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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 96. What is the Lord's Supper?
A. The Lord's Supper is a sacrament, wherein by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ's appointment, his death is showed forth, and the worthy receivers are not, after a corporeal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.

1. Was the Lord's Supper instituted by Christ himself? Yes: I received of the Lord that which I delivered unto you, 1 Cor. 11:23. Did he leave it as a legacy to his church? Yes: it was in the night wherein he was betrayed, 1 Cor. 11:23. Did he intend it should continue? Yes: till he come, verse 26.

2. Is bread to be used in this sacrament? Yes: for he took bread, Matt 26:26. And does that signify it to be a strengthening ordinance? Yes: for bread strengthens man's heart, Ps. 104:15. Is the cup to be used in this sacrament? Yes: He took the cup when he had supped, 1 Cor. 11:25. Does that signify it to be a refreshing ordinance? Yes: for wine makes glad the heart Ps. 104:15. Must these be given and received? Yes: Jesus took bread, and gave to them,--- took the cup, and gave it to them, Mark 14:22,23. Are the people to partake of the cup? Yes: Drink ye all of it, Matt. 26:27. Is the ordinance doubled? Yes: because the thing is established, Gen. 41:32.

3. Does the bread signify the body of Christ? Yes: This is my body which is broken for you, 1 Cor. 11:21. Does the wine signify the blood of Christ? Yes: This cup is the New Testament in my blood, Luke 22: 20. Are they turned into the very body and blood of Christ? No: for it is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing, John 6:63. But is the doctrine of Christ crucified meat and drink to a believing soul? Yes: My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed, John 6:55. And are we to feed upon that doctrine? Yes: He that eateth me, even he shall live by me, John 6:57.

4. Is the Lord's Supper a commemorating ordinance? Yes: Do this in remembrance of me, Luke 22:19. Is it a confessing ordinance? Yes: Ye do show the Lord's death, 1 Cor. 11:26. Is it a communicating ordinance? Yes: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break,, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Cor. 5:16. Is it a covenanting ordinance? Yes: for it is the New 'Testament, 1 Cor. 6: 25. Is it a confirming ordinance? Yes: for Christ in it is evidently set forth, Gal. 3:9. Is it an ordinance of communion with all Christians? Yes: for we have been all made to drink into one Spirit, 1 Cor. 12:13.

5. Is the pardon of sin sealed to believers in this sacrament? Yes: it is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins, Matt. 26:28. Is the gift of the Holy Ghost sealed to them? Yes: Receive ye the Holy Ghost, John 20:22. Is the promise of eternal life sealed to them? Yes: That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, Luke 22:30. Matt. 26:29. Do we, by receiving this sacrament, bind ourselves out from all sin? Yes: for we reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, Rom. 6:11. And do we bind ourselves up to all duty? Yes; for being made free from sin, we become the servants of righteousness, Rom. 6:18.

6. Is the Lord's Supper a spiritual feast? Yes: a feast of fat things, of wines on the lees, Isa. 26:6. Is it a marriage-feast? Yes: A certain king made a marriage for his son, Matt. 26:2. Is it a feast upon a sacrifice? Yes: Christ is sacrificed for us, let us keep the feast, 1 Cor. 5:7,8. Is it a feast upon a covenant? Yes: As Isaac made a feast for Abimelech when they swore one to another, Gen. 26:30,31. Are all good Christians invited to this feast? Yes: Come, for all things are now ready, Luke 14:17. Are they often to partake of it? Yes: As often as ye eat this bread, 1 Cor. 11:26.

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