Lord’s Supper



2. Are unbelievers allowed to eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord’s Supper?




No, they aren’t, because they are not members of the Body of Christ. For the apostle Paul says to the saints of Corinth: “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? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Please note that Paul, by saying that we are one body for we are all partakers of that one bread, excludes implicitly that those who are not part of that body may partake of the one bread, which is the communion of the body of Christ. And furthermore, let’s not forget that when Jesus established the Supper with the bread and the cup, he gave the bread and the cup to some of His disciples (that is, the twelve), thus to people who had believed in Him. Here is what Matthew says: “When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. Now as they were eating, He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me." And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, "Lord, is it I?" He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. "The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?" He said to him, "You have said it." And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. "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." (Matthew 26:20-29 - NKJV). Judas also had believed in Jesus at the beginning, but after he took the bread Satan entered into him, as it is written: “And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly” (John 13:27).

And let us not forget also this: according to the Law, the Passover could not be eaten by people who were not circumcised, as it is written: “This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: ….. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof” (Exodus 12:43,48). Somebody may say: “Why do you mention the Jewish Passover? What does the Passover have to do with the Lord’s Supper?’’ I have mentioned the Passover because both the Passover and the Lord’s Supper have in common this: they were both instituted to serve as a memorial of a particular event. As for the Passover, it was established to serve as a memorial of the deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt; while the Lord’s Supper was established as a memorial of the death of Christ on the cross, by which we were delivered from the bondage of sin. (Therefore the Passover was a shadow of what Christ would do through the body of His flesh, and we remember that through the Holy Supper as we call it) And the Passover could be eaten only by those who had been circumcised in the flesh, thus a stranger could not eat it. He could eat it only after being circumcised in the flesh. And since also the circumcision in the flesh ordained by God under the law was a shadow of something that Christ would do, that is, it foreshadowed the circumcision of the heart that Christ would do in those who would believe in Him, we conclude that as in order to eat the Passover people had to be circumcised in the flesh, now, under grace, in order to eat the Lord’s Supper people must be circumcised in the heart, which means that they must be born again. Therefore, with regard to the Lord’s supper, we who are under grace, must say: ‘No uncircumcised person shall partake of it’

Therefore, to sum up, as under the law the uncircumcised in the flesh did not have the right to eat the Passover, so under grace those who are uncircumcised in heart don’t have the right to partake of the Lord’s Supper. And besides, as the stranger before eating the Passover had to be circumcised in the flesh, so now the uncircumcised in heart must circumcise his heart (by repenting of his sins and believing in Jesus Christ) and then be baptized that he may have the right to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

So those who have the rule over the saints, before giving the bread and the wine to those who are present, ought to say that only those who are circumcised in heart, that is, those who are born of water and the Spirit, are allowed to eat the bread and to drink the wine; all others are not allowed to eat the bread and to drink the wine. This must be said to prevent the unbelievers who are present from partaking of the Lord’s Supper.