This weekend, my son Jeremy and I are attending a House Church Workshop put on by New Testament Restoration Fellowship. The notes below are from the third session called “The Lord’s Supper” which was led by Tim Melvin. These thoughts are primarily Tim’s, and not my own. I’ll be glad to interact with any of the information below in the comments.
Session 4 â€“ The Lordâ€™s Supper
Also called the Lordâ€™s Table, the Agape. This is one of the irreducible minimums in our understanding of the NT church. It was practiced as a full meal through the fourth century AD. In every denomination: symbolic, regular, fundamental belief.
The NT practice as three aspects: past, present, future. Yet the modern church emphasizes only one of the three aspects of the Supper: past.
The Lordâ€™s Supper
1) Looks back to the sacrifice and covenant
2) Celebrates the present reality
3) Looks forward to the ultimate fulfillment in the marriage supper of the Lamb
OT background â€“ Covenants: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, New Covenant â€“ included sacrifices and meals
Passover â€“ Exodus 12:1-14 â€“ covenant, sacrifice, meal
Mt. Sinai â€“ Exodus 24:1-11 â€“ covenant, sacrifice, meal
Looking back to the sacrifice
Luke 22:19-20; Matt 26:26, 28; 1 Cor 11:26
â€œThis cup poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.â€
â€œâ€¦ you proclaim the Lordâ€™s death until he comes.â€
Celebrating the present reality
Purposes and results of the Supper
- Breaking bread together â€“ Acts 2:42, 46
- Reason for meeting â€“ Acts 20:7 (â€œin order to eatâ€), 1 Cor 11:33 (â€œin order to eatâ€)
- A Cause of Unity â€“ 1 Cor 10:14-17 (â€œone cupâ€, â€œone loafâ€)
Portion of the meeting
- Passover was a full meal
- Celebration of the feast in 1 Cor 5:6-8
- From the Greek for â€œsupperâ€/â€œdinnerâ€ (deipnon)
- Abuses in Corinth prove the Lordâ€™s Supper was a full meal â€“ hungry and drunk
- The Lordâ€™s Table
- The Agape
Looking to the Future Hope
1 Cor 11:26b â€“ â€œuntil he comesâ€
- The objective of this proclamation of His death through eating and drinking the meal is to bring about his return.
- â€œDo this in remembrance of meâ€ â€“ can be a past remembrance, memorial, or reminder. This is a reminder similar to how the rainbow is a reminder to God about his covenant with Noah. The reminder can belong to Jesus, or it can be about Jesus. The pronoun is not â€œmouâ€ but â€œemosâ€ which means the reminder is Jesusâ€™ reminder, not a reminder about Jesus.
- Joachim Jeremias said that Jesus used anamnesis (â€œremembrance, reminderâ€) in the sense of a reminder for God: â€œThe Lordâ€™s Supper would thus be an enacted prayer.â€ (from NIDNTT, Vol III, p. 244)
- Luke 22:30 â€“ the disciples are promised a place at his table
- Rev 19:9 â€“ the ultimate reality is the marriage supper of the lamb
- Wine or juice?
- Leavened or unleavened bread?
- Incorporating loaf and cup?
- Planned or unplanned menus?
- Other mechanics: bring plenty, view it as a ministry, plastic and paper, single table is impractical for large group