Is The Lord’s Supper All That Matters?
By: Brian A. Yeager
Brethren assemble together for many different reasons. The local church meets for times of prayer (Acts 12:5 and I Corinthians 14:15-17). The local church meets to sing praises to God (Hebrews 2:12). God’s people assemble to be taught (I Corinthians 4:17 and I Corinthians 14:19). The church comes together when disciplinary action needs to be taken (Matthew 18:15-17). The local church is assembled at times to hear about God’s work being done by faithful workers in the kingdom (Acts 14:26-27 and Acts 15:4). Saints assemble for the appointment of elders (Acts 14:23). The local body of God’s people gathers together to discuss spiritual matters (Acts 15:13-35).
In addition to the things mentioned above, we also find that the Lord’s people are to come together to partake of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7). Our Lord certainly wants us to partake of unleavened bread and to drink the fruit of the vine in remembrance of His death (Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19-20, and I Corinthians 11:23-26). That being said, there is not one Scripture that specifies that the Lord’s Supper is the most important reason brethren assemble together. Yet, many people act as though the Lord’s Supper is the chief thing we do as Christians. We’re going to consider some evidence of this thinking as we move forward in our study.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words!
For those who would say this article is not accurate, I am supplying some evidence for consideration. The examples I will use to prove that some think the Lord’s Supper is all that matters are all actions that are done without God’s authority. That alone makes all of these practices wrong (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, II Samuel 7:1-7, Proverbs 30:5-6, Isaiah 8:20, Matthew 4:4, Mark 7:1-9, Luke 6:46, Luke 11:28, Galatians 1:6-12, Ephesians 5:10, etc.). I have seen plainly that MANY so-called “Christians” think that the Lord’s Supper is above other works we do as Christians. For example, how many so-called “congregations” have a make-up serving of the Lord’s Supper even though it is contrary to God’s will (I Corinthians 11:33)? We all know that many do this. Yet, they do not have a make-up for singing, prayer, bible studies, preaching, etc.
Another example is even more puzzling to me. I have seen many so-called “congregations” that deliver the Lord’s Supper to the ill at home, hospitals, and nursing homes. Do they take up a collection, sing, repeat missed prayers, preaching, etc.? The answer is, NO! Along these same lines, some so-called “Christians” will travel and instead of meeting with a faithful congregation to worship God they have a sack supper [the packing of unleavened bread and grape juice like it is a packed lunch]. Under my dad’s instruction, I erred as a teenager in partaking of the sack supper in Terra Haute, IN while traveling in 1991. Other so-called “Christians” partake of their sack suppers while on their “Bible Land Tours” (http://truthmagazine.com/newsletter/tours/2010/images/2010-israel-brochure.pdf).
Speaking of people traveling, think about how many times we’ve had someone visiting and they clearly were only concerned about the Lord’s Supper. These individuals snip and sip and then they take off. Some visitors even get a bit out of joint over the fact that we do not partake of the Lord’s Supper at the “beginning of our worship” so that they can leave if they want to. The actions of many show that they’re more concerned about the Lord’s Supper, than any other part of our worship to God. We have to be sure we never downplay anything God desires us to do.
Everything We Do In Worship To God Is Important
When it comes to singing praises to God we read: “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness… Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing… Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely… Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Psalms 30:4, Psalms 100:2, Psalms 147:1, and Colossians 3:16).
Concerning prayer to God we read: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers… Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving… Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (Acts 2:42, Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 4:2, and I Thessalonians 5:16-18).
When God’s word is being taught we read: “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so… For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe… Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (Acts 17:10-11, I Thessalonians 2:13, and James 1:21).
Of course, as we all should know, the above points are just a small sample of what we could discuss. In no way is this article exhaustive in anything we’ve covered. However, the point should be clear. When we are worshipping God every part of what we do is very important (John 4:23-24). The way in which we approach God in every part of our worship is very important as well (Isaiah 1:10-18, Matthew 15:7-9, Philippians 3:3, Colossians 3:17, and I Timothy 2:8). Thus, whether it is in song, prayer, or the Lord’s Supper, God expects us to approach Him in an acceptable manner (Hebrews 12:28).
When brethren assemble together to worship God there should be great joy (Isaiah 35:10) and reverence (Psalms 89:7). We should not set aside one thing as our point of focus in our worship or service to God. Furthermore, we should remember that when we assemble we are also helping each other (Hebrews 10:23-25; cf. Ephesians 4:14). Thus, whether it is the first day of the week or some other day when the saints are assembling, let’s take joy in our privilege to assemble together. In all of these things, God has not placed one thing before the other and neither shall we!
Volume 11 – Issue 20 - February 6th, 2011