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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > The Lord's Supper

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  #1  
Old 12-25-2011, 12:41 AM
BishopPaul2's Avatar
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Default The Lord's Supper

During this Christmas season I have been thinking a lot about Jesus' death and resurrection. Yeah I know that is what Easter is about. The way I see it is that without Jesus death and resurrection, Christmas would not be celebrated. In fact it would merely have been a birthday when a lot of strange stuff happened to a bunch of poor folks no one but their families really care about.

As you are no doubt aware the Lord's Supper consists of 2 elements. Bread, which represents the Body of Christ and the Fruit of the Vine, which represents the Blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of sins. There are several views on just what these elements are be them the actually body and blood of Christ or symbols or something else. What ever you believe is between you and God and not the topic of conversation.

This brings me to my 2 favorate Apostles, Paul and Peter. Now in Galatians Peter called Cephas was confronted by Paul in the city of Antioch. Peter had received from God to call no thing unclean. By this God was preparing Peter to see that God also had salvation in mind for the gentiles. Prior to this Jews and gentiles did not eat together. So back to Antioch. Some men came from Jerusalem claiming to be from James, Jesus' brother and the Bishop of Jerusalem.

These men lead Peter astray. Enticing him to no longer eat with gentile believers to which had become his practice. Word of this reach Paul. The bible does not say but I believe this would have prompted Paul to immediately set out for Antioch as this situation would surely cause a serious rift in the fledgling church. Upon Paul's arrival he confronted Peter, See Galatians 2. Seeing the error of his ways and the damage his actions called would have lead Peter to repentance and would have allowed Peter to return to eating with the gentile believers.

What does all this have to do with the Lord's Supper? Well, I could be mistaken but every time I have taken the Lord's Supper it was eaten. Now while refusing to dine with the gentile believers would have hurt their feelings I really do not believe that it was the major portion of the growing rift. While the scriptures do not explicitly say that Peter no longer took the Lord's Supper with gentiles, the fact that it is eaten makes the idea logical and would explain Paul's need to personally confront Peter.

Ok so lets jump forward in time to the present day. The Lord's Supper is still observed by every denomination of Christianity. The Bread is still unlevened. The Fruit of the vine still comes from a grape, be it wine or juice. It still has the same meaning and still should not be taken lightly.

So this is what God has placed on my heart during this Christmas season. My question to you is: If a Follower of Christ comes to your church and is not of your denomination, will you celebrate the Lord's Supper with them? Will you celebrate as neither Greek nor Jew but as one body or will you make the same error as Peter and though you share a place in the family of God, deny them? Will you separate to your denomination or will you accept the entire body of Christ as worthy to break bread with?

In the Church I serve, all are welcome to partake of the Lord's Supper providing that they belong to Christ. Being a member of the Holy Family is our only requirement and all that take up the elements are warned of the perils of take the Lord's Supper carelessly. Therefore I close with encouragement. We are one in Christ. Though we be different we share the Savior in common. Though we will quarrel and though we will not always agree we are part of the Holy Family. Come and Worship the Lord together partaking of the new covenant which Christ promised us that love Him with the Lord's Supper.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:56 AM
Selene's Avatar
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Default Re: The Lord's Supper

Quote:
Originally Posted by BishopPaul2 View Post
During this Christmas season I have been thinking a lot about Jesus' death and resurrection. Yeah I know that is what Easter is about. The way I see it is that without Jesus death and resurrection, Christmas would not be celebrated. In fact it would merely have been a birthday when a lot of strange stuff happened to a bunch of poor folks no one but their families really care about.

As you are no doubt aware the Lord's Supper consists of 2 elements. Bread, which represents the Body of Christ and the Fruit of the Vine, which represents the Blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of sins. There are several views on just what these elements are be them the actually body and blood of Christ or symbols or something else. What ever you believe is between you and God and not the topic of conversation.

This brings me to my 2 favorate Apostles, Paul and Peter. Now in Galatians Peter called Cephas was confronted by Paul in the city of Antioch. Peter had received from God to call no thing unclean. By this God was preparing Peter to see that God also had salvation in mind for the gentiles. Prior to this Jews and gentiles did not eat together. So back to Antioch. Some men came from Jerusalem claiming to be from James, Jesus' brother and the Bishop of Jerusalem.

These men lead Peter astray. Enticing him to no longer eat with gentile believers to which had become his practice. Word of this reach Paul. The bible does not say but I believe this would have prompted Paul to immediately set out for Antioch as this situation would surely cause a serious rift in the fledgling church. Upon Paul's arrival he confronted Peter, See Galatians 2. Seeing the error of his ways and the damage his actions called would have lead Peter to repentance and would have allowed Peter to return to eating with the gentile believers.

What does all this have to do with the Lord's Supper? Well, I could be mistaken but every time I have taken the Lord's Supper it was eaten. Now while refusing to dine with the gentile believers would have hurt their feelings I really do not believe that it was the major portion of the growing rift. While the scriptures do not explicitly say that Peter no longer took the Lord's Supper with gentiles, the fact that it is eaten makes the idea logical and would explain Paul's need to personally confront Peter.

Ok so lets jump forward in time to the present day. The Lord's Supper is still observed by every denomination of Christianity. The Bread is still unlevened. The Fruit of the vine still comes from a grape, be it wine or juice. It still has the same meaning and still should not be taken lightly.

So this is what God has placed on my heart during this Christmas season. My question to you is: If a Follower of Christ comes to your church and is not of your denomination, will you celebrate the Lord's Supper with them? Will you celebrate as neither Greek nor Jew but as one body or will you make the same error as Peter and though you share a place in the family of God, deny them? Will you separate to your denomination or will you accept the entire body of Christ as worthy to break bread with?

In the Church I serve, all are welcome to partake of the Lord's Supper providing that they belong to Christ. Being a member of the Holy Family is our only requirement and all that take up the elements are warned of the perils of take the Lord's Supper carelessly. Therefore I close with encouragement. We are one in Christ. Though we be different we share the Savior in common. Though we will quarrel and though we will not always agree we are part of the Holy Family. Come and Worship the Lord together partaking of the new covenant which Christ promised us that love Him with the Lord's Supper.
First of all, St. Peter was not led astray nor did he made any errors. St. Peter was simply trying to avoid any unnecessary conflicts with the Jews (Galatians 2:12). In the same way, St. Paul also avoided conflict with the Jews by having Timothy circumcised (See Acts 16:2).

Also, the Gentiles were able to partake the body and blood of Christ together with the Jewish Christians because all of them believed that the bread and wine truely became the body and blood of Christ. Their nationality had nothing to do with it. They were able to take the body and blood of Christ together because they were one and in communion with the faith. One needs to be in communion in order to take the body and blood of Christ. If a Christian views the bread and wine simply as a symbol, they are not in communion with us and our faith. To take the body and blood of Christ is a serious matter according to the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

Last edited by Selene : 12-25-2011 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: The Lord's Supper

Whatever take we may have on the actions of Peter it was purposeful in that we have evidence that we can put ourselves back under the law. It happens. All the time. We go back to trying to keep (or some portion of) the law and it may very well have to do with being with others who have stayed under the law with "works".

Being circumcised physically was a foreshadow of the circumcision of the heart as we all know now, hindsight being 20/20.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: The Lord's Supper

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Originally Posted by Maizie View Post
Whatever take we may have on the actions of Peter it was purposeful in that we have evidence that we can put ourselves back under the law. It happens. All the time. We go back to trying to keep (or some portion of) the law and it may very well have to do with being with others who have stayed under the law with "works".

Being circumcised physically was a foreshadow of the circumcision of the heart as we all know now, hindsight being 20/20.
St. Peter was simply avoiding unnecessary conflicts between the Jewish converts and the Gentiles. According to Scripture, St. Peter had always been eating with the Gentiles, but when certain groups of people came, St. Peter moved himself away from the Gentiles simply to avoid any unnecessary conflicts with the Jewish converts.

Galatians 2: 12 For before that some came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision.

Now, compare St. Paul's behavior in the Acts of the Apostles:

Acts 16:3 Him Paul would have to go along with him: and taking him he circumcised him, because of the Jews who were in those places. For they all knew that his father was a Gentile.

So, here you have St. Paul who always preached that Gentiles don't need circumcision; yet, he had Timothy circumcised. And the reason.....to avoid unnecessary conflicts with the Jews.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: The Lord's Supper

Peter astray even as Paul went astray. Certainly they did before they met Jesus, but also afterwards... until the works was complete in them they still sometime looked at the wrong things and/or drew the wrong conclusions and/or took the wrong actions. I believe that the only man in scripture who never went astray was Jesus.

I believe that Paul missed something when he and Barnabas separated. [Acts15:39]

Peter, on the other hand, I believe missed it when he concerned himself too much about what other men might think [Gal 2:11] instead of always seeking first God and His righteousness...
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: The Lord's Supper

Your comparison between the actions of Peter and the actions of Paul are built upon the sand. Or to use a more modern expression, you are comparing apples to oranges. Each situation stand alone. Lets deal with Paul first:

Acts 16:3 Him Paul would have to go along with him: and taking him he circumcised him, because of the Jews who were in those places. For they all knew that his father was a Gentile.

Paul circumcised Timothy to protect Timothy from the Jews and not as a falling back to the Mosaic Law. See when Paul circumcised Timothy he did so where Timothy lived. He was known the the Jews as where his parents. Paul, who's strength was never the ability to be circumspect, drew large crowds may of them Jews that new Paul as Saul and who already saw the followers of the Way as dangerous. Paul who was stoned and left for dead. Paul who was lowered through a window in a wall to save. Paul who was beaten and imprisoned circumcised Timothy not to enforce the Mosaic Law but to spare Timothy. Not as an addition to the faith or as a command for all or any part of the believers but as a single isolated incident. Note that he did not circumcise Titus.

Peter on the other hand caused a rift that could have done great damage. Those of the Greek believers already felt at one point that they were neglected by the apostles in the distribution of food the the widows. More so the question of circumcision had been answered by Bishop James during a meeting when Paul first brought the concern of the circumcision group and their requirements for all non-Jewish believers to be circumcised - Acts 15:1-31. Prior to Peter's transgression this issue had been settled. Note also those that lead Peter astray claimed to be from James. Peter did not seek out James to confirm these men's account but rather withdrew from the Greek believers in favor of the Jews. What is more, though the bible doesn't not say it, Peter's actions likely encouraged other believers of Jewish heritage to withdraw as well.

Further, Peter himself was the first apostles to speak of God's salvation being extended to the gentiles making no distinction between Jew and gentile. It should also be noticed that Peter did not seek after the Lord before separating himself from the gentile believers. Nor, by the fact that it took being chastised by Paul to correct this action, did Peter seek the Lord during his time of separation from the gentile believers.

The thing that really makes it bad is Peter did this for fear of offending the Jews, yet did not seem to take into account the offense being given to the gentile believers. Salvation is for the Jew, yes, but salvation is also for the gentile. We are saved by the same God and are going to the same heaven. Those that do not accept the gift of salvation will go to the same hell be they Jew or Gentile.

Now while the focus of my OP is about the Lord's Supper and that all believers or welcome at His table the derailing of the intent leads me also to add another lesson. Accountability. Peter was a leader in Antioch but he was still accountable to all believers and just like when we stray we are to be confronted that we may receive correction and repent. So too is a leader. Being a leader does not elevate a person to the point where they are not accountable.

Peter was held to account and he accepted the instruction of Paul and repented. More than they history, biblical or secular, does not show a time where Peter backslide on this issue from then on leading me to believe that his repentance was true and that he took the time to shore up this weakness.

One of the things that lead me to believe the Bible is not only true but accurate is that it does not gloss over the failings of those that serve.
Peter had many embarrassing moments recorded as did David and Solomon and Moses and so on. Absolutely nothing I have said takes away from the good that Peter did serving the Lord throughout his life.

For those that wish to see attacks around every corner and serpents lying in every shadow, it may be good for you to take some time and pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes that in seeing you perceive. That you seek the Holy Spirit to provide discernment. For in heaven we are neither Greek nor Jew nor Catholic nor Protestant. What we are is followers of Christ Jesus, one whole and united body. One bride. Though we be many we are one in Christ.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2011, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: The Lord's Supper

And what did you think St. Peter was doing? He was protecting the Gentile converts. It was in Galatia that the Jewish Christians were forcing the Gentile converts to be circumcised. The meeting at Jerusalem already made it clear that the Gentile converts in Antioch were not to be circumcised (See Galatians 2:1-10).

The decision reached in Jerusalem recognized the freedom of the Gentile Christians from the Jewish law. But the problem of table fellowship between Jewish Christians, who still kept kosher food regulations, and Gentile believers was not yet settled. So, when St. Peter first came to the racially mixed community of Jewish and Gentile Christians in Antioch, he ate with non-Jews. Pressure from persons arriving later from Jerusalem caused him and Barnabas to draw back.

St. Peter's conduct is not blameworthy, and in different circumstances St. Paul was to do the same thing (See Acts 16:3, Acts 21:26, 1 Co. 8:13, and Romans 14:21).

Timothy was half Jew and half Gentile. His mother was a Jew. St. Paul insisted that Timothy be circumcised since his mother was a Jew (See Acts 16:3 and 1 Co. 9:20). St. Paul also had Timothy circumcised in order that Timothy might be able to associate with the Jews and so perform a ministry among them. Paul did not object to the Jewish Christians' adherence to the law. But he insisted that the law could not be imposed on the Gentiles. Paul himself lived in accordance with the law, or as exempt from the law, according to particualr circumstances (See 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

In fact, St. Paul says to the Romans, "So, let us adopt any custom that leads to peace and our mutal improvement; do not wreck God's work over a question of food....(See Romans 14:19-20).
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