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Archive for the ‘Lord's Supper’ Category

I loved these articles on the Lord’s Supper.  They’re written by a professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.  So they have good Bible study, and come from a perspective I recognize: Baptist.  Professor Svendsen does delve into a lot of Greek and some early Church history.  For a summary of his points, just read the Introduction, Theological Ramifications and most importantly, the Conclusion.


Introduction

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion that the “Elements” of the Lord’s Supper Constitute a “Supper”? (Part 1) – I like this article, discussing Paul’s reference in 1 Corinthians to a supper, not just a ritual.

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion that the “Elements” of the Lord’s Supper Constitute a “Supper”? (Part 2)

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion that the “Elements” of the Lord’s Supper Constitute a “Supper”? (Part 3)

The Significance of “The Cup/One Bread” – Most churches I’ve been in take 1 Corinthians 11 as a text for their Lord’s Supper ceremony, but they ignore the chapter before that emphasizes one loaf and one bread, and the Lord’s Supper as a means of Church unity.

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion That the Lord’s Supper is a Funeral Procession? (Part 1) “The other important point to note in Acts 2:46 is themood of the church while “breaking bread.” It was not with solemn reflection that they “took their meals together,” but rather with “gladness.” The Greek word translated “gladness” (agalliasis), a word unattested in secular writings, in its various forms often denotes the exultation that accompanies messianic expectations.”

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion That the Lord’s Supper is a Funeral Procession? (Part 2) “So then, the Lord’s Supper that is being instituted by Jesus has an eschatological element; it is an anticipation and foretaste of the Messianic Banquet to come.”

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion That the Lord’s Supper is a Funeral Procession? (Part 3) – “Do this in remembrance of Me” a reminder to us or a reminder to Jesus?

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion That the Lord’s Supper is a Funeral Procession? (Part 4)

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion That the Lord’s Supper is a Funeral Procession? (Part 5) – Maranatha!’s historical connection with the Lord’s Supper

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion That the Lord’s Supper is a Funeral Procession? (Part 6) – “In other words, Paul is not saying one comes under judgment for eating the Supper while in an unworthy state. He’s saying rather that one comes under judgment for eating the Supper in an unworthy way;”

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion that the Lord’s Supper Would Become “Too Common” if Celebrated More Often than Once a Month? (Part 1) – The Early Church probably gathered each Sunday to “break bread” (including the Lord’s Supper).

Where Did We Ever Get the Notion that the Lord’s Supper Would Become “Too Common” if Celebrated More Often than Once a Month? (Part 2) – “In light of this emphasis on the connection between the Lord’s Day and the Lord’s Supper—in the practice of both the New Testament church and the post-apostolic church—evangelical churches must begin to rethink the true purpose for meeting together as a church, and the frequency with which they partake of the Supper.”

Some Theological Ramifications to Our Lord’s Supper Series (Part 1) – “Is the culture of the church at this point based on the surrounding culture, or is it based on eschatological reality? If in fact there is going to be a Messianic Banquet at the end of the age, and if that banquet (as we have seen) is rooted in eschatological reality, then we must see the biblical imagery of a banquet as independent of Hellenistic society.”  and “Since anything resembling the eschatological banquet is rarely found in the context of the Supper within the modern church, so too the accompanying eschatological joy is rarely found. Instead, the mood resembles much more that of a funeral.”

Some Theological Ramifications to Our Lord’s Supper Series (Part 2) – (Who can partake?  Do we have to protect the Lord’s Supper?)  “Bear in mind that the Lord’s Supper in the New Testament was a full meal, and participation in that meal was the very purpose for meeting together in the first place. In fact, the entire meeting was very likely conducted while at table, and the eating likely lasted throughout the entire meeting.”

Concluding Thoughts to the Lord’s Supper Series – “What is needed is not more adaptation of the Supper to accommodate our modern setting; what is needed is more of a willingness to conform our setting to accommodate the Lord’s Supper as revealed in the New Testament. Until we do, much of the theology of the Supper will remain lost to us—and with it, its benefits to the church.”

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I am still thinking about church. My ideas and questions have plateaued for a while. The concepts are still there. Church is community. Church is the Bride of Christ. Church is for edification. The Church must preach the gospel to every creature.

Two of my heroes are Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. Their words so perfectly express Christian truths. I am always challenged by the things they wrote. What’s more, their lives back up their admonitions. I found this quote by Jim about church: “The pivot point hangs on whether or not God has revealed a universal pattern for the church in the New Testament. If He has not, then anything will do so long as it works. But I am convinced that nothing so dear to the heart of Christ as His Bride should be left without explicit instructions as to her corporate conduct. I am further convinced that the 20th century has in no way simulated this pattern in its method of ‘churching’ a community . . . it is incumbent upon me, if God has a pattern for the church, to find and establish that pattern, at all costs” (Shadow of The Almighty: Life and Testimony of Jim Elliot).

A few years ago I started to do a Bible study of worship. It seemed to me that something so important could not have been overlooked by God. I also guessed that He would care how He was worshiped. Truth be told, I got bogged down in the endless supply of verses dealing with worship and praise and singing and bowing. Apparently, God has a lot to say about how we worship. The same is true, I believe, of Church.

One of the most vivid lessons I’ve ever had was taught by a man in a Bible study I attended. He put up a white board and, holding the marker up in his right hand, asked for us to list all the things wrong with the church. After we’d exhausted our many complaints, he erased it. “Good. Now forget all those things.” And then he asked what a bride should be. He received various responses from “beautiful” to “economical” to “barefoot.” Finally he pulled up another whiteboard and had us list what the church should be. Then he put the two boards side by side. If the Church is the Bride of Christ, shouldn’t we be expecting some bride-like behavior?

R.C. Sproul, Jr. and his Highland Study Center sent out an article in their bi-monthly magazine about feasting. If the Lord’s Supper is a preview of the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, as indicated by Jesus’ comments about when He would again drink wine, shouldn’t it be an all-out feast? Shouldn’t we celebrate? The medieval and ancient understanding of feasting has been all but lost in our American culture. But think of any medeival feast about which you may have read. Singing. Dancing. Laughter. Platter after platter of delicious food. Smells of delicious food. Colorful fruit and costumes. Conversation that is witty and kind. Don’t you think the Church should be doing that?

Do you know how many times joy is addressed in the Bible? I don’t; I haven’t counted. But I know it is often discussed.

Rom 12:9-15
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil;

cleave to that which is good.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;

in honour preferring one another;

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation;

continuing instant in prayer;

Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”

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