When thinking about spending time with God, assembling with the
saints immediately comes to mind. One of the things saints share
on the first day of the week is the Lord's Supper. Jesus instituted
the Lord's Supper the evening before He was crucified. After Jesus
had eaten the Passover with His disciples, He took unleaven bread
and fruit of the vine and instituted a memorial that Christians
observe to this day.
As you read this article, turn your mind back to the night when
Jesus shared the first Supper with His disciples. Think of the things
Jesus foreknew which were not yet understood by His disciples. Think
of everything this Supper represents and of the memorial of Jesus,
His body, and His precious blood.
As you read this article, ask yourself two question. Is there a
better way to spend time with God than participating in the memorial
of His Son? And, if I am not present with the saints to observe
the Lord's Supper because of negligence, what message am I sending
The Bible contains interesting information concerning the Lord's
Supper. Besides the accounts of Jesus instituting the Supper, Paul
writes to the Corinthians in order to correct some problems. In
I Corinthians 11:23-26 he reiterates the command from the Lord by
recalling the evening Jesus instituted the Supper. Paul says: "For
I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that
the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat;
this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance
of Me.' In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying,
'This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as
you drink it, in remembrance of Me.' For as often as you eat this
bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He
Paul continues his epistle addressing one particular problem they
had in partaking of the Lord's Supper - principally, their minds
were not properly focused upon the death of Jesus. He also writes
concerning the result of not properly partaking of the Lord's Supper
and says in I Corinthians 11:27-30: "Therefore whoever eats
this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner
will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man
examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that
cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks
judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason
many are weak and sick among you and many sleep."
Now observe the result of partaking of the Lord's Supper in an
unworthy manner - not discerning the Lord's body. It causes one
to become weak and sick (I Cor. 11:30). Think of the significance
of Paul's statement. If a Christian is weak, can it be traced back
to improperly partaking of the Lord's Supper? Let me suggest that
the answer is yes; otherwise Paul would not have made the statement.
Consider this: If a Christian regularly implants in his mind the
sacrifice of Jesus, death of Jesus, significance of both, and his
natural response of obedience to One (Jesus) so great, he will grow
stronger and therefore prevent weakness. On the other hand, if a
Christian seldom considers Jesus in the memorial Supper, he grows
weak and complacent having lost focus and motivation by neglecting
to consider the personal sacrifice of Jesus. What do you think?
I doubt that many people will disagree with what I have said in
this article thus far, but now I would like to turn to two matters
of disagreement in the religious community. The first matter is
whether everyone participating in the Supper should partake of both
the bread and the fruit of the vine. The second matter concerns
the frequency of observing the Lord's Supper.
With what is considered my "opinion", I will be brief.
I further invite you to write to the editor with your "opinion"
for future publication. Concerning whether a Christian should partake
of both the bread and fruit of the vine, this information is undisputably
contained only in the Bible accounts of Jesus instituting the Supper.
For example, in Matthew 26:26-30 it is clear that Jesus instructed
each person present to eat the bread and drink the fruit of the
vine. Furthermore, since Paul quotes the words of Jesus to the Corinthians
(as quoted above), the identical practice continued in the churches.
Therefore, each person partaking of the Lord's Supper should partake
of both emblems.
Concerning the frequency of observing the Lord's Supper, space
does not permit appealing to history or a review of apologetics
and hermeneutics. But, I appeal to common sense. The Bible says
to collect funds and break bread "on the first day of the week"
(I Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7). If an individual understands that he
should give into the treasury every first day of the week, then
it is logical to understand that the Lord's Supper should be observed
every first day of the week. Furthermore to be consistent, if the
Lord's Supper is not observed every first day of the week, then
a collection should not be gathered every first day of the week.
There are other issues concerning the Lord's Supper that divide
churches. But, what do you think about the two I have mentioned
and why? Or maybe you think it does not matter, but why does it
not matter? Jesus says: "And in vain they worship Me, teaching
as doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:9) And Paul
says in I Corinthians 4:6: "Now these things, brethren, I have
figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that
you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written ..."
Lord willing, next time we will consider ways of spending time with
God in daily, personal life.