COMMUNION

THE LORD’S SUPPER

The Lord’s Supper – also called Communion – is a way for believers to fellowship with Christ. It is a way for us to exchange our weaknesses for His strength. This ordinance is beautifully set forth in the following two passages: Matthew 26:26-30 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-34.

I.   The Origin of Communion

There is no way to receive the intended purpose and power of Communion without looking at its origin – the Passover Meal.

Jesus gave His disciples Communion on a particular night – Passover. The disciples asked Him where they were going to eat Passover and Jesus responded “I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples” (Matthew 26:17-18). Many believers miss an awesome revelation of the New Testament by failing to examine the Old Covenant origin of the Passover Meal.

The first Passover takes place in Exodus 12 on the night before Israel was delivered from the oppression of Egypt.  God sent plagues so that Pharaoh would let the Israelites leave Egypt. Before the Red Sea ever parted, and before they ever received the wealth and treasure of Egypt, they received the Passover Meal. The meal included a lamb, unleavened bread and the cup of the fruit of the vine. It was a type of foreshadowing that told of Christ.  The Passover Lamb represents God’s provision in atoning for man’s sin. Jesus is our Passover. Notice the specific instructions regarding the Passover.

A. “In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them_____________ ___________a lamb, according to the house of their fathers a lamb for a ______________. And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take according to the number of the_______________ ;”(Exodus 12: 3-4)

B. “Your lamb shall be ___________________ ____________________, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:” (Exodus 12:5) And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.” (Exodus 12: 5-6)

If you’ve read the account, you will remember that the blood of the Passover lamb was applied to the side post and above their doors. When the angel of death passed through Egypt that night to smite the first-born of every house (the tenth and final plague) death would “pass-over” any house where the blood was applied. Death took place, just not the death of the firstborn. Herein lies a picture of a spotless lamb atoning for mankind. (Exodus 12:7-14)

II. Jesus, Our Passover

The Bible calls Jesus our Passover. “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”(1 Corinthians 5:7). If in the Old Testament the blood of lambs wrought salvation, healing and deliverance to the children of God; how much more the Blood of the Lamb of God?

When John saw Jesus coming, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). From Genesis to Revelation it is the Lamb that becomes the picture of Jesus’ atonement, redemption, healing and salvation. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they noticed they were naked and sewed fig leaves together in order to hide themselves. The sewing of the fig leaves was their own work and attempt to cover for their sin. They provided for themselves a covering through their own labor. God, unwilling to accept their sewn fig leaves as a sin covering, sacrificed an innocent animal. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). The Bible doesn’t say what type of animal was sacrificed, but the pattern of sacrifice recorded throughout scripture provides great evidence to suggest it was a lamb.

When Cain and Abel brought their offering before the Lord in Genesis 4:2-4, God respected Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. The principle thing to notice is what their faith rested in. Hebrews 11:4 testifies of Abel’s offering,“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” What did Abel have faith in? Obviously it was in what he had sacrificed- a lamb! Abel knew that the way to God was through the blood of the lamb, while Cain brought the product of his own work. The only way that Abel could have known about the sacrifice of a lamb would have been for him to have learned it from his parents, Adam and Eve; who had previously witnessed God sacrifice for their sin.

God gave Abraham a miracle son, Isaac, and told him that he would be the father of many nations. Then God asked Abraham to kill Isaac as a sacrifice. As Abraham went forth to the place where he was to sacrifice his son, Isaac unknowingly asked his father, “where is the lamb?” (Genesis 22). How would Isaac have known about a lamb sacrifice? This was over 400 years before God gave the order of the Law and Priesthood to Moses. Obviously this method had been passed down since Adam. Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac on the altar, the angel of the Lord stopped him. Abraham looked back to find a lamb caught in a thicket. That lamb became the replacement sacrifice. God always intended for Isaac to live. He always intended to provide the atonement sacrifice for Abraham. This was a picture of how, 2000 years later, He would provide the atoning sacrifice for the world, Jesus His Son, the sinless lamb.

God has made it very clear that atonement is provided through the innocent blood of a lamb,and not by works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

III.  What Is The Lord’s Supper?

The blood of Christ redeems us from death and destruction. We must also consider that, for the time being, we still live in a fallen world. Because of this we will still be subject to sickness and other consequences brought about from the fall of man. This does not mean we are helpless in times of need. It is quite the opposite. Through the Lord’s Supper we have been given a way to exchange our weaknesses for His strengths. When we are sick, we need healing. Because Jesus bore all sin and sickness in His body, He has paid the price owed to gain the right to give healing to whomever He wishes. It is His will that we prosper and be in health. Therefore we know that if our faith lies in Him, He has the ability to send healing to us. This goes for any and everything we need to live a life of wholeness, spiritually, mentally and physically.

A believer’s quest for spiritual power, physical healing and mental deliverance can be found in the two elements that represent the body and the blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Those elements are the Bread and the Cup (fruit of the vine – 100% grape juice).

A. The Lord’s Supper is the eating of the broken ________________and the drinking of the ____________ by God’s people (Matthew 26:27-28; 1 Corinthians 11:25).

B. Breaking bread portrays the _________________ of ___________________ (Matthew 26:26; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

C.    The fruit of the vine portrays the __________________ of __________________ shed on the cross (Matthew 26:27-28; 1 Corinthians 11:25).

When we take communion discernment is essential. We must first think about ourselves and discern our weaknesses. This means considering where we are in need and where we have come short. We then need to discern the Lord’s body and sacrifice. This means we think about all that He has done for us and the sacrifice He made in order to redeem us. We think about the promises in His word. Then we eat and drink in faith, remembering that it is His strength and provision that enables us.

IV. Why Should We Partake of the Lord’s Supper?

A. It is commanded by Christ.  1 Corinthians 11:25 says, “This ____________ ye.”  We are to partake these elements in ________________________________ of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

B. Jesus initiated it and practiced it (Matthew 26:26-28).  We are exhorted in 1 Peter 2:21 to follow His ______________________________ .

C. The early church practiced it (Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7).

D. We need communion to exchange our weaknesses for His divine strength.

V. Who Should Partake Of The Lord’s Supper?

Only baptized believers and those who have declared their salvation by grace through faith (Romans 10:9-10).  The ordinance was first given to the children of Israel by Moses who received it from God; it was then given to the disciples by Jesus. Paul gave it to the New Testament church after receiving it from Jesus. “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” (1 Corinthians 11:23).  The Lord’s Supper is a testimony concerning that which has already occurred in the life of a Christian because of the finished work of Jesus. Salvation is a finished work! Healing is a finished work! Deliverance is a finished work! Success in our family and finances is a finished work!

1. How to Go About Communion

Only believers who are living in fellowship with the Lord should take communion.  It is a serious matter to partake of the Lord’s Supper.  1 Corinthians 11:27 identifies a very vital instruction regarding The Lord’s Supper.

A. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord ____________________ shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  (1Corinthians 11:27)

B. But let a man _______________ _________________ and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of that cup.  (1 Corinthians 11:28)

C. For he that eateth and drinketh ___________________eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not __________________________the ________________ _________________ . (1 Corinthians 11:29)

D. The Bible says that if partake of these elements “unworthily ” that we are guilty of the   _________________ and __________________ of our Lord. Therefore we are to  judge ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:27). There are conditions that result in not discerning the Lord’s body. 1 Corinthians 11:30 says that conditions like being weak, sick, and even death can occur when believers fail to eat The Lord’s Supper worthily.

How do you eat the Lord’s Supper worthily? We find the answer to this question in Romans 14:23: “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” This verse shows that when you approach Communion that you must approach it in faith. In order to take communion the right way, we must do it in faith. Faith isn’t something we can just muster up. It isn’t simply psyching ourself out. Faith is a genuine substance that we obtain from God by reading His word. Notice how the Bible says that we are to obtain faith:

E. “ ______________ comes by __________________ and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) In applying this Scripture to what we have learn, we see that believers must approach the Lord’s Supper in the faith that was received when they heard the Word of God.

2. How Do You Discern the Lord’s Body?

Believers are to think on everything that Jesus bore in His Body and soul upon the cross, and to remember that it was for our salvation. He was cursed, vexed, rebuked, destroyed, consumed by pestilence and fever, consumption and inflammation, extreme burning and blasting. He was smitten from the top of His head to the sole of His foot with scabs, madness, blindness and astonishment of heart. All the punishments that we deserved for transgressing God’s law fell on Him. You can read more about the curses that come as a result of disobedience to the law in Deuteronomy 28. It will help you get a small glimpse of what came on Jesus as he hung on the cross. It will also help you to see that He paid the price for all sin, and victory is His. His blood paid for wholeness in every sense of the word. Victory and wholeness are His to give out to us freely.

A. “For he hath made him to be _____________ for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God ______ _____________ .” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Knowing what Jesus has obtained, we are to make the exchange: Our weakness for His strength. We are actively recognizing that we have a need and He has the answer. Believers are to confess and ask forgiveness of our sin. We have promises in His Word that He will forgive, cleanse and forget our sins.

B. “If we ___________________ _____________ ____________ he is __________________________ and just to _____________________our sins, and to _______________ us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

C. “I, even I, am he that ___________________ out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will _________ _______________________ thy sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)

VI. How Often Should One Partake Of The Lord’s Supper?

There is no specific command as to how often communion should be observed. Jesus simply said to the assembled church that as often as we do partake of the Lord’s Supper, we should do it in rememberance of Him. The Bible says that by eating the bread and taking the cup, we are showing (declaring publicly) His death until He returns. (1 Corinthians 11:25-26). Below are some examples of how it was observed in the Bible.

The early church observed it (Acts 2:46). Although communion is observed at church, it is also important to note that one can take communion individually, outside of the church as well. The church at Troas observed it weekly on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). It is the commanded duty of every Christian to be present at the Communion Service and to partake in the Lord’s Supper.

ANSWER KEY

I.

A. every man,   house,   souls

B. without blemish

III.

A. bread,   cup

B. body,   Jesus

C. blood,   Jesus

IV.

A. do,   remembrance

B. steps (or example)

C. blotteth,   not remember

 

V.

1.       A. unworthily

B. examine himself

C. unworthily,   discerning,   Lord’s body

D. body,   blood

E. faith,   hearing

2.     A. sin, in him

B. confess our sins,   faithful,   forgive,   cleanse

C. blotteth,   not remember

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