Dear Beloved in Christ,
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
These words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew are among the most precious in the ears of the believer who often struggles with doubts. They remind us that it is only in Jesus, our gracious and compassionate Savior, that our doubts and fears can be relieved. Perhaps reading these words again as you prepare for coming to the Lord’s Table will remind you of His great love for you and His desire for you to find rest for your soul in Him. During this year, we will continue to use brief thoughts from an excellent book entitled, Remember Him, by J.W. Alexander, as the focus of our preparation for the Lord’s Table. Originally written for young communicants it provides sound advice on this sacrament. The following is taken from the small section entitled May Doubting Souls Come?:
“The profession which you make here is of faith in Christ and not of assurance of hope. That distinction is important. If, therefore, you feel your sins and long to be delivered from them; if you attempt and pray to be enabled to come in faith; if you cast yourself on the righteousness of Christ, you need not dread the judgments threatened in Scripture. Hence it would be wrong to defer your profession of faith until you receive the grace of assurance. This is well and soundly expressed by the Westminster Assembly of Divines: ‘One who doubteth of his being in Christ, of his due preparation to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, may have true interest in Christ, though he be not yet assured thereof; and in God’s account hath it, if he be duly affected with the apprehension of the want of it, and unfeignedly desires to be found in Christ, and to depart from iniquity: in which case (because promises are made, and this sacrament is appointed, for the relief even of weak and doubting Christians) he is to bewail his unbelief, and labor to have his doubts resolved; and, so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord’s Supper, that he may be further strengthened’ (Larger Catechism, Answer to question 172).” (p.7)
Meditate upon these helpful truths as you examine yourself, as the Scriptures require, and prepare to come and feast at the Table of our Risen King and Savior, Jesus Christ! And then come, casting all your doubts upon Him Who suffered and died for you, in order that your sins may be forgiven through His blood shed for you.
Rejoicing in the One died to set us free,
February 28, 2018