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Page 482

What is meant by the termsChurch Militant and Church Triumphant?





To properly partake of the Lord's Supper, one needs both a church and divine right. As a young person, you may not yet be of age to make public confession of faith, but if you were of age, would you possess a divine right to attend? Do you know something of experiential misery, deliverance, and thankfulness, or are you a stranger of this in your life? The Word of God not only includes or excludes you from the Lord's communion table in the Church Militant on earth, but also from the Lord's communion table in the Church Triumphant in heaven. The personal question of your being included or excluded by the marks of Scripture is one of eternal consequence.

Children and young people, prior to making public confession of faith, are generally not granted a church right to participate in the Lord's Supper (even when they believe that they may possess a divine right) for the reasons specified in the following chart. In special circumstances a consistory can grant an exception to allow earlier participation at the communion table or in making public confession of faith. These rulings would remain exceptions, however, and not become general practice, for the following reasons:

CHILDREN MAY NOT PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER BECAUSE:
Reason: Scriptural Reference:

1. Children lack the mature discretion required in God's clear command for serious, personal selfexamination prior to partaking of the Lord's Supper

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

-I Corinthians 11:28

2. Children are not mature and responsible enough to understand God's powerful warning to all who partake of the Lord's Supper unworthily.

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

-I Corinthians 11:27,29

3. Young children lack the necessary maturity to properly discern the Lord's body as being spiritually present at the Lord's table and symbolized by the bread and wine; to do this in remembrance of Christ.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

.-I Corinthians 11:29-30

This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.

-I Corinthians 11:25b

4. Children are never included in the scriptural observation of the Lord's Supper; participation did not take place by families or households; but only individually

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

-I Corinthians 11:28


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