Lord's Day Liturgy

Any but Not All

Jesus welcomed sinners to the Table. He welcomes more sinners to the Table today. That said, while He welcomes any kind of sinner, He does not welcome all sinners.

He welcomes sinners who know they are sinners. The tax-collector in Jesus’ parable went down to his house justified because he knew he wasn’t worthy, whereas the Pharisee stood praying to himself about how holy he was (Luke 18:14). Both were sinners, and the one who sought mercy received it.

He welcomes sinners who know that there is salvation for sinners. It’s possible to feel bad, with great guilt, and not have “a godly grief (that) produces repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Agreeing that you’re in the category of sinner isn’t the same as accepting that “there is salvation in…no other name under heaven” (Acts 4:12) than Jesus.

He welcomes all the ones living by faith as sinners being sanctified in Christ. That means we are not perfect as we will be when He’s done with us. Praise God, this is a Table prepared by His grace, not our works. And yet we don’t knowingly prefer our sin. We do confess it, seek help to avoid it. We do examine ourselves, sure, which includes examining if we are rudely judging our neighbor or distancing ourselves from a neighbor who annoys us.

Does Jesus welcome him? So should we. Be of like affection one towards another (Romans 12:16), and eat and drink as one body.