THE TRUTH OF THE HOLY COMMUNION
Biblical references: Mt 26:26-29;
Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:14-20 jn
6:53-56; 1 Cor 10: 16, 17; 1 1:23-32.
The Holy Communion is one of the
most important Sacraments in the Bible. It possesses spiritual mystery and
efficacy. The Lord Himself instituted
this Sacrament (Mt 26:26-28) and commanded His disciples to do likewise (Lk 22:19). It has a
direct relationship with eternal life (Jn 6:53,54). Therefore, a
Christian's belief and practice of the Holy Communion should be in perfect
accordance with the Bible. Only by doing
so, can he obtain the spiritual blessings that are promised with this Sacrament.
Unfortunately, the belief towards
Holy Communion and its practice has deviated from the teachings of the Bible
since the 4th Century till the present time - a period of approximately 1,600
years. The original Holy Communion
recorded in the Bible is simple and clear.
Because many church leaders and theologians did not rely upon the
guidance of the Holy Spirit and in turn used human philosophy, they changed the
doctrine of the Holy Communion into various complicated theological
concepts. Many controversial debates
arose in Christendom, thereafter. Some
regard Holy Communion as a mere formality and symbolism,
it has nothing to do with salvation.
Others think that the bread and cup are transformed physically into the
flesh and blood of Jesus, after blessing and thanks has been given. Some denominations even worship the elements
used in their Holy Communion. In
practice, some use leavened bread, biscuits or special wafers for the Holy
Communion. As to the cup, some use grape
wine, or diluted wines, while others use ordinary fruit juice or even Coca
Cola. Some churches insist that the Holy
Communion be performed once a year and only on Passover. Others specify that Holy Communion is for
The writer would like to make use
of this opportunity to introduce the original Holy Communion which is
completely according to the Bible. May
the Lord guide us and enable us to receive His words with a child-like faith.
THE BELIEF OF HOLY COMMUNION
The Holy Communion possesses
spiritual mystery and efficacy. The Lord
Jesus said: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the
Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh
and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day
... He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."
(Jn 6:53, 54, 56).
Therefore, those who receive the Holy Communion are promised these three
The Lord's everlasting life in him.
He will be resurrected on the last day.
The Lord will be in communion with him in
spirit. He abides in the Lord, and the
Lord in him.
All the above are spiritual
blessings. We desire the spiritual life
of the Lord and not his physical life.
The Lord's spiritual life is eternal, while his physical life was only
thirty-three years. The Lord Jesus took
the bread and cup and blessed it saying, "This is my body ... This is my
blood of the new covenant." He did not say: "This symbolizes
(signifies) my body ... this symbolizes (signifies) my blood of the new
covenant." He also said: "The words that I have spoken to you are
spirit and life." (Jn 6:63). Therefore, after giving thanks, through the
promise of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread spiritually
becomes the body of Jesus. The cup
spiritually becomes the blood of Jesus.
Thus, the Holy Communion has the effect of enabling the partakers to
obtain the spiritual life of Jesus. It
is not a physical change, but has spiritual efficacy.
THE PRACTICE OF HOLY COMMUNION
Since partaking of the Holy
Communion is to receive the flesh and blood of the Lord, we should remember the
suffering and crucifixion of the Lord (I Cor 1:24-26). That is why the Lord took bread and said:
"This is my body which is given for you.", and then he took the cup
saying: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood." Those who partake
of Holy Communion should deeply remember how the Lord underwent physical
torment, scourging, and death on the cross.
In order to pay for the wages of our sins, the spirit of the Lord was
left in Hades, and He tasted the bitterness of eternal death. (Mt 27:45,46; Ps 16:10). When
partaking of Holy Communion, we should make new resolutions to live for the
Lord and to devote the rest of our lives to serve Him.
Not only must the belief of Holy
Communion be in complete accordance with the Bible, its practice must also
follow the example of the Lord. Because
the ingredients and method used by the Lord in the Holy Communion possessed
spiritual implications, it must not be altered randomly.
According to the Bible, only one
bread should be used (I Cor 10:17), because Jesus
took one bread and said, "This is my body". Jesus has only one body,
and this body signified His true church (Eph 4:4). Through many partake of Holy Communion, they are all members of that one body of
Christ. It also reminds us the partakers
should pursue after peace, unity and to be of one body (Eph 3:6; 4:2-4; Col 3:15). The bread used must be unleavened. Leaven spiritually signifies erroneous
teachings (Mt 16:6,12), malice and evil (I Cor 5:6-8). The Lord
Jesus is absolutely faultless and holy.
The unleavened bread also teaches the partakers to remove the old leaven
and lead a holy life and abide in the Truth (I Pet 1:14-16). The bread, after giving thanks, should be
broken up by hand, for this is His body which is broken for the sins of many (Lk 22:19).
The cup of the Holy Communion is
the fruit of the vine (Mt 26:29), not wine.
For wine is fermented, and fermentation is likened to leaven which
spiritually signifies erroneous teachings and sins. Therefore wine must not be used in Holy
There is no specific time
mentioned in the Bible as to when Holy Communion should be held. The Bible says, "For as often as you eat
this bread and drink the cup" (I Cor 11:26),
indicates that the church in the apostolic time held Holy Communion
frequently. Therefore, we can hold Holy
Communion as often as needed -once a month, every two months or several times a
Since receiving the Holy Communion
is to receive the flesh and blood of the Lord in the spirit, we should not
regard the bread and grape juice as ordinary food and drink. In order to avoid being judged by the Lord,
we should partake of Holy Communion with reverence; after examining ourselves,
confessing and repenting our sins (I Cor
11:27-32). Those who have not received
baptism in accordance with the Bible, should not partake (Ex 12:43,48; Col
2:11,12). Those who have committed
mortal sins (I Jn 5:16,17),
such as: idolatry, sexual immorality, murder, robbery, drunkenness and etc. (I Cor 5:11-13; Gal 5:19-21), are not worthy to receive the
flesh and blood of Christ.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten us,
so that we can understand the truth of the Holy Communion (Eph 1: 1 7,18). May the Lord
guide those who love Him and obey His words into His true church (Jn10:16), to
share the promised blessings of this genuine Holy Communion.