A failure to know just what the Bible really says causes many to bind that which God has not bound! Jesus told the apostles that they could only "bind on earth" what had been "bound in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). A good example of binding where the Lord had not bound is in the case of the word "cup" in regards to par-taking of the Lord's supper. Some think the Bible refers to a container when the word "cup" is used.
- "And He Took The Cup." Jesus was eating the passover feast as he instituted the Lord's supper (Matt. 26:19-20). Matthew 26:27 says, "he took the cup." Just what did Jesus take when he took the cup? Does the word "cup" refer to a container or its contents? Let's see.
- "Gave Thanks." Jesus gave "thanks" (Matt. 26:27). For what did Jesus give thanks, a container or the contents? Whatever Jesus gave thanks for, he said, "Drink it" (Matt. 26:27).
- "This Cup." Mark records Jesus saying, "The cup is my blood of the New Testament" (Mk. 14:23-24). What is that refers to the blood, the container or the contents? Let the Bible answer: Jesus said this cup is "the fruit of the vine" (Mk. 14:25). That ought to settle it, that the "cup" does not refer to a container but to the fruit of the vine!
- "Divide The Cup." Luke's account says, "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves" (Lk. 22:17). Whatever the "cup" is, it could be divided! Did they divide a container or contents of a container? We are not interested as to what men think it was. We want to know what the Lord says the cup was. Jesus said the "cup" is the "fruit of the vine" (Lk. 22:18).
- "Drink The Cup." Paul received instructions about the Lord's supper from the Lord. Just what did the Lord tell Paul about the cup? "After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood . . . For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come" (1 Cor. 11:23-26). The "cup" was something that could be "supped" and could be drunk! Let me ask you, how would you go about drinking a cup? Just like a mother who says, "I raised my babies on the bottle." Did the babies drink a bottle or the contents of the bottle? Come on now. Don't try to tell me they drank a glass or plastic bottle! The Bible binds only one cup, the fruit of the vine. Whether we drink the fruit of the vine out of one container or a hundred, we are still just doing what the Lord said do, drinking the cup. Emphasis is put on the manner in which the Lord's supper is observed, not how many containers (I Cor. 11:27-29).
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 14, p. 6
July 15, 1993