Holy Communion; what does it mean? How often should we take it?
by David Leach
Holy Communion; what does it mean? How often should we take it?
1 Cor 10:16 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?
God is Spirit (John 4:24). He is the Father of our re-born spirits (Heb 12:9). He communicates with us, His spiritual children, Spirit to spirit (Rom 8:16). Holy Communion literally means Holy fellowship or Holy communication. So where does this ceremony of physically eating and drinking natural bread and juice fit, in an otherwise entirely spiritual communication between God and His children? Unless it symbolizes that communication.
What then does the Bread symbolize? And what does eating the Bread symbolize?
Matt 26:26 Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body”.
The first question is, did Jesus mean His natural physical body? Many of the Jews thought so (John 6:52). Many of His disciples thought so too and said they couldn’t understand it, so they abandoned Him and walked with Him no more (John 6:60-66).
No, He didn’t mean that at all. Just as the other two ordinances in the New Covenant, Water Baptism and anointing the sick with oil, are outward visible symbols of an inward, invisible, spiritual event, so also is the Lord’s Supper. Then what is that spiritual event?
John 1:14 The Word (of God) became flesh and dwelt among us…(eat His flesh?)
Jer 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them…the delight of my heart… ESV
Ps 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good…(How?)
Ps 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste…
Jo 6:53 (Jesus) Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man you have no life in you.
Jo 6:63 (Jesus) …The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
By chewing on and swallowing the natural bread I represent before God and man that I daily chew on, as in think deeply about, some of God’s words, and that I swallow them, as in believe them with my whole heart and I am ready to act on them. I am symbolizing Christ communicating more of His nature, His love and His faith to me, though His words, as I digest them in my heart. And that by those words I eat and which live in me, Christ is changing me to be more like Him, and hence I keep getting to know God better and better.
Isa 55:10-11...Bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
What does the wine or grape juice symbolize? And what does my drinking it symbolize?
Matt 26:27-28 He took the cup, and gave thanks, saying "Drink for this is My blood”
1 Co 12:13 TEV ...We have all been given the one Spirit to drink (given to the obedient) When Jesus referred to us eating His body or flesh, He was referring to His spiritual flesh, the word of God. Only not the dead written word, but the living word; so what gives it life?
Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh (physical flesh and spiritual flesh) is in the blood...
Physical flesh without blood has no life in it because the life is in the blood. Since Christ’s spiritual flesh is the word of God, what is it that gives life to the otherwise dead word of scripture making it the living word of God? Answer: The Holy Spirit, the breath of God.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh (the word alone) profits nothing;
1 Cor 11:25 ....This cup is the new covenant in My blood...
2 Cor 3:6 …The new covenant, not of the letter (word without Spirit) but of the Spirit
Do I know the difference between dead words of scripture, Christ’s spiritual flesh, and words God has made alive to me by His Spirit, the spiritual blood of Christ? So the cup of wine or juice represents God’s Spirit. To drink of the Spirit means to obey the Spirit.
Heb 13:20 ...God...who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead...through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (so Christ was made alive by the blood)
1 Pet 3:18 ...Christ...put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
John 6:56 (Jesus) He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me...
1 Jo 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him...He has given us of His Spirit.
Heb 10:19 ...Boldness to enter the Holiest (access to the Father) by the blood of Jesus
Eph 2:18 For through Him we...have access by one Spirit to the Father.
By drinking the Juice I represent before God and man that each day I continually drink in the Holy Spirit, that is, I stay filled with, I live in, I am submitted to and I obey God’s Spirit. Symbolically I attest that Christ’s Spirit leads me, communicating with my spirit, that He feeds me God’s words and makes me understand them. That He causes me to obey them, He keeps me from sin, makes me holy, and He inspires me to share God’s word with others.
How often should we take the real Communion, which the bread and the juice symbolize?
1 Cor 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you show the (KJV) Lord's death till He come (in what way do we show the Lord’s death?).
By Christ’s death for my sins, and His resurrection, to reconcile me to God, the way into the Holiest, the Kingdom of God, the presence of the Father, was opened up to me. So that His words can communicate to me His grace, His own nature, in order to birth me and conform me to His likeness. And so that His Spirit can enter me to communicate with me and make me understand His words. Christ’s death enables me to have Holy Communion with God. Every time therefore I have Holy Communion by believing more of God’s words and submitting to the leading of His Spirit, I am bearing witness to the Lord’s death.
How often should I Eat the bread (believe in my heart) God’s words? Every single day:
Matt 6:11 (Our Father)…Give us this day our daily bread (of Your word).
Ps 119:97 Oh how I love Your law (Your word) It is my meditation all the day.
Prov 15:15 …He who is of a merry heart has a continual feast (on God’s word)
John 8:31 (Jesus)…If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples…
Hoe often should I drink (obey from my heart) God’s Spirit? Every single moment:
Ps 25:15 My eyes (of my spirit) are ever toward the LORD (toward His Spirit)…
Isa 27:2-3 A vineyard (that’s us)…I the LORD keep it, I water it every moment…
Isa 58:11 The LORD will guide you continually…
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
How often then should we partake of the emblems, which symbolize the real communion?
If I am having continual communion with and being led by the Holy Spirit then any decision on the frequency and timing of taking the symbols of communion is no longer mine; it and my life have been surrendered to God. Answer: As often as He leads me to.
Ps 37:23 The steps (all of them) of a good person are directed by the LORD…
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know...It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Beware of over emphasis on the symbols of communion, obscuring what they symbolize:
Our human nature wants to focus on the visible and walk by sight. Our new nature, or spirit, learns to look at the things which are not seen in the natural, but are seen in the spirit realm and to walk by faith. If we place too much emphasis on the symbols of communion and conceal what they symbolize we are in danger of not truly discerning the Lord’s body. To discern is to constantly get God’s input on everything. To discern the Lord’s body means: (1) To understand that communion is eating God’s words and drinking His Spirit, and (2) To esteem all fellow partakers as members of Christ’s body.
1 Cor 11:28-30 …A man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the 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 (spiritually) weak and sick among you and many sleep (have died). TLB/NKJV
If the Communion symbols don’t reflect my Christian life, am I willing that they should?
If I honestly examine myself, as the communion scriptures require, and it reveals that I’ve not been receiving my daily spiritual bread and I’ve not been drinking of and living daily under the control of the Holy Spirit; Would I be willing to re-dedicate my life to Christ starting today and resume eating His flesh and drinking His blood? This doesn’t mean that I will always do these perfectly but it does mean I intend to let God’s words have frequent access to my heart and that I will constantly seek to know and to do the will of my heavenly Father, in the power of His Spirit. If this is my honest heartfelt decision then I certainly can now partake of the symbols of that decision, in a worthy manner, today.
John 6:56 (Jesus) He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood (continually) AMP dwells continually in Me, and I in like manner dwell continually in him.