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The Lord’s Supper

1.1. The Institution of the Lord’s Supper: A direct connection exists with the Passover Meal.
The command or words of institution are given by our Lord (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24;
Luke 22:19-20; and 1 Cor. 11:23-24. Interestingly, it is not mentioned in John’s Gospel.).
1.2.
1.3. The Significance of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-34):
1.3.1. Past: Commemoration (vs. 23-26): the Lord’s Supper calls the past into
remembrance in such a dynamic way that the past becomes a present reality, affecting
present experience.

1.3.2. Present: (vs. 27-34)


1.3.2.1. Communion: Thus, the Supper should not be observed by individuals, families, or
loosely formed groups, but by the body of Christ, as an expression of unity and
commitment.
1.3.2.2. Celebration: The word “Eucharist” means “grateful” or “thankful.”
1.3.2.3. Proclamation:
“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death…”
(v. 26)
1.3.2.4. Examination:
“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.”
(vs. 28)

1.3.3. Future: Anticipation (v. 26c)


“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until
he comes.”

1.4. The Participants of the Lord’s Supper: All denominations agree that the Lord’s Supper
is not to be administered indiscriminately to all persons. It must not be administered to someone
who is not a disciple of the Lord. Issues:
1.4.1. Age—small (unbelieving) children are prohibited from partaking of the Lord’s
Supper because:
1.4.1.1. They are not converted and therefore not capable of self-examination.
1.4.1.2. They cannot discern the spiritual and theological significance of the elements.
1.4.1.3. Point: Conversion is the issue.

1.4.2. Open vs. Closed Communion


1.4.2.1. Open—anyone may participate who is a believer
1.4.2.2. Closed—only members of the local assembly may participate.
1.4.2.3. Close—those of like faith and practice may be invited to participate.

1.4.3. Self-examination (1 Cor. 11:28-32)


1.4.3.1. “Unworthily” refers to the manner in which the Supper is observed, rather than the
worthiness of the participant.
1.4.3.2. The Supper is intended to be a time of careful and humble introspection.
1.5. The Administration of the Lord’s Supper: It would seem that only responsible members
of the church should serve the Lord’s Supper. However, there is no scriptural requirement that
those who administrate the ordinance be an ordained minister or deacon.

1.6. The Frequency of the Lord’s Supper: “as oft as ye will”