The Lord's Supper
Here at Grace Valley Church, we believe…
The Lord’s Supper is a sacred and symbolic act of thankfulness for Believers…
...to remember the loving sacrifice of Jesus’ broken body and shed blood on the cross.
...to examine oneself leading to personal repentance.
...to be an ongoing proclamation of salvation found only by grace, through faith in Jesus.
...and to foster communion with Jesus and fellowship with His body, the Church, until He returns.
Why do we call this exercise The Lord’s Supper instead of Communion or Eucharist?
Based on 1 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul is providing much-needed instruction to the Corinthian church about this act of remembrance and refers to it as The Lord’s Supper. Incidentally, no other terms are used in the Bible for this special celebration other than The Lord’s Supper, so we have opted to use this title. And we do not believe the use of the other titles is wrong in any way.
Who is allowed to serve The Lord’s Supper?
There are no specific instructions given in the Scriptures as to who is allowed (or not allowed) to serve the elements of The Lord’s Supper. We lean on the guidance of these words from 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” The Scriptures indicate that every true believer in Jesus is considered a “priest” (the doctrine of the priesthood of the Believer). In this way, The Lord’s Supper may be served by any Believer in Jesus to any gathering of Believers, large or small.
How often should The Lord’s Supper be observed?
There are no specific instructions that dictate a required frequency of The Lord’s Supper. The emphasis of the Bible is HOW The Lord’s Supper is observed more than HOW OFTEN. The statement above outlines many of the purposes intended for Believers through this exercise. At Grace Valley Church, we aim to partake in The Lord’s Supper about once a month and a few times a year when we host a special service focused solely on The Lord’s Supper.
What methodology is used at GVC when taking the elements?
In our observance of The Lord’s Supper, we typically provide a small wafer as the Bread and a small prepackaged Cup containing the juice. We lead The Lord’s Supper in such a way that each element is taken independently starting with the Bread and then the Cup. We believe this is what is modeled by Jesus at the Last Supper (Luke 22) and serves as a great method for us today. Therefore, we do not dip the bread into the cup (intinction).
Should The Lord’s Supper use leavened or unleavened bread and alcoholic or non-alcoholic wine/juice?
The Last Supper (Luke 22) was actually the Passover Supper that Jesus shared with His disciples. There is no doubt they would have used unleavened bread at this meal in keeping with Passover tradition. So, it is our practice to most often use unleavened bread (or wafers) in our observance of The Lord’s Supper. Because we believe in a symbolic view of the elements, we seek to remember the broken Body of Jesus for us as more important than the type of Bread used; but, as always, when we can follow the example in the Bible, we want to do so. We do NOT believe the type of bread should stand in the way of observing The Lord’s Supper.
The wine or juice is not clearly identified in the Bible as alcoholic or non-alcoholic. We know from 1 Corinthians 11, that Paul chastised the Corinthian church for selfishly indulging too much in the wine of The Lord’s Supper to the point of drunkenness; therefore, it is safe to say that at least on some occasions alcoholic wine was used. Again, because our view of the elements is symbolic, the emphasis of remembering the blood of Jesus shed for the forgiveness of sin is more important than the type of juice used. At GVC, we only use non-alcoholic grape juice.
To view the sermon "The Bread & The Cup || Understanding the Importance of The Lord's Supper," please CLICK HERE