn for and seek the appearance of God, will He surely enlighten and lead us to keep pace with His footsteps and to receive the salvation prepared for us by God in the last days. As the Lord Jesus said, “Seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Luke 11:9).
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