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The Ordinance of The Lord’s Supper
The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted the very same night that He was betrayed to be crucified. The ordinance is to be observed in every local church for perpetual remembrance until He comes for His church.
For 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: it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After 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. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. I Corinthians 11:23-26
In these verses we see that the Lord’s Supper was instituted as a means of commemorating the death of our Saviour. We are remembering the Lord’s death, and it is intended that we remember it until He comes again for His church. At that point, the ordinance will be abolished, for we will be forever in the presence of our Saviour, and will need not be reminded of what He has done for us.
Partaking of this ordinance is a means by which also the True Christian can grow in Jesus Christ. It is a bond and a pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other. So Paul writes, “The 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? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” (I Corinthians 10:16, 17). Also, this practice has a sanctifying effect on the True Christian, for the True Christian understands that “ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils,” (I Corinthians 10:21). The True Christian cannot live in the sins of the world, then come unrepentant before the Lord’s Table and expect blessing. The Lord’s Supper is for the separatist, not the Christian who indulges in the culture, language, and music of the world.
As the author has stated before, the Lord’s Supper is merely a remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ. There is nothing mystical in the ordinance that transforms the bread into Christ’s flesh or the grape juice into Christ’s blood. Some might try to argue otherwise with Matthew 26:26, 27 – “And 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. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it.” “Didn’t he say the bread is his body?”
The Lord’s Supper Merely a Symbol
Yet it is evident that Christ only meant it is his body in a symbolic sense, for he did not break off a finger and hand it to the disciples. He gave them bread. It could not possibly have become His flesh, for He was standing in front of them. The wine could not have become His blood, for His blood had not yet been shed; it was still coursing through His veins.
The Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is instead an abomination before God. It requires that Christ’s blood be shed again and again for sins, but Christ only had to be sacrificed once. “but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
“He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world,” (I John 2:2). Christ is the one who saves, not the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper has no part in salvation, but it is simply a remembrance of what Christ has done, performed not by those who seek salvation, but by those who have been saved by God’s grace and not their own merit.
The Ceremony of the Lord’s Supper Set forth in Practicality
“And 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. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it,” (Matthew 26:26, 27). Notice first of all how that Jesus Christ blessed the bread and gave thanks for the cup. He sanctified it for its holy use.
Likewise in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, the Pastor to this day will pray over the ordinances or appoint a church leader to pray over them for the same reason. This is not a common supper. Therefore, it should be set apart in prayer. I Corinthians 11:24 states, “when he had given thanks, he brake [the bread].” So also, the Pastor will break the bread of the Lord’s Supper before it is distributed to the congregation. Also, just as Jesus Christ took the cup and gave it to His disciples, the Pastor will distribute the grape juice to the congregation.
The denial of the cup to the Christians in attendance, worshipping the elements, lifting them up, or carrying them for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ. When Jehovah commanded, “ Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,” (Exudus 20:4, 5) He certainly included the element of the Lord’s Supper as well. They are never to be objects of adoration. It is so done in the Roman Catholic church because “in vain they do worship [God], teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” (Matthew 15:9).
Symbolic phrasing of the Bread and Cup
Although there are times, such as in I Corinthians 11:27, where the elements are referred to as the body and blood of Christ, this is meant to be understood in a symbolic sense. This is clear from the context of each passage where they are referenced. The elements, duly set apart for the use ordained by Christ, are always bread and grape juice in substance and nature, and at no time do they transform into any other substance. Nor can it be seen in any verse in the Bible where any such transformation occurs.
Eucharist and Transubstantiation a Blasphemy Against God
The dogma of transubstantiation that teaches that teaches that the elements of the Lord’s Supper are transformed into the literal body and blood of Christ through the blessing of a priest or any other way is repugnant both to the Bible. In Acts 3:20, 21, the Bible teaches that Christ never comes down from heaven in bodily form until the end times – “and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began,” (Acts 3:20, 21). Therefore, His body cannot be present in the elements, for that would require that He would descend to earth before the appointed time.
Again, Christ only had to be sacrificed one time. “who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself,” (Hebrews 7:27). Eucharist teaches that Christ must be sacrificed again and again, every single day. How can that be when His one sacrifice was sufficient for the sins of the world? So partakers in the Eucharist are literally eating and drinking damnation to themselves, as the Bible says: “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body,” (I Corinthians 11:29).