Traditionally, Baptists tend to be memorialist when it comes to what happens in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper, despite the rich understanding of the Lord’s Supper in the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 (Reformed Baptists, at least).
However, it was so refreshing to read John Piper’s own understanding of what happens when a believer partakes of the Supper by faith (commenting on 1 Corinthians 10:16-17):
So I take verse 16 and 17 to mean that when believers eat the bread and drink the cup physically we do another kind of eating and drinking spiritually. We eat and drink—that is, we take into our lives—what happened on the cross. By faith—by trusting in all that God is for us in Jesus—we nourish ourselves with the benefits that Jesus obtained for us when he bled and died on the cross.
This is why we lead you in various focuses at the Lord’s table from month to month (peace with God, joy in Christ, hope for the future, freedom from fear, security in adversity, guidance in perplexity, healing from sickness, victory in temptation, etc.). Because when Jesus died, his shed blood and broken body, offered up in his death on our behalf, purchased all the promises of God. Paul says, “All the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Every gift of God, and all our joyful fellowship with God, was obtained by the blood of Jesus. When Paul says, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” he means: Do we not at the Lord’s table feast spiritually by faith on every spiritual blessing bought by the body and blood of Christ? No unbeliever can do that. The devil can’t do it. It is a gift for the family. When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we feast spiritually by faith on all the promises of God bought by the blood of Jesus.
This is good stuff coming from a leading Reformed Baptist thinker and writer. I pray that this understanding of the Lord’s Supper be the norm among Baptists.
It’s not only a richer understanding of what happens at the Lord’s Table, but it goes beyond the dualistic understanding of the Lord’s Supper that most Baptist churches are known for.
Piper is correct, “When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we feast spiritually by faith on all the promises of God bought by the blood of Jesus.” This, I believe, is the witness of Scripture.