Preparing Your KiDS For The Lord's Table
There are two sacraments (signs) that Christ gave to His church. The first sign is baptism and the second is communion at the Lord’s Table. Baptism is the sign that you are God’s child. The Lord’s table is the sign that united to Christ by grace & faith – the guilt of your sin is gone!
We baptize our children because from the beginning, God has always given His sign of covenant love and grace to the children of believers. In the New Testament, this covenant sign is baptism.
Our children must be taught to understand the gospel and profess their faith (in a child-like way) before coming to commune at the Lord’s table. This is because 1 Corinthians 11 teaches that celebrating the Lord’s Table properly involves reflecting on our sin and our need for God’s grace so that we can eat and drink, being mindful and thankful for His grace. Very small children cannot do this and must be instructed so that they can join with us and do this.
If you would like support explaining any of these gospel doctrines to your children in a child-like way, contact our elders and they will be happy to serve you and support your family in that way.
When you believe that your child understands the basics of the gospel, is ready to profess their faith in a child-like way, and is ready to receive communion, please contact our pastor or one of our elders and they will meet with you and your child. They will ask the child these questions, help them understand things that they may have difficulty understanding & welcome them to come to the Lord’s table on Sundays to share in communion with your family.
A child must understand that they have been saved by God’s grace. The whole human race is born into a condition the Bible calls, sin. We needed a saviour and God has provided salvation in Jesus Christ who, through His perfect life, atoning death and divine resurrection has paid the price for our sin. Christians are those who have placed their faith in Christ alone for their salvation and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whose death and resurrection gives us new life. A Christian is one who has heard this gospel, believed it and has responded to God’s saving grace by placing their faith in Christ. Romans 3:20-23, John 3:16
Adam was created in God’s image and was sinless. Instead of using his free will to obey God and enjoy life forever with God, Adam and Eve both used their will to sin against God. They chose to define good apart from God, fulfill themselves apart from God and in doing so, chose to be their own gods. This original sin is what separated all of mankind from God, bringing in inevitable death. Sin is living life refusing to live in worship to the One True, Living God as revealed to us in the Bible and in doing so, repeating the original sin of being our own gods. Sin manifests in many ways, resulting in a habitual life of thinking, speaking and living in ways that are in contradiction to the wise guidance of His word. Everyone since Adam & Eve are now born into this condition of sin and in need of God’s grace through Jesus Christ, the saviour. Genesis 3:6
God’s love and grace is shown in Scripture, right from the moment our first parents sinned in Eden. Instead of destroying mankind, God desired to redeem us. God required a life of perfect love and obedience to Him from us because He’s holy and so God promised to provide everything He requires for us because He is gracious. This first promise of the gospel is in Genesis 3:15. God accomplished this in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who He sent to pay the price for our sin. Jesus is God. Therefore, in an act of self emptying, self giving love, God provided a way for us, His beloved creation, to be re-united with Him by coming and taking the judgement that we deserve.
God’s law, in summary, is to love Him and love others – perfectly. We cannot fulfill God’s wise and loving law. Jesus, being God, offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sin because He was sinless. He was both fully God and fully man and that is why He could be an acceptable sacrifice for our sin. At the cross, God’s wrath and judgement was poured out on Himself – instead of on us. Because Jesus fully paid the price for our sin, we will not know God’s wrath. Instead, we will know God’s mercy. At the cross, perfect justice for sin and perfect mercy for us are shown. Galatians 3:10-14, John 3:16
Not only is the cross a symbol of the love, sacrifice and forgiveness of our King – it is also a powerful picture of what it means for us, as children of the King, to live life according to His Kingdom. It is “cross shaped.” It is a life of love and service. It is a life of self emptying, others facing care. It is a life of laying power down to serve others, not trying to gain power to serve ourselves.
When Jesus rose from the dead 3 days after He was crucified, it signified that God the Father accepted the sacrifice of God the Son for our sin. Jesus resurrection means that our sins have been forgiven and the price has been paid. Just as Christ rose from death, one day all those who trust in Christ will also rise from death. When Christ returns, He will judge the living and the dead. The physical resurrection of Jesus teaches us that in the end, all those who trust in Christ will also be raised from death, and restored bodily.
The book of Revelation teaches that in the end, the physical world will be restored and our bodies will be glorified. The new heavens and the new earth is the restoration of what God intended in the beginning. In Genesis, Eden was God’s temple – a powerful image of heaven and earth meeting in beauty. God’s intention was that humanity would flourish throughout the earth, reflecting His nature. In the end, God’s intention will be restored. In the meantime, united to Christ, we Christians are full of God’s Spirit as His “mobile temples”, enjoying Him and glorifying Him in all we do until Christ returns to restore all things and raises us from death to enjoy it!
For Christians, the end is not darkness and death but life with God. I Corinthians 15:42-49
Jesus gave the church two signs that they are Christians are saved by grace. Another word for these signs, often used in church is “sacraments.”
Baptism is the 1st sign. Adults who place their faith in Christ alone for salvation get baptized as a sign that just as water washes water from the body, Christ’s blood has washed away our sin.
Baptism has taken different forms in the church around the world.
Some baptize by immersion in water. In going under the water and come up from the water, this is a faithful practice and sign that identifies with Christ’s death & resurrection. (Acts 8:38)
Some baptize by sprinkling with water. This is a faithful practice and sign of God’s saving grace because it is a reminder of the blood that the priests in the Old Testament sprinkled on the Mercy seat and how Christ, as the great high priest, greater temple and ultimate sacrificial lamb, sprinkled His blood for the salvation of the nations. (Isaiah 52)
Some Baptize by pouring water. This is a faithful practice and sign of God’s saving grace because Jesus said that His blood would be poured out for us. (Matthew 26, Luke 22)
We baptize the children of Christian parents as a sign that God’s gift of saving grace is being offered to that child. God has always commanded His people to give His covenant sign (which means “promise”) to their children in infancy, welcoming them into His family. The old covenant sign of circumcision was given to children since Abraham, and the apostles continued the practice with the new sign of baptism, giving God’s covenant sign to children in baptism, welcoming them into the family of God. (Acts 16:30–34) The Holy Spirit, who is present in the child’s baptism, begins drawing the child to faith along side the teaching of God’s Word in the home and church. Once the baptized children of believers are able to make a profession of faith, we celebrate that the child has received God’s saving grace, extended to them, as children of the promise, in baptism. The children are then welcomed to the Lord’s Table to eat & drink and celebrate God’s goodness toward them in the gospel.
The 1st sign (sacrament) that Christ instituted that signifies that you are a child of God, is your baptism. (Matthew 28:20)
The second sign Christ gave to signify that you are a Christian, saved by grace, is the Lord’s Supper – or communion. (Luke 22:19)
The bread and the cup are reminders that Christ’s body and blood were given for you. Just as bread and wine nourish your body, so Christ nourishes the soul of Christians. When we come to the Lord’s table, we reflect on how Christ is faithful even though we are not faithful.
While we come to the Lord’s Table with humble hearts in acknowledgement of our sin, this is a meal of celebration because in Christ, the guilt of our sin is gone – as far as the East is from the West!
It is important to know that the Lord’s table is not simply an act that jogs our memory. The Holy Spirit who unites us to Christ is present and doing spiritual renewal in our hearts and minds as we participate in the Lord’s table. By eating the ordinary bread and drinking the ordinary cup, we affirm our union with Christ and are strengthened spiritually by the Holy Spirit each time the church gathers. The Lord’s table is not something Christians do in isolation, but corporately and gathered as the church, just as Christ instituted it and the early church practiced it.
Only those whose faith is in Christ alone for salvation and have taken that sign of baptism come to the Lord’s table.
Mark 14:22-25, I Corinthians 11:26
As a children of God’s grace, our desire is to be imitators of the One who saved us in grace. In other words, we want to glorify God by loving Him and loving others, just like Jesus did. (Eph 4:1, 5:1)
Christian obedience is not about earning – it’s about imitation. We don’t obey God in the hopes that our obedience will cause God to accept us, we obey God from thankfulness because Jesus perfect obedience means God already accepts us! (Rom 3:21-26, Gal 3:1-6,5:1)
As followers of Jesus, we want our life to take the same shape as His. A “disciple” is a student whose goal is to imitate the teacher and live our their values. The Christian life then, is a life of love and service, marked by compassion for those in need. As those who call God “father”, we want to bear the family resemblance! The bible calls this family resemblance, “fruit”.
Therefore, the Christian life will increasingly look like love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Gal 5:22)