The Lord’s Supper As A Means Of Grace By Richard Barcellos

I’ve entitled this series of sermons The Lord’s Supper as Means of Grace – More than a Memory. I believe the title encapsulates both positive instruction and a needed corrective in the thinking of many.


Positive instruction comes in the first part of the title: The Lord’s Supper as Means of Grace. First, let’s consider the phrase The Lord’s Supper. Our Confession of Faith states: “The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other” (30:1). My main goal in these sermons is to concentrate on how the Lord’s Supper is spiritually nourishing to the souls of believers, how it effects or produces spiritual growth in worthy partakers, or how it is a means of grace.


Second, what do I mean by the phrase Means of Grace? I have defined means of grace asthe delivery systems God has instituted to bring grace – that is, spiritual power, spiritual change, spiritual help, spiritual fortitude – to needy souls. Grace comes from our Father, through the Son, by the Spirit normally in conjunction with the ordained means. The means of grace are those things through which Christ alters, Christ modifies, Christ adjusts, Christ changes, Christ transforms, and Christ develops souls on the earth. It is important to remember the words of Herman Bavinck, where he says, “Christ is and remains the acquisitor as well as the distributor of grace.” That is, He acquired grace for us and He distributes grace to us. But Christ has ordained means through which He distributes grace. In a previous sermon, I identified the Word of God, prayer, and the church sacraments or ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the ordinary means through which grace comes to souls.

 Read the rest, including audio here.

Risk & Radical Buzzwords – Richard Barcellos & Mike Abendroth

cost-risk-analysisPastor Mike Abendroth, on No. Co. Radio, spent a couple of minutes talking about recent buzzwords like “Risk” and “Radical” that are popular in Christian circles. The blog post he talks about starts:

“…In my little circle of Reformed theology, taking risks for God is currently cool. It’s in. It’s what all the cool kids are doing. Piper and Platt and Chan are writing about crazy, don’t waste your life, radical love… I’m starting to think that we might be getting the principle right but getting the application wrong. Here’s what I mean…”

You can listen to this episode of No. Co. here.

2:27-8:00 Jesus doesn’t want your risk, he wants your life. [blog post]

8:01-21:20 Catholic & Protestant Churches sign Historic Baptism Agreement

21:47-25:00 God’s Free Will

For more on this topic, read Richard Barcellos’ blog on Reformed Baptist Fellowship:

“You might have heard words like this before: ‘Jesus calls us to RADICAL discipleship! You must renounce all! You must follow Him! He had no place to lay His head, but you have comfortable homes in which you comfortably eat, watch television, tweet, and check FaceBook! Could you see Jesus doing that? It is time to get real; I mean REALLY REAL! Jesus calls us to RADICAL discipleship! Are you radical…enough?'”

Read the entire blog post, “Are You Radical Enough?”

This World & The Means Of Grace – Richard Barcellos

Richard Barcellos, at his church blog, wrote Back to the Good Old Days? – Thoughts on this World and the Means of Grace:

There are no good old days, except prior to the fall and even those days were not the best of days (Adam could, and did, fall into sin.). The best of days are yet to come. The end is, after all, better than the beginning.  As bad as our day may appear to be and actually be, in essence, it is the same as always, since the fall into sin. The hope (i.e., confident expectation of something in the future based on what God has said) of the Christian is that better days, way better, are coming. But there’s more. We do not have to wait for help to come in the form of the eternal state of affairs after Christ’s second coming. There is help in the now.

Read the rest.

Richard Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA. You can follow him at Twitter @richbarcellos

New Book: “Better Than The Beginning: Creation in Biblical Perspective” By Richard Barcellos

better then the beginning cover

better than the beginning back

Better than the Beginning: Creation in Biblical Perspective by Richard C. Barcellos is out now and available from Amazon.


In one sense, this is not a typical book on creation. Many books on creation deal with evolution, the length of the days of creation, and ethics in light of creation. These are worthy subjects and I do cover these things in this book. However, the doctrine of creation is much more inclusive in the Bible. Things that we think demand front-and-center attention do not get such by the Bible itself. As the title of the book seeks to display, the beginning is not the end of creation. Creation had a goal intended by God to be attained by man, but man failed. However, God will see to it that the original goal is reached. Creation, therefore, was intended to be a means to an end. The end is what God had in mind all along. The end is not plan B or even plan A. It is simply the plan.


Creation is controversial, and truly we need to defend biblical doctrine concerning the origin of all things. Yet sometimes in the midst of controversy we can lose sight of the purpose of creation itself. Richard Barcellos uses the creation of the world like a great telescope to look up at the beauty of the Creator. His book focuses our attention on the triune God in Christ. He draws his doctrine from a careful exposition of the Bible, applies it to our practical lives, and calls us to sing the praises of Him who is worthy, “for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). This is an edifying book, and I hope that many will read it.

Joel R. Beeke, Ph.D.
President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Although many Christians have been engaged in a life-or-death battle to defend the truth of creation against evolutionary attacks coming from inside and outside the church, there has been little exploration of the doctrine of creation in all its glorious height, depth, width, and length. Richard Barcellos has begun to remedy this neglect with a God-glorifying, soul-edifying, life-transforming survey of this majestic and practical subject.

David P. Murray, Ph.D.
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Grand Rapids, MI

After reading this book, I wonder, `is it possible that we are functional deists?’ Have we been so profoundly influenced by the secular culture around us that we fail to see the centrality and foundational character of the doctrine of creation? Is it possible that even while giving lip-service to the doctrine we fail to live in the light of its implications? In this work, Dr. Barcellos shows us why this doctrine is so very important. Not only does he reflect upon the account of creation in Genesis, but he also demonstrates the implications of creation found throughout Scripture. In a day of increasing secularization, it is refreshing to think of the divine purpose in making and sustaining the world. Read this book, and you will deepen your understanding of the Lord’s purposes in bringing the world into existence.

James M. Renihan, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Historical Theology
Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies
Escondido, CA

It is with special pleasure that I recommend both my friend, Richard Barcellos, and his volume entitled, Better than the Beginning. In a day of massive confusion about the significance God’s relationship with Adam and departure from the pivotal Reformed understanding of the covenant of works, it is nothing short of refreshing to see both the heart for and insight into this subject that God has given Dr. Barcellos. While the New Perspective on Paul and other evangelical and “Reformed” scholars are manifesting deep insensitivity to Scripture on this subject, Richard provides clear and penetrating insight into God’s purpose to bring the human race to a condition that is “better than the beginning.” Christ brings the creation train derailed by Adam to its original glorious destination! This insight is vital to an understanding of the gospel and the vital, scriptural distinction between the law and the gospel. May God give this volume great usefulness!

Samuel E. Waldron, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology
Midwest Center for Theological Studies
Owensboro, KY


  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Reformed Baptist Academic Press (February 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980217997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980217995
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces


Richard Barcellos is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA. You can follow him at Twitter @richbarcellos