"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples
came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them…" (Acts 20:7)
HERE WE HAVE an example and
pattern authority for the weekly observance of the Lord's supper. If it
were left entirely up to the account of Jesus instituting the Lord's supper
(Matthew 26:26-29), we would be at a loss as to knowing the frequency we
should partake of this supper. However, Jesus promised the apostles that
not only would the Holy Spirit bring all things to their remembrance (John
14:16), He would guide them into all unrevealed religious truth (John 16:13).
Now in Acts 20:7 the church at Troas, operating under the very sight of
an inspired apostle, came together on the first day of the week "to break
bread." It is incidental that the apostle Paul was there and preached;
the purpose of their coming together was to have the Lord's supper. Every
week has a first day, and it is implied that this was their customary practice.
Under the Old Testament the Jews were commanded to, "Remember the sabbath
day, to keep it holy." They didn't ask, "Which sabbath (seventh) day?"
Every week had a seventh day and they understood this to mean they should
keep every sabbath unto God. The same is true as we read Acts 20:7 of the
Lord's supper on the first day of the week.
We are not left to this Scripture only for evidence of the practice of
weekly communion; it is evident in I Corinthians. The church at Corinth
was a problem church rent asunder by partyism, immorality, and the abuse
of divine worship. It seems that had reduced the Lord's supper to a drunken
feast. Notice: "When you come together therefore into one place, this is
not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other
his own supper: and one is hungry and another drunken" (I Cor. 11:20,21).
The Amplified New Testament's application of verse 20 is a little plainer,
"So when you gather for your meetings, it is not the supper instituted
by the Lord that you eat." In other words, they were supposedly observing
the Lord's supper, but had reduced it to a common meal and a drunken feast.
What we wish to emphasize is that they were doing this "WHEN" they came
together; in other words, every time they were regularly assembled. They
were keeping the Lord's supper, although in a greatly degenerated fashion,
every time that the church met. When was the regular meeting time? If we
can establish this, we can know the frequency of the Lord's supper observance.
I Corinthians 16:2 gives the answer: "upon the first day of the week."
It is also of interest to note, and not without significance, that the
Lord's supper was observed on the day the church was established, the day
of Pentecost (Acts 2). On what day of the week was this Jewish holy day
celebrated? Check Leviticus 23:15,16. Seven sabbaths followed the Passover,
and the next day after the seventh sabbath was Pentecost (50th). Thus,
it was celebrated on the first day of the week. The church had its beginning
on this day, and the church first observed the Lord's supper on this day.
Having reference to their worship on this day, the record reads, "And they
continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).
Furthermore, it is a fact from outside history that the early church observed
the Lord's supper every Lord's day, and competent scholarship (even denominational
scholarship) is agreed to this. The following, as examples, will illustrate
the latter. These are comments made by denominational scholars (in their
well-known commentaries) on Acts 20:7, explaining why the church at Troas
came together on the first day of the week.
ALBERT BARNES (Presbyterian): "Evidently to celebrate the
Lord's supper…It is probable that the apostles and early Christians celebrated
the Lord's supper every Lord's day."
ADAM CLARKE (Methodist): "To break the Eucharist, as the
Syriac has it: intimating by this that they were accustomed to receive
the Holy Sacrament on each Lord's day."
Kind Reader, in the light of this array of information, we are made to
ask why modern churches are not having the Lord's supper every Lord's day.
Yes, why not? Obviously this is a neglected Scriptural teaching which has
been replaced by tradition. But, as we are seeking unreservedly to return
to the divine patter to be simply the Lord's "New Testament" church, we
will have this supper each Lord's day as the very center of our worship.
(The church at Troas did). Faithful Christians will be there to remember
the supreme sacrifice made for their salvation…to worship the Lord in the
way He would have them to worship. Will you?
ARE YOU A GODLY
OR AN UNGODLY PERSON?
(From A Different Viewpoint)
IF GODLINESS is being like God,
the industrious and working person is to that extent a godly person. The
person who doesn't work, and has an aversion to it, is ungodly. God is
presented in the Bible as Omnipotent Power and Energy at work, creating
everything and bringing it into being, and now upholding it by the word
of His Power. In reference to His work of creation, rest (or pause) came
only after work had taken place.
God created man in His own image and likeness. Then "the LORD God took
the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it" (Genesis
2:15), not to idly pass the time of day doing nothing. Man having to work
is not part of the curse of sin; the curse involves the aggravating conditions
surrounding work. The person who works is to that degree like God. Thus,
he is godly. Pause or rest is in order only after work has taken place.
And the purpose of rest, humanly speaking, is to be revitalized for more
Yes, work within itself is honorable. The work ethic is of God. Man was
originally placed in the Garden of Eden, paradise on earth, and the name
means pleasure garden. As stated, he was placed there to work and to take
care of it. That was the source of his pleasure. There is much personal
satisfaction and enjoyment to be found in employment. In this day of the
deification of leisure and of non-productive slackers let us not forget
this. In working we are being like the God who made us, godly. And while
being like the God who made us, let us not forget the God who made us:
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men"
(Colossians 3:23). Even that which is right becomes wrong when God is left
WE HEAR people say
that love can’t be commanded. Is this true? Can love be commanded? The
answer is yes. The answer is no. It is just
according to what kind of love you are talking about.
In the New Testament we find two words for love, agapao and
verbs). Agapao becomes a noun in the well-known word, AGAPÉ.
On the other hand, we find no noun for
(interestingly, noun spin offs are seen in words translated "friend"
and "kiss"). Agapao
love involves the
intellect and the will; it involves esteem and purpose; it involves choice.
love is the love of natural inclination;
it is instinctive; it is the love of emotion. It is spontaneous, involuntary;
it just happens.
Therefore, agapeo love (involving the intellect and the will)
can be commanded, and it is commanded (as in the great commandment, loving
our enemies, and elsewhere throughout the New Testament). But phileo
love, in its basic inherent meaning, is not commanded (except indirectly).
It is more of a natural and spontaneous response; it just happens. We are
to love (agapeo) our enemies, but it is hard to be emotional
about it (phileo). We can have high esteem (agapeo)
them (in the sense of respecting God’s image in them and wishing them well)
and not even (like) phileo them (it would be hard to be emotional
Can love be commanded? Yes, and no. These are
our conclusions from a word study.
ON HOW TO
A PRISON HANDBOOK
some religious people who are reluctant to take the Bible seriously when
it speaks of modest apparel (I Timothy 2:8,9). And if you suggest that
the Christian’s body be decently covered, they tend to look upon you as
a prude. They disregard the fact that immodest dress is a contributing
factor in producing immodest and improper thoughts (and actions). Jesus
warned, "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust
after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew
5:27-30). Even in times more ancient, Job mused the same question, "I made
a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1).
King David was less fortunate. The lust of the eyes led him into the overt
act of adultery (II Samuel 11:2-4). His story is tragic history.
It seems at times some people of the world
are wiser than the supposed children of light. The following comes from
a handbook for visitors to the prison system of the state of Florida. Read
it and realize the truthfulness of this article. God will hold you accountable
if you are a stumbling block to others. This is a serious matter.
From the handbook:
TO WEAR WHEN YOU VISIT
is not our purpose to pass judgment of any kind in limiting the kinds of
clothing that may be allowed in the visitation area. These limits are designed
to prevent harassment, discomfort and embarrassing incidents that may spoil
your visit. Some examples of clothing that are not appropriate for the
visitation area are:
Mini or micro skirts
Shorts or cutoffs
Halter tops and tank tops
Excessively tight fitting pants or jeans
Any clothing with suggestive slogans or illustrations
also ask that men wear shirts at all times and that ladies wear bras or
other suitable garments. If for comforts sake you find it necessary to
travel to the center in clothing mentioned above as not appropriate, we
invite you to bring a change of clothing and use the restroom in the waiting
area to change before entering visitation.