Bible Basics: The Lord’s Supper

By Earl Robertson

The memorial feast which Christians participate in each Lord’s day is called “the Lord’s supper” in 1 Corinthians 11:20. How wonderful it is that God established this memorial for the benefit of His saints. In eating and drinking we show His death till He comes and we do it in memory of Him (1 Cor. 11:24, 25). There are many perversions of the Lord’s supper both as to time and its function.

The early Christians came together on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7). This verse tells us when the supper is eaten. Any time on this day is a scriptural time. Convenience and expediency will determine the hour in this day for each local church to meet for this memorial supper. This apostolic example showing the time when the supper is to be eaten is the only authority in the New Testament telling us when to eat it. This example allows no other day to eat i but the first day. It further shows that each week always has a first day and, consequently, the Lord’s supper is always eaten on every first day of the week.

The Lord’ supper is a “communion” of the blood and body of Christ (1 Cor. 11:16). And why should it not be? The Christian has been benefitted and blessed so many ways by the blood of Christ that it is a further joy and responsibility to so share in it in the Lord’s supper. “Communion” is the share – yes, further share – in His blood. Eating the supper is not for the remission of sins, and it is “not the most important part of the worship.” One so sharing in His blood is further blessed, but it is not the most important part of worship; all worship divinely authorized is equally important. We do not departmentalize worship! The eating of the supper is in order to remember Christ. Paul quotes Jesus saying, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24). Jesus died “for” us and the supper is memorial in nature and function: “this do in (eis, in order to) remembrance of me.” One might improperly drink and become “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27). Each one should “examine” himself and, having done so, eat and drink. This way one eats discerningly and worthily; otherwise, one is damned (1 Cor. 11:27ff).

These truths characterized the practice of the early church and all true churches of Christ today. Do you engage in this supper each Lord’s day?

Truth Magazine XXIV: 31, p. 498
August 7, 1980