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The Lord's Supper

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Starting with the primitive background of the Lord's Supper, we will exposit the main passages in 1 Corinthians related to it under four divisions and follow it up with some comment on various controversies and clarifications on the issue.

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The Lord’s Supper in the Gospels (Matthew and Luke Combined)

- Understanding the whole of 1 Corinthians (address the “now concerning” appraach v. the thematic approach).
When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”
- 1-4 – Paul addresses his approach to disunity in the church
- 5-6 – Paul addresses the immorality of the assembly.
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
- 7-10 – Christian Considerations
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
- 11-14 – The Traditions of Public Worship
- 15 – The gospel of the resurrection
“Take this and share it among yourselves; But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
- 16 – The collection and assembly
“But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”
- Understanding the section on public worship (11-14)
- Headship by TRADITION
And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing. And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.
- Lord's Supper
After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
- Gifts
- Love

An Introduction to the Section

- Public Ministry An Introduction to the Section

Remember the Background of

- Understanding the whole of 1 Corinthians (address the “now concerning” appraach v. the thematic approach).=
- 1-4 – Paul addresses his approach to disunity in the church
- 5-6 – Paul addresses the immorality of the assembly.
- 7-10 – Christian Considerations

41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and on that day about three thousand souls were added.

The Fellowship of the First Believers

42 And they were devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers.

- 11-14 – The Traditions of Public Worship
- 15 – The gospel of the resurrection
Salvation > Baptism > Addition > Apostle’s Teaching > Fellowship > Breaking of Bread > Prayers. There is a clear continuity and flow in these things.
- 16 – The collection and assembly
- Understanding the section on public worship (11-14)
- Headship by TRADITION
1 Corinthians 11–14 NASB95
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God. But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you. For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,” says the Lord. So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you. What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.
- Lord's Supper
In all of this, there is no question that every believer should embrace this as a centrality in his life. This is not for some and not for others.
- Gifts
- Love
- Public Ministry

1 Corinthians as a Whole

*Though first Corinthians divides itself by a few “now concerning” markers, it divides quite obviously by theme primarily as well as chiasmic structures.
1-4 – Paul addresses his approach to disunity in the church.
5-6 – Paul addresses the immorality of the assembly.
7-10 – Christian Considerations in Personal Affairs
11-14 – The Traditions of Public Worship (Considerations in Public Affairs)
15 – The Gospel of the Resurrection
16 – The Collection and Assembly

- On Public Worship

*In , Paul says that he would set “the remaining things” in order when he came. Obviously there were minor things that definitely needed to be addressed. But before those minor things would be set in place, the assembly needed to be burdened with the major things — that which we have in 11-14. There will always be idiosyncratic needs from assembly to assembly, but we can all be burdened about chapters 11-14 as being primary in administering the divine pattern.
, Paul says that he would set “the remaining things” in order when he came. Obviously there were minor things that definitely needed to be addressed. But before those minor things would be set in place, the assembly needed to be burdened with the major things — that which we have in 11-14.
These are the major things in their necessary order: TRADITION (11:2) > HEADSHIP (11a) > LORD’S SUPPER (11b) > GIFTS (12) > LOVE (13) > PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (14)
*In , Paul says that he would set “the remaining things” in order when he came. Obviously there were minor things that definitely needed to be addressed. But before those minor things would be set in place, the assembly needed to be burdened with the major things — that which we have in 11-14.
Here is the chiasm for chapters 11-14, showing their unity:
A. Paul Praises the Keeping of Apostolic Tradition (11:2)
B. Men and Women Distinguished by Head Covering (11:3-16)
11b - The Lord’s Supper
C. Consideration at the Lord’s Supper (11:17-34)
12 - Spiritual Gifts
D. Proper Exercise of Spiritual Gifts (12)
13 - Exercise within Love
E. All Things Done in Love (13)
D’. Proper Exercise of Spiritual Gifts (14:1-25)
14 - Public Participation in the Assembly
C’. Consideration in Public Participation (14:26-33a)
B’. Men and Women Distinguished by Role (14:33b-35)
A’. Paul Urges the Recognition of Apostolic Authority (14:36-40)

The Lord’s Supper Expresses Fellowship with God and Men (10:14-22)

The Lord’s Supper Expresses Fellowship with God and Men (10:14-22)

Notice the Idolatry Shunned by the Lord’s Supper

On the Interpretation of this Passage

In chapter 8, Paul speaks of eating in an idol’s temple as a Christian liberty issue. Here he speaks of eating at a pagan feast as an abomination. What is the difference?
In chapter 8, Paul was referring to social events that could have taken place at or in the vicinity of the idol temple. At such events, the weaker brother could assume that the stronger brother was participating in idolatry by eating meat offered to idols and being in the place of the idols. However, this would not equate to idol worship.
In chapter 10, Paul is addressing an actual participation in idol feasts that parallels the Lord’s Supper in a way. This is not Christian liberty. This is sin. This is participating with demons which are behind the idols in the temple. He is trying to be very specific: idols and the food offered to idols are nothing. However, public participation and sharing in the actual idolatry is.
Flow Summary: Idolatry to be shunned > Partaking at any table/altar equals collectively sharing in what the table/altar symbolizes > Idols are technically nothing, but demons are behind them > Thus public displays of fellowship with idolatrous altars (paralleling the Lord’s Supper) are forbidden.

The Lord’s Supper Expresses Fellowship with God (10:18-22)

v. 18 — Israel after the flesh by formal participation in the offerings showed their link with the worship of God.
Flow Summary: Idolatry to be shunned > Partaking at the Lord’s Table equals collectively sharing in what the emblems symbolize > Idols are technically nothing, but demons are behind them > Thus public displays of fellowship with idolatrous altars (paralleling the Lord’s Supper) are forbidden.
v. 19 — Paul clarifies and restates what he said in chapter 8.
v. 20 — Not the idols, but the demons that are behind the idols.
v. 21 — Any social or formal participation in idol feasts was subjecting one’s self to demon worship and influence. This is inconsistent with our singular participation with Christ in the Lord’s Supper.

14-15 - This Demand Our Utmost Action, Wisdom, and Discernment

Action: “Flee from idolatry.” This sets up the context and the root matter of this section.
Wisdom: “Wise men.” Doubtless Paul was capitalizing on the Corinthians’ pride of knowledge by calling them “wise.” In other words, they should have known better. As a principle, the Lord’s Supper is not a ritualistic thing. It requires our utmost mental attention, as we will see in chapter 11.

Notice the Fellowship with Men

Discernment: “Judge what I say.” The intelligent were able to scrutinize Paul’s reasoning and find it to be valid. His point was true, and his argument was binding. The centrality of this issue must not be understated.

16-17 - The Lord’s Table Expresses Two Fellowships

On the Multiplicity of Emblems

One Fellowship is with Christ (16)
Both fellowships are collective. One is with Christ. One is with the assembly.
Notice the strength of this fellowship. It is sharing. That is true fellowship.
One Fellowship is with Believers (17)
By taking the symbols, I link myself afresh to both the Person and the work of Christ, His body and His blood.
There is an evident distinction between the Biblical pattern and the norms of Christendom today. Many churches use individual cups and wafers, yet this contradicts
Firstly I learn that in the Lord’s Supper I am directly interacting with the Person of Christ. This is not a stale “memorial” merely; this is direct participation with the One Whom we remember.
Secondly I learn that in the Lord’s Supper I culminate my expression of unity with my brother. Therefore, I live a lie when there is not love toward my brother while I participate in the emblems.

18-22 - The Lord’s Table Demands ONE Participation

Paul’s reasoning is like this: “Just as Israel’s priests showed their participation in the altar by eating the sacrifices, does this mean
Paul draws a very fine line between eating meat sacrificed to idols and giving his fellowship to sacrifice to idols. In eating he glorifies God. In participating he makes God jealous.
The conclusion is clear: there is no possibility of participating genuinely in two tables at the same time. The Lord’s Supper should not be the most spiritual part of my week; it should be the embodiment of what I exemplify every day.

The Lord’s Supper Abused (11:17-22)

21 - Eating before the slaves arrived, the rich overindulged and became drunk by the time the poorer workers arrived. 22 - They turned a sacred assembly into a social gathering that shamed the poor.

Can a Good Thing Really Turn Negative?

17-20 - Notice the Destructiveness of Division

The supper itself was ruined by their division, though it was a precious divine institution. > The assembly (assembling of them) was ruined, though it was God’s assembly first and foremost. > Nevertheless, God used the division to single out the genuine/approved believers. This was partly by default since sectarianism exposes error. > In motive, they lost sight of their true purpose of gathering; in actuality, they did not keep the Lord’s supper. It was their own supper.

22 - Notice the Distinction of the Local Assembly

The assembly (assembling of them) was ruined, though it was God’s assembly first and foremost.
Nevertheless, God used the division to single out the genuine/approved believers. This was partly by default since sectarianism exposes error.
Note the context in verse 18 (“in assembly”) and verse 20 (“in the same place”). There is no question in Paul’s mind nor the mind of the carnal believers that the local assembly is the only context in which the Lord’s supper can be administered.
“In assembly.” This was vital. If Paul corrected the condition of the assembly, he corrected the practice of the supper.
“In the same place.” Refutes the idea of “taking communion” to the absentees or bringing it home with you.
You are not fulfilling the Lord’s supper when your thoughts are either (a) neglecting your brother, (b) antagonistic toward your brother.

21-22 - Notice the Distinctiveness of the Local Assembly

21 - Eating before the slaves arrived, the rich overindulged and became drunk by the time the poorer workers arrived. 22 - They turned a sacred assembly into a social gathering that shamed the poor.
The local assembly does not take its pattern from personal life (“Each one of you” was eating their own food. It was personally initiated). Thus, my own preferences are not the deciding factor in how God’s assembly should look.
The local assembly does not take its pattern from commercial life (There were to be no class distinctions). Thus, all class distinctions have no place in God’s assembly.
The local assembly does not take its pattern from domestic life (They were to leave eating and drinking at home). Thus, all personal occupations have no place in God’s assembly.

22 - Notice the Distinction of the Local Assembly

The local assembly does not take its pattern from social gatherings (They were not to eat and drink for its own sake when gathered as an assembly). Thus, it demands all reverence and distinction in that it is God’s institution.

Can a God-Given Institution Really Turn into a Negative?

Paul begins 11 by saying “I praise you for keeping the traditions as I handed them down to you.” But he continues this section by saying “I praise you not” on account of a tradition not kept (see v. 23).
As a result, he said they came together “not for the better but for the worse.”
The conclusion: sincerity is not all that matters. Neither the pattern nor the sincerity can exist by themselves. When God’s pattern is violated, to fulfill a surrogate pattern becomes worse than if it had never been attempted. We have no right to approve the methods of evangelicalism simply because sincere people exist there. Sincerity + falseness = negativity.

The Lord’s Supper Articulated (11:23-26)

Flow Summary: 23 - The Lord’s Supper received and communicated as a tradition. 24 - A life given for their sake; this the Bread symbolized. 25 - A covenant initiated by His blood; this the wine symbolized. 26 - The Supper is a present proclamation of His death in anticipation of His coming.

23 - The Setting of the Lord’s Supper

It was a Tradition. “I received what I passed on.” — We must feel burdened to fulfill the Supper.
Man-made tradition is not received from the Lord, though it is passed on, and vainly so.
Divine tradition is received from the Lord and His apostles. The only tradition that matters is “that which was from the beginning” according to John’s first epistle. By this standard everything must be judged.
It was on the Night of His Betrayal. — We must feel drawn to fulfill the Supper.
The Saviour desired loyalty from His friends when He knew one of his “friends” was betraying Him into the terror of all terrors.
Yet how ironic that the Corinthians were betraying Him by their behaviour and did not see the solemnity.

24-25 - The Symbols of the Lord’s Supper

The Bread: His Body.
“This is My Body.” Obviously symbolism.
“Which is for you.” Not broken, for no bone of Him was broken. Oh, the touching commitment of the Saviour to His friends! He committed Himself to manhood, eternal manhood, so He could enter into death and link our lives with His. This is profound.
The Cup: His Blood of the New Covenant.
On the New Covenant

2 Corinthians 3:6

6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Hebrews 8:8

8 For he finds fault with them when he says:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,

when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah,

Hebrews 8:13

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 9:15

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 12:24

24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

— The NC makes the first obsolete.

2 Corinthians 3:6

6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Hebrews 8:8

8 For he finds fault with them when he says:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,

when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah,

Hebrews 8:13

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 9:15

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 12:24

24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

— The NC signifies forgiveness of OC transgressions.
— The NC signifies a new priesthood on the basis of profound bloodshed.

26 - The Significance of the Lord’s Supper

As often” — It holds the same significance every time. This is a solemn burden to remember, not simple a ritual from which we hope we get joy.
You Proclaim the Lord’s Death.” — This is part of the assembly’s collective testimony. A proclamation occurs. A standard is upheld. What exactly do we proclaim? Consider a handful of the doctrines that the Lord’s Supper communicates.
In that the body and blood are separated, death has occured.
We proclaim the propitiation that was made on our behalf.
We proclaim substitution in that He gave His body.
We proclaim the resurrection in that He is coming (and thus alive).
We proclaim God’s faithfulness to Israel in dispensational purposes (in that this links itself to the New Covenant of ).
We proclaim regeneration linked with the New Covenant.
Until He come” — The Saviour Himself is ever in view.
It points back to a real person, and lest the symbols turn into mere ritual we remind ourselves that He is the coming one as well.
The coming of Christ is associated with judgment as well, which should be a burden to those eating and drinking unworthily.

The Lord’s Supper Applied and Reformed (11:27-34)

Flow Summary: Remembrance [omit ‘unworthily’] with no discernment results in personal guilt and accountability on the most solemn level > The needs is to examine and judge one’s self before the Lord does > The solution was to wait for the less-fortunate to come, creating a caring and unified assembly.

27-29 - Personal Obligation

27 - Guilt. Eating in an unworthy manner results in temporal (not eternal) guilt on account of violating that which points directly to Christ. In that the emblems point directly to Christ, to violate them is to violate Christ.
28a - Examination. He examines first of all that he understands what he will do at the Lord’s Supper. This will inevitably produce an examination of further regions of the heart. The Christian must participate in the Lord’s Supper deliberately and confidently (in terms of his conscience).
28b - Obligation. There is no thought here of not eating because of unresolved sin. The fact is clear: I am obligated by command of the Lord Jesus to participate in the Lord’s Supper and be deliberate in it. Therefore, I cannot have unconfessed sin in my life. It is plain ungodliness to prefer my sin than to prefer the Lord’s Supper. Take the promise of to heart, and eat.
29a - Judgment. Omit “unworthily” here. The personal guilt results in personal judgment.
The Need to Discern
- Judgment. The unworthy manner is displayed in
29b - Discernment. The unworthy manner is displayed in verses 17-22. The root cause is here: a lack of discernment. The problem is twofold: (a) the Christian doesn’t know what he is doing, (b) nor does he know the kind of attitude the Lord’s table demands. It all starts with forgetting the real centrality of Christ in the local assembly.

30-32 - The Lord’s Burden for the Assembly

30 - Visible judgment identified an invisible problem. Often creatures of the flesh are too dull to identify invisible problems, and so the Lord has to bring a visible wake-up call.
31 - Judgement will happen either way. Either I judge me, or Christ judges me. The need is to be pro-active. The need is to be self-aware.
32 - The Lord’s judgment is pro-active.
A Great Fear: Coming together for Judgment
When we fail to judge ourselves, the Lord does this for us to preserve from a greater evil: condemnation from the world. The assembly is a testimony by design: it must not fail in its testimony lest it destroy the purpose for which Christ designed it. presents an example of how the Lord judges.
Solemn thing to be judged by the One we are claiming to remember in His death! Let us not think that the Lord is automatically pleased with our remembrance. He instituted the Supper as the Lord, and that demands not mere sentimentality but real burden to obey. Let us remember that our blessed Saviour also has eyes as a flame of fire.

33-34 - The Practical Solution

33 - Their solution was so simple: “Wait for one another.” This should have been obvious in that the Lord’s Supper was to express fellowship.
34a - Treat home like home and the house of God like the house of God.
34b - Get the big things right (our view of Christ), and the small things will be easier to handle. The big things for the assembly are what are written in this epistle. Paul left the cultural stuff for Corinth itself; he reserved the timeless commands for us.

Clarification, Comments, and Controversies

On the Multiplicity of the Emblems

On Transubstantiation

Catholics claim that the bread and wine turn into the actual blood and body of Christ, primarily based on , and church dogma of course. (“And because that Christ, our Redeemer, declared that which He offered under the species of bread to be truly His own body, therefore has it ever been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy Synod doth now declare it anew, that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation.” — From Chapter 4 of Session 3 of the Council of Trent)
First, their proof-text doesn’t work, because it is talking about salvation, and the Lord’s Supper is not a requirement for salvation. is speaking of Christ as the Bread of Life that fulfills the manna, not the bread of memorial that has a Passover background. To make speak about the Lord’s Supper, one must also claim that salvation can be gained simply by eating the bread of communion (). This is utterly ridiculous. Otherwise, without offering their view support, the other Lord’s Supper passages are clearly talking in symbolic language. If the Lord could not say “This is My body” symbolically, then He never used a literary devise when speaking. Everything He said must be taken literally. We literally, then, must pluck out our eyes and cut off our hands. This is absurd. The Bible communicates in literary devises, and the Lord used a symbol here.
is speaking of Christ as the Bread of Life that fulfills the manna, not the bread of memorial that has a Passover background.
To make speak about the Lord’s Supper, one must also claim that salvation can be gained simply by eating the bread of communion (). This is utterly ridiculous.
Otherwise, without offering their view support, the other Lord’s Supper passages are clearly talking in symbolic language. If the Lord could not say “This is My body” symbolically, then He never used a literary devise when speaking. Everything He said must be taken literally. We literally, then, must pluck out our eyes and cut off our hands. This is absurd. The Bible communicates in literary devises, and the Lord used a symbol here.
Of course, the main problem with Roman Catholic teaching is that they actually claim to sacrifice Christ again on the altar of the mass. Consider this quote: “And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy Synod teaches, that this sacrifice is truly propitiatory and that by means thereof this is effected, that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof, and granting the grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins. For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits indeed of which oblation, of that bloody one to wit, are received most plentifully through this unbloody one; so far is this (latter) from derogating in any way from that (former oblation). Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreebly to a tradition of the apostles.”
Zwingli v. Luther. Another controversy existed between Ulrich Zwingli and Martin Luther
That the Sacrifice of the Mass is propitiatory both for the living and the dead.
This is clearly heresy. The once-for-all sacrifice of Christ was not only once in reality, but once in necessity. All forgiveness looks back to that one sacrifice. The Roman Catholic Church claims that the sacrifice of the Mass is truly propitiatory now and that God is presently appeased by it when this is nowhere supported in Scripture; in fact, Scripture speaks against it. Everything in Hebrews and Romans contradicts this, see especially and .
And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy Synod teaches, that this sacrifice is truly propritiatory and that by means thereof this is effected, that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof, and granting the grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins. For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits indeed of which oblation, of that bloody one to wit, are received most plentifully through this unbloody one; so far is this (latter) from derogating in any way from that (former oblation). Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreebly to a tradition of the apostles.

On the Weekly Remembrance

From the New Testament
It is best to not use as a support for a weekly remembrance, so much as for a Sunday remembrance. Though the KJV seems to indicate a weekly pattern, other translations speak in matter of fact. Instead of “when the disciples came together [on a regular basis] to break bread,” the idea is “on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread.” However, it can be assumed that it was every Sunday in that the Breaking of Bread was obviously regular.
centralizes the Breaking of Bread as a foremost assembly meeting. By simple logic: (a) the believers obviously gathered every week (), (b) says the Breaking of Bread was foremost in the believers’ lives. THEREFORE, if any meeting is to be weekly, it is to be the Breaking of Bread.
shows us that the Breaking of Bread transitioned into a teaching meeting (just like the original supper with the disciples did). addresses public participation in general with no clear “assembly meeting” distinctions drawn between the Lord’s Supper and the teaching. Thus we may conclude that every Sunday constituted the Breaking of Bread and teaching. This is what Paul knew the Corinthians were engaged in. The Breaking of Bread would not be the first meeting mentioned in 11-14 if it was not weekly.
Humans live based on weekly cycle by God’s design, especially in the New Testament. The Christian is not bound to a monthly or yearly system of religion that celebrates feasts and holidays. We only have one day: Sunday. This was true from the very beginning (). There is no biblical support for treating the Lord’s Supper like a quarterly feast or a monthly celebration. No. The New Testament sets it out to be normative.
). There is no biblical support for treating the Lord’s Supper like a quarterly feast or a monthly celebration. No. The New Testament sets it out to be normative.
From Biblical Principles
The Breaking of Bread centralizes Christ rather than mere men. If we kept the Lord’s Table central, celebrity-pastorism would not exist.
The Breaking of Bread is the only ordinance defined as an assembly meeting in the New Testament. Is it not logical to think that it must be central?
We should love it, because it reminds us of Christ in a special way.
We should keep it frequent since it is in light of an immanent rapture.
It forces us to be deliberate and self-aware. If Christians understand their duty to the Lord, they will be forced to deliberately examine ourselves in light of a frequent obligation. To be a pew-filler is a sure recipe for lukewarm Christianity. But to understand my personal obligation to Christ, that requires me to be active and deliberate in my assembly fellowship.
It reminds us of Christ. I cannot participate with Christ through preaching the same way I can participate with Christ through the Breaking of Bread.
It causes us to be self-aware.
There is no better pattern. No Scripture can be given for monthly, quarterly, or yearly remembrance. But Scripture does assume a weekly remembrance.
From Practical Reasons
Humans live based on weekly cycle. The Christian is not bound to a monthly or yearly system of religion that celebrates feasts and holidays. We only have one day: Sunday. This was true from the very beginning (). There is no biblical support for treating the Lord’s Supper like a quarterly feast or a monthly celebration. No. The New Testament sets it out to be normative.
This forces us to be deliberate
What better pattern is there?
From History
Interestingly, Justin Martyr in his first apology titles one of his paragraphs, “Weekly Worship of the Christians” in which he describes the Breaking of Bread as it was seen in his day.
Catholicism for centuries emphasized the weekly Eucharist, with the proclamation of the Word being an aside. Hence, the medieval trend was to have pulpits positioned at the side of the cathedral rather than at the center; the Eucharist was at the center. The reformers came along and placed the pulpit back in the center (symbolizing the centrality of Biblical exposition) in opposition to the sacrementalism that existed in Roman Catholicism. Where there is a pendulum swing, there is often a lack of balance. This seems to have been the case as a result from the reformation. The strong influence of reformed and puritan thought on Western Christianity has made it normative to have weekly preaching as the central event of church life. Where preaching became central, the Lord’s table became a specialty. We should not be intimidated by Western norms, because they have not been made in a vacuum. Just because a pagan church system abused the Lord’s Supper, that does not mean that preaching should eclipse it instead. Weekly remembrance is not normative, not because it is unbiblical, but because we are caught in the mentalities of history. We have every reason to remember the Lord every week and preach so as to retain the balance.
In the modern era, there are men who willingly admit that an infrequent Breaking of Bread is not ideal.
Centrality in NT life
- Humans live based on a repetitive week
- Only meeting with an ordinance clearly defined
- Based on #1, since BoB was held on Sundays and since it was central, we should conclude that if any meeting was held weekly it was this one. (it may be obscure, since the meetings of the early church would have been combined on Sunday)
- We should love it so much
- We need it
It forces us to examine ourselves regularly and to be deliberate in our Christianity.
- What better pattern is there?
Centralizes Christ rather than mere men.
Disciples seen gathering on the first day immediately after His death
- The history of Catholic emphasis on Eucharist v. reformed emphasis on preaching
- Anecdote: Calvary baptist past admitting to me that it should be more often.
- Anecdote: Calvary baptist past admitting to me that it should be more often.

On the Multiplicity of Emblems

There is an evident distinction between the Biblical pattern and the norms of Christendom today. Many churches use individual cups and wafers, yet this contradicts the clear Biblical pattern.
The Lord made it clear when initiating the Supper: “Share IT [singular] amongst YOURSELVES [plural].” Never are the emblems spoken of in the plural on their own.
This is made clearer in . WE bless THE cup. WE participate in the ONE Person. WE have fellowship in ONE body. Verse 17 makes it so clear: “Since there is ONE bread, we who are many are ONE body, for we ALL partake of the ONE bread.” That is relating to the physical emblem. It applies to the wine too by flow of thought.
To use individual cups and wafers amounts to no more than raising a toast. The symbolism is totally lost. We lose the pattern, the common fellowship with Christ, and the fellowship with men.
What about Jerusalem and the 3,000 who were added? When you have 3,000 added to you assembly on one day then we can talk about this issue. First, that would need collective cups, because they wouldn’t have access to that many shot-glasses. Second, it is not unthinkable that they convened in smaller gatherings within the region of Jerusalem.

Does the Actual Substance of the Emblems Matter?

On the Comments of Justin Martyr
Does the bread have to be unleavened? No, because nowhere does the New Testament advocate unleavened bread, when it would have if we were to be held accountable for it. As well, the bread is not a type; it is a symbol. A type is a picture of Christ that had to be exact in its portrayal of Him, because it would identify Christ specifically when He fulfilled the picture. A symbol does not need to be exact in that Christ has already come and set the exact pattern of Who He is. The bread is just bread that reminds us of His body. Period.
Should we use wine or juice?
- Leavened v. Unleavened Bread & Type v. Symbol
Scripture advocates specifically the fruit of the vine. At bare minimum, this cannot be separate from a grape product. As well, this would have been fermented wine, because it was common to purify unfiltered water with wine.
Throughout history, wine would have been used in that unfermented wine was not as common as today. Thomas Welch made grape juice popular by applying Louis Pasteur’s pasteurization method to grapes in order to prevent fermentation. Interestingly, Welch was a Methodist minister who created unfermented wine so that the Methodists (who were sever Prohibitionists) could use grape juice instead of wine. Though unfermented wine existed before Welch, it was more difficult to produce and quite unnecessary.
The use of grape juice became common because of North American prohibitionist mentalities. We should not feel the need to conform to movements. We have the majority of history to advocate the use of real wine.
Based on using a single cup, wine will prove necessary to prevent the spread of germs from person to person. Based on simple logic: (a) a single cup is advocated in Scripture, (b) grape juice will demand that we use individual cups to prevent the spread of germs. THEREFORE, wine should be used in the Breaking of Bread for that practical reason.
As to the symbolism, it has to be a grape product to show the redness of Christ’s blood. But to show the bitter-sweetness of His death, wine shows both aspects in the two characteristics of its taste.
Specific situations may require prayerful consideration, like a new assembly formed from previous alcoholics that may stumble as a result from alcohol. Perhaps a solution would be a very small percentage
- Can we use any bread product?
- Wine v. Juice
- Wine in Bible times
- Contamination
Whatever the case may be, it at least is clear that Christ has specifically advocated a single loaf of bread and a single cup of wine, not crackers and pop, not donuts and apple juice. Many in evangelicalism have no problem with this, yet it clearly contradicts the Biblical pattern.
- Existence of distillation
- bitter-sweetness of Christ's death
- the redness of His blood

Open or Closed Table? Assembly or Body Function?

The Lord’s Supper is an Assembly Function
Objection 1: “This was instituted before the local assembly existed.” Yes, so was assembly discipline. It does not mean a person can be excommunicated from the Body of Christ. So with the Lord’s Supper, it is never seen apart from a permanent local testimony.
Objection 2: “What about God’s people who aren’t part of an assembly?” This is a false presupposition. Here is the issue: the New Testament assumes baptism and fellowship will closely follow salvation. There should be no sense in which a person has zero connection to a local assembly yet wants to participate in the Lord’s supper.
— The order is clear: salvation, baptism, doctrine, fellowship, then Breaking of Bread.
— They came together into the same place as an assembly. This was assumed to be the context of the Breaking of Bread.
— It is the assembly that a person despises when he abuses the Lord’s Supper.
— Apostolic tradition is always seen in connection with a local assembly specifically; thus, since the Breaking of Bread is seen as a tradition, it is clearly for an assembly to uphold.
, — The Lord’s Supper is clearly a testimony thing, and testimony in this context cannot be separated from the local assembly.
In that all assembly meetings were doubtless merged on a single day, the principles of about distinguishing between members of the assembly and the unlearned believers still apply.
The logic goes like this.
— The emblems show fellowship (broadly speaking).
— They came together as an assembly.
PREMISE 1: The Lord’s Supper is a local assembly function, as our passages clearly show.
PREMISE 2: The local assembly is based on a distinct membership (; ).
— They came together into the same place.
THEREFORE, the Lord’s Table is not open to all believers but has the same requirements of any other type of reception to the local assembly. Reception to the Lord’s Table is reception to fellowship and testimony. This is not simply an issue of individual conviction.
— Their abuse of the supper was to despise the assembly of God.
— The abuse of the Lord’s table resulted in judgment. Obviously reception should be handled carefully.
Further, there should be no category of believers who are not seeking consistent local assembly fellowship
What about receiving a person from another church structure? Here the greatest of discernment and sensitivity needs to be administered. A person cannot be shunned because he does not attend a building with the same name overhead. Yet carefulness should be had because men are able to creep in unawares and blemish the feasts of God’s people (, ). The overseeing brethren are responsible to discern in these matters, not forbidding fellowship but rather pursuing it carefully and Biblically. Again, every situation is different; thus, not all the factors can be foreseen and addressed.
— This was doubtless an all-encompassing meeting on the first day of the week. Thus, the principles of separation of both the unsaved and the unlearned apply to the Lord’s supper as well.
Interestingly, the Didache in the 2nd Century says: “But let none eat or drink of your Eucharist except those who have been baptised in the Lord’s Name. For concerning this also did the Lord say, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.””

Other Questions

Should we employ prayers and singing of hymns and teaching in our Breaking of Bread meetings? According to the Gospels, Acts, and 1 Corinthians, the answer is yes to all of the above.
- Individual Cups and Wafers (Deal with in the section)
Hymns
- Leavened v. Unleavened Bread & Type v. Symbol
Prayers
Giving Thanks for the Emblems
- Can we use any bread product?
- Wine v. Juice
Scripture portion Afterward
- Wine in Bible times
Is the remembrance in the prayers given or in the actual participation in the emblems? The primary thing is the participation in the symbols. This is quite clear when He says “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Is it right to isolate the emblems from the local assembly gathering (taking them to the sick, taking them home if in a hurry, having a meeting in a random place, etc.)? Absolutely not, because the Lord’s supper is a proclamation, fellowship, and testimony that cannot happen apart from a local assembly gathering (see , , ).
- Contamination

The Lord’s Supper in the Gospels (Matthew and Luke Combined)

- Existence of distillation

Appendix I — Justin Martyr on the Lord’s Supper (2nd Century)

- bitter-sweetness of Christ's death
CHAP. LXV.—ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS.
When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”
CHAP. LXV.—ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS.
- the redness of His blood
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.
- Weekly v. non weekly
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
CHAP. LXVI.—OF THE EUCHARIST.
for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
- Centrality in NT life
And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.6 For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.
“Take this and share it among yourselves; But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
- Humans live based on a repetitive week
“But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”
“For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”
- Only meeting with an ordinance clearly defined
- Based on #1, since BoB was held on Sundays and since it was central, we should conclude that if any meeting was held weekly it was this one. (it may be obscure, since the meetings of the early church would have been combined on Sunday)
And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing. And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.
CHAP. LXVII.—WEEKLY WORSHIP OF THE CHRISTIANS.
- We should love it so much
After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows, and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds, and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.
- We need it

Appendix 2 — The Didache on the Lord’s Supper (2nd Century)

AND concerning the Eucharist, hold Eucharist thus: First concerning the Cup, “We give thanks to thee, our Father, for the Holy Vine of David thy child, which, thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy child; to thee be glory for ever.” And concerning the broken Bread: “We give thee thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou didst make known to us though Jesus thy child. To thee be glory for ever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains, but was brought together and became one, so let thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into thy kingdom, for thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever.” But let none eat or drink of your Eucharist except those who have been baptised in the Lord’s Name. For concerning this also did the Lord say, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”

Appendix 3 — The Council of Trent (1545-1563) on the Eucharist (Showing the Heresy of the Roman Catholic Church)

CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST
- What better pattern is there?
- The history of Catholic emphsis on Eucharist v. reformed emphasis on preaching.
FIRST DECREE
- Anecdote: Calvary baptist past admitting to me that it should be more often.
Being the third under the Sovereign Pontiff, Julius III., celebrated on the eleventh day of October, MDLI.
The sacred and holy, ecumenical and general Synod of Trent,-lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same Legate, and nuncios of the Apostolic See presiding therein, although the end for which It assembled, not without the special guidance and governance of the Holy Ghost, was, that It might set forth the true and ancient doctrine touching faith and the sacraments, and might apply a remedy to all the heresies, and the other most grievous troubles with which the Church of God is now miserably agitated, and rent into many and various parts; yet, even from the outset, this especially has been the object of Its desires, that It might pluck up by the roots those tares of execrable errors and schisms, with which the enemy hath, in these our calamitous times, oversown the doctrine of the faith, in the use and worship of the sacred and holy Eucharist, which our Saviour, notwithstanding, left in His Church as a symbol of that unity and charity, with which He would fain have all Christians be mentally joined and united together. Wherefore, this sacred and holy Synod delivering here, on this venerable and divine sacrament of the Eucharist, that sound and genuine doctrine, which the Catholic Church,-instructed by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and by His apostles, and taught by the Holy Ghost, who day by day brings to her mind all truth, has always retained, and will preserve even to the end of the world, forbids all the faithful of Christ, to presume to believe, teach, or preach henceforth concerning the holy Eucharist, otherwise than as is explained and defined in this present decree.
CHAPTER I.
On the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist.
In the first place, the holy Synod teaches, and openly and simply professes, that, in the august sacrament of the holy Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really, and substantially contained under the species of those sensible things. For neither are these things mutually repugnant,-that our Saviour Himself always sitteth at the right hand of the Father in heaven, according to the natural mode of existing, and that, nevertheless, He be, in many other places, sacramentally present to us in his own substance, by a manner of existing, which, though we can scarcely express it in words, yet can we, by the understanding illuminated by faith, conceive, and we ought most firmly to believe, to be possible unto God: for thus all our forefathers, as many as were in the true Church of Christ, who have treated of this most holy Sacrament, have most openly professed, that our Redeemer instituted this so admirable a sacrament at the last supper, when, after the blessing of the bread and wine, He testified, in express and clear words, that He gave them His own very Body, and His own Blood; words which,-recorded by the holy Evangelists, and afterwards repeated by Saint Paul, whereas they carry with them that proper and most manifest meaning in which they were understood by the Fathers,-it is indeed a crime the most unworthy that they should be wrested, by certain contentions and wicked men, to fictitious and imaginary tropes, whereby the verity of the flesh and blood of Christ is denied, contrary to the universal sense of the Church, which, as the pillar and ground of truth, has detested, as satanical, these inventions devised by impious men; she recognising, with a mind ever grateful and unforgetting, this most excellent benefit of Christ.
CHAPTER II.
On the reason of the Institution of this most holy Sacrament.
Wherefore, our Saviour, when about to depart out of this world to the Father, instituted this Sacrament, in which He poured forth as it were the riches of His divine love towards man, making a remembrance of his wonderful works; and He commanded us, in the participation thereof, to venerate His memory, and to show forth his death until He come to judge the world. And He would also that this sacrement should be received as the spiritual food of souls, whereby may be fed and strengthened those who live with His life who said, He that eateth me, the same also shall live by me; and as an antidote, whereby we may be freed from daily faults, and be preserved from mortal sins. He would, furthermore, have it be a pledge of our glory to come, and everlasting happiness, and thus be a symbol of that one body whereof He is the head, and to which He would fain have us as members be united by the closest bond of faith, hope, and charity, that we might all speak the same things, and there might be no schisms amongst us.
CHAPTER III.
On the excellency of the most holy Eucharist over the rest of the Sacraments.
The most holy Eucharist has indeed this in common with the rest of the sacraments, that it is a symbol of a sacred thing, and is a visible form of an invisible grace; but there is found in the Eucharist this excellent and peculiar thing, that the other sacraments have then first the power of sanctifying when one uses them, whereas in the Eucharist, before being used, there is the Author Himself of sanctity. For the apostles had not as yet received the Eucharist from the hand of the Lord, when nevertheless Himself affirmed with truth that to be His own body which He presented (to them). And this faith has ever been in the Church of God, that, immediately after the consecration, the veritable Body of our Lord, and His veritable Blood, together with His soul and divinity, are under the species of bread and wine; but the Body indeed under the species of bread, and the Blood under the species of wine, by the force of the words; but the body itself under the species of wine, and the blood under the species of bread, and the soul under both, by the force of that natural connexion and concomitancy whereby the parts of Christ our Lord, who hath now risen from the dead, to die no more, are united together; and the divinity, furthermore, on account of the admirable hypostatical union thereof with His body and soul. Wherefore it is most true, that as much is contained under either species as under both; for Christ whole and entire is under the species of bread, and under any part whatsoever of that species; likewise the whole (Christ) is under the species of wine, and under the parts thereof.
CHAPTER IV.
On Transubstantiation.
And because that Christ, our Redeemer, declared that which He offered under the species of bread to be truly His own body, therefore has it ever been a firm belief in the Church of God, and this holy Synod doth now declare it anew, that, by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation.
CHAPTER V.
On the cult and veneration to be shown to this most holy Sacrament.
Wherefore, there is no room left for doubt, that all the faithful of Christ may, according to the custom ever received in the Catholic Church, render in veneration the worship of latria, which is due to the true God, to this most holy sacrament. For not therefore is it the less to be adored on this account, that it was instituted by Christ, the Lord, in order to be received: for we believe that same God to be present therein, of whom the eternal Father, when introducing him into the world, says; And let all the angels of God adore him; whom the Magi falling down, adored; who, in fine, as the Scripture testifies, was adored by the apostles in Galilee.
The holy Synod declares, moreover, that very piously and religiously was this custom introduced into the Church, that this sublime and venerable sacrament be, with special veneration and solemnity, celebrated, every year, on a certain day, and that a festival; and that it be borne reverently and with honour in processions through the streets, and public places. For it is most just that there be certain appointed holy days, whereon all Christians may, with a special and unusual demonstration, testify that their minds are grateful and thankful to their common Lord and Redeemer for so ineffable and truly divine a benefit, whereby the victory and triumph of His death are represented. And so indeed did it behove victorious truth to celebrate a triumph over falsehood and heresy, that thus her adversaries, at the sight of so much splendour, and in the midst of so great joy of the universal Church, may either pine away weakened and broken; or, touched with shame and confounded, at length repent.
CHAPTER VI.
On reserving the Sacrament of the sacred Eucharist, and bearing it to the Sick.
The custom of reserving the holy Eucharist in the sacrarium is so ancient, that even the age of the Council of Nicaea recognised that usage. Moreover, as to carrying the sacred Eucharist itself to the sick, and carefully reserving it for this purpose in churches, besides that it is exceedingly conformable to equity and reason, it is also found enjoined in numerous councils, and is a very ancient observance of the Catholic Church. Wherefore, this holy Synod ordains, that this salutary and necessary custom is to be by all means retained.
CHAPTER VII.
On the preparation to be given that one may worthily receive the sacred Eucharist.
If it is unbeseeming for any one to approach to any of the sacred functions, unless he approach holily; assuredly, the more the holiness and divinity of this heavenly sacrament are understood by a Christian, the more diligently ought he to give heed that he approach not to receive it but with great reverence and holiness, especially as we read in the Apostle those words full of terror; He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself. Wherefore, he who would communicate, ought to recall to mind the precept of the Apostle; Let a man prove himself. Now ecclesiastical usage declares that necessary proof to be, that no one, conscious to himself of mortal sin, how contrite soever he may seem to himself, ought to approach to the sacred Eucharist without previous sacramental confession. This the holy Synod hath decreed is to be invariably observed by all Christians, even by those priests on whom it may be incumbent by their office to celebrate, provided the opportunity of a confessor do not fail them; but if, in an urgent necessity, a priest should celebrate without previous confession, let him confess as soon as possible.
CHAPTER VIII.
On the use of this admirable Sacrament.
Now as to the use of this holy sacrament, our Fathers have rightly and wisely distinguished three ways of receiving it. For they have taught that some receive it sacramentally only, to wit sinners: others spiritually only, those to wit who eating in desire that heavenly bread which is set before them, are, by a lively faith which worketh by charity, made sensible of the fruit and usefulness thereof: whereas the third (class) receive it both sacramentally and spiritually, and these are they who so prove and prepare themselves beforehand, as to approach to this divine table clothed with the wedding garment. Now as to the reception of the sacrament, it was always the custom in the Church of God, that laymen should receive the communion from priests; but that priests when celebrating should communicate themselves; which custom, as coming down from an apostolical tradition, ought with justice and reason to be retained. And finally this holy Synod with true fatherly affection admonishes, exhorts, begs, and beseeches, through the bowels of the mercy of our God, that all and each of those who bear the Christian name would now at length agree and be of one mind in this sign of unity, in this bond of charity, in this symbol of concord; and that mindful of the so great majesty, and the so exceeding love of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His own beloved soul as the price of our salvation, and gave us His own flesh to eat, they would believe and venerate these sacred mysteries of His body and blood with such constancy and firmness of faith, with such devotion of soul, with such piety and worship as to be able frequently to receive that supersubstantial bread, and that it may be to them truly the life of the soul, and the perpetual health of their mind; that being invigorated by the strength thereof, they may, after the journeying of this miserable pilgrimage, be able to arrive at their heavenly country, there to eat, without any veil, that same bread of angels which they now eat under the sacred veils.
But forasmuch as it is not enough to declare the truth, if errors be not laid bare and repudiated, it hath seemed good to the holy Synod to subjoin these canons, that all, -the Catholic doctrine being already recognised,-may now also understand what are the heresies which they ought to guard against and avoid.
ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST
CANONS
CANON I. If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.
CANON II. If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.
CANON III. If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.
CANON IV. If any one saith, that, after the consecration is completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but (are there) only during the use, whilst it is being taken, and not either before or after; and that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which are reserved or which remain after communion, the true Body of the Lord remaineth not; let him be anathema.
CANON V. If any one saith, either that the principal fruit of the most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins, or, that other effects do not result therefrom; let him be anathema.
CANON VI. If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema.
CANON VII. If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the sacred Eucharist to be reserved in the sacrarium, but that, immediately after consecration, it must necessarily be distributed amongst those present; or, that it is not lawful that it be carried with honour to the sick; let him be anathema.
CANON VIII. lf any one saith, that Christ, given in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema.
CANON IX. If any one denieth, that all and each of Christ's faithful of both sexes are bound, when they have attained to years of discretion, to communicate every year, at least at Easter, in accordance with the precept of holy Mother Church; let him be anathema.
CANON X. If any one saith, that it is not lawful for the celebrating priest to communicate himself; let him be anathema.
CANON XI. lf any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.
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