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America’s Most Tolerated Sin

2. The Lord’s Supper reminds us that food is not an end in itself, but is meant to teach us of our soul’s need for Christ.

Calvin wrote this in the Institutes about the Lord’s Supper: “Now Christ is the only food of our soul, and therefore our Heavenly Father invites us to Christ, that, refreshed by partaking of him, we may repeatedly gather strength until we shall have reached heavenly immortality” (4.17.1). What we experience in the Lord’s Supper should fan out into all the meals of the week, so that even when we eat Lucky Charms on Tuesday morning we are reminded of our soul’s need for Jesus.

3. The Lord’s Table reminds us that sin is serious. All sin, including gluttony.

Because our eating and drinking together proclaims the Lord’s death, we remember that our self-indulgence is not something to take lightly. Christ was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).

4. The bread and the cup remind us that Jesus has atoned for our gluttony.

When we feel appropriately the moral gravity of our food idolatry, we are in a position to treasure these words of Jesus: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Corinthians 11:25: “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” We can’t make progress against gluttony until we realize that we have been cleansed of its defilement. Second Peter 1 lists several qualities that should mark the believer. Self-control is one of them. In verse 9, Peter writes, “For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”

5. Jesus is the Lord of the table, which means that the table is no longer our Lord.

Not only has Christ cleansed us from the stain of gluttony, he has also freed us from its power. When Jesus died, we died with him, and, as Paul writes in Galatians 5:24, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” I think that oftentimes we indulge our excessive cravings for food because we feel powerless to do anything else. But just as he did in the temple during his ministry, Jesus has overturned the idolatrous tables in our hearts, driving out with a whip all of our greedy cravings. We don’t have to serve our stomachs any longer, Christian. We’re free.

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Johnathon Bowers is Instructor of Theology and Christian Worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, MN.