We will have communion this Sunday (Sep 6) at 10:30am. The importance of communion can be understood by reading this article. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
It is interesting to observe in Exodus 19, that before God came down upon Mount Sinai, the LORD said unto Moses, “Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.”
The word sanctify, in a general sense, means to cleanse, to purify, or to make holy. The way it is used in Exodus 19, sanctify means to purify and to prepare for divine service and to partake in holy things. For the Christian, there is no service more divine or more holy than observing the Lord’s Supper, which Christians call “Communion”.
Just like the Israelites in Exodus 19 had three days to sanctify themselves before the Lord, we have three days, starting today, to sanctify ourselves before communion this Sunday, and to examine ourselves like Paul said. You may have unconfessed sin in your life. Your love for Christ might have waxed cold. Maybe your are not studying your Bible daily. Maybe you are not being fully obedient to the commandments of Christ. Maybe your conscience is accusing you of a commandment your are neglecting or breaking. Whatever it may be, let us sanctify ourselves for the Lord’s Supper this Sunday.
In Exodus 19, God told Moses to sanctify the people, and be ready against the third day. God was calling them off from their worldly business, and calling them into religious exercises, meditation, and prayer, that they may receive the law from God’s mouth with reverence and devotion. When we are to attend upon God in solemn ordinances, it concerns us to sanctify ourselves, and to get ready before hand. Wandering thoughts must be gathered in, impure affections abandoned, disquieting passions suppressed, and inordinate cares for worldly business dismissed and laid aside, that our hearts may be engaged to approach God for communion. It is interesting to note that God called Israel to even wash their clothes. Not that God regards our clothes. But while Israel was washing their clothes, they would think of washing their souls by repentance from their sins. Israel was to appear in clean clothes and with clean hearts before God, who sees our hearts as plainly as men see our clothes.
So let us sanctify our hearts these next three days. A good way to begin is to have a quiet time and to read your Bible. John 17:7 says “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:19 says: “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” Truth is found in the Bible. So we have to read our Bible. And it is in the Bible that we come to understand how we are truly sanctified. “For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” – Hebrews 13:11-12
I’m going to end with this verse:
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:23