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Communion is for the believer 1 Cor 11:26 tells us, 'it is to show the Lord's death until He comes'. It is to honor Jesus for all that his broken body and shed blood bought for us. Communion was the passover celebration to forever remind God's people how the blood of the shed lamb on the door posts caused the death angel to pass over and the unleavened bread was a symbol that they had to be ready for deliverance and to flee Egypt quickly. Heb 9:11-15 tells us.... Christ became the sacrificial lamb who took away the sins of the world with His blood which He Himself sprinkled on the mercy seat in heavenlies, and 'by His stripes' (the beating he endured) we ARE healed, and his broken body paid the price for our wholeness. The Bible repeatedly warns us to “be ready” Mat 24:36 for we don't know the hour of our Lord's return. Communion is designed to strengthen our faith in the all encompassing finished work that was accomplished through Jesus Christ at Calvary. 1Cor 11:27-30 warns us not to take communion 'lightly' … study the scriptures and realize we are to 'fight the good fight of faith' 1 Tim 6:12 and lay hold on eternal life whereunto thou art also called (… the phrase eternal life means: life real & genuine, a life active & vigorous, blessed even in this world for those who's trust is in Christ, & to be consummated in eternal life.) Three of the four gospels tells the account of Jesus taking communion with His disciples on the night He was betrayed. And 1 Cor 11:27- again recounts it, so it's significance and importance is deep. It is not a ritual to partake in lightly. It is a command that needs to be understood and obeyed, so it does not become a meaningless exercise that does not lead to health & wholeness in all areas of our life. Luke 22:19; Mrk 14:22-26; Mat 26:26
100% for Christians. While there is no power in communion itself, it is a time for Believers to remember what Christ did for them. It is a time of self-reflection and of thanksgiving for what Christ accomplished for us.
1 Corinthians 11:27 " Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 11:28 "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 1 Corinthians 11:29 " For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." 1 Corinthians 11:30 "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
We must always read the Bible in context to get the right beliefs. This is a challenge to all believers and it is good to ask the Holy spirit to help. When reading the Gospels, it is important to know who Jesus is talking to - to get the context and interpret the text correctly. In this case, it is very clear that Jesus was addressing the disciples when he instituted the Lord's Supper for them. Read the text in the first 3 gospels. The disciples did not understand the significance then but in retrospect, they (and subsequent believers) understood it later. This practice has no purpose and meaning to the unbelievers as Jesus wants the partakers to remember his sacrifice (body) for their salvation and the new covenant of grace effected by his blood (propitiation for our sins). The partakers should be believers to practise this. Jesus fed the 5 thousands but only had the Lord's supper with his 12 disciples. In 1 Cor, Paul warns believers not to take the communion lightly. I cannot see how unbelievers can understand this. Therefore, I will not invite unbelievers to partake as it does not serve the purpose instituted by Jesus. But I will explain to the unbelievers its purpose and meaning.
The Catholic teaching says communion is only for Christians who understands what it is they are eating i.e. Christ himself. Not all Catholics can participate in communion. Catholic children have to undergo catechism prior to receiving their first communion. This is so that they will fully understand the mystery that what they are eating is no longer bread but Christ. The minister of communion says, "This is the body of Christ". The recipient acquiesce, "Amen". The communion bread becomes Christ. Mind blowing. It is not just good, it is holy. It means I cannot put peanut butter on it before eating it. To treat a holy object as if is is ordinary defiles it. This is why the Catholic Church restricts the communion to Catholics only. For this same reason, the Catholic Church reminds Catholics not to partake in communion in Non-Catholic churches.
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