Is The Lord's Supper Salvific? (The Lord's Supper, Episode VI)
Ex 16:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.
Jn 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
Ro 10:8-11 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
1 Cor 10:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
1 Cor 10:5-11 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
1 Cor 11;16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
Is The Eucharist Important To Our Salvation
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16)
In approaching this question (Is the Lord’s Supper Salvific?”), there are two areas that necessitate our exploration. First, we must determine whether or not the Lord’s Supper is a biblical command and what the consequences are for disobeying. Lastly, the very nature of the elements must be considered.
We know that Jesus “… Took bread… gave thanks… broke the bread, and gave it to them saying “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19-20). We also see that the cup is commanded in 1 Corinthians 11:25 where Paul gives the injunction; “This do.”. Now, the phrase “this do” is in the present tense, active voice, and indicative mood of the Greek language which means, continue to repetitiously do this act (A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures of the Greek New Testament, Broadman Press, Nashville Tennessee, copyright 1930, volume 2, page 268), so the phrase is a direct command of our Lord Jesus—an imperative.
The mandate “This do,” alone, confirms that the Lord’s Supper is a biblical command. When this injunction is viewed in the universal context of Scripture, a clearer picture comes into focus that sheds light on the question before us: Is the Lord’s Supper Salvific? In the 20th chapter of John’s Gospel we find the benefits of keeping His commands: verse 10 sates, “If you abide in my commandments, you shall abide in my love”; and verse 14 states, “You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you”. The obvious conclusions gleaned from these passages are undeniably clear: If we willfully disobey His commandments, we are not abiding in His love, nor are we His friends.
Lastly, Jesus said, “except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you” (John 6:53). In the Greek text the word for life is ZOE, which means: sustaining life. When Jesus taught this, He drew an analogy between Himself and the manna God fed the Israelites during their wilderness journey (John 6:49 see Ex 16:4ff). This demonstrates that the manna and water God provided the Israelites in the wilderness are a genuine type of the Lord’s Supper. Just as the manna and water from the Rock sustained the Israelites in the wilderness, so too, the Communion meal sustains the Christians in their journey to Heaven.
Salvation is much more than just being forgiven of a life of sin, and redeemed from the fallen nature; something the Bible calls being born again. Salvation, also, entails living a successful life in this world free from all sickness of the body and soul, and having all of one’s physical needs met (Romans 10:8-11). Salvation does not only mean escaping Egypt, but also not falling in the wilderness as some of them fell because of unbelief and were made ashamed (1 Corinthians 10:5-11). In this same place Paul identifies the Exodus from Egypt as the parable for the new birth experience and the victorious Christian life (10:1-4). Here, also, the manna and water from the Rock find their fulfillment in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper (10:16). This spiritual sustenance nourished the church in the wilderness and enabled it to see through, to the finish, what was began at that first passover in Egypt. The Psalmist sings of the Exodus, that there was “Not a feeble person among the tribes” (Psalms 105:37). The manna from heaven which was given to Israel was the type and shadow of the body of Christ given to the Church. Both are associated with the well-being of God’s people. The bread from Heaven that Jesus gave (namely, His body) is associated with physical health (1 Corinthians 11:30), as a result of the stripes placed in His flesh for the healing of the Church (1 Peter 2:24). That divine physical healing was provided for in the cross can not be denied. Of course this is another proof of the real presence of His body in the bread. Upon receiving the bread of the Eucharist, the communicant fellowships with the stripes placed there. There is no mystery why physical sickness is so visible in the Church. The Lord’s table is neglected.
The conclusion of the matter, then, is this: the Lord’s Supper is a biblical command; it functions to sustain both our physical and spiritual lives. Moreover, one cannot be saved if he or she is willfully disobedient to the Word of God, nor if the spirit-person is not sustained in the journey.
In the light of these truths it must be concluded that the Communion meal is essential to the Christians’ very life, both physical and spiritual.
☩ Jerry Hayes
Read More From The Bishop On Holy Communion
- Who May Administer the Lord's Supper (Lord's Supper, Episode VIII)
There is a message being sent from non-denominational type churches that just anyone may officiate at the Lord's table. Counter to this is the question of the imperfect minister. What says the Bible?
- The Lord's Supper (From the Beginning)
This article is the introduction to a series on the Lord's Supper. Jesus instituted this covenant meal and commanded its observance. Here we review the teachings of those whom the apostles taught.
- What Is the Lord's Supper, Episode II
In this writing the author gives a brief description of the different terms used by Christians to describe and identify the sacramental meal Christ instituted the night before His death.
- Breaking Bread (The Lord's Supper, Episode III)
This writing establishes the biblical phrase "Breaking Bread" as a discriptive name for the Lord's Supper.
- The Christian Altar (The Lord's Supper, Episode IV)
As one searches the New Testament for a reference to the Christian altar, it comes as a shock to evangelicals that the Lord's Table is the only New Covenant altar mentioned. Here, we declare it so.
- Who May Partake of Holy Communion? (The Lord's Supper, Episode V)
The question of "Who may Partake of holy Communion" is explained by this writing. Some churches practice "open communion", while others practice "closed Communion." Which is biblical?
- The True Elements (Lord's Supper, Episode IX)
This article covers the question as to the nature of the biblical elements of the Lord's Supper. Christians are divided over leavened or unleavened bread; fermented or unfermented fruit of the vine.
- Are Symbols Important to God (A Study in the Lord's Supper, Episode X
In this study we examine the importance of biblical symbols, especially in relation tot he holy Communion.
- Bishop's Epistle: The Real Presence (Lord's Supper, Episode XI)
Click here to own this amazing book on the Lord's Supper.
In "The Lord's Supper" Bishop Hayes presents a comprehensive study of the holy Sacrament. Both the Catholic and Reformed positions are examined and biblical solutions are given for the problems that exist in the mentioned theologies. The book answers important questions, like: "What is the Lord's supper?" Who may partake of the Lord's supper?" "Is the body and blood of Christ really present in the elements or do the elements actually change into the body and blood of Christ?" "How often should the Lord's Supper be observed?" These are but a few of the questions addressed in the book. Having shopped in several Bible bookstores and discovering how little is written on the subject it is safe to predict that this work will be in great demand and a standard volume in the libraries of those who love the Sacrament.