Before You Now

Many unbelievers have dismissed this Table before us as a great superstition. Two thousand years after Jesus lived and died, here we are gathering to eat His flesh and drink His blood. What kind of sense does that make?

The first thing to note about this charge is the truth of Chesterton’s observation—a man who refuses to believe in something does not believe in nothing, but rather he eventually come to believe in anything. The cavalier dismissal of this Table as the center of the world has not banished superstitions; rather, it has opened the door wide open to them.

Unbelievers instinctively know that we are saved by what we eat. That is quite true. But we have to eat the body of Christ, drinking His blood, and we have to do this by true faith in the Word that is declared over it. If you refuse to partake of this, then there may be a brief period of food atheism, or perhaps food agnosticism. But when that brief period is over, the superstitions will come flooding in, and people start trying to align themselves to some arbitrary standard of righteousness by what they put in their mouths. It is inescapable—you will either put salvation in your mouth through evangelical faith, and it will come in the form of bread and wine, or you will try to justify yourself by some other form of salvation food, some other kind of false gospel food.

If you eat and drink grace, then it will go down the way grace always does, smoothly, and you will be doing it with deep gratitude. If you eat and drink works—and this is the only alternative to grace—you will be trying to choke down sawdust cakes, molded and shaped by carpenter’s glue. So come, here, now, in true faith. The Table is set before you. God’s grace is before you.

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