The Lord’s Supper is when Christians are given the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. Jesus instituting the Lord’s Supper is recorded in Scripture in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and 1st Corinthians 11.
Christians benefit from this eating and drinking because of the words spoken by Jesus when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. These words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given to us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
At Zion Lutheran Church, we practice closed communion, meaning those who wish to be given the Lord’s Supper need to be members in good standing of our congregation, another congregation in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) or a church we have altar and pulpit fellowship with. This is because when we come to the altar to be given the Lord’s Supper, while God is giving us forgiveness of sins and strengthening of faith through this meal, what we as human beings are doing is publicly confessing our agreement with those at the altar regarding who God is and what His Word proclaims.
This policy is not done out of arrogance, as we know there are countless Christians who are not members of the LCMS. It is also not done from hatred for those who we may disagree with, but is in truth done out of love. Scripture gives warnings for those who eat and drink of the Lord’s Supper wrongly as they eat and drink judgment upon themselves, as 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 says “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”