Are We Prepared For the Lord's Supper?
Any good scout is prepared for supper on the journey- with fuel for the fire and fitting food and drink.
And knows the details and the weight of the supper he/she prepares.
The chief sign of the Sinai covenant was male circumcision, and the chief ritual meal celebrating this chief salvation event (deliverance out of Egyptian slavery) was the yearly Passover seder that Jesus also celebrated with his first twelve apostle-disciples.
Only the circumcized could partake of this yearly passover meal (Exodus 12,44,47-48).
The chief sign of our new covenant is water-holy Ghost baptism, by one Spirit (Act2,37-38; 1Corinthians14,21-22; Isaiah 28,11; Mark 16,17. See Holy Ghost Baptism link in left column and definition n. 4. Every covenant had a distinct sign).
Our chief ritual meal celebrating the chief salvation event (deliverance out of sin by faith) is the Lord's Supper (Luke 22,19).
Leviticus 6,17-18: It shall not be baked with leaven; I have given it as their portion from My offerings by fire [it was not burnt however]; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the guilt offering. Only the males among Aaron's descendants may eat of it, as their due for all time throughout the ages from the Lord's offerings by fire. Anything that touches these shall become holy."
1Samuel21,6-7: "In reply to the priest, David said, I assure you that women have been kept from us, as always. Whenever I went on a mission, even if the journey was a common one, the vessels of the young men were consecrated; all the more then may the consecrated food be put into their vessels today. v 7 So the priest gave him consecrated bread, because there was none except the bread of display, which had been removed from the presence of the Lord..." (Jewish Study Bible, JSB, Oxford 2004).
Matthew 12,1-4: "At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And his disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grains and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, 'Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath!' But he said to them, 'Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 'how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread [ the consecrated bread] which not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?' "
Psalm 78,23-25: "So he commanded the skies above, He opened the doors of heaven and rained manna upon them for food, giving them heavenly grain. v 25 Each man ate a hero's meal; He sent them provision in plenty."
(JSB) Note that KJ version refers to "food of angels" but we might miss the idea that this was health food for the mighty for their desert journey, if we get lost non bibiblical ideas of angels.
1Corinthians2,11-12: "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
As Christians looking at Exodus 12,44-48, which requires circumcision to participate in the Passover seder, we might be tempted to prohibit the Lord's Supper to those who haven't received baptism of the Holy Ghost, the sign of the new covenant.
But since David and his men were allowed his to eat the Bread of God's presence as a help in his flight from King Saul (1Samuel 21,4ff), and Christ's mercy for his hungry disciples on mission were allowed to pick grain and eat it on the Sabbath (Matthew 12,1-4), and the fact that we are all called to be priests (1Peter 2,5 even if some don't have the requisite fullness of the Spirit that priesthood assumes and only baptism in the Holy Ghost can give), as a pastoral matter, it seems wiser to invite all the faithful to the table.
But having said that, we consider the heavenly and mighty sustenance from the table of the Lord as a freely given gift of God that we can know more about from scriptural study (tracking 1Corinthians 2,12), and, yes by baptism in the Spirit.
And if we look at the biblical threats to actual and real Spiritual koinonia (communion with risen Jesus1Corinthians10,16), we see throughout this whole Lord's Supper-unity section (1Corinthians 9,27 through Chapter 12), that the overall problem isn't that folks aren't baptized in the Spirit (again this is assumed as in Acts and all the NT), it's that they are tempted to go back to idolatrous, unspiritual sacrifices (1Corinthians10,19-20) or sexual immorality (1Corinthians10,13).
The problem also was not that the tempted were not attending the supper. It was that they were not bringing a repentant faith to the table: "For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner [without faith and repentance] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body [not discerning what Jesus did on Calvary, cleansing each person, and and not discerning the unity and holiness of the body]. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep [have died]." 1Corinthians11,29-30.
We in the modern church, if we reflect a bit, are we even more unprepared for the actual Spiritual communion and holy unity of the Lord's Supper than Corinth was?
Because in almost every quarter of the modern church (even the "Pentecostal" realm) we have largely marginalized the Lord's Supper, and or, Holy Ghost Baptism, or both, while at the same time, we are also tempted to all the idolatries and immoralities of Corinth.
At least Corinth all had Holy Ghost Baptism going for them and regularly celebrated the Lord's Supper!
As scouts on a mission journey serving Jesus, we need the mighty sustenance that only the table of the Lord provides, that we might know that the richness and strength of his "Supernatural food" and "Suprenatural drink" (1Corinthians 10,3-4) freely given to us by Jesus, by God, at His table.
This is going to require more faith preparation through further scriptural study, and the leading direction of Jesus, regarding the importance of both baptism in the Spirit and the table of the Lord itself.
Hopefully, something in this meditation, and the eight prior ones, has moved folks to see the importance of both baptism in the Spirit and the Lord's Supper, not only in and of themselves, but more importantly in relation to each other.
For video of supper: http://vimeo.com/63572579
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...