From the Word: 1 Now I make known to you, siblings, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, and in which you stand, 2 by which you are also being saved—if you hold fast the word that I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I passed on to you—as being of chief importance—that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1–4)
From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Holy Communion
When is a person worthy to receive the Sacrament?
Fasting and other outward disciplines are indeed good preparation, but people are truly worthy and well prepared who believe these words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” But those who do not believe these words or who doubt them are unworthy and unprepared, for the words “for you” require truly believing hearts.
Pulling It Together: Belief is the key to readiness. Do you believe that you are a sinner? If you do, then you are almost ready for the table. Do you believe that Jesus died to save sinners? If you do, then you have a “believing heart” that has faith in what is of chief importance for receiving grace from God. Belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ means that one is prepared to trust God to do what he promised: to forgive sins. This is what the Scriptures teach us, and so we confess. We believe.
Prayer: Give me a strength of faith, Lord, that holds fast to your word. Amen.
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