Communion (The Lord's Supper)

"Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father's kingdom'" (Matthew 26:29).

Communion, or Lord's Supper is one of two protestant sacraments; the other being baptism. While baptism is generally a one-time event, communion is to be repeated throughout the life of the believer.

Communion is a time for reflecting on Christ and his sacrifice -- His life given for our redemption: "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me" (1 Corinthians 11:24). it is a time for reflecting upon one's own life: "Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats the bread and drinks of the cup" (1 Corinthians 11:27-28).

Finally, communion is a time for reflecting on the fact that Christ will one day return for His church: "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

There are three historic protestant views as to the presence of Christ at the table. Luther's view stated that Christ was present in, with, and under the elements (His presence was added to the elements). The second position, that of Calvin, states that Christ is only spiritually present in the elements. The third position, Zwingli's, states that Christ is present neither spiritually nor physically in the elements. All positions are considered to be within the realm of orthodox Christianity, and should not be an issue over which to break fellowship.

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