Presentation on theme: "The Lord’s Supper Several years ago, at a different congregation, I asked a Jr. High & High School class what were the 3 elements of the Lord’s Supper."— Presentation transcript:
The Lord’s Supper Several years ago, at a different congregation, I asked a Jr. High & High School class what were the 3 elements of the Lord’s Supper. (Unfair? Sure.) The answer was (expectedly), “Fruit of the Vine, Unleavened Bread, and Giving of Your Means.” We, meaning “preachers” and “members,” are often quick to point out the errors of our religious neighbors, and sometimes slow to recognize and/or acknowledge our own short-comings at applying N.T. truth to our practice. Since I’ve been highlighting the faults “modern worship” when it comes to entertainment, perhaps a little time can be spent in overview of a few points relative to…. What? How? Why? When? Where? Who?
The Origin of the Lord’s Supper Is not “traditional practice” by “the C.O.C. or other denominational doctrine.” Though few might be so bold to state it that way, ‘tinkering’ with the Supper as to regularity or method of partaking relegates it to a practice of “our” own choosing- such is not the case. The Supper was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, Matt.26:26-29 > 1Cor.11:23-24. Though it was instituted on the night of His betrayal, it was intended to be continuously observed by His disciples, Luke 22:19ff; 1Cor.11:24-25.
The Elements of the Lord’s Supper There are only two elements (not 3 or 4): Unleavened Bread- representing His body, Matt.26:26; 1Cor.11:23-26. Only unleavened bread was used, Luke 22:1,19 > Ex.12:11-20. Leaven is also used symbolically of “sin” in the N.T., 1Cor.5:5-8. Fruit of the Vine- representing His blood, Mark.14:24-25; Luke 22:20; 1Cor.11:25. The “cup” refers to the contents, rather than the container, 1Cor.11:26, since the container can neither be “divided” nor can one “drink” it. Thus “the cup” it should not be made into a separate “element” itself.
The Purpose of the Lord’s Supper Is not some sort of gruesome or guilt-ridden remembrance of a terrible event, but a >Simple, Sweet Memorial to constantly remind us of God and Christ’s great love and sacrifice. 1Cor.11:24, “do this in remembrance of Me” is His simple plea. It need not be done with any great fanfare or dramatics- it wasn’t when instituted, and thus shouldn’t be when practiced. True reverence and appreciation are sufficient. >Communion, which literally means “in common”. Through it we are in fellowship with Christ and those who are likewise His, 1Cor.10:16. Thus it is to be taken with Him and with those who are His, 1Cor.11:33. >Proclamation, 1Cor.11:26. Partakers proclaim our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Partakers also proclaim faith in redemption through His sacrifice and faith in His return.
The When of the Lord’s Supper The Jerusalem church continued “steadfastly” in observance of it, Acts 2:42. This indicates an ordered and regular observance, rather than an occasional or haphazard one. The Troas church observed it one the first day of the week, Acts 20:7. Since every week has a first day, and since if their practice had been in error surely the apostle Paul would have corrected it, this is the pattern we should follow. Acts 20:7 > Ex.20:8 The Corinth church, as many as were their problems regarding partaking of it, had this part right, 1Cor.16:1-2 > 11:20. They were condemned for corrupting its purpose, 11:20,34; and its fellowship, 11:33; but were not corrected for the day or frequency of observance. The N.T. pattern for observance is the first day of every week.
The Who of the Lord’s Supper Who is to partake of the Supper? Since the Lord’s Supper is placed by Him “in the kingdom” cf. Matt.26:29 and Mark 14:25, then: Only members of that kingdom have the privilege of rightfully partaking, John 3:3,5. Col.1:2 tells us who; Col.1:13 tells us where; Col.1:14 tells us how; Col.2:9-14 tells us why. Look also at the N.T. instances of “who” partook: >members of the Jerusalem church, Acts 2:42; >members of the Troas church, Acts 20:7; >members of the Corinth church, 1Cor.11:20-33. Should we then practice “closed communion” and refuse those who are not “members” of the kingdom? Only if we have a “perfect” way to determine such, and we don’t! Let everyone’s own conscience guide them.
So, let’s partake of the Lord’s Supper: Because its origin was Jesus Christ, not man; With Unleavened Bread and Fruit of the Vine as the elements; For the purpose of a Memorial, Communion, and Proclamation as Christ’s intended; On the first day of every week as fits the N.T. pattern; And as members of His kingdom. When we do so, we will have partaken “worthily” (KJV, 1Cor.11:27), God and Christ will be duly honored, and we will be spiritually strengthened and encouraged, 1Cor.11:30.