Understanding

The Lord's Supper

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SUMMARY OF

THE GOSPEL OF HIS BODY
AND HIS BLOOD

(also known as
THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM)

 

 In presenting this Gospel we begin with the following:

 

 

SIN         LEADS         TO         DEATH

 

 

"Death" here is a large concept that includes all of the consequences of sin: Hell, the Second Death, boredom, loneliness, war, sickness, famine, poverty, the killing, stealing and destroying of the devil, shame and any other negative condition one can think of.

Sin and Death are all that is wrong with this world and the human condition. "Sin" and "death" are the most Biblical and all inclusive words to describe manís fallen condition. The above statement completely and wholly sums up manís problems.

 

RIGHTEOUSNESS   LEADS   TO   LIFE   (BLESSINGS)

 

 SIN                          LEADS   TO   DEATH   (CURSES)

 

This second statement, "Righteousness leads to Life," is an equally all inclusive and dominant theme in the Bible. This theme sums up the Law, the Prophets, and Bible promises. It is the exact opposite of the first theme.

Righteousness here means right living.

Life here means blessing, nourishment, support and provision in every dimension of our existence. Life here should be seen to mean what blood means to the physical body. Every member of the physical body needs blood to support and nourish it, otherwise without it, that member withers and dies. So, we believers need Godís provision and life in every dimension of our existence; i.e., friendship, encouragement, direction, protection, security, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, strength, power, counsel, fear of the Lord, discernment, discretion, purpose, clothing, transportation, health, healing, food, etc.

The above two statements are actually a summation of the Law. They are the Law in seed form (Deuteronomy 27:11- 28:68, blessings and cursingís). The law is a tutor to lead us to Christ. The law helps us understand who Christ is and what He is like. Actually, Christ is and was the incarnation (embodiment) of the law (Galatians 2:19, Matthew 3:15, etc.).

Virtually all Bible promises, New Testament and Old Testament, are seen in this theme: "Righteousness leads to Life." Every promise has a part where we have to DO something right (righteousness). Godís blessing or fulfillment

(Life) for the promise follows our doing; in due time. The times and the seasons are in the Fatherís hands. (Galatians 6:9, Acts 1:7)

These two statements sum up the entire Bible for faith and practice; except for the doctrines of salvation. Notice that these two simple statements are the EXACT OPPOSITES of each other. It is completely amazing these two polar opposites summarize so much of scripture. (This is a good time to give scriptures, scriptures about the Law and the Prophets, and Old and New Testament promises to demonstrate how prevalent these two themes are in the Bible.)

 

 

 

 

The above depicts true and Biblical salvation through Jesus Christís death and resurrection.

Regarding the Sin into Righteousness arrow, consider these scriptures: 1Peter 2:24; 11Corinthians 5:14-15; Romans 6:18; Romans 6:11; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:11-12; Luke 9:23 (parallel scripture); Galatians 5:22-24 (parallel scripture); Hebrews 12:7,11 (parallel scripture); 1Peter 4:1-2 (parallel scripture).

Regarding the Sin into Righteousness arrow; consider the meaning of Baptism as it is interpreted in Romans 6:1-11 and Colossians 2:11-12. Baptism is ideally for new believers. Baptism cements their commitment to dying with Christ; and their commitment to rising with Christ. They publicly declare that they BELIEVE this and that they WANT this.

Regarding the fact that right living (righteousness) is the primary proof of oneís salvation, consider the following TWENTY-FIVE scriptures: Ephesians 5:5-6; Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 13:24-30; 1Corinthians 6:9-11; James 2:14-26; 1 John 2:4-6; 1 John 3:5-10 (referring to practicing or not practicing righteousness); Titus 2:11-15; 1 Timothy 3:13; Titus 3:4-7; Revelations 19:7-8; Matthew 25:31-46; Hebrews 10:26-31; Hebrews 6:4-6; Revelations 21:8; 11 Peter 1:10; 1 Timothy 3:13; John 5:28-29; Romans 2:6-10; Revelations 21:7-8; Mark 9:41-48; Matthew 13:40-43; Matthew 13:49-50; Matthew 24:48-51; Mark 3:31-35; AND MORE!

We are not saved BY good works, but we are saved INTO a lifestyle of good works (Ephesians 2:10). We are saved FOR THE PURPOSE OF good works. Also, we are crucified with Christ by grace through faith, as well as forgiven through Christís death by grace through faith. These two truths of the cross need to be presented together (as much as is practical) in order to better ensure true repentance. Salvation is for people desiring to follow the Lord. If a person wants forgiveness but they donít want to be crucified with Christ; this is a good sign that they havenít truly repented; they donít want to follow the Lord; and therefore are not saved. Does not Baptism which is for new believers, teach us the necessity of wanting to be crucified with Christ. People who want to follow God realize that their very selves or flesh prevent them from serving God. Therefore, they consider this truth of the cross good news. People who donít want to serve God but want to serve themselves, consider this truth an offense; i.e., the offense of the cross.

A good part of modern day Protestantism is a theological attempt to avoid the above mentioned truth of the cross. Most Protestants donít teach the "crucified with Christ" message which is critical and essential to being delivered from the power of sin. Thus, this present "church" is legendary for its carnality. The way is broad that leads to Hell and destruction. The way is narrow and difficult that leads to life (Mathew 7:13-14). Of course, if someone has only one hour to live, they simply can only repent and ask Jesus to forgive them; and He will. They wonít have time to believe for and live a sanctified life; they wonít have time to bear the fruit of righteousness on this earth (consider the thief on the cross next to Jesus)(also consider 11Corinthians 5:14-15 where it refers to "those who live").

You might say, "Iíve made mistakes. I havenít lived a sanctified life!" God has provided us forgiveness through the blood of Christ. Receive it and start over! Thatís what I did. Because of our great deliverance God has provided through Christ, you wonít have to make the same mistakes over and over again. Find this great deliverance. Walk in this great salvation. "Work out (not for) your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12

Regarding the Death into Life arrow; this arrow depicts forgiveness of sins. We are forgiven for the purpose of having life and blessing. Consider these scriptures:

John 3:16; John 10:10; Romans 3:24 (This part of scripture talks of imputed righteousness which is forgiveness of sins, Romans 4:6-8); Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; etc.

 

 

 

 

When Jesus said, "This is My body;" and "This is My blood;" He was proclaiming the Gospel. Communion is symbolic form for the complete and whole Gospel. (Actually, the Biblical order is for people to receive Christ and be baptized before they start taking Communion.)

The Cup of Communion stands for the truths that the believer was forgiven or redeemed by grace through faith; so that the believer can experience life and blessing instead of death and cursing.

The Bread of Communion stands for the truths that the believer was crucified with Christ by grace through faith; so that the believer can be lead by the Spirit into all righteousness. The following points prove this meaning for the bread.

Proof 1 for Bread) 1Peter 2:24; Hebrews 10: 5-7, 10; Romans 7:4; Romans 8:3-4; all these scriptures plainly define the meaning of His Body which is what the bread stands for.

Proof 2 for Bread) Unleavened Bread itself stands for purging out sin so that the believer can be righteous or pure; consider 1Corinthians 5:6-8.

Proof 3 for the Bread) The Old Testament phrase that is constantly associated with unleavened bread is the following: "out of Egypt."

And Moses said to the people: "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten." Exodus 13:3

"You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is , the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life." Deuteronomy 16:3

"Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover must be killed." Luke 22:7

It was unleavened bread (Luke 22:1, Luke 22:7) Jesus had in His hands when He said, "THIS is My body." KEEP "THIS" IN ITS PROPER CONTEXT! Just as God delivered the Hebrews out of Egypt, God through Christ delivered us OUT OF our body of sin through His crucified body. We now have authority over our selves (I have been crucified with Christ, Galatians 2:20)(The "ME" monster has been slain by grace; my responsibility is to want and consider myself dead by grace; and cry

for the Spirit to fill and use me for God and others. Empty of me and filled with Him! That, my friend, is true freedom! Jesus died to get us unstuck on ourselves! Galatians 2:20 says "NOT I" but Him.) Coming out of Egypt was symbolic of we, Christians, coming out of lives focused on sin and selves. For the period of time that we consider ourselves dead with Jesus (Romans 6:11), we can walk free from self centeredness and flow with Godís Spirit. The cross is the only way for anyone to get unstuck on themselves! The demons, symbolized by Pharaoh and his army, lose authority over believers who are forsaking self. The self life is food for the demons (Revelations 12:11).

The unleavened bread was called "the bread of affliction" because the Hebrews had to leave Egypt in haste. It is hard and difficult for anyone to up and move in a hurry. This is the pain the Hebrews suffered in such a move. This bread of affliction is symbolic of the believers making an abrupt change in their lifestyle. Abrupt change is INITIALLY painful, but afterwards we are so glad we did it. Think of alcoholics, drug attics or any proud and selfish person making those initial steps through the red sea out of Egypt and towards the Promised Land.

Proof 4 for Bread) The Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Passover line up perfectly with these interpretations. Praise the Lord! This is a huge proof for the validity of this teaching!

 

 

COMMUNION ELEMENTS

UNLEAVENED BREAD

CUP

Feast
 

Feast of Unleavened
bread

Feast of
Passover

 

Theme of Feast:

 

Deliverance out of
Egypt

 

Deliverance from the
judgment of Egypt

 

Picture of the Cross:

 

Opening of the Red Sea

 

Blood on Doorpost

 

Truth of the cross:

 

Crucified with Christ

Forgiven in Christ

 

 

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lordís death till He comes. 1Corinthians 11:26

It takes two elements, the bread and the cup, to adequately proclaim the Lordís death. It takes two feasts to adequately picture the Lordís death. The apostle Paul and the other apostles preached two fundamental messages of the cross. The entrance into the kingdom is a double door.

Proof 5 for Bread) Regarding how the Bible interprets the word, "body;" the purpose for a "body" is to DO things on the earth. Human and animal bodies are all about doing things on the earth. The body of Christ is all about doing something very unique: the will of God. Consider the following scriptures: Hebrews 10:5-10 (The body of Christ was for doing the will of God, and by that will we were set free (sanctified) to do the same.); 1Peter 2:24 (We were set free from doing wrong so that we can do right (righteousness)); Romans 12:4 (and other scriptures like 1Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4:12), implies that each member of Christís body has a function; something(s) that he or she should do. Thus, the body of Christ is all about unified action. When we eat the bread, we are symbolically eating the will of God for our lives.

The blood cannot do things on the earth. It is not for doing. The purpose of blood is to support and give life to the body; so that the body can do the DOING. If you were asked to pick something up, you would use your body to pick it up, not your blood. Obviously! The blood of Christ means forgiveness and redemption for us so that we can have life and blessing instead of death and cursing. That life and blessing supports the body so that the body can do Godís will.

Although there are scriptures that connect the blood to sanctification, the scriptures relating to the body are always about holiness, sanctification, blamelessness (1Thessalonians 5:23 and Philippians 2:14-16 use this word in the context of sanctification), righteousness (right living), suffering and DOING.

Proof 6 for the Bread) There is another basic difference between the bread and the cup. The bread stands for His body. The believer who eats the bread IS His body according to scripture. The cup stands for His blood. The believer finds forgiveness through the blood, but the believer IS NOT His blood. It makes total sense scripturally for the believer to eat the bread and declare by faith that he IS the body of Christ by grace. But, the believer cannot intelligently declare that he is the blood of Christ.

1Corinthians 5:6-8 makes a point that includes the above thought. The unleavened bread is about purging out the leaven of sin so that we can be a new "lump" of unleavened bread, which is pure and free from sin. The apostle admonishes us to BE a new lump. In other words, the apostle Paul is admonishing us to BE unleavened bread. Of course he would never admonish us to be the cup of Communion. Consider the following amazing scripture that verifies these thoughts in Proof 6 for the Bread.

For we, though many, are one bread and one body, for we all partake of that one bread. 1Corinthians 10:17

 

**********************************

 

 

Regarding the "Righteousness leads to Life" theme; being lead by the Holy Spirit into all righteousness and experiencing the life and blessing (peace and joy accompany the life and blessing) of the Holy Spirit, are what the Kingdom of God consists of. Peace and joy precede, accompany and follow the blessing and life that righteousness leads to (Romans 14:17).

The Kingdom of God is the exact opposite of the sin and death found in this world. Thus, by eating the bread and drinking the cup, we are symbolically eating and drinking the Kingdom of God.

 

**********************************

 

There are certain limitations that the above diagrams have, that the actual Communion service does not have. In other words, an actual Communion service proclaims the complete Gospel. Although these diagrams are wonderful, they are no substitute for an actual Communion service. Letís look at AT LEAST three important aspects of a Communion service that do not show up in the above diagrams.

1 An actual Communion service beautifully and clearly depicts the unity of the believers; and also the community of the believers.

For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:17

As we all share the same bread, we make a powerful statement about our common bond in Christ. We each have a different place in the same body. We have each other and each otherís giftings, encouragement and help! Wow!

2 In an actual Communion service, the believers eat and drink the bread and the cup. The bread and the cup symbolize the truths of the Lordís death, truths of Kingdom living which is life in the Spirit, and the many truths of the Gospel. The believer is not just theorizing and speculating about these truths, he is eating and drinking them. These truths of Christ are more than just information, they are meant to be received into our very beings and hearts; they are meant to become our experiences and our testimonies. They are the words of our testimony that will carry us and be our very victory over the opposition of this world. Thus, the limitations of the above diagrams donít allow for such powerful symbolism; one cannot eat and drink the above diagrams.

3 The actual taste of the bread and the cup is very significant. The cup is a delightful and delicious tasting drink that stands for a delightful and pleasant set of truths. We are forgiven, off the hook so to speak, so that we can have life and blessing. It is called the cup of blessing (1 Corinthians 10:16). Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). At His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). When we drink the cup, our hearts must be filled with faith for Godís goodness to us.

The unleavened bread of Communion, on the other hand, tastes rather bland. It stands for dying to self, taking up our crosses daily, and following Him. These are truths that people tend to run from. The believer needs to steel his soul with these truths, and realize that the Christian life involves self denial and self sacrifice, and doing what Jesus would do. The rather plain tasting unleavened bread stands for all of this.

What a magnificent balance! What a complete picture of the whole counsel of Scripture. Communion brilliantly symbolizes the real deal!

 

*****************************************

 

This Gospel of His Body and His Blood is SEED FORM for the ENTIRE counsel of Scripture regarding our faith and practice. The Law, the Prophets, the promises of God, the truths of the Cross, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the doctrines of Salvation can all be seen in His Body and His Blood.

This complete Gospel applies to every second of your day. It applies to your workplace. It applies to your marriage and family. It applies to your friendships. The forgiveness only gospel, even with the Holy Spirit, tends to leave you on your own for most of your living down here. Only seeing forgiveness in the cross, and not seeing your deliverance in the cross also, is the great omission of this generation. The Communion bread points this out. How can we fulfill the great commission with such a great omission?

 

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