The Lord’s Supper is an important topic, but many in the modern church lack a deep understanding of the significance surrounding it. In his 120 page book “The Lord’s Supper as the Sign and Meal of the New Covenant,” Guy Prentiss Waters deals with this issue in the next book in the Short Studies in Biblical Theology Series.
The purpose of the series is as the series preface states:
The ultimate goal of Short Studies in Biblical Theology is to magnify the Savior and to build up his church—magnifying the Savior through showing how the whole Bible points to him and his gracious rescue of helpless sinners; and building up the church by strengthening believers in their grasp of these life-giving truths.
The book does an excellent job of this in showing how the various meals in scripture point to Christ. The passover meal looks forward to the messiah and the Lord’s Supper points back to the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Waters also explains that the Lord’s Supper points forward as well as a reminder of the hope of the return of the messiah at the end of the age.
There are five chapters in the entire book, three of which are spent on addressing necessary context regarding the questions “What is a covenant?” “What is a covenant sign?” and “What is a covenant meal?” The final two chapters deal specifically with the Lord’s Supper and its relevance to the church.
I found Waters’ writing style to be engaging and one thing I enjoyed about the book is the length. It is long enough to properly make important points, but it is short enough to keep its readers engaged and interested.
A reason that this book is important is that the Lord’s Supper is not something that people should take lightly. It is not for the well-educated theologian to grasp and the layman to brush off. Paul makes it very clear in 1 Corinthians 11 that it is considerably important. The author clarifies the manner in which the Lord’s Supper should be taken and who should be taking it.
Walter speaks on the significance of the Lord’s Supper both to the individual, for strengthening faith, corporately, to strengthen the familial bonds of God’s covenant people, and lastly to distinguish the church from the world around them. He does not spend much time on these, but he does address important questions that come to mind when thinking about the Lord’s Supper. 1) How Is Christ Present in the Supper? 2) Who May Come to the Supper? and perhaps less of a burning question, but still rather significant 3) How Is the Lord’s Supper Like and Unlike Baptism?
I’d recommend this book for those who may have not thought much of the sacrament of which their church should be partaking, or for those wishing to go deeper into study of the significance of the Lord’s supper as sign and meal of the new covenant.
I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.