The Lord's Supper
The following is the Faith Bible Church position concerning the Biblical teaching on THE LORD´S SUPPER.
- The Communion (1 Cor. 10:16) expresses that common sharing of faith and privilege of all God’s people with the One of whom the elements speak. At the communion, social distinctions are to be forgotten. All are thankful to be there, since all are partakers of the rich benefits purchased by the Savior’s body and blood.
- The Sacrament is a formal religious act that is sacred as a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality. Though not found in Scripture, it did come into early use. The “sacrament” was the Roman soldier’s oath of allegiance upon joining the army. By so doing, he passed from civilian to military life. For a long period of time, the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper clearly marked the separation between the Christian and the world which had rejected Christ.
- The Eucharist is derived from the Greek word meaning “giving of thanks.” It is found in such passages as Matthew 26:27 and 1 Corinthians 14:16. In fact it is the usual word for thanksgiving in the New Testament (cf. Heb. 13:15).
- The Lord’s Supper or Lord’s Table (1 Cor. 10:21) stands in vivid contrast to the table of demons. We are invited to fellowship with the Lord Himself and eat at His table.
- The Breaking of Bread emphasizes the simplicity of the feast. Our Lord took two things right at hand and used them as the memorials of Himself.
- The Remembrance Feast commemorates the Lord’s instruction, “this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). This remembrance feast is only temporary, for in it we do show or announce the Lord’s death until He comes again. So this feast looks back to Calvary and forward to His second coming.
(Rom. 6:3–11; Col. 2:12).
The Passover & the Lord’s Supper Similarities:
- At the center of each is a memorial.
- Both commemorate a birth (of a nation, Israel, and of the Church).
- Both involve death (of a lamb and of the Lamb of God).
Differences: The Passover vs. The Lord’s Supper
- To be remembered forever (Ex. 12:14). vs. Remembered only until He comes.
- Remembered yearly. vs. Celebrated often.
- Remembers an event. vs. Remembers a Person.
The Emblems & Their Meaning
“This is My body, This is My blood.”
The simplicity of the Savior’s words have been enshrouded in mystery, magic, and superstition almost from the beginning of the second century. Very early, it was suggested that upon the “official” blessing by a presiding “bishop,” the elements became something other than bread and wine. This teaching continued to expand, eventually developing into a doctrine known as “transubstantiation.” This doctrine means that when Jesus said, “This is my body,” His words were to be taken literally. That is, when the bread and wine were blessed, they actually became the body and blood of Christ.
Martin Luther, the great Reformer, rejected this doctrine. In its place, he substituted “consubstantiation.” This doctrine stated that while the bread and wine remained the same, the body and blood of Christ were mysteriously “in and under” the elements. Luther’s view was a middle ground between the literal and figurative interpretation of the words used by our Lord.
It is to a lesser known but equally zealous Reformer, Ulrich Zwingle of Zurich, Switzerland, that we owe the return to simplicity. In opposition to the teachings of Luther, he regarded the bread and wine to be symbols only. But seeing the elements as symbols only, removes Christ from the scene, for Christ is physically present only in heaven.
A fourth view, which we hold at FBC, finds its roots in John Calvin and the Reformation. It is called the spiritual presence view which states that although Christ has a physical body which is in heaven, He is also present in a special way through the Person of the Holy Spirit. The elements are reminders of the Person and work of Christ which we share in as we participate in the Lord’s Supper by faith.
Four Looks at the Lord’s Supper
( From 1 Cor. 11:23-34)
- The LOOK UP. “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you” (vs. 23). Our authority for observing the Lord’s Supper is directly from heaven. Paul received directly from the ascended Lord his information about the Lord’s Supper. Jesus expected this observance to be carried out. It was not commended to those who would follow Him; it was commanded.
- The LOOK BACK. “You proclaim the Lord’s death” (vs. 26a). We look back to the Cross in holy wonder and appreciation, and seek afresh to grasp the love and grace displayed there. We seek to grasp a portion of the mystery of the divine atonement that was an absolute necessity to bring us to God. We muse on His sufferings as our sacrifice and then on His victory over sin, death, and hell as the Lord of Life.
- The LOOK FORWARD. “Until He comes” (vs. 26b). We eat of the Supper in anticipation of the return of the Lord. The Lord Himself will descend with a shout, and we shall rise to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes. 4:1318). We anticipate that time when these symbols will no longer be required. In their place will be the substance.
- The LOOK IN. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (vs. 28). We should examine our 1) companions of the week (Ps. 1:1); 2) habits (1 John 2:15); 3) thoughts (Prov. 23:7); and 4) motives (Do we wish to see Jesus or to be seen by men?). This self examination will lead us to appear at the table with a clean heart and conscience ready to fellowship with the Lord as we partake of the emblems of His body and blood.
- The procedure followed at this service is that various men, as they are led of the Lord, will offer a hymn, prayer, or Scripture reading, with or without comment. This is a time to worship the Lord only, and is not a time for personal testimony or Bible study. At an appropriate time, one of the men will give thanks for the loaf, which will then be broken and passed for each to partake. The same procedure will be followed for the cup (grape juice is used).
- Participation is open to all who have accepted Christ as their Savior, and are living in fellowship with Him.
- We observe the Lord’s Supper each Sunday (the first Sunday of the month during the 11:00am service, and every Sunday at 9:00am).