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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 97. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord's Supper?
A. It is required of them who would worthily partake of the Lord's Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord's body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience, lest coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.

1. Are the ignorant to be admitted to the Lord's Supper? No: for they discern not the Lord's body, 1 Cor. 11:29. Are those to be admitted to it who are openly profane? No: for what concord hath Christ with Belial? 2 Cor. 6:15. But must all visible adult believers be admitted to it? Yes: All the congregation of Israel shall keep the passover, Exod. 12:47.

2. Must those who come to the Lord's Supper prepare for it? Yes: We must prepare our heart to seek God, the Lord God of our fathers, 2 Chron. 13:18. Must we put away every sin? Yes: Purge out the old leaven, 1 Cor. 5:7. And must we cleanse ourselves from all pollutions? Yes: I will wash my hands in innocency, so I will compass thine altar, O Lord, Ps. 26:6. Must we sequester ourselves from the world? Yes: Tarry ye here, while I go yonder and worship, Gen. 22:5. And must we apply ourselves seriously to this service? Yes: We must engage the heart to approach unto God, Jer. 30:21.

3. When we come to this ordinance must we examine ourselves? Yes: Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, 1 Cor. 11:28. Must we examine our spiritual state? Yes: Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith, 2 Cor. 13:5. Must we examine our particular ways? Yes: Let us search and try our ways, Lam. 3:40. Must we renew our repentance for sin: Yes: for if we would judge ourselves, we shouldl not be judged, 1 Cor. 11:31. And our faith in Christ crucified? Yes: Who loved me and gave himself for me, Gal. 2:20. Must we steadfastly purpose to lead a new life? Yes: I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments, Ps. 119:106. And must we be in charity with all men? Yes: First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift, Matt. 5:24. And must we stir up desires towards Christ? Yes: Let him that is athirst come, Rev. 22:17.

4. Must we receive this sacrament with great reverence? Yes: In thy fear will I worship towards thy holy temple, Ps. 5:7. And with fixedness of thought? Yes: Bind the sacrifice with cords unto the horns of the altar, Ps. 118:27. Must we receive it with godly sorrow for sin? Yes: they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and mourn, Zech. 12:10. And with holy joy in the Lord? Yes: they did eat their meat with gladness, praising God, Acts 2:46,47. Must we receive it with an affectionate remembrance of the love of Christ? Yes: We will remember thy love more than wine, Cant. 1:4. And with all earnest desire of mercy from God? Yes: I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord, Ps. 116:13.

5. Must those who have received this sacrament be very watchful against all sin? Yes: He will speak peace to his people, and to his saints, but let them not turn again to folly, Ps. 85:8. Must they abound in all duty? Yes: I will pay my vows unto the Lord, Ps. 116:14. And must they ever preserve a sense of their engagements? Yes: Thy vows are upon me, O God, Ps. 56:12.

6. Do those who wilfully resolve to continue in sin receive unworthily? Yes: For what hast thou to do to take my covenant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, Ps. 50:16,17, And do those receive unworthily who have no regard to Christ in what they do? Yes: for they say the table of the Lord is contemptible, Mal. 1:7. Are they that do so guilty of a great sin? Yes: they are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, 1 Cor. 11:27. And are they in great danger? Yes: for they eat aud drink judgment to themselves, 1 Cor. 11:29. But shall weak believers, who bewail their unworthiness, be encouraged? Yes: for he will not break the bruised reed, Matt. 12:20.

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