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Questions About the Lord's Supper


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Questions About the Lord's Supper - In the last 100 years we could identify numerous "sects" within the Lord's church as a direct result of the division over various aspects of the Lord's Supper. So, how do we answer these questions?

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Questions About the Lord's Supper

  1. 2. <ul><li>Over the years many doctrines have been stated, defended and exercised concerning the Lord’s Supper (communion; eucharist). </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Catholics believe in transubstantiation: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The complete change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of Christ's body and blood by a validly ordained priest during the consecration at Mass, so that only the accidents of bread and wine remain.” </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Among professing Christians are other doctrines surrounding the elements of the Supper: when, how often, in what order, etc. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Many Christians today have questions, opinions, and strong convictions about the Lord’s Supper. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What one group refers to as doctrine another believes to be a matter of opinion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On another point both groups may reverse positions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So strong are the convictions we have different sects among brethren: one cup, wine only, one serving, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>So, how do Christians – who want to worship the Lord in spirit and truth – answer these questions? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do we answer these questions from a literalist point of view? If so, what are the ramifications? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do we take into consideration the conscience of brethren? If so, what are those ramifications? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While contending for truth what is the end of the matter? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 8. <ul><li>Faithful Christians look to facts as a means of upholding truth. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facts are necessary, they keep us from simply “doing what is right in our own eyes.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christians, however, have interpreted the information from the facts differently than others. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking a look at the last 100 years we can see the ravaging effects of fellowship withdrawals in man’s pursuit of keeping every nuance of the Lord’s Supper perfectly. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 10. <ul><li>Fermented or unfermented? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statement: “fruit of the vine” (phrase tied to grapes, not other fruits) used, even though the writer could have used words for “wine.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>O.T. law reveals nothing about “wine” for Passover meal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion: use unfermented fruit of the vine (grape juice). </li></ul></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>Bread first or fruit of the vine? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matthew and Mark (1 Cor. 11): bread, then fruit of the vine. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Luke: fruit of the vine; bread; fruit of the vine. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion: either way. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 12. <ul><li>One or two servings? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The fact is that there was only one serving: as instituted and practiced. Matt. 26:26ff; Acts 20:7 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion: just one serving. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 13. <ul><li>Can we sing, pray, or read during the observance? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There was no such recording during the actual partaking. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There was only a prayer (“blessing”) for the emblems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion: no praying, singing, or Bible reading during the partaking. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 14. <ul><li>With or without a meal? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lord’s Supper instituted while they were eating a meal. Matt. 26:26; Mk. 14:22 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Church at Troas: disciples came together to “break bread”, arguably referring to only the Lord’s Supper or a meal with the Lord’s Supper. Acts 20:7 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion: literally, inconclusive. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 16. <ul><li>Undoubtedly, individuals and congregations alike would not agree on all the above “literalist” conclusions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is because interpretation via context in the passage and other related passages cause brethren to consider multiple conclusions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The natural question that is of utmost importance to our walk is how do we have unity with so many potential differences… all exclaiming that their conclusion is the one that is correct? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 17. <ul><li>A pure conscience and loving attitude demands: learning from the apostle Paul. 1 Cor. 11:17-34 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine yourself and partake of the Supper in a worthy manner. Cp. V. 27 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be mindful of the conscience of others. cp. Rom. 14:1 </li></ul></ul>
  14. 18. Conclusion <ul><li>If the members of this congregation come up with “the final answer” to each question… would that mean brethren from other churches are necessarily wrong if the answer is different? </li></ul><ul><li>Conversely, are we necessarily right because we have come to a “final answer”? </li></ul>
  15. 19. Conclusion <ul><li>Ultimately, we will face the Lord for what we believe and practice regarding the Lord’s Supper and every other doctrine taught, believed and practiced. </li></ul><ul><li>May God be glorified that His people not only strive to do all “in the name of the Lord” but also strive to have unity with one another. </li></ul>