2016 @ Grace Church Exeter
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by SwankyApple

SURPASSING ALL OTHERS

One of our four priorities this year is a review of the place of Communion in church life.

Throughout church life we want to help you think through what place and significance breaking bread and drinking wine together should.

Here’s perspective from the 19th Century preacher Charles Spurgeon. We want to keep the good news of Jesus at the heart of Grace Church, Spurgeon says;

“I have had my Master’s presence there’ he said, ‘though, perhaps, scarcely two of us belong to any one church or denomination.’

“Here in the common reception of one loaf, we bear witness that we are one… all differences pass away, and “we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members of one another.”

At the heart of Grace Church is the good news of Jesus, Spurgeon agrees:

“I need to be reminded, forcibly reminded, of my dear Lord and Master very often…”

He looks back to the thoughts on 17th Century leader John Owen:

“John Owen argued regarding the Supper, “(O)f this blessed, intimate communion with Christ, and participation of him in the divine institution of worship, believers have experience unto their satisfaction and ineffable joy. They find him to be the spiritual food for their souls, by which they are nourished unto eternal life by a spiritual incorporation with him. They discern the truth of this mystery, and have experience of its power.”

We believe that Christ comes to us by his Spirit as we gather to his table. For many of us other things have been mountain peaks in our spiritual life, worship, spiritual gifts, the Bible, prayer. We treasure the varied ways that God meets with us. Now, Spurgeon invites us to look to a higher peak:

“The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper sets forth a way which surpasses’ all other means to meeting with God.” This was because it was a, ‘receiving of Christ into our souls.’

Stop and let the paint dry on that for a moment.

Here in bread and wine:

“We believe that Jesus Christ spiritually comes to us and refreshes us.”

Whatever our stories, backgrounds, preferences, styles, the table offers the basis of our unity:

“I have had my Master’s presence there though, perhaps, scarcely two of us belong to any one church or denomination. Here in the common reception of one loaf, we bear witness that we are one… all differences pass away, and “we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members of one another.”

Our Senior Team, Trustees and Staff have decisions to make about how we’ll practically incoprorate this into our Sunday Gatherings over the coming weeks. Our April 2016 preaching series will aim to persuade you and build your expectation that what’s happening as we receive bread and wine is not mere remembrance of Christ but receiving him by his Spirit.

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