If a man say, I love God,
and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
-I John 4:20-21
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
-I John 3:14
By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
-I Peter 1:22
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
-I John 3:17-19
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee;
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
family. Her relationship with her husband is most important; but secondly, her relationship with the members of his family is also very important.
How does this example relate to God's family and their sitting together as family at the Bridegroom's table?
Love to God reveals itself in love to others (I John 4:20-21). Love for Christ reveals itself in love for His brethren (I John 3:14). To properly celebrate and worship at the Lord's table, each child of God is called to live in peace with God's family -his spiritual brothers and sisters. If disagreements, accusations, hard feelings, or other personal problems develop between children of God (which remains a reality, due to the old, sinful nature that is still alive in each one's heart), they must do their utmost to lovingly resolve the difficulty prior to meeting at His table (Matt. 5:23-24).
To assist in resolving matters that cannot be resolved individually, the consistory holds a special consistory meeting prior to the celebration of the Lord's Supper. Anyone who has tried to the utmost of their ability to resolve a conflict with another member and cannot, is to request the consistory's assistance in resolving the disagreement, that the Lord's Supper can be celebrated in "family peace."
"Censura morum" or "Christian censure" is held in the consistory at this meeting. When practicing censura morum, each consistory member is asked in turn if he has any unresolved concerns with the doctrine, life style, or officebearing of any other brother or knows of any matter that must be resolved in the congregation before the Lord's Supper could be properly celebrated. In this manner, conflicts between members of the consistory or congregation can be resolved before the Lord's Supper is served.
The Lord's Supper is to be served in a church service, within the context of the preaching of the Word of God. The preached gospel hits "ear-gate" and the visible gospel impacts "eye-gate," but both proclaim the same gospel message. Therefore the entire congregation is to be present, for the gospel is being proclaimed in the Lord's Supper service, both audibly and visibly.
When the Lord's Supper is served, every confessing member in church makes a personal confession -a confession of saving faith