Preparation for the Lord’s Table

As we prepare ourselves for Sunday morning and our observance of the Lord’s Table, I was reminded that the grace that allows us to come to the Lord’s Table is a “purchased grace.”  Apart from Christ purchasing grace for us, we could not commune with our great God and Savior.  But, because Christ did purchase grace for us, and we are in Him, we have freedom to live in communion with Him as His people this Sunday morning.

What is “purchased grace?” Purchased grace is: all the righteousness and grace which Christ has obtained for us, or produced for us, or by any means makes us partakers of with Him, or imparts to us for our benefit . . . by anything that He has done, or He has suffered, or by anything He continues to do as Mediator on our behalf” (paraphrase of John Owen in Communion with the Triune God, pg. 271).

As God’s people, we are now in communion with God.  And because we are in Christ, there is almost nothing that Christ has done, but we are said to do with Him.  We are crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20); we are dead with Him (2 Timothy 2:11; Colossians 3:3); we have been made alive with Him (Colossians 2:13); we have risen with Him (Colossians 3:1); and we are made to sit with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:5 – 6).  Therefore, because of Christ and His works on our behalf (His purchased grace for us), there is such a sure foundation laid for us that we are said to have done the same things with Christ.

What great life, and confidence, and power, and assurance does our union and communion with Christ give us?  Can any of us help but be amazed by the grace of God to us?

I would like the Puritan’s to lead us in a prayer that exalts the grace of God, and asks God for more of His grace.

The prayer is entitled, Amazing Grace (The Valley of Vision, pg. 110).

O Thou Giving God,

My heart is drawn out in thankfulness to thee, for thy amazing grace and condescension to me in influences and assistances of thy Spirit, for special help in prayer, for the sweetness of Christian service, for the thoughts of arriving in heaven, for always sending me needful supplies, for raising me to new life when I am like one dead.

I want not the favour of man to lean upon for thy favour is infinitely better.  Thou art eternal wisdom in dispensations toward me; and it matters not when, nor where, nor how I serve thee, nor what trials I am exercised with, if I might be prepared for thy work and will.

No poor creature stands in need of divine grace more than I do, and yet none abuses it more than I have done and still do.  How heartless and dull I am!

Humble me in the dust for not loving thee more.  Every time I exercise any grace renewedly I am renewedly indebted to thee, the God of all grace, for special assistance.  I cannot boast when I think how dependent I am upon thee for the being and every act of grace; I never do anything else but depart from thee, and if ever I get to heaven it will be because thou willest it, and for no reason beside.

I love, as a feeble, afflicted, despised creature, to cast myself on thy infinite grace and goodness, hoping for no happiness but from thee; give me special grace to fit me for special services, and keep me calm and resigned at all times, humble, solemn, mortified, and conformed to thy will.”

Grace Greater than All Our Sin by Julia Johnston in 1911.

Mavelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.

Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within.

Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin.”

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