Today we are exploring the doctrine of the Lord's Supper, or Communion. Baptists believe that the Lord's Supper is symbolic in nature. It is an act of obedience to the Lord's command, given to the local church to celebrate. As a symbol it depicts three important things: (1) the broken body and shed blood of Christ for our sins; (2) the common life we share through faith as a family of believers - the communion of the church, which is why we also call it by this name; and (3) the reminder of our Lord's return, which emphasizes our ultimate unity with all believers in Christ. Our understanding is different from the Catholic Church, which sees this ritual having sacramental power based on the supposed succession of priests since Peter. Catholics believe that when the priest blesses the elements, they then become the real body and blood of Christ. We are also different from Lutherans who believe that when the believer takes the elements, they then, through their faith, become the actual body and blood of Christ. We are also different from those who hold to some mystical spiritual presence of the Lord through these elements when we observe. We believe the Lord is with us always and is present whenever we gather in his name. Grace is not dispensed through the sacraments; rather, grace comes through our faith, and our faith comes from hearing the word of Christ. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of Christ" (Romams 10:17). But the observance of the Lord's Supper is a precious ordinance given to churches to share.