Monday, October 4, 2021 – Pastor George M. Dupree
After having Communion this past weekend I decided the I wanted to post this information in order to offer some thoughts on Communion.
I'll talk a little about the history and meaning of Communion.
I'll do that for two reasons
1 – So we have an understanding of the significance of Communion
2 – So we might be able to share what we believe about Communion with someone who is interested in what we believe at Living Water Church.
What is Communion or as it is often referred to as The Lord’s Supper?
Simply put the Communion is a commemoration of the things Jesus said at the “last supper” He had with His disciples.
The Apostle Paul explained it in his letter to the Corinthian Church. This is a common scripture reference used in many Communion services.
1Corinthians 11:23 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; 24 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.” 25 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.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes
Why Do We Celebrate Communion?
1 – Jesus told us to do it in remembrance of Him – Jesus said: “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 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.”
2 – It can be a form of corporate worship and fellowship because it shows unity and that we are the body of Christ, His Church – 1 Corinthians 10:17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
3 – It reminds us of our need for self-examination – 1 Corinthians 11:28 … you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking from the cup.
4 – It reminds us of what Jesus has done for us – this is My body which is broken for you – This cup is the new covenant in My blood
There are various names for this celebration
1 – Breaking of Bread
2 – Holy Communion
3 – The Table of the Lord
4 – The Lord’s Supper
5 – Eucharist – this means thanksgiving – Jesus gave thanks and we give Him thanks
Is Jesus Present In The Bread and The Cup?
This is a controversial topic for many people; personally it’s not to me.
There are four thoughts concerning this question.
4.Symbolic or Memorial View
Transubstantiation says that the elements of the Communion are actually turned into the body and blood of Jesus – therefore He is present in the elements (after they are consecrated)
Consubstantiation says that Jesus is present in the elements but they are not transformed into the body and blood of Christ, instead He is alongside the elements. Martin Luther called this Sacramental Union and later Lutheran scholars called it Consubstantiation.
Instrumental View says that the presence of Jesus is in the Communion ceremony but the elements do not change. The Grace of God is conferred or bestowed on the ceremony and that our faith in Christ is sustained by the ceremony because of our relationship and union with Christ. The presence of Jesus does not descend on the elements or the ceremony but the miracle is the participants ascend, spiritually, to heaven. John Calvin taught this view.
Symbolic or Memorial View says that the elements are signs that point to the risen Christ. They cause us to observe, remember, proclaim and worship the risen Christ. Ulrich Zwingli, a pastor of the Church of Zurich during the Reformation, taught this view.
What is Open Communion – What is Closed Communion
Open Communion allows believers to participate regardless of denomination
Closed Communion only allows only baptized believers of that denomination
The Passover and The Lord’s Supper or Communion
The Passover began when the children of Israel were freed from slavery in Egypt and then commemorated each year after that with a Passover meal containing a sacrificial lamb.
Jesus transformed the Passover meal into the Lord’s Supper before He went to the cross and there He announced His body being the sacrificial lamb and His blood signifying the new covenant.
It’s no wonder that the two big celebrations from the Bible are the Passover and The Last Supper – both of which are represented in a meal.
Think about how a meal will be a connecting point for people, how it will be a place to disconnect from the outside world and connect with the ones we love.
Think about this – Jesus was revealed to the two men who walked with Him to Emmaus after the resurrection after they broke bread.
Luke 24:30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
What does communion mean to you?
Thank you for that clear and inspiring teaching
Communion reminds me of what Christ did for us, that we may have eternal life for all who believe in Him. Also thinking about the new covenant, reminds me of his grace that abounds toward each one of us.