Q47: Does the Lord's Supper Add to Christ's Atoning Work?

New City Catechism: Question 47

Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with Leo Schuster, Lead Pastor of City Church in Houston, Texas, answers the question, "Does the Lord's Supper add to Christ's atoning work?”

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)

18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

We can respond to question forty-seven with the following answer: no, Christ died once for all. The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal celebrating Christ’s atoning work; as it is also a means of strengthening our faith as we look to Him, and a foretaste of the future feast. But those who take part with unrepentant hearts eat and drink judgment on themselves.

Leo said the Lord’s Supper confirms and strengthens us in Christ, but doesn’t add to our salvation. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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The Lord’s Supper points back to what Jesus did for us.  We commune with other believers and with Christ through the Lord’s Supper. It also reminds us to the future meal we will partake after Christ’s return.

Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through 1 Peter 3:18. Take a moment to reflect on the Lord’s Supper. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of the Lord’s Supper, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize 1 Peter 3:18. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you participate in the Lord’s Supper.

 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here