Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Lord's Supper: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

The following post is the Lord's Supper lesson as presented in the RAD Church Planting training developed by Wilson G., which I am using in equipping a group of church planters.

What is the Lord’s Supper? What does it mean to us as believers? 
Let’s look at some scripture in God’s word that tells us what it is.

Read Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
Now, let’s ask these questions to find out what the Lord’s Supper is-
  1. Who-
    1. Who can take it? - Baptized believers.
    2. Who can give it? - Baptized believers.
  2. What -
    1. The bread - it represents Christ’s body, which was given for us - His flesh. (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24)
    2. The cup of juice - represents the new covenant in Christ’s blood which was poured out for many. (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke:22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25)
    These things aren’t really Christ’s body and blood, but they provide a picture to remind us of Jesus’ demonstration of His love for us through the sacrifice of His body and blood on the cross to pay for our sins.
  3. Where can the Lord’s Supper be taken? Anywhere a church could meet.
  4. When can it be taken? Anytime. It is up to the church to decide when and how often, but it should be taken by the church regularly and consistently. However not so often that it becomes ritualistic or habitual, so as to lose its meaning, yet not so far apart that we forget.
  5. Why do we take the Lord’s Supper?
    1. ProclamationIn taking the Lord’s Supper, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. In proclaiming the Lord’s death, you are accepting that He is your Lord and that He died for the sins of the world. (1 Corinthians 11:26)
    2. Thanksgiving- Before taking the cup and the bread, Jesus gave thanks. We should also give thanks to God for the salvation He has given us.
      (Matthew 26:26 & 27; Mark 14:22 & 23; Luke 22:17 & 19; 1 Corinthians 11:24)
    3. Remembrance- Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” We take the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of what Jesus did for us all. We remember that he sacrificed himself to take the punishment for our sins. Just as we celebrate or remember birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc., once per year, how much more should we remember that Jesus gave us a greater thing to remember; eternal salvation? (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24 & 25)
    4. New Covenant- It is a symbol of the new covenant God that made between himself and His people. This new covenant, in which Jesus became the once for all sacrifice needed for sins, replaced the old covenant. In the same way, believers have entered into a completely new relationship with the One True God. They have turned from their sinful ways, accepted that Jesus took the punishment for their sins once for all, and know that Jesus gave them a new life.
      (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25)
    5. Ordinance/Command“Do this...” - Jesus was still alive, yet he said to do these things in remembrance of him. It is important for the body of Christ to remember what Jesus has done for them, which in turn brings unity to the body. It is one of the functions that make up a Healthy Church. (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24 & 25) 
6. How? - 10 recommended steps to follow when taking the Lord’s Supper
  1. Prayer - Open in prayer.
  2. Teaching – A leader or one of the baptized believers should give some teaching on the subject of the Lord’s Supper, especially if it is the first time taking it. It is always wise to review the meaning of the Lord’s Supper as a church body.
  3. Remembrance - Remember as a group what Jesus did for all.
  4. Proclamation - Proclaim Jesus’ death until he comes.
  5. Thanksgiving - Give thanks to God for the opportunity to remember what He has given to us. (Matthew 26:26-27; Mark 14:22-23; Luke 22:17 & 19; 1 Corinthians 11:24)
  6. Reflection/Examination/Repentance – Each believer should take some time in quiet reflection and examination of self. If the Holy Spirit convicts anyone of sin, now is the time to repent before God. (1 Corinthians 11:28)
  7. Bread- Take the bread and tear off a piece, then pass it around to the others and have them
    tear a piece off as a symbol of them breaking Christ’s body. When everyone has a piece of the bread, tell the church: Jesus said, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me”. Then eat together (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24)
  8. Cup – If possible, take one large cup/container of juice and pass it to the others, so they can pour from the one cup into their own. When everyone has some juice in their cup, tell the church: Jesus said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Then drink together. (Luke 22:17)
  9. Song- Sing a song of praise to God for His goodness and the time together. (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26)
  10. Prayer- Close in prayer.

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