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10. Communion

10.1 What is Communion, exactly?
It is a sacrament that gives us the true body and blood of Jesus Christ. His body and blood are joined with the bread and wine for us Christians to eat and drink. Don't worry; this is not cannibalism. It is a special, spiritual meal where the table is set by the Lord Jesus Himself with heavenly food. He instituted it on the night before He died, commanding His followers to continue practicing it. As the apostle Paul writes,

10.2 What is happening in Communion?
By the power of Christ's Word, in Communion, the formerly separated are joined together in union:

10.3 When and, perhaps, more importantly, how does this happen?
In the celebration of Communion (we don't know exactly when), the Lord miraculously unites His body with the bread and His blood with the wine. This "consecrated" bread and wine become a means by which God transports His forgiveness won on the cross to His people.

10.4 How can I really believe this is actually happening?
Jesus is at the same time the Giver of the supper, and the Gift Himself in the bread and the wine. Christ's body and blood that flowed from the cross are really and truly present in the sacrament. It is not humanly comprehensible to grasp how this precisely is possible, but by Holy Spirit-given faith we believe in the truth of Jesus' Words "This is My body, this is My blood."

10.5 So, are the bread and wine literally changed into the body and blood of Christ?
No, the Bible clearly states the bread and wine are still present during the sacramental meal.

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10.6 Who should take Communion?
People who desire to be reassured of God's forgiveness and presence should hunger and thirst for the sacrament that most closely ties us to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, which won our forgiveness.

Those who desire Communion carefully examine their hearts and repent of their sins in thought, word and deed. They believe the Good News of Jesus' victory over death, and that they are receiving the very body and blood of Christ.

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10.7 Am I correct to think that maybe not everyone should take Communion?
Think of Communion like a powerful medicine Jesus Christ has prescribed for us. As long as it is taken in the way He instructs it will bring tremendous healing and benefit to our spirit, soul, mind and body. But if we misuse it, we will suffer harm.

See 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 above.
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10.8 So when is person ready to go to Communion?
People are ready when

1. they believe in Jesus Christ as true God and Savior and are willing to repent of their sins;

2. they are willing to forgive those who sin against them;

3. they believe that Jesus' body and blood is truly present;

4. they can examine themselves. + / -

10.9 What if I am struggling with something the church calls a sin, but I am not sure I agree?
It would be wise to discuss your thoughts on the matter, and seek further clarification from the Bible.

Any time a pastor or church community glosses over a sin, or looks the other way and gives Communion, the impression is being given that God is "okay" with the behavior, even if it destroys faith and leads to unrepentance.

Even worse, this license to sin can spread, causing other people to think lightly of committing this sin as well. + / -

10.10 What is the best way to examine myself before taking Communion?
Be honest with yourself and with God by asking questions like these:

10.11 What is the main thing to remember about Communion in all of this?
All this talk of Communion shows it is very powerful stuff! Jesus meant for it to be a powerful blessing in your life. The chief blessing above all is that Christ is coming to you to be united with you and bestowing the greatest gift of all—the forgiveness of sin! With that forgiveness, you know you have life now and life forever with God. It is a tiny foretaste of all the blessings God wants to give to you!