Proclaiming the Lord's Death
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
1 Corinthians 11:23-30
Some of the most important moments in life are marked by symbolic events. Some of the most significant things we do are symbolic acts. For example, when a couple is married they exchange rings with one another. Those rings symbolize their commitment and their vows of love and devotion.
We salute the flag or we put our hand over our heart when we pledge allegiance to the flag - that is another symbolic act.
When we graduate from an institution of learning we go through a ceremony called a commencement. We walk across the stage and we receive a piece of paper, then the tassel of the cap is moved from one side of the cap to the other. That is a symbolic act declaring a completed course of action.
In the Christian faith there are two symbolic acts that are significant for the life of the church. Both of them are commanded by Jesus, Himself. One is baptism. Jesus said, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19). This is the first thing that you are commanded to do when you become a Christian. And this is a command that must be obeyed. How can you expect God to give you more truth until you have obeyed the truth that you understand. So first of all, you believe, and then you are baptized. This is a symbolic event in which an individual professes his personal faith in Jesus Christ.
The other symbolic act is the Lord's Supper. Sometimes called Communion. In these symbolic acts, the significance and the meaning is important for those who understand and believe. But for those who do not understand this symbol may be confusing and even seem to be foolish.
Now those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our personal Savior observe this symbolic meal with a great deal of emotion and meaning. One of the characteristics of Baptists is that we do not practice a great deal of for ...
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