BOOKS: BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to
that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'.
Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking
the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only
Herod's Temple in Jerusalem
fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old
Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of
Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'. Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only when Herod's Temple in Jerusalem fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views,
but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond
the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The
classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built
upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and
the convictions of
the website curator (a
former full preterist pastor). The HyP
theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70
(end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors
through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up
to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written.
Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between
Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and
THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
"Full preterist" material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views, but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and the convictions of the website curator (a former full preterist pastor). The HyP theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70 (end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written. Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and fundamentally different.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
SOME DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES OF SYSTEMATIZED HYPER PRETERISM
It is important to keep in mind that many ideas and doctrines full preterism appeals to - such as the complete end of the Old Covenant world in AD70 - are by no means distinctive to that view. Many non HyPs believe this as well, so one need not embrace the Hyper Preterist system in order to endorse this view. Following are exceptional doctrines which, so far as I've seen, are only taught by adherents of Hyper Preterism.:
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY STANDARD FULL PRETERISM
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY VARIOUS FORMS
Preterism and the Lord's Supper
By David Curtis
1 Corinthians 11:26
Is the observance of the Lord's Supper inconsistent with the preterist view of eschatology?
Since I have come to the preterist view, I have been asked questions like this at least a couple of dozen times, "Why, as preterist, do we still observe the Lord's Supper? Didn't Jesus say we were only to, 'do this till I come?' Since Jesus has already come, why do we still observe the Lord's Supper?"
First, let me say that the Bible does not say, "Do this till I come." It is amazing to me how many folks think the Bible says that. Let's look at what it does, in fact, say.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NKJV) For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.
Most Christians believe that one day the Lord's Supper is going to come to an end. I think this is a faulty conception based upon some faulty presuppositions. Those who hold to a futurist eschatology believe that the Lord's Supper will end at the Second Coming of Christ. I know, because this is what I used to believe. Based upon the futurist's idea that the physical planet will be destroyed at the Second Coming, we can see why they think the physical ordinance will end at that time.
Those of us who have come to hold the preterist view of eschatology, know that it wasn't the "world" that was to end at the second coming, it was the Jewish "age" that ended.
As the preterist studies the Bible and thinks, using a new hermeneutic, based on the age ending in AD 70 with the second coming of Christ, he struggles to understand what applies to him today. As he does this, he comes to 1 Corinthians 11:26 and questions if it is teaching that the Lord's Supper ends at the second coming? "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." Does this teach an end to the Lord's Supper? Let me say that this is the only verse in the Bible that can be used in arguing the duration of the Lord's Supper. And it can only be used in that sense when it is misunderstood.
Notice what this verse doesn't say: It doesn't say, "Observe the Lord's Supper until Jesus comes back." It doesn't say that! It says that through the observance of the Lord's Supper, the Corinthians were proclaiming the Lord's death until his coming. Do you agree so far?
"You proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." Now, the problem arises over the word "till." If this word "till" meant that something stopped at that point, what would stop would be the proclamation of the Lord's death through the Lord's Supper, and not the Lord's Supper itself. Was the only purpose of the Lord's Supper to proclaim His death? No! The Lord very clearly said, "This do in remembrance of me." He did not say, "This do to proclaim my death." Now, in doing it, we show the Lord's death, but that is not why we are commanded to do it. The word "till" does not mean that something stops at that point, but if it did, it still wouldn't mean that the observance of the Lord's Supper stopped.
What does the word "till" mean? The Greek phrase used here is hou achris. This phrase is only used four times in the New Testament and means, "even unto a point." Thayer says, "It is used of things that actually occurred and up to the beginning of which something continued." It is a point of reference and not a point of cessation. Let's look at its other three usages in the New Testament, which I hope will help you understand this Greek phrase.
Stephen, recounting Israel's history before the High Priest, says this:
Acts 7:17-18 (NKJV) "But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt 18 till another king arose who did not know Joseph."
Does this mean that when the King, that didn't know Joseph, took the throne that the people didn't multiply any more? No, of course not! It is a point of reference. I can prove to you that "till" here does not mean termination. Look with me at Exodus:
Exodus 1:6-7 (NKJV) And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
That is what Stephen said in Acts 7. Now let's see what happened when the new king took over.
Exodus 1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
So if "till"--hou achris used by Stephen in Acts, means cessation or termination than the children of Israel would no longer increase or multiply. The new King did in fact try to stop their growth but notice what happened:
Exodus 1:12 (NKJV) But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.
The king commanded the midwives to kill the male Israelites at birth but they would not and so the children of Israel continued to multiply.
Exodus 1:20 (NKJV) Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty.
This is after the new king, who didn't know Joseph, did every thing in his power to stop them from growing. The people multiplied and grew very mighty! So, I hope you can clearly see that the Greek phrase hou achris does not mean cessation or termination but is a point of reference.
Let's look at another use of hou achris.
1 Corinthians 15:25 (NKJV) For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
Does Christ ever give up His reign? Will there ever be a time when Jesus Christ will not reign? No! Never!
Luke 1:31-33 (NKJV) "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
He reigns even unto the point that all his enemies are put under His feet. It is a point of reference. His reign will never end.
Daniel 7:13-14 (NKJV) "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
Micah 4:7 (NKJV) I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever.
Hebrews 1:8 (NKJV) But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.
Christ's rule never ends. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and so is His reign. So, hou achris here is clearly not cessation. There is one other use of hou achris in the New Testament besides our text and that is in:
Galatians 3:19 (NKJV) What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
Did the Law of Moses end when Christ was born? No!
Galatians 4:4 (NKJV) But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Did the Law end at the Lord's crucifixion? No!
2 Corinthians 3:6-11 (NKJV) who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
He is referring to the Old Covenant, the Mosaic law, and he says, it "is," present tense, passing away. The law was still in effect thirty years after Jesus' death, but it was passing away.
Hebrews 8:13 (NKJV) In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
The Old Covenant was ready to pass away. It passed away in AD 70, when the Lord returned and destroyed Jerusalem and its temple.
The Greek phrase, hou achris is used as a reference point and not a point of cessation. I think that should answer the "till" question. The Corinthians were to eat the Lord's Supper and there by proclaim the Lord's death, even unto the time of His coming.
Before leaving the phrase "till he come," let me say that this phrase demonstrates that the Lord's return was expected in the lifetime of the Corinthians, THEY were to eat it until he came; implying they would be around when He came. This idea is seen throughout the Corinthian letter.
1 Corinthians 1:4-8 (NKJV) I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that YOU come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm YOU to the end, that YOU may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NKJV) But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, 31 and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.
1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV) 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.
People ask, "Why should we take of the Lord's Supper today?" I think a better question in light of the "till" argument would be, "Why shouldn't we observe the Lord's Supper today?" I don't see any reason why we would think it ended in AD 70. As a matter of fact, if we understand that the Lord's Supper is the antitype of the Passover, we can see that AD 70 and the Lord's return did not bring an end to the Lord's Supper, but it's perfecting. Let's look at how the Lord's Supper is tied in with the Passover.
Luke 22:14-20 (NKJV) When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 "for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 "for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
"The cup" in verse 17 is the cup of the Passover. Therefore it is in connection with the Passover that Jesus said, "for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (v.16). Christ repeated this in reference to the cup (v.17). Verses 16 and 18 are eschatological sayings of Christ concerning the fulfillment of the Passover. Now, notice that Christ does something new, but which is inseparably connected to the fulfillment of the Passover.
Luke 22:19-20 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
Christ introduces a new act of eating and drinking by His use of the same bread and wine of the Passover celebration, except now there is a change in meaning. It is now to symbolize His body and the New Testament. This takes place the day before the crucifixion, the night on which he was betrayed. He is in the upper room with his disciples, the Passover celebration has begun, and during the Passover celebration our Lord institutes the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper was instituted in the midst of the celebration of the Passover. That is very appropriate because both of them are a memorial. Passover was a memorial of God's physical deliverance of his children from their bondage in Egypt through the blood of the lamb. The Lord's Supper is a memorial of the spiritual deliverance of God's people from their bondage to sin and death. That deliverance is through the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. So both of them are a memorial. The Lord's Supper is to be done in remembrance of Him. The Passover was the type, and the Lord's Supper is the antitype.
Christ's disciples were no longer to eat and drink the Passover bread and wine in remembrance of the historical Passover. The bread and wine now was to typify the greater sacrifice and deliverance of Christ.
1 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV) Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
What the Passover lamb was to Israel, Jesus Christ is to us. As that lamb was slain and its blood applied to the door posts of that home, it provided a covering whereby the inhabitants of that home were protected from the just judgement of God and entered into God's salvation. When the blood of Jesus Christ, that was shed upon the cross of calvary, is applied by faith to the life of an individual, that constitutes a deliverance from the just judgement of God upon us so that we are saved. Christ is for us what the Passover lamb was for an Israelite. The Passover lamb died for Israel, Christ died for us; it was a substitutional vicarious death.
John 1:29 (NKJV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
We see from Matthew that Jesus uses the same words about future fulfillment of the Lord's Supper as he used in connection with Passover. That which marks the fulfillment of the Passover (The end of the Old Covenant) is also that which brings the Lord's Supper to its fullness at the end of the age.
Matthew 26:29 (NKJV) "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
Jesus promises to drink the cup in the Father's kingdom. The word "drink" in the text is continuos repeated action. Jesus says, "I am going to keep on drinking with you in my Father's kingdom." We have seen from our study of Matthew 24 that the coming of the kingdom of God is tied to the coming of Christ and the end of the Jewish age.
The phrase used here "that day" is referring to the eschatological day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ and the end of the Jewish age.
In "that day" he will drink it "new." The word "new" is kainos; it means new in quality. Arndt-and Gingrich says the word "new" from kainos (Greek), means new in the sense of never having been before, or new as in superior, in contrast to old. In other words, in meaning, worth, or significance. Vines says it means "new as form of quality, of different nature what is contrasted as old." (Vol. III. p.109.) See also Thayer, p. 317. Kittel says that kainos emphasizes what is "new and distinctive...What is new in nature...better than the old, superior in value or attraction..." (Vol. III. p.447.)
This word kainos is used with reference to the things fulfilled in "the age to come." In the Old Testament, the prophets looked forward to the day when God would do a new thing. He would make a new covenant with His people (Jer.31:31). It would produce a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 36:26). In the New Testament, the making of all things new takes place in the New heavens and new earth.
Revelation 21:5 (NKJV) Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
This new age comes to perfection when the old age is ended. It is after the destruction of Jerusalem, the old heaven and earth, that the new heaven and earth is established. The end of the old covenant and the consummation of the new marked the time for Christ's drinking of the new wine with His disciples in the kingdom of God.
During the transition period from the cross to the second coming, the Lord's supper had a new meaning but it had not yet come to perfection. Just as in the transition period, the Kingdom of God was present:
Colossians 1:13 (NKJV) He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
Yet they waited its full consummation, its perfection:
Luke 21:29-32 (NKJV) Then He spoke to them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 "When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 "So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.
Here He is referring to the kingdom of God in its perfection.
The same could be said of their salvation. They were saved:
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Yet they waited the full consummation of their salvation:
Romans 13:11 (NKJV) And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
Hebrews 9:28 (NKJV) so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
When the Church began to observe the Lord's Supper from Pentecost, Acts 2 and onward, they were partaking of it in a new way. It was not the old Passover. It had a new meaning. But, while it had a new meaning, it had not yet reached its perfection. In AD 70, when the Lord returned, the Lord's Supper was not to come to an end. It had only then reached its perfection. We don't celebrate His Supper in anticipation of a coming salvation, but in realization of an accomplished salvation.
Type and antitype:
The Passover deliverance was not consummated until they entered the promised land. The Passover began with the sacrificing of the Passover lamb introduced in Exodus 12 while Israel is still in bondage. They ate the first Passover while they are still in Egyptian bondage. In Numbers 9:5, they eat of it again while they are wondering in the wilderness. And then in Joshua, they entered the land:
Joshua 5:9-10 (NKJV) Then the LORD said to Joshua, "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. 10 Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.
Throughout the history of Israel the Passover recalled not only the sparing of the houses marked with the blood of the Passover lamb, but also Israel's subsequent deliverance out of slavery in Egypt; a deliverance that was consummated forty years later in the crossing of the Jordan River. Once their redemption was consummated by their being in the promised land, Passover did not stop, it had now reached its perfection. Now, and only now, were they truly redeemed from Egyptian bondage.
While we are in Joshua, I want you to notice something else.
Joshua 5:11-12 (NKJV) And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. 12 Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.
Once they got in the promised land, the miracles ceased. Just as when the Church reached its true heavenly promised land of the New heavens and earth, the miracles stopped.
When their reproach is rolled back, they ate of the Passover. The Passover typifies the Lord's Supper. Both are redemption feasts. The Passover is the Old Testament redemption feast of Israel's freedom of bondage from Egypt. The Lord's Supper is the New Covenant feast of redemption from sin. The Passover had meaning in Egypt and the wilderness, but it took on a qualitative newness when they entered the land. Like wise with the Lord's Supper, it had significance prior to the coming of the kingdom of God, it had significance in the wilderness, and it has a qualitative newness in the kingdom of God. The newness is a celebration of deliverance rather than an anticipation of deliverance.
As the early church communed with the Lord in his Supper (I Corinthians 10:16-21), they remembered his death and sufferings. They eagerly longed for his return when the Feast would not only be a remembrance of the past, but a celebration with Him in a completely established and triumphant Kingdom. After Jesus came in A.D. 70, the Supper could finally be taken in the perfected "newness" of which he spoke.
Let me give you four reasons why we should observe the Lord's Supper today.
1. The Lord's Supper is a memorial:
1 Corinthians 11:24 (NKJV) and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
"Is" is used as "represents" or "pictures." This is how we often use "is." I'll show someone a picture of my wife and say, "this is my wife." It's not really my wife, it's only a piece of paper with her image on it. When Jesus said, "this is my body and blood," he was saying it signifies my body and blood. It is a picture, it represents the body and blood of Christ. The Lord's Supper is not a sacrifice, it is a memorial; a memorial of the death of Jesus Christ, of his body given and his blood shed.
This memorial was certified by the Lord's words, "this do,"which is the Greek present tense "this keep on doing" it is also an imperative in the Greek, which means it is a command.
You and I can go through our lives remembering the Lord many ways and at many times but you'll never observe the Lord's Supper without calling to mind the fact that he died for you.
"In remembrance of me" This is the one major goal of the Lord's Supper; to elicit remembrance of the person and work of Jesus Christ. The Lord's Supper is a Memorial, which is something as a structure or custom, serving to honor or keep alive a memory. Some synonyms would be remembrance, commemoration. It is sad that we are prone to forget even the things that are very important to us, and things that had a great impact on us. This is why God gives memorials throughout the scriptures. Such as:
Joshua 4:5-7 (NKJV) "and Joshua said to them: "Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, 6 "that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?' 7 "Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever."
As a society, we have memorials to help us remember things that we don't want to forget. There is a monument in WASHINGTON, D.C., in honor of persons in the American armed services who died in the VIETNAM WAR. The memorial is a large black marble wall at the WASHINGTON MALL. The names of the dead are inscribed in the wall.
As families, we should have memorials to remind us of what God has done in our lives, so we don't forget. I have a piece from the tail section of the Cherokee piper airplane that we crashed in on Christmas day on my bookshelf. It serves as a memorial of God's deliverance of us through that crash. We need memorials because we are prone to forget.
There is a sad verse in Jeremiah that reminds us how forgetful we really are:
Jeremiah 2:32 (NKJV) "Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number."
Lest we forget, here is a memorial that will weekly remind us of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our weekly observance of the Lord's Supper will make Jesus Christ the center of our corporate worship. This memorial is no morbid memorial, we are not having a funeral service, it's no tragedy that we are remembering, it's a triumph we're remembering. It's not a time for morbid melancholy retrospection. It's rather a time for rejoicing and thanksgiving where we give thanks to him for his love and sacrificial death on our behalf. It's a joyous memorial in remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do we ever want to stop remembering what Christ has done for us in redeeming us? No! And thus we continue to celebrate the Lord's Supper.
It's more than simply a commemorative, it's also a confession. When you partake of the bread and wine, you are saying "his death was for me. I am trusting Him for my eternal salvation."
2. The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of celebration, and as such, it is a time of thanksgiving.
Verse 24 says, "he gave thanks," and verse 25 says, "after the same manner." We know from Matthew and Mark's accounts of the Lord's Supper that our Lord gave thanks for the bread and the cup and then passed them. The Lord's Supper is a time of thanksgiving, it is a time when we celebrate with deep gratitude and thanksgiving, the Lord's coming and giving himself in death for us.
The Lord's Supper is a time in which we give thanks to God. The verb "thanks" is the Greek word eucharisteo, to be grateful, to express gratitude. From this we get the name Eucharist. Do we ever stop giving thanks to the Lord for our redemption? No! And neither do we stop celebrating the Lord's Supper. It is a time of thanksgiving.
3. The Lord's Supper is a proclamation of the gospel:
1 Corinthians 11:26(NKJV) "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.
The word "proclaim" is the Greek kataggello, which means to preach, proclaim. This word is commonly used in the Acts and Paul's epistles for the proclamation of the gospel to men. It is never used in the NT in any other sense. The word "for" at the beginning of the verse indicates the connection with what precedes. It is a commemoration of his death, for it is in its very nature, a proclamation of that fact. As often as we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we proclaim the Lord's death. One of the most effective gospel services that a NT church can have is the observance of the Lord's Supper. It is like an acted out sermon where the church visibly sets forth the death of Christ. We take the bread, his body given and the cup, his blood shed, and we visibly portray the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is valuable for our young children and even for lost friends and relatives. They will witness a picture of the death of Christ as the elements are explained, and their significance is given, the gospel is proclaimed.
Martin Luther said of communion, "This is the gospel in its briefest form." We proclaim the Lord's death as we celebrate the Lord's Supper and that is the fundamental fact of the gospel. Jesus Christ died for sinners. "Full atonement, can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior."
4. The Lord's Supper is a reminder of my accountability before God.
The term "Lord" is used in verse 20, twice in verse 23, 26; twice in verse 27, 29, and 32. The Greek word is kurios, which means, supreme in authority, controller, master. Jesus Christ is Lord and it is His table that we come to.
The early church called the Lord's Supper a sacrament. We in the Protestant church do not refer to the Lord's Supper as a sacrament because the word "sacrament" in our theological circles today implies a vehicle where by grace comes to a man. We do not consider the Lord's Supper a means of grace. But the early church called it a sacrament because in the Roman empire (according to H. A. Ironside in 1 Corinthians) the word sacrament was used for the oath of allegiance which the soldiers of the Roman legion took to their emperor. And the early church began to refer to the Lord's Supper as a sacrament because they saw a truth that many of us have never seen. They saw that their observance of the Lord's Supper was a weekly "pledge of allegiance" to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
As we come to the Lord's Supper, we renew our dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the Lord's body and the Lord's blood and I remember the one who is my Lord. I acknowledge his Lordship and my accountability to Him.
The Lord's Supper is a comprehensive ordinance. We remember what Christ has done for us, we give thanks, we proclaim the gospel, and we refresh our commitment to him.
The second coming of the Lord in AD 70 did not bring an end to the Lord's Supper, it perfected it. Redemption is complete, we are now dwelling in the promise land of the New heaven and earth, in the very presence of God. As we observe the Lord's Supper, we celebrate a completed redemption.
This message was preached by David B. Curtis on April 19, 1998.
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