The Purposes of the Lord’s Supper

The first paragraph of chapter twenty-nine in the Westminster Confession of Faith sets forth the institution of Lord’s Supper and the uses and ends for which it is designed:

Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in his church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.

In this episode, we discuss the five purposes of the Lord’s Supper detailed in the confession:

  1. Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper as a commemorative ordinance for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death.
  2. The Lord’s Supper is a confirmatory sign (cf. Rom. 4:11) for the purpose of sealing all the benefits procured by Christ’s death unto true believers.
  3. Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper for the spiritual nourishment and growth of believers in him.
  4. Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper for believers for their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him.
  5. Finally, Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper to be a bond and pledge of believers’ communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.

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The Theology of Ebenezer Erskine

We speak with Dr. Stephen G. Myers about Ebenezer Erskine and the important events of Presbyterian history with which he was involved.Dr. Myers is Professor of Historical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In his book, Scottish Federalism and Covenantalism in Transition: The Theology of Ebenezer Erskine, he touches upon many significant issues, including the Marrow Controversy, the relationship of law and grace, covenant theology, and church-state relations. In learning about this era of Presbyterian history, we come to understand how Erskine also serves to refine modern understandings of still controversial theological issues.

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Hosea 1:4–9 — Disobedient Children

Israel was called God’s son—a status under threat here in Hosea—as graphically demonstrated in the naming of Hosea’s children. God’s pending divorce of Israel points to the only way for God’s elect to be saved. The warnings in Hosea are for God’s people today that we may examine ourselves to be sure we are in the faith.

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Pastoral Care During the Reformation

William VanDoodewaard speaks to us about Martin Bucer, John Knox, and the development of pastoral care during the Reformation. Dr. VanDoodewaard is professor of church history at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of 1 & 2 Peter: Feed My Sheep (Welwyn Commentary Series), The Quest for the Historical Adam, and The Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition.

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Lamentations, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah

Camden Bucey and Jim Cassidy discuss Lamentations, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. The overwhelming message of these books is “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,” as Thomas O. Chisholm wrote in the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” He based his beloved hymn upon Lamentations 3:22–23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah are rich with God’s truth about our sin and need of redemption as well as his love for us in the savior Jesus Christ. Together, these prophets express the pain and suffering of God’s people as they live in a fallen world. The people suffer at the hands of their enemies, which have been sent by the Lord himself. But they are not without hope, because God uses this form of fatherly discipline to sanctify and restore them.

Camden recently wrote a 12-week study on the books for Crossway’s Knowing the Bible series. For a week beginning April 27, 2018, Westminster Books will be running a sale on books in the series. Visit wtsbooks.com/knowingthebible this week for approximately 20% savings on single volumes and 40% on 5-packs.

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Hosea 1:1–3 — The Faithful Bride

The Book of Hosea opens up with a shocking command as God tells the prophet to “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom.” Hosea’s wife, Gomer, will serve as both type and anti-type. Listen as the book of Hosea points to the faithful bridegroom and calls the Christian to be a faithful bride.

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Genesis 14:17–24 — Abram and Melchizedek

On the heels of a tremendous victory, Abram has a choice to make. Not necessarily an easy one if his focus was on earthly things. Here’s Abram’s chance to make it big in Canaan. Or is he looking for some other city? What will he do? What should we do as we follow in his footsteps?

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