What is Communion?
WHAT IS COMMUNION: Communion (Lord’s Supper) is a sacrament given by Jesus to the church. Jesus used physical objects to signify a couple of spiritual truths with his disciples.
•BREAD: The broken bread symbolized Jesus’ body broken on the cross for sin.
•WINE: The wine symbolized a new covenant established between God and his people through the shedding of Jesus’ blood for the forgiveness of sins.
NOTE: Jesus was not teaching his disciples that the bread and wine were literally his physical body and blood, but rather a representation of his body and blood.
WHO SHOULD TAKE COMMUNION: When Jesus said, “eat” and “drink” he was speaking to his disciples (Matthew 26:26–27). Therefore, communion is a sacrament only for Christians. The Bible warns that those who take Communion in an unworthy manner will be guilty of disrespecting Jesus that will bring judgment (1 Corinthians 11:27–29).
WHY IS PRACTICING COMMUNION IMPORTANT: Christians taking Communion are making a proclamation that they believe in Jesus as their Savior and have trusted in his sacrificial death for the forgiveness of their sins (1 Corinthians 11:26).
The act of taking Communion does not save a person, but rather demonstrates a person’s personal faith and shows that they have already been given salvation in Jesus. Communion is done regularly as a act of worship to celebrating Jesus. Jesus said it is important for Christians to practice Communion as a way to remember him and his sacrificial death (1 Corinthians 11:24–25).
HOW SHOULD COMMUNION BE TAKEN: Instructions are given in 1 Corinthians 11:23–30.
1.Communion must not be done in an unworthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27): The Corinthian had many divisions and factions that existed within the church while Communion was taking place (1 Cor. 11:18–19). People were being selfish, acting self-centered, getting drunk and neglecting the poor and needy (1 Cor. 11:21). The sacrament was not being taken seriously, and the people were being disrespectful to Jesus and hurtful to each other (1 Cor. 11:22). These sins were so vile that God disciplined some of people within the church with sickness and death (1 Cor. 11:30).
2.We must examine ourselves (1 Cor. 11:28): Before participating in Communion, a person must examine all of his or her life for sin (words, deeds, thoughts, and even the motives and intentions of their heart). If any un-confessed sin is found it must be dealt with, because the unrepentant Christian is not qualified to partake in Communion. Communion should only be taken after a Christian has fully confessed to Jesus and laid the guilt of their sin at the foot of his cross. Anything less insults Jesus and disrespects God.
3.We must discern the body (1 Corinthians 11:29): Communion is a personal act done as part of a corporate worship experience. To discern the body means to consider all personal relationships within the church. If there is unresolved conflict or sin, it must be dealt with. If anyone takes Communion without discerning the entire body of the church they neglect others, cause disunity, and bring judgment.
Communion is a sacred sacrament full of meaning, truth, and beauty. It has great value in the life of a believer and the life of the church. All Christians should take the act of Communion very seriously, out of reverence and gratitude for Jesus.