In this paper, I intend to show that the Lordís Supper is very important for Christians to partake when we assemble on the first day of the week.
What is the Lordís Super?
Christ himself instituted the Lord Supper on Thursday night at the Passover meal. He taught his apostles that the bread represented his body that would be slain and the fruit of the vine would represent his blood that would be shed for the remission of sins. This gave the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine a whole new meaning. Until now the bread and fruit of the vine were looked upon as a memorial of the Jews deliverance out of Egypt. They were now told to partake of them ďin remembranceĒ of Jesus. This is very significant because when Jesus died he delivered us from the law (the old covenant Colossians 2:14), which didnít give a person forgiveness of sin (Galatians 3:11). He established a new covenant that allows us to have forgiveness of sin through his blood (Hebrews 9). Jesus has become our Passover 1Cort. 5:7. So you see, he delivered us from darkness into the light.
Matthew 26:26And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
See Also ( Mark 14: 17-26 and Luke 22: 14-23)
1 Corinthians 10:16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
The verses above tell us that the Lordís Supper consist of breaking of bread, which represents Jesus body, and the fruit of the vine which represents Jesus blood. We also learn that it is a communion or fellowship with the Lord. When we partake of the Lordís Supper we proclaim that we belong to Christ. Paul was trying to correct the Corinthians here, because they were also partaking of food from sacrifices made to devils.(1Cor.10:18-21) Paul tells them that if they partake of this sacrificed food to the devils that they are in fellowship with them instead of God.
Whatís the purpose of the Lordís Supper?
1 Corinthians 11:23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lordís death till he come.
This was written to the Corinth church and teaches many things about the purpose of the Lordís Supper. It tells us that we do it in remembrance of Jesus. It proclaims Jesus death. It also tells us that we take the Lordís Supper until his second coming. We know that he hasnít returned yet, so we continue to take of the Lordís Supper today.
Who Should Partake of the Lordís Supper?
Acts 2:41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42And they continued stedfastly in the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Here we have members of the church.
Acts 20:7And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
Here we have disciples (one who follows oneís teaching) breaking bread. When Jesus instituted the Lords Supper, it wasnít just for the apostles to take it. It was for everyone to take. You cannot say that Jesus was referring only to the 12. Jesus taught the apostles many things that they were to teach to the world (Matt 10:27). Paul wasnít sitting around that table when Jesus instituted the Lords Supper, yet we find him partaking of it in Acts 20 and he makes reference to it in 1 Corinthians 10 and he teaches others how to partake of it in 1 Corinthians 11. We can see Paul taking the Lordís Super on the first day of the week with the followers of Christ in the above verse.
Thereís not one example in the bible where it is taught that a non-Christian could take of the Lordís Supper. You will not find where a child under the age of accountability partook of the Lordís Supper. Now you might say, you donít know for sure if a non-Christian or a child took of the Lordís Supper. First off, yes, a non-Christian and a child could take of the Lordís Supper but it would be in an unworthy manner. Even if a non-Christian took of the bread and cup and knew what it represented and did it with sincere intentions, it would serve no purpose. They would be going through the motions of what a Christian is supposed to do but yet they are lost. They can take the Lordís Supper all day long but it wonít make them a Christian. For the Lordís Supper to have meaning and to be done in a worthy manner you have to be a Christian. The only reason a child under the age of accountability should not take of the Lords Supper is that they are not mature enough to reflect on true meaning of Christ Death and be in remembrance of what he did and represented. Now heed the warning of this verse.
1 Corinthians 11
27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lordís body.
When should we take it?
Here we have steadfastly.
Acts 2:42And they continued stedfastly in the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Here we have upon the first day of the week. Every week has a first day.
Acts 20: 7And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
Now we need to look at the significance of the first day of the week. Remember how I said Jesus instituted the Lordís Supper on Thursday night at the Passover Meal. The reason why the disciples meet on the first day of the week because it was a memorial of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and he arose out of his grave on the first day of the week. This is important, because anybody could die and be buried, but only Jesus could defeat death and rise again and become our high priest by which we can inherit eternal life.
How do we know that Jesus rose on the first day of the week?
If you read in Matthew after the Passover meal where Jesus is in Gethsemane praying, Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss and then Jesus was talking before Caiaphas the high priest which is Thursday night.
Then in Matthew 27 1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Ok now its Friday and this is the day that Jesus is hung on the cross and dies.
Luke 24:6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
So we have Friday as the death the first day, Saturday is the second day, and Sunday is the Third day. Even better yet, just read this verse:
Mark 16:9Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Now lets look at a few more things that were done on the first day of the week.
The church of Troas assembled on the 1st day of the week. Acts 20:7
The church of Corinth assembled on the 1st day of the week to give of their money as they were prospered. 1 Corinthians 16:2
So surely you can see that the 1st day of the week is the day that we assemble as one body and one spirit singing praises (Eph. 5:19), Teaching, (2 Tim.4:2),Praying,(Acts 2:42),Giving (1 Cor.16:1-2) and partaking of the Lords Supper (Acts 20:7).
Some people read 1 Cor. 11:17-22 and misunderstand what these versus are talking about. Some might think that it teaches not to take of the Lordís Supper, while others may think that it teaches that we should not have a fellowship meal at the church building. You have to understand that the Corinth church had a lot of problems and these versus are talking about how they were abusing what was suppose to be the Lordís Supper. Corinth was the center for the immoral worship of Aphrodite, goddess of love, whose followers practiced ritual prostitution. So as you read in these versus they were getting drunk and just having a big old party on what was suppose to be the Lordís Supper. That is why it is said in verse 20When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lordís Supper. Thatís right, when they came together they were ready to party and get drunk. When you meet to partake in the Lords Supper all Christians take of it in unity, as one body and one spirit. Now if you examine 1 Cor. 11: 23-34 you see how you are suppose to observe the Lordís Supper.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a fellowship meal at the church building because the church building is just a building. The people that meet at the building are the church. Wherever the bodies of Christians are thatís where the church is. So, to have a fellowship meal is no different that having one at a pizza place. I have presented to you Gods word in truth and in spirit but donít just take my word for it, study this for yourself. Search the scriptures so that you can be strong in Christ Doctrine and recognize when someone is trying to present you with mans doctrine (or false doctrine).
Cougan Collins 2002