THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Bible teaches a number of things about the Lord’s Supper:
- The taking of the bread and the cup is an opportunity to remember the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). We do not remember Jesus in the same way the disciples did, but we can take it as a memorial to remind us of the sacrifice made for us by the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood.
- It is a matter of blessing or thanksgiving – it is “the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks” (1 Corinthians 10:16). The Lord’s Supper helps us express our gratitude and thanks to the Lord Jesus for His sacrifice that accomplished our salvation.
- It involves communion or fellowship or participation (koinonia) – a ‘participation in the body of Chirst.’ The one loaf signifies that ‘we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of one loaf’ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). By this corporate act, we express our oneness with other believers and with our Lord. (This is the origin of the word ‘communion.’) Communion is one expression of our fellowship and oneness in the body of Christ.
- It is a demonstration of our participation in the New Covenant (1 Corinthians 11:25). By this act, we identify ourselves as those who have entered into this covenant relationship with the living God. This is something worth celebrating!
- It is an opportunity for witness or proclamation (1 Corinthians 11:26). We bear witness visibly and verbally to any who observe that Chris has made an atoning sacrifice for our sin.
We invite all who know the Lord Jesus as personal Savior and who are living in fellowship with Him to participate with us in taking the bread and the cup. If you do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we invite you to enjoy this part of the service but not to take the bread or the cup.
WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS ABOUT THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord has given the church two ordinances, or symbolic ceremonies: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion. We may summarize the Biblical teaching about the Lord’s Supper as follows:
- As a church, we are commanded by the Lord to practice this ordinance. He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
- How we practice it is nowhere specified in Scripture as a matter of direct command or teaching. We have the example of Jesus taking the bread and cup at the Passover meal and using them to initiate this practice.
- Nor is the frequency specified. The Passover meal, at which Jesus established this ordinance, was an annual feast; but it is apparent that the early church practiced the Lord’s Supper more than annually, and probably even weekly (Acts 2:42 and 20:7).
Jesus gave the instruction in these words: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:25 NASB). This seems to leave the question open as to how often it is to be done. Our pattern at Woodland Hills is to celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly. We invite you to worship Him with us in the breaking of bread.