What is Communion?
The word "communion" is defined as the act of sharing, or holding in common; participation. What is communion in a biblical sense? The word "communion" as translated in the King James Version is the Greek word "koinonia" and it means a partnership, participation or social intercourse, fellowship, communion, communication, distribution, contribution or to communicate. "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).
What is communion? It is a fellowship of believers by which they gather together to remember the sacrifice of the LORD Jesus Christ. On the night that Christ was betrayed, He instituted this "remembrance." "And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:19-20). (Also see, Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25.)
The Apostle Paul also gives us the order of the Lord's Supper. "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, 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. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup" (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).
We know that the Apostle Paul was not in the upper room the night that Jesus instituted His Last Supper. Therefore, Paul must have received this instruction during the time he was "caught up" (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).
What is communion? It is a remembrance of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave His life a ransom for whoever believes. The elements in themselves are not the issue, it is the fact that believers assemble together to fellowship, to remember Christ's sacrifice and to examine their own hearts as to whether they have any unconfessed sin. This is something that we are privileged to do. Taking the elements gain no merit for the participant other than one of remembrance in thanksgiving for what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for all who trust in Him as their personal Savior.
Learn More about the Last Supper!
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