Scriptural Worship-Part Three

Man with hands folded on a BibleWhen addressing the church in Corinth, Paul made it clear how he felt about preaching.  He stated, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:  not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise?  where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world?  hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greek, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:17-24).  Our worship to God needs more of God’s wisdom than of man’s wisdom.  Unfortunately, too many have decided that preaching is no longer effective in our modern society.  I wholeheartedly affirm that the preaching of God’s Word is just as effective as ever.  The problem is not with the Word.  We need to “plant” and “water”, God will give the “increase” (1 Cor. 3:6).  To further emphasize the need for preaching/studying of God’s Word Paul also wrote, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:1-4).  If Paul were to write a letter today, he very well might claim that the time has come.  We need men who respect God’s Word, and make sure our worship is Scriptural by preaching.

          The next act of worship that is authorized in the New Testament is the partaking of The Lord’s Supper.  It is called such because the Lord, Himself, instituted this observance before His death.  Likewise, it referred to as such in the Word.  While teaching the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper” (1 Cor. 11:20).  Another reason to call it The Lord’s Supper is because we are to use specific things that represent the body and blood of Jesus. 

          There are different accounts of It’s institution, but for our study, we will begin with Matthew’s.  It is important to understand that when The Lord’s Supper was first introduced, the Jews were observing the feast of unleavened bread (Matt. 26:17).  That helps us to understand that Jesus used unleavened bread for The Lord’s Supper.  “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Matt. 26:26).  Therefore, by selecting such bread, all other food would be inappropriate in the observance of The Lord’s Supper.  For the bread to be unleavened is a great representation of the sinless/pure body of Christ.  Next, “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:27-28).  This drink was “the fruit of the vine” (Matt. 26:29).  It represents the sinless/pure blood of Christ.  By utilizing “the fruit of the vine”, this means that any substitution would be not be pleasing to God.  By noticing Luke’s account, we learn that the partaking of The Lord’s Supper is meant to be a memorial.  Jesus plainly stated, “…This is my body which is given for you:  this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).  Paul also correctly taught that The Lord’s Supper is meant to be a memorial when he wrote, “And when he had given thank, he brake it, and said, Take, eat:  this is my body, which is broken for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood:  this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24-25).  With The Lord’s Supper being a memorial of Christ, we should behave ourselves appropriately for such an occasion.  There is no need for dramatic lighting, disrespectful behavior, or destructive inventions.  It should be a simple, reverential observance that shows “…the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Cor. 11:26).  (to be continued)
~ Corey Barnette