Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 89

The Advent Part 81

The third thing that all those who had been filled with the Holy Spirit continued steadfastly in was the breaking of bread.

As the New Testament clearly shows us, the breaking of bread has a double meaning. First, the breaking of bread signifies the continual remembrance of the death and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which we were redeemed from the bondage of sin, of His resurrection, and of His soon return. So the first meaning of the breaking of bread is symbolic, which aids us in remembering Jesus.

The second meaning of the breaking of bread is likewise symbolic and it signifies the unity or oneness of the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”

1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘this cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

The breaking of bread or communion as it is known in our day and age is a special fellowship that the Body of Christ can have with the Father as well as Jesus, and it is a practice that is Biblically sound and even encouraged.

Our gathering together and the breaking of bread is only possible through the Holy Spirit. Before the advent of the Holy Spirit there is no Biblical proof that the Disciples of Christ practiced the breaking of bread. It was only after the Church was born that this became possible, and as we’ve already covered, the Church was born on the day of Pentecost.

Christ’s oratory in the gospel according to John concerning the Bread of Life, which came down from heaven shows us clearly that it is receiving the Person of the Savior spiritually that Jesus is referring to. When He speaks of the Bread of Life, and receiving it, He speaks of faith in Him, in His teaching and His redeeming sacrifice, and not about the Lord’s Supper, or the last supper as we know it today that Jesus had with His apostles the night He was taken.

John 6:53-56, “Then Jesus said to them, ‘most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.’”

If we take this singular scripture passage, it would seem that it is contradicting my previous statement concerning Jesus speaking of eating His flesh and drinking His blood in a spiritual sense, but this passage of scripture can only be understood by scripture, and the key to understanding this particular passage is found in the same chapter of the gospel according to John.

John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

It was not Christ’s physical body that came down from heaven. His physical body was born of the Virgin Mary, yet spiritually Jesus came down from heaven. If we eat of this bread, if we receive Jesus as Lord, as Savior, as Messiah and as King, then we will live forever. The Jews who heard His words were scandalized by them, because they did not perceive the spiritual implications of what Jesus was attempting to say. It was His sacrifice, His death that Jesus was speaking of, and any man who is baptized into His death will have eternal life.

It is because men took literally what was meant to be taken spiritually that today we have the doctrine of transubstantiation, wherein some believe that the bread and the wine become the literal physical body of Jesus after a prayer is uttered.

Yes there have been debates as to whether the breaking of bread should be done daily, whether it should be done at night or in the morning, but these are irrelevant discussions spurred by denominational zeal that take away from the beauty of this practice within the household of God. The Bible tells us that the early church practiced the breaking of bread daily, but they also came together on a daily basis, praying and learning the Word, being in fellowship and breaking bread. There was constancy in their coming together, they were never apart during those early days of the church, but as persecution came and they were scattered throughout, we are no longer told that they practiced the breaking of bread on a daily basis. We break bread in remembrance of Christ, in remembrance of all that He has done for us, and when we do so we must be certain that it is not done in an unworthy manner.

1 Corinthians 11:27-30, “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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