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Communion Sermon

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Do this in remembrance of Me...

Tonight we are gathered - a group of believers - a local body of Christ - to reflect on and again remember the incredible sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for each one of us.
Jesus Himself told the disciples with Him the night before to remember… do this in remembrance of me
They were to remember His betrayal, the unjust trial, brutal beating and humiliation, unimaginable suffering, and finally an agonizing death on one of the cruelest instruments of death ever invented
Remember the reason He died - to fulfil the promise of salvation to the world
Remember… remember… remember...
Don’t forget!
We don’t do well in remembering!
How many of you are old enough to remember when you heard about the events of December 7, 1941?
Japan bombed Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning. America had been attacked...
How many remember where you were November 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas?
In my lifetime, there are several dates that
… the day you found out that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas?
On January 28, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff killing all seven astronauts aboard
On September 11, 2001 terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon
I remember signs, banners, and bumper stickers in the days, weeks, and even months later - NEVER FORGET or WE WILL NEVER FORGET

Why Communion?

How many of you remember what you were doing on September 11, 2016?? fifteen years later and the 9/11 date can pass without scarcely thinking about it
I remember because it was a Sunday and I preached
All these events pale in comparison to what transpired in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago...
Christ’s sacrificial death is probably the most important event in all of history!
It is this event which Jesus explicitly instructs His disciples to remember...
Jesus does not tell us to remember His birth… nor His resurrection… but He emphasizes that we remember His suffering and death
If an event from fifteen years ago eludes us on the anniversary, how much more likely would an event from 2,000 years ago never cross our mind??

The Power of the Blood of Christ

If a stranger asked you why you celebrate communion, what would you tell them?
As I thought about this question, I wondered how I would likely answer...
PERHAPS: a way of remembering and reflecting on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ
I wondered if that really is at the heart of Jesus reminder to remember..

In a beautiful passage reminiscent of the Didache, Peter Riedemann in his Rechenschaft of 1541 wrote of the Supper. The loaf is formed from the grinding and mingling of many grains of wheat, and the wine comes into existence only with the crushing of individual grapes. Individuality is given up for unity, symbolizing the fellowship of the disciple with his Lord in the church: “Thus, the meal, or the partaking of the bread and wine of the Lord, is a sign of the community of his body, in that each and every member thereby declareth himself to be of the one mind, heart and spirit of Christ.”

In a beautiful passage reminiscent of the Didache, Peter Riedemann in his Rechenschaft of 1541 wrote of the Supper. The loaf is formed from the grinding and mingling of many grains of wheat, and the wine comes into existence only with the crushing of individual grapes. Individuality is given up for unity, symbolizing the fellowship of the disciple with his Lord in the church: “Thus, the meal, or the partaking of the bread and wine of the Lord, is a sign of the community of his body, in that each and every member thereby declareth himself to be of the one mind, heart and spirit of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10:14–22 ESV
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

The Power of the Blood of Christ

The book of Hebrews - written to a primary Jewish audience - emphasizes the significance of the blood of Christ in our redemption
This is particularly true in chapters 9 & 10 of Hebrews
The Old Testament required the sacrifice of unblemished animals - the blood of all of them was inadequate for their salvation (and ours), but pointed to the coming Savior
Hebrews 9:11–14 ESV
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Hebrews 9:11-14
Jesus was that perfect and unblemished sacrifice that completely fulfilled the requirements of the law
A blood sacrifice was required if there was going to be forgiveness of sins
Hebrews 9:22 ESV
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Heb
Christ’s sacrificial death and shedding of blood was the last time sacrifices were required… His sacrifice was once and for all
Hebrews 10:10–14 ESV
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Hebrews 9:10–15 ESV
but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
Hebrews 10:10–15 ESV
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
Heb 9:
I acknowledge that I still do not fully grasp what all was really accomplished through Jesus death and His blood poured out on our behalf
We have been sanctified… once for all, by this single offering HE has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified
We are quite quick to SAY we appreciate Christ’s shed blood
Does the conduct of our lives SHOW an appreciation for what He did?
Jesus gave His life (He literally died) so that we could have salvation
Dying - the intense and cruel suffering, the excruciating pain and facing death itself - was no easier for Jesus than it is for any of us today
He had every “right” to fight and resist the unjust trial and punishment - and the literal giving up of His life (dying)
He was TOTALLY innocent - He had done absolutely nothing wrong - He was perfectly sinless
The Jews violated their own laws of justice in arresting Jesus and putting Him on “trial”
Why are we so resistant to totally surrendering ourselves to the One who did that, and so much more for us?
We resist surrendering simply because something isn’t fair - and doesn’t even require extreme and unbearable physical pain

The Call to Persevere

Jesus gave His life for us so we can live… what is our response? what should it be?
Romans 12:1–2 KJV
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Surrendering our bodies to God as a living sacrifice is a logical and rational response of heartfelt gratitude
An unwillingness to to do also communicates something about our hearts...
After emphasizing the importance and completeness of Christ’s sacrifice, the Hebrew writer transitions to a practical call per persevere
Hebrews 10:1–18 ESV
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

In a beautiful passage reminiscent of the Didache, Peter Riedemann in his Rechenschaft of 1541 wrote of the Supper. The loaf is formed from the grinding and mingling of many grains of wheat, and the wine comes into existence only with the crushing of individual grapes. Individuality is given up for unity, symbolizing the fellowship of the disciple with his Lord in the church: “Thus, the meal, or the partaking of the bread and wine of the Lord, is a sign of the community of his body, in that each and every member thereby declareth himself to be of the one mind, heart and spirit of Christ.”29

Heb 10:1-
5 Consequently, bwhen Christ1 came into the world, he said,
c“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;

In a beautiful passage reminiscent of the Didache, Peter Riedemann in his Rechenschaft of 1541 wrote of the Supper. The loaf is formed from the grinding and mingling of many grains of wheat, and the wine comes into existence only with the crushing of individual grapes. Individuality is given up for unity, symbolizing the fellowship of the disciple with his Lord in the church: “Thus, the meal, or the partaking of the bread and wine of the Lord, is a sign of the community of his body, in that each and every member thereby declareth himself to be of the one mind, heart and spirit of Christ.”

6  in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7  Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ”
8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in csacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, d“Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will ewe have been sanctified through the offering of fthe body of Jesus Christ gonce for all.
11 And every priest stands hdaily at his service, ioffering repeatedly the same sacrifices, jwhich can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ2 had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he ksat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time luntil his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering mhe has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
16  n“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”
17 then he adds,
Hebrews 10:19–31 ESV
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
o“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Heb 10:19-
18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Persevere - Encouragement & Warning

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 10:1–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
1 Cor 10:14
Our perspective and response to the value of the blood of Christ determines whether we will persevere to the end OR face the terrifying judgement of God
I believe we would all quickly SAY we value the blood of Christ
But, do we really? To what degree?
How frequently do we think about / meditate on / ponder the blood of Christ?
How do we truly view sin - and those things we are reluctant to label as sin?
What about those “little” areas of… [you name it]?
How does the reality of the blood of Christ make an impact on how we live our lives day after day?
How can it make a difference if we aren’t even thinking about it?
How can it make a difference if we willfully keep doing things we know are displeasing to God?

Guilty of Disrespecting Jesus’s Blood?

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (v. 31)… it is terrifying and dreadful… I cannot imagine anything worse!
God is perfectly just
God is perfectly holy
Without the blood of Jesus Christ, each one of us are guilty of sin and deserve eternal punishment (consistent with his justice and holiness)
There are four distinct behaviors / actions warned against in the last part of the passage (v.26-30)
Deliberately (willfully) sinning (v. 26)
Trampling underfoot the Son of God (v. 29)
Profaning the blood of the covenant (v. 29)
Outraging the Spirit of grace (v.29)
The Hebrew writer notes that under the OT law, anyone who rejected the law (based on only 2-3 witnesses) was sentenced to death
How much more does a person deserve punishment (and death) who conducts himself as described - even after knowing that Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for all our sins?
We have the knowledge of the truth
We have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ
How might we be guilty of these sins today?

Deliberately (willfully) sinning

None of us would admit to deliberately sinning
Do we always call sin what it really is
Weaknesses, struggles, personalities, hereditary traits
Weaknesses, struggles, personalities, hereditary traits
Struggles
Sin is any action inconsistent with who God is - states “all wrongdoing is sin”
Personalities
Hereditary traits
Some areas we may be deliberately sinning (and are only known to us) - sins of the heart
Disobedience to what we know is right
Lack of respect for authority God has placed in our lives
Partial truths (which are lies)
Unforgiveness / bitterness
Selfishness or coveteousness or idolatry
Coveteousness

Trampling underfoot the Son of God

Unwilling to fully surrender control of our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ
Ashamed or unwilling to tell others what Christ has done

Profaning the blood of the covenant

Participation in communion with known unconfessed sin
Refusing to confess sin (any day)
Declaring you are saved when there is obvious sin in your life

Outraging the Spirit of grace

Reckless disregard of the promptings of the Holy Spirit
Selective obedience
Abusing the generous grace God has made available to all believers (cheap grace)
Selective obedience
God takes these matters very seriously, and we must allow the Holy Spirit access to scrutinize our lives
To act contrary to the Holy Spirit’s leading, is to invite God’s judgement

Persevere in the Faith

Because of Christ’s shed blood for us, we can approach the presence of Almighty God with confidence and boldness
The Holy of Holies was the inner-most room of the temple in which the very presence of God dwelt
The Holy of Holies was the inner-most room of the temple in which the very presence of God dwelt
The High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies only at specifically designated times
We enter that most holy place… by the blood of Jesus
We enter the very presence of God… by the blood of Jesus
Not with fear and trepidation
We can enter with confidence and boldness… because of the blood of Jesus
We enter by a NEW and LIVING way
Not by the OT covenant and requirements
There is a new way… a living way (Jesus Christ)
We enter through a curtain
A massive curtain separated the holy of holies from the main part of the temple
According to historians, the curtain in Herod’s temple at the time of Jesus’ death was massive
Ninety feet long (tall) - Simon’s silo is eighty feet
Thirty feet wide
Four inches thick
It was so strong that two teams of oxen pulling against each other could not have torn the curtain
Yet, this very curtain, was ripped from top to bottom - the moment Jesus died
This exposed the most sacred part of the temple for everyone to see
The curtain is described in v. 20 as the flesh and body of Jesus Christ

Five Calls to Action to Persevere

Let us draw near with a true heart...

This is an invitation to move near(er) to God
We are allowed - encouraged to go directly into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope

Let’s maintain a consistent confidence in the salvation Jesus brings through His faithful life, death, and resurrection
This is our belief in Jesus… His work so far… and His future work in us and others

Let us consider how to stir up one another

Think of ways we can provoke, stimulate, spur, motivate each other toward love and good works
Always room for improvement… tendency to relax and become stagnant…
We need each other to keep us motivated and focused on the right things

Let us not neglect to meet together

Meeting together is helpful in persevering to the end
Collectively, as small group, 2-3 at at time - there is power in believers gathering
Counter-cultural… counteracts individualistic mindset
This is not a recent challenge

Let us encourage one another

Find ways to speak encouragement into the lives of our brothers and sisters
Not flattery - but encourage/exhort
These five calls to action become more critical as time marches on
more important today than yesterday
more important tomorrow than today
all the more as you see the day approaching - we are 2000 years closer than when this was written
URGENT - no excuse for procrastination
no excuse for procrastination
Let’s cultivate a respectful perspective of the blood of Jesus… this evening we intend to
As we do, we can expect...
We will persevere
We will not apostatize
Jesus knows first hand what we are facing
He died for each and every one of us… is our response proportionate/appropriate to what He did for us
1 Corinthians 10:16–17 ESV
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

In a beautiful passage reminiscent of the Didache, Peter Riedemann in his Rechenschaft of 1541 wrote of the Supper. The loaf is formed from the grinding and mingling of many grains of wheat, and the wine comes into existence only with the crushing of individual grapes. Individuality is given up for unity, symbolizing the fellowship of the disciple with his Lord in the church: “Thus, the meal, or the partaking of the bread and wine of the Lord, is a sign of the community of his body, in that each and every member thereby declareth himself to be of the one mind, heart and spirit of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10:14–22 ESV
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

The Pledge of Love - before breaking bread/drinking cup

Brothers and sisters, if you will to love God before, in, and above all things, in the power of his holy and living Word, serve him alone, honor and adore him and henceforth sanctify his name, subject your carnal and sinful will to his divine will which he has worked in you by his living Word, in life and death, then let each say individually:
I will.
If you will love your neighbor and serve him with deeds of brotherly love, lay down and shed for him your life and blood, be obedient to father, mother, and all authorities according to the will of God, and this in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down and shed his flesh and blood for us, then let each say individually:
I will.
1 Corinthians 10:21 ESV
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
If you will practice fraternal admonition toward your brethren and sisters, make peace and unity among them, and reconcile yourselves with all those whom you have offended, abandon all envy, hate, and evil will toward everyone, willingly cease all action and behavior which causes harm, disadvantage, or offense to your neighbor, [if you will] also love your enemies and do good to them, and exclude according to the Rule of Christ, all those who refuse to do so, then let each say individually:
I will.
If you desire publicly to confirm before the church this pledge of love which you have now made, through the Lord’s Supper of Christ, by eating bread and drinking wine, and to testify to it in the power of the living memorial of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ our Lord, then let each say individually:
1 Corinthians
I desire it in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 10:21–22 ESV
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
So eat and drink with one another in the name of God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. May God himself accord to all of us the power and the strength that we may worthily carry it out and bring it to its saving conclusion according to his divine will. May the Lord impart to us his grace. Amen.[1]
[1] Hubmaier, B. (1989). Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism. (J. H. Yoder & H. W. Pipkin, Eds.) (Vol. 5, pp. 403–404). Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.
1 Cor 10
[1] Hubmaier, B. (1989). Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism. (J. H. Yoder & H. W. Pipkin, Eds.) (Vol. 5, pp. 403–404). Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.

Break Bread

Break Bread

Brothers and sisters, if you will to love God before, in, and above all things, in the power of his holy and living Word, serve him alone, Deut. 5; 6; Exod. 20, honor and adore him and henceforth sanctify his name, subject your carnal [362] and sinful will to his divine will which he has worked in you by his living Word, in life and death, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will love your neighbor and serve him with deeds of brotherly love, Matt. 25; Eph. 6; Col. 3; Rom. 13:1; 1 Pet. 2:13f., lay down and shed for him your life and blood, be obedient to father, mother, and all authorities14 according to the will of God, and this in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down and shed his flesh and blood for us, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will practice fraternal admonition toward your brethren and sisters, Matt. 18:15ff.; Luke 6; Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:10, make peace and unity among them, and reconcile yourselves with all those whom you have offended, abandon all envy, hate, and evil will toward everyone, willingly cease all action and behavior which causes harm, disadvantage, or offense to your neighbor, [if you will] also love your enemies and do good to them, and exclude according to the Rule of Christ, Matt. 18, all those who refuse to do so, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you desire publicly to confirm before the church this pledge of love which you have now made, through the Lord’s Supper of Christ, by eating bread and drinking wine, and to testify to it in the power of the living memorial of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ our Lord, then let each say individually:

I desire it in the power of God.

So eat and drink with one another in the name of God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. May God himself accord to all of us the power and the strength that we may worthily carry it out and bring it to its saving conclusion according to his divine will. May the Lord impart to us his grace. Amen.

9. The bishop takes the bread and with the church lifts his eyes to heaven, praises God and says:

We praise and thank thee, Lord God, Creator of the heavens and earth, for all thy goodness toward us. Especially hast thou so sincerely loved us that thou didst give thy most beloved Son for us unto death so that each one who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life, John 3:16; 1 John 4:9; Rom. 8:32. Be thou honored, praised and magnified now, forever, always and eternally. Amen.

Now the priest takes the bread, breaks it, and offers it to the hands of those present, saying:

The Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was betrayed, took the bread, give thanks, and broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in my memory.” Therefore, take and eat also, dear brothers and sisters, this bread in the memory of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he gave unto death for us.

Now when everyone has been fed, the priest likewise takes the cup with the wine and speaks with lifted eyes:

“God! Praise be to thee!”

and offers it into their hands, saying:

Likewise the Lord Jesus took the vessel after the [363] Supper and spoke: “This cup is a new testament in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” Take therefore also the vessel and all drink from it in the memory of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins.

When they have all drunk, the priest says:

As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes, 1 Cor. 11:26.

Now the church is seated to hear the conclusion.

10. Most dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord. As we now, by thus eating the bread and drinking the drink in memory of the suffering and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins have had fellowship one with another, 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:3; Eph. 1; 4; 5, and have all become one loaf and one body, and our Head is Christ, we should properly become conformed to our Head and as his members follow after him, love one another, do good, give counsel, and be helpful to one another, each offering up his flesh and blood for the other. Under our Head Christ we should all also live, speak, and act honorably and circumspectly, so that we give no offense or provocation to anyone, Matt. 18; Mark 9; Luke 17; 1 Cor. 8; Rom. 14. So that also those who are outside the church might not have reason to blaspheme our head, our faith, and church, and to say: “Does your head Christ teach you such an evil life? Is that your faith? Is that your baptism? Is that your Christian church, Supper, and gospel, that you should lead such an ungodly and shameful life in gluttony, drunkenness, gambling, dancing, usury, gossip, reviling, cursing, blasphemy, pride, avarice, envy, hate and wrath, unchastity, luxury, laziness, and frivolity? Matt. 18:6. Woe, woe to him who gives offense! It would be better for him that a millstone should be hung around his neck and he should be cast into the depth of the sea. Let us rather take upon ourselves a righteous, honorable, and serious life, through which God our Father who is in heaven may be praised.

Since our brotherly love requires that one member of the body be also concerned for the other, therefore we have the earnest behest of Christ, Matt. 18:14ff., that whenever henceforth a brother sees another erring or sinning, that he once and again should fraternally admonish him in brotherly love. Should he not be willing to reform nor to desist from his sin, he shall be reported to the church. The church shall then exhort him a third time. When this also does no good, she shall exclude him from her fellowship. Unless it should be the case that the sin is quite public and scandalous; then he should be admonished also publicly and before all, so that the others may fear, 1 Cor. 5:1; 1 Tim. 5:20; Gal. 2:11.

Whereupon I pray and exhort you once more, most dearly beloved in Christ, [364] that henceforth as table companions of Christ Jesus, Luke 22:15, you henceforth lead a Christian walk before God and before men. Be mindful of your baptismal commitment and of your pledge of lovea which you made to God and the church publicly and certainly not unwittingly when receiving the water and in breaking bread. See to it that you bear fruit worthy of the baptism and the Supper of Christ, that you may in the power of God satisfy your pledge, promise, sacrament, and sworn commitment, Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8.15 God sees it and knows your hearts. May our Lord Jesus Christ, ever and eternally praised, grant us the same. Amen.

Dear brothers and sisters, watch and pray lest you wander away and fall into temptation, Matt. 24:42; 25:13; Luke 16. You know neither the day nor the hour when the Lord is coming and will demand of you an accounting of your life. Therefore watch and pray. I commend you to God. May each of you say to himself, “Praise, praise, praise to the Lord eternally!” Amen.

Arise and go forth in the peace of Christ Jesus. The grace of God be with us all.

Amen.

Brothers and sisters, if you will to love God before, in, and above all things, in the power of his holy and living Word, serve him alone, Deut. 5; 6; Exod. 20, honor and adore him and henceforth sanctify his name, subject your carnal [362] and sinful will to his divine will which he has worked in you by his living Word, in life and death, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will love your neighbor and serve him with deeds of brotherly love, Matt. 25; Eph. 6; Col. 3; Rom. 13:1; 1 Pet. 2:13f., lay down and shed for him your life and blood, be obedient to father, mother, and all authorities14 according to the will of God, and this in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down and shed his flesh and blood for us, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will practice fraternal admonition toward your brethren and sisters, Matt. 18:15ff.; Luke 6; Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:10, make peace and unity among them, and reconcile yourselves with all those whom you have offended, abandon all envy, hate, and evil will toward everyone, willingly cease all action and behavior which causes harm, disadvantage, or offense to your neighbor, [if you will] also love your enemies and do good to them, and exclude according to the Rule of Christ, Matt. 18, all those who refuse to do so, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you desire publicly to confirm before the church this pledge of love which you have now made, through the Lord’s Supper of Christ, by eating bread and drinking wine, and to testify to it in the power of the living memorial of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ our Lord, then let each say individually:

I desire it in the power of God.

So eat and drink with one another in the name of God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. May God himself accord to all of us the power and the strength that we may worthily carry it out and bring it to its saving conclusion according to his divine will. May the Lord impart to us his grace. Amen.

Break Bread

The bishop takes the bread and with the church lifts his eyes to heaven, praises God and says:

We praise and thank thee, Lord God, Creator of the heavens and earth, for all thy goodness toward us. Especially hast thou so sincerely loved us that thou didst give thy most beloved Son for us unto death so that each one who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life, John 3:16; 1 John 4:9; Rom. 8:32. Be thou honored, praised and magnified now, forever, always and eternally. Amen.

Now the priest takes the bread, breaks it, and offers it to the hands of those present, saying:

The Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was betrayed, took the bread, give thanks, and broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in my memory.” Therefore, take and eat also, dear brothers and sisters, this bread in the memory of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he gave unto death for us.

Drink Cup

Now when everyone has been fed, the priest likewise takes the cup with the wine and speaks with lifted eyes:

“God! Praise be to thee!”

and offers it into their hands, saying:

Likewise the Lord Jesus took the vessel after the [363] Supper and spoke: “This cup is a new testament in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” Take therefore also the vessel and all drink from it in the memory of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins.

After partaking / remembering

When they have all drunk, the priest says: As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes...

Now when everyone has been fed, the priest likewise takes the cup with the wine and speaks with lifted eyes:

“God! Praise be to thee!”

and offers it into their hands, saying:

Likewise the Lord Jesus took the vessel after the [363] Supper and spoke: “This cup is a new testament in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” Take therefore also the vessel and all drink from it in the memory of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins.

When they have all drunk, the priest says:
As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes,
As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes,
Hubmaier, B. (1989). Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism. (J. H. Yoder & H. W. Pipkin, Eds.) (Vol. 5, p. 405). Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.
When they have all drunk, the priest says:
As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes,
As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes,
Most dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord. As we now, by thus eating the bread and drinking the drink in memory of the suffering and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins have had fellowship one with another, and have all become one loaf and one body, and our Head is Christ, we should properly become conformed to our Head and as his members follow after him, love one another, do good, give counsel, and be helpful to one another, each offering up his flesh and blood for the other. Under our Head Christ we should all also live, speak, and act honorably and circumspectly, so that we give no offense or provocation to anyone, So that also those who are outside the church might not have reason to blaspheme our head, our faith, and church, and to say: “Does your head Christ teach you such an evil life? Is that your faith? Is that your baptism? Is that your Christian church, Supper, and gospel, that you should lead such an ungodly and shameful life in gluttony, drunkenness, gambling, dancing, usury, gossip, reviling, cursing, blasphemy, pride, avarice, envy, hate and wrath, unchastity, luxury, laziness, and frivolity? Woe, woe to him who gives offense! It would be better for him that a millstone should be hung around his neck and he should be cast into the depth of the sea. Let us rather take upon ourselves a righteous, honorable, and serious life, through which God our Father who is in heaven may be praised.
Since our brotherly love requires that one member of the body be also concerned for the other, therefore we have the earnest behest of Christ, that whenever henceforth a brother sees another erring or sinning, that he once and again should fraternally admonish him in brotherly love. Should he not be willing to reform nor to desist from his sin, he shall be reported to the church. The church shall then exhort him a third time. When this also does no good, she shall exclude him from her fellowship. Unless it should be the case that the sin is quite public and scandalous; then he should be admonished also publicly and before all, so that the others may fear.
Whereupon I pray and exhort you once more, most dearly beloved in Christ, that henceforth as table companions of Christ Jesus, you henceforth lead a Christian walk before God and before men. Be mindful of your baptismal commitment and of your pledge of love [remember and hold] which you made to God and the church publicly and certainly not unwittingly when receiving the water and in breaking bread. See to it that you bear fruit worthy of the baptism and the Supper of Christ, that you may in the power of God satisfy your pledge, promise, sacrament, and pledge of love. God sees it and knows your hearts. May our Lord Jesus Christ, ever and eternally praised, grant us the same. Amen.
Dear brothers and sisters, watch and pray lest you wander away and fall into temptation. You know neither the day nor the hour when the Lord is coming and will demand of you an accounting of your life. Therefore watch and pray. I commend you to God. May each of you say to himself, “Praise, praise, praise to the Lord eternally!” Amen.
Arise and go forth in the peace of Christ Jesus. The grace of God be with us all.
Hubmaier, B. (1989). Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism. (J. H. Yoder & H. W. Pipkin, Eds.) (Vol. 5, p. 405). Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.
Hubmaier, B. (1989). Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism. (J. H. Yoder & H. W. Pipkin, Eds.) (Vol. 5, p. 405). Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.
Amen.[1]
a Remember and hold.
15 The reference to “sworn commitment” (aydspflicht) as synonym for the pledge of love is not a basis to know whether Hubmaier differed from other Anabaptists about the civil oath as he did about government. He seems to have used the word “oath” only in this figurative sense to describe baptism or the Supper.
[1] Hubmaier, B. (1989). Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism. (J. H. Yoder & H. W. Pipkin, Eds.) (Vol. 5, pp. 405–406). Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press.

10. Most dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord. As we now, by thus eating the bread and drinking the drink in memory of the suffering and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins have had fellowship one with another, 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:3; Eph. 1; 4; 5, and have all become one loaf and one body, and our Head is Christ, we should properly become conformed to our Head and as his members follow after him, love one another, do good, give counsel, and be helpful to one another, each offering up his flesh and blood for the other. Under our Head Christ we should all also live, speak, and act honorably and circumspectly, so that we give no offense or provocation to anyone, Matt. 18; Mark 9; Luke 17; 1 Cor. 8; Rom. 14. So that also those who are outside the church might not have reason to blaspheme our head, our faith, and church, and to say: “Does your head Christ teach you such an evil life? Is that your faith? Is that your baptism? Is that your Christian church, Supper, and gospel, that you should lead such an ungodly and shameful life in gluttony, drunkenness, gambling, dancing, usury, gossip, reviling, cursing, blasphemy, pride, avarice, envy, hate and wrath, unchastity, luxury, laziness, and frivolity? Matt. 18:6. Woe, woe to him who gives offense! It would be better for him that a millstone should be hung around his neck and he should be cast into the depth of the sea. Let us rather take upon ourselves a righteous, honorable, and serious life, through which God our Father who is in heaven may be praised.

Since our brotherly love requires that one member of the body be also concerned for the other, therefore we have the earnest behest of Christ, Matt. 18:14ff., that whenever henceforth a brother sees another erring or sinning, that he once and again should fraternally admonish him in brotherly love. Should he not be willing to reform nor to desist from his sin, he shall be reported to the church. The church shall then exhort him a third time. When this also does no good, she shall exclude him from her fellowship. Unless it should be the case that the sin is quite public and scandalous; then he should be admonished also publicly and before all, so that the others may fear, 1 Cor. 5:1; 1 Tim. 5:20; Gal. 2:11.

Whereupon I pray and exhort you once more, most dearly beloved in Christ, [364] that henceforth as table companions of Christ Jesus, Luke 22:15, you henceforth lead a Christian walk before God and before men. Be mindful of your baptismal commitment and of your pledge of lovea which you made to God and the church publicly and certainly not unwittingly when receiving the water and in breaking bread. See to it that you bear fruit worthy of the baptism and the Supper of Christ, that you may in the power of God satisfy your pledge, promise, sacrament, and sworn commitment, Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8.15 God sees it and knows your hearts. May our Lord Jesus Christ, ever and eternally praised, grant us the same. Amen.

Dear brothers and sisters, watch and pray lest you wander away and fall into temptation, Matt. 24:42; 25:13; Luke 16. You know neither the day nor the hour when the Lord is coming and will demand of you an accounting of your life. Therefore watch and pray. I commend you to God. May each of you say to himself, “Praise, praise, praise to the Lord eternally!” Amen.

Arise and go forth in the peace of Christ Jesus. The grace of God be with us all.

Amen.

The Pledge of Loveb

Brothers and sisters, if you will to love God before, in, and above all things, in the power of his holy and living Word, serve him alone, Deut. 5; 6; Exod. 20, honor and adore him and henceforth sanctify his name, subject your carnal [362] and sinful will to his divine will which he has worked in you by his living Word, in life and death, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will love your neighbor and serve him with deeds of brotherly love, Matt. 25; Eph. 6; Col. 3; Rom. 13:1; 1 Pet. 2:13f., lay down and shed for him your life and blood, be obedient to father, mother, and all authorities14 according to the will of God, and this in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down and shed his flesh and blood for us, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will practice fraternal admonition toward your brethren and sisters, Matt. 18:15ff.; Luke 6; Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:10, make peace and unity among them, and reconcile yourselves with all those whom you have offended, abandon all envy, hate, and evil will toward everyone, willingly cease all action and behavior which causes harm, disadvantage, or offense to your neighbor, [if you will] also love your enemies and do good to them, and exclude according to the Rule of Christ, Matt. 18, all those who refuse to do so, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you desire publicly to confirm before the church this pledge of love which you have now made, through the Lord’s Supper of Christ, by eating bread and drinking wine, and to testify to it in the power of the living memorial of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ our Lord, then let each say individually:

I desire it in the power of God.

So eat and drink with one another in the name of God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. May God himself accord to all of us the power and the strength that we may worthily carry it out and bring it to its saving conclusion according to his divine will. May the Lord impart to us his grace. Amen.

9. The bishop takes the bread and with the church lifts his eyes to heaven, praises God and says:

We praise and thank thee, Lord God, Creator of the heavens and earth, for all thy goodness toward us. Especially hast thou so sincerely loved us that thou didst give thy most beloved Son for us unto death so that each one who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life, John 3:16; 1 John 4:9; Rom. 8:32. Be thou honored, praised and magnified now, forever, always and eternally. Amen.

Now the priest takes the bread, breaks it, and offers it to the hands of those present, saying:

The Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was betrayed, took the bread, give thanks, and broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in my memory.” Therefore, take and eat also, dear brothers and sisters, this bread in the memory of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he gave unto death for us.

Now when everyone has been fed, the priest likewise takes the cup with the wine and speaks with lifted eyes:

“God! Praise be to thee!”

and offers it into their hands, saying:

Likewise the Lord Jesus took the vessel after the [363] Supper and spoke: “This cup is a new testament in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” Take therefore also the vessel and all drink from it in the memory of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins.

When they have all drunk, the priest says:

As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes, 1 Cor. 11:26.

Now the church is seated to hear the conclusion.

10. Most dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord. As we now, by thus eating the bread and drinking the drink in memory of the suffering and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins have had fellowship one with another, 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:3; Eph. 1; 4; 5, and have all become one loaf and one body, and our Head is Christ, we should properly become conformed to our Head and as his members follow after him, love one another, do good, give counsel, and be helpful to one another, each offering up his flesh and blood for the other. Under our Head Christ we should all also live, speak, and act honorably and circumspectly, so that we give no offense or provocation to anyone, Matt. 18; Mark 9; Luke 17; 1 Cor. 8; Rom. 14. So that also those who are outside the church might not have reason to blaspheme our head, our faith, and church, and to say: “Does your head Christ teach you such an evil life? Is that your faith? Is that your baptism? Is that your Christian church, Supper, and gospel, that you should lead such an ungodly and shameful life in gluttony, drunkenness, gambling, dancing, usury, gossip, reviling, cursing, blasphemy, pride, avarice, envy, hate and wrath, unchastity, luxury, laziness, and frivolity? Matt. 18:6. Woe, woe to him who gives offense! It would be better for him that a millstone should be hung around his neck and he should be cast into the depth of the sea. Let us rather take upon ourselves a righteous, honorable, and serious life, through which God our Father who is in heaven may be praised.

Since our brotherly love requires that one member of the body be also concerned for the other, therefore we have the earnest behest of Christ, Matt. 18:14ff., that whenever henceforth a brother sees another erring or sinning, that he once and again should fraternally admonish him in brotherly love. Should he not be willing to reform nor to desist from his sin, he shall be reported to the church. The church shall then exhort him a third time. When this also does no good, she shall exclude him from her fellowship. Unless it should be the case that the sin is quite public and scandalous; then he should be admonished also publicly and before all, so that the others may fear, 1 Cor. 5:1; 1 Tim. 5:20; Gal. 2:11.

Whereupon I pray and exhort you once more, most dearly beloved in Christ, [364] that henceforth as table companions of Christ Jesus, Luke 22:15, you henceforth lead a Christian walk before God and before men. Be mindful of your baptismal commitment and of your pledge of lovea which you made to God and the church publicly and certainly not unwittingly when receiving the water and in breaking bread. See to it that you bear fruit worthy of the baptism and the Supper of Christ, that you may in the power of God satisfy your pledge, promise, sacrament, and sworn commitment, Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8.15 God sees it and knows your hearts. May our Lord Jesus Christ, ever and eternally praised, grant us the same. Amen.

Dear brothers and sisters, watch and pray lest you wander away and fall into temptation, Matt. 24:42; 25:13; Luke 16. You know neither the day nor the hour when the Lord is coming and will demand of you an accounting of your life. Therefore watch and pray. I commend you to God. May each of you say to himself, “Praise, praise, praise to the Lord eternally!” Amen.

Arise and go forth in the peace of Christ Jesus. The grace of God be with us all.

Amen.

The Pledge of Loveb

Brothers and sisters, if you will to love God before, in, and above all things, in the power of his holy and living Word, serve him alone, Deut. 5; 6; Exod. 20, honor and adore him and henceforth sanctify his name, subject your carnal [362] and sinful will to his divine will which he has worked in you by his living Word, in life and death, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will love your neighbor and serve him with deeds of brotherly love, Matt. 25; Eph. 6; Col. 3; Rom. 13:1; 1 Pet. 2:13f., lay down and shed for him your life and blood, be obedient to father, mother, and all authorities14 according to the will of God, and this in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down and shed his flesh and blood for us, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you will practice fraternal admonition toward your brethren and sisters, Matt. 18:15ff.; Luke 6; Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:10, make peace and unity among them, and reconcile yourselves with all those whom you have offended, abandon all envy, hate, and evil will toward everyone, willingly cease all action and behavior which causes harm, disadvantage, or offense to your neighbor, [if you will] also love your enemies and do good to them, and exclude according to the Rule of Christ, Matt. 18, all those who refuse to do so, then let each say individually:

I will.

If you desire publicly to confirm before the church this pledge of love which you have now made, through the Lord’s Supper of Christ, by eating bread and drinking wine, and to testify to it in the power of the living memorial of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ our Lord, then let each say individually:

I desire it in the power of God.

So eat and drink with one another in the name of God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. May God himself accord to all of us the power and the strength that we may worthily carry it out and bring it to its saving conclusion according to his divine will. May the Lord impart to us his grace. Amen.

9. The bishop takes the bread and with the church lifts his eyes to heaven, praises God and says:

We praise and thank thee, Lord God, Creator of the heavens and earth, for all thy goodness toward us. Especially hast thou so sincerely loved us that thou didst give thy most beloved Son for us unto death so that each one who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life, John 3:16; 1 John 4:9; Rom. 8:32. Be thou honored, praised and magnified now, forever, always and eternally. Amen.

Now the priest takes the bread, breaks it, and offers it to the hands of those present, saying:

The Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was betrayed, took the bread, give thanks, and broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in my memory.” Therefore, take and eat also, dear brothers and sisters, this bread in the memory of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he gave unto death for us.

Now when everyone has been fed, the priest likewise takes the cup with the wine and speaks with lifted eyes:

“God! Praise be to thee!”

and offers it into their hands, saying:

Likewise the Lord Jesus took the vessel after the [363] Supper and spoke: “This cup is a new testament in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” Take therefore also the vessel and all drink from it in the memory of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins.

When they have all drunk, the priest says:

As often as you eat the bread and drink of the drink, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes, 1 Cor. 11:26.

Now the church is seated to hear the conclusion.

10. Most dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord. As we now, by thus eating the bread and drinking the drink in memory of the suffering and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins have had fellowship one with another, 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:3; Eph. 1; 4; 5, and have all become one loaf and one body, and our Head is Christ, we should properly become conformed to our Head and as his members follow after him, love one another, do good, give counsel, and be helpful to one another, each offering up his flesh and blood for the other. Under our Head Christ we should all also live, speak, and act honorably and circumspectly, so that we give no offense or provocation to anyone, Matt. 18; Mark 9; Luke 17; 1 Cor. 8; Rom. 14. So that also those who are outside the church might not have reason to blaspheme our head, our faith, and church, and to say: “Does your head Christ teach you such an evil life? Is that your faith? Is that your baptism? Is that your Christian church, Supper, and gospel, that you should lead such an ungodly and shameful life in gluttony, drunkenness, gambling, dancing, usury, gossip, reviling, cursing, blasphemy, pride, avarice, envy, hate and wrath, unchastity, luxury, laziness, and frivolity? Matt. 18:6. Woe, woe to him who gives offense! It would be better for him that a millstone should be hung around his neck and he should be cast into the depth of the sea. Let us rather take upon ourselves a righteous, honorable, and serious life, through which God our Father who is in heaven may be praised.

Since our brotherly love requires that one member of the body be also concerned for the other, therefore we have the earnest behest of Christ, Matt. 18:14ff., that whenever henceforth a brother sees another erring or sinning, that he once and again should fraternally admonish him in brotherly love. Should he not be willing to reform nor to desist from his sin, he shall be reported to the church. The church shall then exhort him a third time. When this also does no good, she shall exclude him from her fellowship. Unless it should be the case that the sin is quite public and scandalous; then he should be admonished also publicly and before all, so that the others may fear, 1 Cor. 5:1; 1 Tim. 5:20; Gal. 2:11.

Whereupon I pray and exhort you once more, most dearly beloved in Christ, [364] that henceforth as table companions of Christ Jesus, Luke 22:15, you henceforth lead a Christian walk before God and before men. Be mindful of your baptismal commitment and of your pledge of lovea which you made to God and the church publicly and certainly not unwittingly when receiving the water and in breaking bread. See to it that you bear fruit worthy of the baptism and the Supper of Christ, that you may in the power of God satisfy your pledge, promise, sacrament, and sworn commitment, Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8.15 God sees it and knows your hearts. May our Lord Jesus Christ, ever and eternally praised, grant us the same. Amen.

Dear brothers and sisters, watch and pray lest you wander away and fall into temptation, Matt. 24:42; 25:13; Luke 16. You know neither the day nor the hour when the Lord is coming and will demand of you an accounting of your life. Therefore watch and pray. I commend you to God. May each of you say to himself, “Praise, praise, praise to the Lord eternally!” Amen.

Arise and go forth in the peace of Christ Jesus. The grace of God be with us all.

Amen.

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