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How Often Should I Take The Lord's Supper?

July 2022

“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: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” —I Corinthians 11:23-26

In I Corinthians 11:25, the phrase, “as oft as ye drink it,” does not specify any exact times. It can be partaken daily, weekly, or as often as desired. It seems that early disciples observed it daily until they began to have weekly meetings, and then it was observed every Sunday. However, there is no scriptural set time. (Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7; I Cor. 10:17, 11:26, 16:2).

At Family Worship Center, we take communion the first Sunday of each month during our morning service.

Why Do We Take The Lord’s Supper?
Two ceremonies are essential for proper fellowship and communion with the Lord (but not for salvation) because they are divinely ordained—water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Because of their sacred character, they are sometimes described as sacraments—literally, “sacred things” or “oaths consecrated by a sacred rite.” They are also referred to as ordinances because they are ceremonies ordained by the Lord Himself. The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion is an ordinance of the church. It may be defined as the distinctive rite of Christian worship, instituted by the Lord Jesus on the eve of His atoning death. It consists of a spiritual partaking of bread and grape juice, which, having been presented in memorial of Christ’s inexhaustible sacrifice, becomes a means of grace whereby we are inspired to increased faith and faithfulness toward Him. Some keynotes of this ordinance include:
Commemoration. Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of me.” Every time a group of Christians gather to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, they are remembering, in a special manner, the atoning death of Christ, which freed them from their sins. Why do we remember His death above every event in His life? Because we are not saved by His life and teachings—divine as these are—but by His atoning sacrifice.
Instruction. The Lord’s Supper is a sacred object lesson setting forth the two fundamentals of the gospel:
1. The incarnation. As we take the bread, we hear John the Apostle saying, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). We hear the Lord Himself declaring, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” (John 6:33).
2. The atonement. The blessings included in the incarnation are imparted to us through the death of Christ. Bread and wine (grape juice) are in one way a picture of life, but in another way, a picture of death—the separation of body and life, the separation of flesh and blood. The bread tells us that the Bread of Life must be broken in death to be distributed among the spiritually hungry. The poured-out wine tells us that His blood, which is His life, must be shed in death, which it was, in order that its cleansing and quickening power may be supplied to needy souls.
Inspiration. The elements, especially the grape juice, reminds us that by faith we may become partakers of Christ’s nature and have “communion” with Him. As we partake of the bread and wine (grape juice) of the communion, we are reminded and assured that, by faith, we may truly receive His Spirit and reflect His character.

Communion Is Not Optional
Jesus said, “this do ye,” which plainly tells us that taking communion is not optional; it is actually a command. Believers are to regularly eat and drink the Supper.

In I Corinthians 11:26, the phrase, “ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come,” is meant to proclaim not only the atoning sacrifice necessary for salvation, but also as an ongoing cause of continued victory in life. Calvary is not only for salvation, but for continued victory after salvation.

Communion Does Not Save
If a person thinks there is salvation in this ceremony—and millions do—then he is eating and drinking unworthily. Salvation comes by faith in what the Supper represents, namely Christ offering up Himself on the cross as a sacrifice for lost humanity. For one to think or believe that the ceremony contains salvation within itself says, in effect, that Christ did not need to come from heaven to purchase man’s redemption, but rather that this ceremony is sufficient for the task.

What Does ‘Unworthily’ Mean?
I Corinthians 11:27 says, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”

The self-righteous are never fit to take the Lord’s Supper, which regrettably, pertains to a large segment of the modern church. It is only those who know and feel their terrible state of personal unworthiness, with a total necessity of looking to Christ, who in fact, are worthy to approach the table. Their worthiness is in Christ, which is the only worthiness that God will recognize.

To not give the solemn respect and honor due this momentous occasion portrays a gross unworthiness. To treat it with disdain not only destroys its true meaning, but also places such a person in spiritual and physical jeopardy: “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (I Corinthians 11:29).

If there is unconfessed, unrepentant, or known sin in a believer’s life, this also constitutes gross unworthiness. Remember, the Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice, it is only a symbol of the sacrifice that has already been offered at Calvary’s cross. Consequently, the act of engaging in this sacred occasion does not forgive or cleanse sin. Confession, forgiveness, and cleansing must come before the Table is approached, which can easily be done at any time. Consequently, there is no reason for any believer taking the Lord’s Supper with unrepentant sin in his life.

While the Lord does not demand perfection for the Lord’s Supper to be taken, He does demand faith in Christ and the cross, and that exclusively. Otherwise, sickness could occur, and the believer could die prematurely. While such a one’s soul will not be lost, still, his service on earth could be cut short (I Cor. 11:27-30).

Symbolism Of The New Covenant
Believers should understand that the Lord’s Supper is a symbolism of the cutting of the covenant, which took place at Calvary and portrays the new covenant that took the place of the old. The cutting of the covenant in Old Testament times meant the death of an innocent victim, with its body split in half. The two parties making the covenant would walk between the two halves, with the understanding that if either one broke the covenant, he would suffer the same fate as the sacrificed animal. Many times, a small amount of blood was also drawn from the finger of each participant, with cut finger touching cut finger, mixing the blood to say that both were now one. God made many covenants with man in Old Testament times, but all the covenants were broken by man because he never lived up to his part of the covenant.

But the new covenant, which the Lord’s Supper portrays, cannot be broken because the new covenant, cannot fail; it was made in Jesus and Jesus alone, for He was both God and man. When Jesus died on the cross, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Cor. 5:19). Jesus was the representative man, and as such, He cut the covenant on our behalf, so it cannot fail, for “He abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (II Tim. 2:13). In effect, Jesus is both God and man, so He fulfills both parties. That means whenever the believer partakes of the Lord’s Supper, he is celebrating the covenant that cannot fail. Praise God.



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