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Page 479

    What does the "wedding garment" represent in this parable? How does this illustration serve as a warning against sitting at the King's table on earth "not clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness"?

When examining oneself, however, it is to be clearly remembered that the "worthy" participant does not find his worthiness in himself -in his feelings, reformations, or works. In fact, the "worthy" participant knows his own "unworthiness" through the experiential knowledge of his own sin and misery. He is directed by the Holy Spirit to seek his salvation outside of himself in Jesus Christ, who is worthy. The "worthy partaker" in the Lord's Supper is one who sees the "worth" of Him who is pictured by the broken bread and poured wine -the crucified Savior. The focal point of the attendee at the Lord's Supper is to be God's grace, not his own works; Christ's righteousness, not his own doings; the perfection of Christ's merits, not his own achievements; and the perfect gospel in Jesus Christ, not his own obedience. The worthiness of the true partaker is found in his looking for, and trusting in, salvation outside of himself in Jesus Christ. The marks and fruits of faith found in his life are evidences of God's gracious work, not of his own doings. The Form for the Administration of the Lord's Supper describes this very clearly and beautifully as follows:

Described in the Form for the Administration of the Lord's Supper as follows:

But this is not designed (dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord), to deject the contrite hearts of the faithful, as if none might come to the supper of the Lord, but those who are without sin; for we do not come to this supper, to testify thereby that we are perfect and righteous in ourselves; but on the contrary, considering that we seek our life out of ourselves in Jesus Christ, we acknowledge that we lie in the midst of death; therefore, notwithstanding we feel many infirmities and miseries in ourselves, as namely, that we have not perfect faith, and that we do not give ourselves to

serve God with that zeal as we are bound, but have daily to strive with the weakness of our faith, and the evil lusts of our flesh; yet, since we are (by the grace of the Holy Spirit) sorry for these weaknesses, and earnestly desirous to fight against our unbelief, and to live according to all the commandments of God; therefore we rest assured that no sin or infirmity, which still remaineth against our will, in us, can hinder us from being received of God in mercy, and from being made worthy partakers of this heavenly meat and drink.

The same faith and love that looks outside of oneself to Christ, is also worked inside of oneself by the Holy Spirit. Why are both of these truths important when considering one's self-examination?

If a person had to find his "worthiness" to partake of .the Lord's Supper in his own works and reformations, the truly converted would never judge themselves to be "worthy." Why not?

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