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 (Manna 62: The Miracles of Jesus)
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M62 Q & A

Other churches believe that the bread and wine they use in Holy Communion are physically transformed into the physical flesh and blood of Jesus. How do we explain our view of the transformation of the bread and grape juice?

The bread and grape juice are the body and blood of the Lord after giving thanks. By eating and drinking the communion, we may receive the spiritual effects promised by God’s word. But the bread and juice have not changed materially.

The manna that the Israelites ate in the wilderness prefigures the true bread from heaven—the flesh of the Lord Jesus (Jn 6:31-33, 49-51). According to Paul, the Israelites ate “spiritual food” and drank “spiritual drink” (1 Cor 10:3, 4). The prefiguration is applied in spiritual terms. Therefore during Holy Communion, we partake of the spiritual body and spiritual blood of the Lord.

The Lord Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life, flesh counts for nothing” (Jn 6:63). Here He elaborated on the previous passage (Jn 6:32-57), which His followers found difficult to accept (Jn 6:60). In other words, the flesh and blood Jesus was referring to was flesh and blood in the spiritual sense, rather than the material sense.

Why does our church only allow members to participate in the Holy Communion?

In the Old Testament, Gentiles were forbidden to eat the Passover lamb (Ex 12:43). The Passover feast prefigures the New Testament Holy Communion (1 Cor 5:7, 8). Similarly, those who do not participate in the salvation of the Lord may not partake of the Holy Communion since they are foreigners to the kingdom of God.

The Lord’s body and blood are holy and pure; those whose sins have not been cleansed through baptism are not worthy to partake of the Holy Communion (see 1 Cor 11:27-29). And only those who have received the correct baptism for the remission of sins may partake of the Holy Communion.

The Holy Communion is a fellowship (Koinônia) among the believers within the church. Unbelievers or those who do not share the same faith with us are not part of the communion in the true church. So they should not partake of the Holy Communion.



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