|Volume 22 Number 10 October 2020||
Robert C. Lupo
Just before Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage and adopted as His children, Jehovah instituted the Passover Feast (Exodus 12:1-28). It was Jehovah’s Passover (Exodus 12:11). It was known as the “Days of Unleavened Bread” because it was observed over the course of seven days (Exodus 12:18-19).
In just a few words, the people of God were given strict guidelines for the proper observance of this feast. It was expected that the supper would be observed in the homes of the Israelites (Exodus 12:3-4, 15, 19-20, 22-23), for that is where they were saved from the death that was to pass through the land. This is where they ate their common meals, but this supper was to be different. The focus was on the elements of the supper and how they ate it. It was to be eaten in remembrance of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage and death (Exodus 12:25-27). The meal was to be observed as a holy feast (set apart from common meals).
Though deliverance was offered to all, no one was forced to enter the safety of the home or to eat of the meal. If they did not enter, they did not eat or did not eat properly, they would die a physical death (Exodus 12:15, 19-20; 31:14). The Passover Feast was the precursor to the Lord’s Supper.
Just before all of mankind was to be delivered from the bondage of sin and death and adopted as children through the death of Christ on the cross, Jesus instituted His Supper. It was first observed in the house of a man (Matthew 26:18). Jesus was not in a church building when He ate the Supper for the first time but in a house (1 Corinthians 11:25). No one is forced to eat the Lord’s Supper, but if they do not eat it or if they do not eat properly, they will die spiritually (1 Corinthians 11:25, 27-34).
Wherever the spiritual house of God physically meets to worship God, it ought to be an acceptable location for the Lord’s Supper to be observed. As a matter of necessity and history, both suppers (the Passover under the Law of Moses and the Lord’s under the Law of Christ) were physically observed in the private homes of God’s people where their common meals were also prepared and eaten.
The first century church sometimes met in private homes for the purpose of worship (Romans 16:3-5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2) but also for fellowship and hospitality (Acts 2:46-48; Romans 16:23; 3 John 5-8). [Of course, the first century church also met sometimes in public places, Acts 2:46; 5:12, 42]. Imagine the awful hardship placed on each of these brethren and their families if after they invited the church to worship in their homes that they were no longer able to cook or to eat common meals in them. Who can reason such? It is preposterous to think that Paul, an apostle of the Lord, would condemn some brethren for eating a common meal in any place or a location (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) where they had also served the Lord’s Supper and in the same letter, commend other brethren (Aquila and Prisca, 1 Corinthians 16:19) who invited the church to worship in their home where their common meals were also prepared and eaten. Paul corrected the bad behavior, but he did not contradict himself.
It is unreasonable to conclude that we are limited to observing the Lord’s Supper only in homes of the saints solely because sometimes first century saints worshipped in their homes. It is also unreasonable to conclude that we are limited to eating the Lord’s Supper in church buildings solely because some first century Christians did not partake of the Lord’s Supper properly — making a distinction between worship and fellowship. The church can observe the Lord’s Supper, as well as enjoy fellowship meals together, in the same place (anywhere) the church gathers together for such, so long as Christians properly discern what is holy (pertaining to worship) and what is not worship.
[Editor’s Note: Scripture is difficult enough to implement in one’s Christian life without the added impediment of Christians not “handling aright the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 ASV) and subsequently making church laws where God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit did not. There is a grave danger in presuming to teach God’s Word (James 3:1), and so anyone doing so must be an earnest and an able student of God’s Word. Most mishandling of God’s Word and extra doctrines resulting therefrom would dissolve if only everyone were to discern what first century recipients of God’s Word were expected to understand from it. Thereafter, one must (1) determine if the particular divine message is applicable today as well, and (2) recognize that if it is applicable today, how can it be applied contemporarily. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
Sin is never satisfied. It will take all your health and wealth as well as your independence and happiness. Sin is negative in all its ways.
We read in the Holy Bible of the consequences of sin. Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death.” Yet, the Lord does not leave us without a way out! The apostle continued to say in Romans 6:23 that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Sin is not what it promises to be. The devil told Eve that she would be just like God. We clearly see that the oldest lie in the book is the very lie humans want most to believe! Nothing is sacred to the wanton sinner! In Genesis 3:5, the Devil said, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Eve doubted God and paid the price. Soon, she would learn the depth of the tempter’s deceit and the result of her sin of doubt and disobedience. In Genesis 3:16, God told her, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow.” Never would Eve have imagined the pain and suffering her disobedience would bring into the world, and her husband’s inaction resulted in God’s judgment on him as well. “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Death came into the world because of sin. Sin is never healthy for our souls.
Sin results in never reaching God’s standard for righteousness. He is the maker of the law, the establisher of morality. He condemns the deviant mind of the wicked, who “call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
In fact, sin destroys all hope of Heaven for the prideful rebel. “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:21). Many declare their sin is natural, but this contradicts God’ s Holy Word, and their self-justification will end in eternal sorrow. Notice how our Lord warns us of the fate of sinners who disobey His call. Jesus, the sinless Savior, said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
Sin is nothing but damnation for our souls! Isaiah 5:24 tells us of God’s reaction to pride-filled sinners. “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” It is the enemy that delivers Hell for the human soul. Proverbs 10:19 states, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Solomon advised to be careful in one’s way, avoiding behaviors that lead to Hell! Never has sin brought about salvation — not for Eve and not for us.
Jesus came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He is the Friend of sinners and the Redeemer of the lost. However, in order to receive the benefits of His sacrifice, we must surrender all to Him. Sin is never far away, and so we must obey the commands of Christ for our deliverance! In Christ alone can we find comfort, mercy, grace and forgiveness. Acts 4:12 states clearly, for all sinners and saints, that, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Sin is everywhere — in our thoughts, our homes, our work and our culture. Beware when sin becomes acceptable in the eyes of society or families! If God says something is missing the mark of His righteousness, then it is sin, no matter who says that it’s not! Sin is snake-like, and it can slither in unawares and destroy all that is good! Sin is noted for its subtly.
Our Savior offers victory over sin. Now is the time to respond to the Gospel call. We are advised to not delay but rather to “…arise and be baptized, wash away your sins…” (Acts 22:16). Obey the call of Jesus Christ, today!