How do each of these three examples demonstrate the importance of preventing those who are openly living in sin from participating at the Lord's Supper?
The duties of the two elders who stand with, and assist the minister during the administration of the Lord's Supper are:
1. To prevent those living in public sin in either word or action from participating -Their participation would profane the Lord's Holy Supper and bring His judgment upon the congregation for its permissiveness.
The elders are to judge outward matters but not inward ones. The inward self-examination of heart (the divine right discussed next) is a matter between God and each person. The elders (or anyone else, for that matter) may never forbid a person with a church right from attending, even if they do not believe the person truly possesses a divine right. The ministers and elders are to clearly explain the marks and fruits of grace necessary for a divine right, but they may never refuse a person's participation at the Lord's table for an inward, personal reason. God alone knows each person's heart. God's judgment of the heart is infallible; man's judgment is not.
2. To assist the minister in serving and the communicants in participating at the Lord's table -The elders are to help ensure that all things are done decently and in an edifying manner during this holy observance.
The two assisting elders are called "table waiters" or "table watchers." The term "table waiters" emphasizes their serving role and "table watchers," their supervising duty.
Not only a church right is required for proper participation at the Lord's table, but a divine right is also needed. The church right refers to external matters in one's confession, talk, and walk; the divine right refers to internal matters of soul experience. Those who are regenerated in heart by God's grace and converted from a heartfelt love of sin to God are true children of God -true believers in Jesus Christ. All such have a divine right to commune at the Lord's table.
The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.