Can Christians Observe the Lord’s Supper Outside of the Assembly? (Episode 5)

Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

The question we’ll discuss in this episode was submitted to me by several people this week:

Can Christians observe the Lord’s Supper outside of the assembly?

As of right now, the situation with the global pandemic caused by the Coronavirus has caused many local churches to suspend their assemblies. In their place, many churches have arranged to have “virtual” assemblies. Others have opted to gather in homes with just family members or small groups. In either case, many are continuing to observe the Lord’s Supper even though they are not in the regular assembly of the local church. Is this authorized? We’re going to consider what the New Testament has to say to address that question.

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Taking the Lord’s Supper Out of the Assembly

Communion Cup

Shortly before His death, Jesus instituted a memorial to help His disciples remember Him and the sacrifice He was about to make on the cross (Matthew 26:26-29). This memorial was later referred to as “the Lord’s Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20).

In the first century, Christians “gathered together” to observe this memorial “on the first day of the week” (Acts 20:7). This memorial consisted of the bread which represented Jesus’ body and the cup (fruit of the vine) which represented His blood that was shed on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Paul also emphasized to the brethren in Corinth that when they would “come together to eat” (partake of the Lord’s Supper), they were to “wait for one another” (1 Corinthians 11:33).Continue Reading

“In an Unworthy Manner”

Communion Cup

Shortly before His death, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of His sacrifice – the bread represented His body that was to be hung on the cross and the fruit of the vine represented His blood that would be shed (Matthew 26:26-29; Luke 22:17-20). After reminding the Corinthians about the basic instructions regarding the practice of the Lord’s Supper which he “received from the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), Paul warned them not to observe this memorial “in an unworthy manner.

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).

Paul indicated that Christians would be observing this memorial of “the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26); therefore, we still partake of the Lord’s Supper today. Because of this, we need to seriously consider the warning that Paul gave to the Corinthians lest we become guilty of eating and drinking “in an unworthy manner.Continue Reading

Houses in Which to Eat (Season 5, Episode 5)

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Houses in Which to Eat (Season 5, Episode 5)

As time goes on, more churches (even among brethren) are hosting meals as a function of the local church. But should churches be involved in this practice? As with every question, we must strive to determine if such activities are authorized. This will be determined by examining the word of God, not by observing the cultural norms in our society or the current trends in the religious world. So in this episode, we’re going to examine what Paul had to say to the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:17-22.

Article: Houses in Which to Eat

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Why We Do What We Do in Worship

Communion Trays

As Christians, we have an obligation to “do all in the name of the Lord” (Colossians 3:17). This means to do things by His authority (cf. Matthew 7:21-23). When it comes to the worship of the church, abiding by what has been authorized in God’s word means we will do those things that we can read about in the New Testament.

So what did the churches in the first century do when they assembled together to worship the Lord? There are five “acts” we can read about in the New Testament:
Continue Reading

Question About Closed Communion

Communion Cups

In the past, many churches practiced “closed communion” – offering the Lord’s Supper only to members in good standing. Occasionally, questions will arise today about who can be served the Lord’s Supper. Let us consider what the New Testament says that relates to this issue.
Continue Reading

Why Do We Meet on Sunday Evening? (Season 2, Episode 8)

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Why Do We Meet on Sunday Evening? (Season 2, Episode 8)

A couple years ago I read an article about the declining number of churches having a second worship service on Sunday evening. The article mentioned several possible reasons for the decline – too demanding for busy families, too difficult for “pastors” to prepare two sermons each week, lack of attendance/interest by the members, etc. Though the article was written from a denominational perspective, the discussion of this trend is also helpful for us in the Lord’s church. Often, God’s people follow the trends of the religious world around them. Even if we ignore current trends of eliminating the Sunday evening service, it is generally true that attendance is lower on Sunday evening than on Sunday morning in the majority of local churches. The reasons why Sunday evening services are in decline among the denominational world are often the same reasons why churches quit meeting on Sunday evening or why Christians simply choose not to attend the evening service. So in this episode, I want to briefly discuss 7 reasons why we assemble on Sunday evenings.

  1. We meet to worship God.
  2. We meet to encourage our brethren.
  3. We meet to be encouraged by our brethren.
  4. We meet to study the Scriptures.
  5. We meet to offer the Lord’s Supper.
  6. We meet because it is logistically feasible to meet.
  7. We meet because the congregation has determined to do so.

Article: Why Do We Meet on Sunday Evening?

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