How and Why Christians Should Take Communion
welcome to real Christianity a weekly show designed to help Christians know their Bible defend their faith and truly understand what it means to follow Jesus the premise is simple the culture is getting louder the church is getting flash ear but few pastors are teaching on how to live a Biblical life my name is Dale Partridge along with my incredible wife Veronica join us as we start an important conversation about what it really means to be a Christian
 welcome to real Christianity today we are talking about how and why should Christians take communion I think many people that church struggle to understand the beauty of communion and by that I mean I think that most of us many of us have a ritualistic view of the Lord's Supper meaning that they do it because their Church doesn't and they know it's a special time but they can't really explain the theological importance of it all they're going to be discussing that in this episode today but before we get started I wanted to mention if you are one of the many families that have found yourself interested in house church or a smaller expression of church especially in the midst of this covid-19 pandemic we are we've created a handful of resources you guys know that our main Ministry relearn. Org is about helping people learn how to do
 Church in the house we don't have a new or different ecclesiological structure of we are the same church the same biblical historical evengelical church just in a different expression we we help people plant house churches and how do you how do you take what you would experience in a traditional church and put that in a home and that's really what our ministry is focused on so how's Church shouldn't be viewed as something radically different in its ecclesiological set but really it's just how does that happen when you're in a building you kind of are put into what's called a monologue setting right is that you have one guy speaking and and you have a an audience listening in a house Church you have more of a dialogue setting and that just shift in location really creates
 a different expression of church but again you know a Biblical House Church would have elders and deacons and still do communion and have church structure and have church discipline and and have regularity and commitment and membership in an order and it's so there's there's there's definitely still a structure to what we're talking about it's just done in a home if you want to learn more about that you can always download a free pdf that our ministry has provided it's called the basics of biblical House Church that you can download that relearn church.org house you also if you're interested in applying to our house church planting school or our training program we are launching in 2021 at the very beginning January 2021 that's at Saint Justin's. Org that's our companion Ministry Saint Justin's at St Justin's
 girl. Org and that's our program for training pastors how to plant House Church and some people might be passes before some people might just be mature Christian Believers that are looking to establish a small gathering of a handful of families in their home and if that's you we would love to hear from you you can request more information if you're interested at St Justin's or you can start reading some of the basics we also our ministry has released a book that you can buy at shop. Relearn church.org or on Amazon a book called House Church the talks about some of the doctrines convictions and liturgical or order of worship of a house church and so if you want more information about those are about that there you go and hopefully that's helpful for you guys let's talk about communion let's let's dive into this discussion here most people understand that Jesus in
 directed his disciples in the ordinance of communion in the upper room shortly before his arrest on his way to the Cross right some people even know that Paul instructed the New Testament churches to partake in communion together in 1st Corinthians chapter 11 I think that's what we're kind of the average believer goes yeah I know that it's in the gospels I know that it's in 1st Corinthians chapter 11 and that's kind of where we were most people sit beyond that communion for from most is you know kind of a theological mystery it's not you naturally attached to the common cultural issues that receive lots of editorial attention like marriage parenting sin worry suffering those get lots of books lots of Articles lots of discussion lots of sermons on communion doesn't really have this natural attachment to those kind of more common issues and so it's kind of left in this
 hi Holyfield logical aura that you know can often deter the common Christian from inquiring to understand you know the Lord's supper at a deeper level and I think a lot of people in the Protestant church are going this is you do the high holy of you that can feel you know it was a Catholic Vibe or an Anglican vide even and so you know we kind of land on the side of hey it's it's simple right it's bread wine that represents Christ body in his blood that we eat and drink it in remembrance of Christ work on the cross and Proclaim this in his death and Resurrection until his return right that's that's it right well yes and no it's it's definitely that we decide but it's it's all so very much more than that and so the the active communion and I would say a sociological events that books a pun
 looks upon books have been written on the topic of the Lord's Supper denominations have been created by it churches have been split over at battles have been fought physical battles because of it people have died because they refused to suspend their observance of it communion is complex and magnificent when you look down in the annals of History so I thought I'd attempt to just show you a tiny piece of that depth in this episode just pretend that we were at Crater Lake here in Oregon is beautiful it's like one of the deepest lakes in the world it's huge it's inside of a crater of a volcano let's just imagine the were looking at Crater Lake
 and then I went to you over like the the shore of the beach and I invited you over to look at like a small pool like a 10ft pool that I dug in the ground were some of the water from Crater Lake flooded into it that's kind of what I'm doing here there are miles and miles and miles of theological Brett of of this topic but let's just like look at a little pool of of this issue over here in the corner and and hope that it might illuminate The Wonder of communion so I'm going to I'm going to jump in with just three points the first point I'm going to give probably the most attention because it's probably that the leading discussion on the matter of the Lord's supper and its literal ISM versus symbolism it so there's a large
 centuries-long debates I would say this debate probably started maybe when the Lord you know Institute of the the Lord supper all the way till now so this is been going on for a long time is a huge debate over whether communion transforms into the literal body and blood of Jesus or if the Bread and Wine symbolically represents the body and blood of Jesus and so the literal interpretation is called transubstantiation big word right trans substantiation and it's how the Catholic Church views communion I've actually seen not in person but pictures of stories about nuns who pray over spilt communion wine on the carpet because they really believe it's the literal blood of Jesus
 but additionally do you know that's that's how how literal I'm talking about here the Catholic Church also refers to communion as a Sacrament they would never refer to it as an ordinance how you would generally see that in the Protestant church but Sacrament like a means of Grace and and in comparison to an ordinance which is really a spiritual act that was delivered by Christ but symbolic in nature than I think there's there's really two of those acts right there's baptism and there's the Lord's Supper where the Catholic church has several Sacrament believe there's seven sacraments in the Catholic church and so there's some divided over these issues as well
 at the Protestant church that is the group that protested against the Catholic church that's why we have the name the Protestant were the protesting party during the Reformation in the 1500 they hold to an aisle to the symbolic interpretation and here's why because Jesus said this is my body and this is my blood doesn't necessarily mean that this has to be taken literally I believe dr. Keith Matheson he did a really great video from Ligonier explains this really well and he does is my holding up his hand and he said this is my hand which is a literal statement right this is my hands a little statement but next he held up a picture of his hand and said this is my hand
 and that's obviously a figurative stupid but nobody knows just off those specific words of Jesus what he really meant was he was he saying this is my literal body was he saying this is symbolic part of my body you know this is the big question and I think the only way to gain insight into this is to look at the Biblical context of when he said it where he said it and why he said it and I think that gives us the answer. So let's do that for a second so Jesus initiates this the Lord's Supper during Passover at the Passover meal shortly before his arrest in his journey to the Cross Protestant religions believe Jesus was
 basically leveraging the Passover night
 to display how he is the true Passover Lamb I mean if you guys have read John recently you know and John 1:29 John the Baptist says his famous line Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world so he's already been declared the Lamb of God in his ministry at this point and like the Spotless Lambs blood that when painted on the doorposts in Egypt in the story of Exodus did freed the Jews from physical death Jesus is now inaugurating a new Passover like experience you know how his blood in this new covenant will free you from Eternal death
 right when we need to remember this and we then look at the Passover meal that was commanded to be observed Again by the Torah we see that there's a theme and the theme is symbolic and not literal so I want you guys to kind of put on your Jewish history hats here for a second think back to the Passover in Exodus think back to actually the instruction to keep the Passover meal every year and why did why do we have to keep that Passover meal why do the Jews have to do that was because it was a memorial ride with an active Memorial to remit of remembrance for example during the Passover meal the Jews were to eat salty and bitter herbs as a way to remind them symbolically of the sweat and slave labor that they were freed from by God and by the blood of the Lamb that was posted over the doorpost write the
 matzah the unleavened bread that they have during a Passover meal was a reminder of their inability to have to fully baked bread because you know they had to leave quickly their Speedy requirement to leave Egypt and so there's there's six Foods in the Passover meal and each of them have a symbolic meaning you can actually Google it and look at their symbolic meanings but again they were symbolic and not literal so God is a god of creating Memorial acts right there there's there's Alters that were built there Zacks a physical activities that give us spiritual truths baptism obviously is is another one of those but nobody believes that the salty and bitter water was actually sweat like literally Sweat and Tears of the Jews in Egypt and the same way the bread in the cup
 my opinion and Annette the Protestant perspective are not the literal body and blood of Jesus but there's a symbolic picture of the body and blood that freed us from the slavery of sin and so Jesus replace the symbolic Passover meal of the old Covenant with the ordinance of communion under the New Covenant he talks about his blood is my this is the blood of my cup of the New Covenant and in the same way you know the Jews again memorialize that freedom from physical slavery and death through the blood of the Passover Lamb we are to remember and Proclaim what God has done for us through Christ and the New Covenant Passover Lamb and so that's that's why when you look at this exegetically you break down the history of the context it makes more sense that for this to be a a symbolic thing cuz it it aligns with God's character historically
 it's so that's one part like a drop in the in Crater Lake right of just you can spend lots of time looking over literalism versus symbolism but there's some really beautiful discussion they're never too I want to talk about is why bread and why the fruit of the vine cuz it doesn't say wine it says the fruit of the vine implying grape juice from flying wine but why do we need to use these elements right I've seen people ask the question why can't we do communion with you know Pop-Tarts and lemonade right or donuts and soda or whatever you want to do that's that's a valid question it might shock you that people ask that but it's a question that's been asked for sure I want to talk about why I'm so God consecrates certain things he he purifies certain things we can see this in the picture in the Tabernacle or the Temple of Jerusalem
 I threw out the scriptures that there were certain things that were used for common use and there were certain things used for fully use that were set apart that were consecrated for use inside the temple you know when Moses stood before God the Lord consecrated a portion of the earth and called it Holy Ground you remember him saying take off your shoes for you stand on Holy Ground he made a portion Holi special set apart in the same way Jesus consecrated bread many does this talks about it that calls himself the bread of life and we see bread in that in the picture of feeding the 5000 can we see it obviously in the Lord's Supper breaking bread Jesus consecrated bread and the fruit of the vine for use during communion in other words he knows
 he set these two specific elements apart and made them holy and by that really he granted these the specific elements the ability to fulfill a spiritual purpose to other elements cannot so there's way more you can discuss about that but basically recognizing that these things are holy and if your are taking a communion they should be done with bread and with fruit of the vine number 3 the last point I'm going to make here is really just this beautiful connection between food freedom and our spiritual life God is so good and you're going to see here in a minute about how he's building in these beautiful parallels in our life to see him more clearly
 in Genesis Satan says to Adam and Eve in reference to the forbidden fruit Take and Eat
 and we had a meeting the human race Adam being the federal head of of the human race we had at invited in by way of Disobedience a spiritual reality to occur by consuming the fruit offered by the enemy and it's just take that picture there I'll just kind of eating of kind of the enemy's table if you will in the Lord's Supper we see a reversal of this instead of consuming the food of sin are symbolically we we at being Christians who have been redeemed get to experience the saving power of God to the consumption of communion and so before Christ taken to eat was a was a phrase in Biblical history of condemnation but now that they're actually words of commendation and celebration for the Christian
 and so you know we as a human race were were banished from the Lord's table by said we were separated from a holy God and now for those who were saved
 are are invited back to dine with God and each other communally as the body of Christ through the redeeming work of of Christ on the cross and so I just wanted it again point a little part of this pool of this beautiful image that you guys have a slightly deeper understanding of communion years ago I saved an excerpt from a book titled from eternity to Here by Frank Viola and hit a beautiful paragraph that Illustrated the spiritual connection between Jesus and food and I want to close this episode with that and then we'll pray he writes
 according to the Bible Jesus Christ is food Jesus Christ is drink he's also rest and we are summoned to consume him the strengthening that we derive from eating physical food the invigorating and refreshing that we received from drinking physical water the energy and Rejuvenation that we received from physical rest Our God created portraits of what happens to us spiritually when we consume Christ if food could speak it would say think about how much you depend on me you think about me throughout the day you come to me in for take of me numerous times each day I am the most important thing in your physical life you need me to live you need me to survive without me you will die I am your enjoyment I am your sustenance I am part of you
 God put physical food on this Earth to show us what Christ means to us spiritually every time you sit down to eat your food screams this one message I am an image of your lord
 physical eating furnishes us with physical strength spiritual eating furnishes us with spiritual strength God created physical food to depict his son the one by whom we live when we eat physical food it becomes part of us when we eat spiritual food which is Christ he grows in us and we become conformed to his glorious image what a beautiful passage from that book again understanding how deep this section of theology this understanding the Lord's table how deep it is and my hope is that again this was just enlightening and encouraging for you guys on your journey to understanding communion let's pray father we thank you for your son Lord we know that you say in Leviticus that life is in the blood and Lord that your son gave up
 his wife his blood in our stead father paid the consequences that we might be saved by the way thank you for sending your son we thank you for these beautiful symbolic acts that you give us to memorialize and to remind us of the work that was accomplished on the cross for us by the way thank you that you know that we're a forgetful people and that we need these physical acts of Memorial ization to remind us of these deep truths that are so critical
 father we love you we thank you for the work of communion that we've been invited to commune with you
 in Jesus name amen
 thank you for joining us on this episode of real Christianity real Christianity is an audio Ministry of relearn church.org if you'd like more information on how to live out a Biblical life relearn church.org hosts a variety of Articles podcast sermons and videos to support your journey real Christianity is 100% listener-supported Ministry and if you'd like to support our efforts simply click the don't have a tree learn church.org you can also connect with both Veronica and I on Instagram Facebook and Twitter for daily lessons and Bible teaching thank you for being with us today we hope to see you next Wednesday for another episode of real Christianity