Why the Lord’s Supper? (Calvin)

 One of my favorite essays on the Lord’s Supper is John Calvin’s work called “Short Treatise on the Supper of Our Lord, in Which is Shown Its True Institution, Benefit, and Utility.”  This essay is clear, it’s based on Scripture’s truths and principles, it points us to Jesus, and it gives a great summary of the meaning and benefit of Communion.  If you haven’t read it, I very highly recommend it!  Here’s an excerpt I had highlighted some time ago and ran across this morning (I’ve edited it slightly for readability):

Our Lord, therefore, instituted the Supper:

First, in order to sign and seal in our consciences the promises contained in his gospel concerning our being made partakers of his body and blood, and to give us certainty and assurance that therein lies our true spiritual nourishment, and that having such an earnest [pledge], we may entertain a right reliance on salvation.

Secondly, in order to exercise us in recognizing his great goodness toward us, and thus lead us to laud and magnify him more fully.

Thirdly, in order to exhort us to all holiness and innocence, inasmuch as we are members of Jesus Christ; and especially to exhort us to union and brotherly charity, as we are expressly commanded.

When we shall have well-considered these three reasons, to which the Lord had respect in ordaining his Supper, we shall be able to understand, both what benefit accrues to us from it, and what is our duty in order to use it properly.

Calvin, John, and Henry Beveridge. Tracts Relating to the Reformation. Vol. 2. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1849. p. 167.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015