Meeting to remember Jesus in bread and wine.
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(All quotations from the New King James translation unless stated otherwise).
For those who believe the gospel, repent, are baptised by immersion in water into Christ and try to live by his commandments, breaking bread and drinking wine (so called ‘communion’) on a regular basis is the one ceremony commanded by Christ. It was instituted at the last supper.
Luke 22:19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
1 Corinthians 11:24 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."
Paul continues to explain why we need to do it.
1. To provide a visible testimony to Christ’s sacrifice until he returns. 1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
2. To examine the way we are living our lives with the way he lived his (and adjust our lives accordingly).
1 Corinthians 11:27 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. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
There is no magic of ‘transubstantiation’ associated with it. The bread and wine have no magical powers; ‘priestcraft’ should be no part of the new covenant.
Eating and drinking are metaphors used by Christ for doing the will of God.
John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
John 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"
To eat bread which represents the body and drink wine which represents the blood (the life is in the blood Leviticus 17:11) is a metaphor for living the life of Christ. If we eat and drink without living our lives by his commandments we will come into condemnation. ‘Not discerning the Lord’s body’ means not understanding what the bread and wine represent in terms of how we should be living.
Of the early converts it is recorded:
Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
They met on the first day of the week (Sunday):
Acts 20:7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread...
Another invaluable benefit of communion is fellowship one with another. Hebrews 3:13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
The writer to the Hebrews exhorts us not to forsake meeting together. Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Wafers served by men (or women) in fancy dress and styled ‘taking communion’ does not constitute the breaking of bread instituted by Jesus Christ.
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free online Bible study course available on our website, www.thisisyourbible.com? This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort... You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.
I hope this helps.