This meal is offered to you as a means of grace. It is one of God’s great instruments for building your faith, for encouraging you in your walk, for establishing your assurance. Ah, there’s the problem, some of you might be saying . . . assurance. If only I had it.
You think you need assurance to come to the Table, when actually you need to come to the Table for assurance. We do not come to this Supper because we have achieved something, but rather to receive something.
But should you not have assurance? Of course you should. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). This is why God offers to give it to you . . . by various means. The gospel preached, the gospel enacted, as here, the gospel embodied in the fellowship of the saints – these are all ways that God gives you assurance.
But, you might argue, if you were a true Christian, you could never entertain any doubts on the subject, right? Wrong. Think for a moment. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, two out of the three temptations were assaults on His identity. If You are the Son of God . . .
Try your form of argument on Him. If He were truly the Messiah, then He could never be tempted to doubt it, right? Now mark me well – I do not say that Jesus doubted who He was. I say that He was tempted to doubt it, and I also say that no servant is greater than his master. If Jesus could not walk through this world without this kind of assault, why on earth would we be immune from it?
The shield of faith extinguishes the flaming darts of the evil one, Paul tells us, and the nature of the shield tells us what the darts must be. Those darts are doubts, and what else is new? Come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.