Confession of Faith (1902) - Article 5
V. Concerning the Lord's Supper.
¶52. We believe, that this is a holy, visible, evangelical practice and ordinance (institution) of Christ. Bread and wine are used. The bread is broken, and distributed as also is the wine, and is partaken of by such as believe and have been baptized according to the ordinance of Christ, and that have examined and judged themselves. This holy ordinance is to be practiced faithfully and in simplicity in accordance with the example set by our Lord as found in the Gospels and in the teachings of Paul: For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as Often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come. -- But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.
¶53. In this holy supper we are brought to see that Christ's holy body was sacrificed on the cross and His precious blood shed for the remission of our sin, and that He now being glorified in His heavenly state, is life-giving bread, meat and drink for our souls, and unites Himself with all true believing souls for spiritual communion according to His Word: Behold I stand at the door and knock:if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me. Galatians 3:1; Ephesians 1:7; Mark 16:19; Ephesians 2:6; Philippians 3:21; John 6:51, 53-58, 63; Revelation 3:20.
¶54. Only the gracious enlightenment and fellowship of the Holy Spirit can enable the believer to rightfully examine himself, and prepare him to partake of this holy supper in a worthy manner and teach the hidden meaning of the same, so that in partaking of the Lord's supper they may be fed with the body and blood of Christ, thus to partake of all His sufferings and His merits and be greatly comforted in the strong covenant of grace with God, their heavenly Father. John 6:63; 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10; Romans 3:24; Isaiah 53:4, 5, 10; 1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 40:1-2; 54:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:24.
¶55. Thus this sacrament becomes for the believing church a supper of praise and thanksgiving, in which it rejoices over the blessed promises of the holy supper with their divine Redeemer and all His saints in the Kingdom. It becomes a supper strengthening the believer for ready service and true following of Christ in patiently bearing His cross and for growth in true love in all things into Him, which is the head, even Christ, for the building up and betterment of His temple, the Church. All this is carried out as a joyous thank-offering through Jesus Christ for all gifts of divine grace and well doing to the glory of God the Father. Luke 13:29; 22:16, 18; Revelation 19:7, 9; Mark 14:26; Acts 2:46-47; Matthew 16:24; John 12:26; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 4:15-16; 1 Peter 2:5; Psalms 116:12-14; 50:23; Philippians 1:11; 1 John 4:19; cf. II. Sanctification and Means etc.
¶56. This supper of holy communion of the believers with Christ, their head, is at the same time the expression of holy communion of the believers among themselves and it binds them together in love, peace, and unity according to the words of the Scriptures: The cup of the blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ? For we, being many, are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:15; of paragraph 43, "Church Discipline".
Concerning the washing of the feet by the Lord and among the believers.
¶57. We believe, confess, and practice this in the church according to the example and command of our Savior, as we read: Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end .... He rose from the supper and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded So after He had washed their feet He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John ch. 13; 1 Timothy 5:10.
Confession of Faith of the Mennonite Brethren Church of North America. American ed. Hillsboro, KS : Mennonite Brethren Pub. House, 1917.
Loewen, Howard John. One Lord, One Church, One Hope, and One God : Mennonite Confessions of Faith. Elkhart, IN. : Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1985.
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