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 (Living Waters 1986 Winter)
The Truth of the Holy Communion
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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 adults alone.

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 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 blessings:

1.       The Lord's everlasting life in him.

2.       He will be resurrected on the last day.

3.       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.


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 Communion.

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 year.

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.