Preparing for the Lord’s Supper

These are questions from J. W. Alexander’s book, Remember Him, published by The Banner of Truth:

Have I seen myself to be, by nature and by practice, a lost and helpless sinner? Have I seen not only the sinfulness of particular acts and omissions, but that my heart is a seat and fountain of sin, and that in me, as unrenewed, there is no good thing? Has a view of this led me to despair of help from myself, and to see that I must be altogether indebted to Christ for salvation, and to the gracious aid of the Holy Spirit for strength and ability to perform my duty?

On what is my hope of acceptance with God founded? On my reformation? on my sorrow for sin? on  my prayers? on my tears? on my good works and religious observances? or on Christ alone, as my all in all? Has Christ ever appeared very precious to me? Have I ever felt great freedom in committing my soul to him? If I have done this, has it been not only to be delivered from the punishment due to sin, but also from the power, pollution, dominion, and very existence of sin within me?

Do I hate all sin, and desire to be delivered from it, without any exception of a favorite lust? Do I pray much to be delivered from sin? Do I strive against it? Do I avoid temptation? Do I, in any measure, obtain the victory over sin? Have I so repented of it, that my soul is really set against it?

Have I counted the cost of following Christ, or of being truly religious? Am I ready to be detached from empty pleasures, from the indulgence of my lusts, and from a sinful conformity to the world? Can I face ridicule, contempt, and serious opposition? In the view of these things, am I willing to take up the cross, and to follow Christ wherever he shall lead me? Is it my solemn purpose, in reliance on his gracious aid, to cleave to him and to his cause and people, to the end of life?

Do I love holiness? Do I earnestly desire to be more and more conformed to God and to his holy law, to bear more and more the likeness of my Redeemer? Am I resolved, in God’s strength, to endeavor conscientiously to perform my whole duty, to God, to my neighbor, and to myself?

Do I conscientiously offer secret prayer daily? Do I ever experience delight in it? Have I a set time, and place, and order of exercises for performing this duty? Is it my purpose, as the head of a household, to maintain the worship of God in my family? Do I read a portion of the Holy Scriptures every day, and in a devout manner? Do I love the Bible? Do I ever perceive a sweetness in its truths? Do I find them suited to my necessities, and do I at times see a wonderful beauty, excellence, and glory in God’s word? Do I take it as the “man of my counsel” (Ps. 119:24), and endeavor to have both heart and life conformed to its demands?

Have I given myself away to God, solemnly and irrevocably, hoping for acceptance through Christ alone, and taking God in Christ, as the covenant God and satisfying portion of my soul? Does the glory of God appear to me the first, greatest, and best of all objects?

Have I such a love to mankind as was unknown to me before? Have I a great desire that the souls of men should be saved, by being brought to the Redeemer? Do I feel a peculiar love to God’s people, because they bear their Savior’s image? Am I at peace with every fellow Christian? If not, have I made endeavors to be reconciled? Do I, from the heart forgive all who have wronged me? Do I desire and endeavor to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ my Savior, more and more? Am I willing to sit at his feet as a little child, and to submit my understanding implicitly to his teaching, imploring his Spirit to guide me into all necessary truth, to save me from all fatal errors, to enable me to receive the truth in the love of it, and to transform me more and more into a likeness of himself?

Do I love the Lord Jesus Christ? Do I especially love him as dying for my sins? Do I desire to remember him, in this his dying love, at his table? Am I sufficiently acquainted with the nature and design of this sacrament? Have I carefully considered the history of our Lord’s sufferings, in the four Gospels? Have I diligently read the accounts of this institution, in the New Testament? Am I ready, as a sinner redeemed by this blood, to go to this ordinance? Am I desirous of communion in it with Christ’s people? Am I willing to submit myself to the government and discipline of the Church? Do I feel it to be important to adorn Christian profession by a holy, exemplary, amiable, and blameless walk? Do I fear to bring a reproach on the cause of Christ? Am I afraid of backsliding, and of being left to return to a state of carelessness and indifference in religion? Have I any sufficient reason for withholding the profession of my faith? And what is my duty, in consideration of the possibility that I may be summoned into eternity before another communion service?

SDG,
Ezra

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