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Do We Have to Use Bread and Wine to Take Communion?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 4, 2022 1:30 pm

Do We Have to Use Bread and Wine to Take Communion?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 4, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 873 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Someone called in recently and said that they saw Jesus in person. But Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit upon his ascension. Why would he be here and make appearances to others if he has already sent us the Holy Spirit?

2. Starting in the pandemic I saw a lot of people watch church virtually and then some of them try to take communion at home with things other than bread and wine. Does it matter what things we use when we take communion?

3. Growing up, my mother-in-law gave my wife and her sister to a man and he abused them. My wife has gotten saved and found significant healing, but her sister is still suffering immensely from her time with him. How can we minister to her?

4. In Genesis 1, what is being discussed when it talks about God separating the waters and making a firmament?

5. If Jesus had to die to atone for sin, why was it a sin for men to crucify him?

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Resources

Core Question - How Does Jesus Work Today?

Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault by Justin Holcomb

netgrace.org - Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments

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Do we have to use bread and wine to take communion? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts, and you can email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners named Al. I was just wondering, I know Jesus said, talking to his disciples, he said it was needful for him to leave, because if he didn't leave, the Holy Spirit wouldn't be able to come.

So I'm just wondering if Jesus is here on earth, or could Jesus be on earth, and the Holy Spirit be here also? Thank you. Al, thank you for that question and for following up. I do remember that call that we received. Now, I think that this individual was saying that he had this dream or this vision of Jesus walking with his pastor, and I address that. I don't think that what he was saying was he literally saw Jesus in the flesh walking with his pastor.

You're absolutely right. You were referring to Jesus' upper room discourse in John 13-17, where he said, I'm leaving. I'm going away. He's talking to his disciples, but I'm going to send the Holy Spirit to you. That's precisely what we find in John 14, beginning in verse 15. Jesus said, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments, and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Jesus makes it absolutely clear there as he's preparing his disciples for his departure.

He says, Look, I'm leaving. You're not going to have My bodily presence with you here anymore. But the good news is, when I ascend into heaven, I'm going to send the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of God fills every single person who is a believer, who's a Christian. God's Spirit lives in us.

Isn't that amazing, wonderful news? And so that's the reality that we experience now. We're waiting for Jesus to return. That's what the second coming is all about. And so right now, during this period of time, we experience the presence of Jesus through the Spirit of Christ, who fills every believer, sent to the church, on the church on the day of Pentecost. And still with us, Jesus says, to the very end, He's going to be with you.

And so we have that comfort. And I appreciate your question, Al. Always nice to have people following up with other callers. And so may the Lord bless you. I love it when our listeners listen closely to some of the other questions, as Al did, and then said, You know, I'm a little confused about that. So I think it's great if you are confused about something you hear on the air, feel free to follow up with Adriel.

He'd love to clarify things for you. This is Core Christianity. And if you recently started reading the Bible for the very first time, you may have found that some Bible reading plans can be a little bit complicated or maybe even seem overwhelming. Well, here at Core Christianity, we've developed a special Bible reading plan just for you. Yes, the Bible reading plan is a free resource over at our website, corechristianity.com.

And we really want to do two things with this. One, if you've never read through the Bible before, if you've not built a sort of consistent habit of reading the scriptures in your own life, we want to encourage you in that. Maybe reading the Bible is completely new for you, and you think, I don't understand it. I don't understand the context.

I don't understand the history behind it. You're intimidated. Well, look, jump in, get started. We have these, as I said, this great resource to encourage you. And you'll find that as you're consistent in reading the Word of God, the Lord will speak to you through His Word, and He'll also help you to understand.

And so that's one thing. And then also for those of you who maybe were reading the Bible before, but you've sort of fallen out of the habit, I just want to encourage you to get back into the Word. So that's why we've created this Core Christianity Bible Reading Plan. It doesn't take a lot of time, ten minutes out of your day, and it's going to expose you to a lot of the great themes in the scripture, books of the Bible. And so get ahold of this resource. It's absolutely free.

You can download it at our website. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan. And get started on reading God's Word on a daily basis right now.

Do it today. We'd still love to hear from you if you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Maybe you're confused about something with theology or Christian doctrine. Or maybe you're just wondering how your faith intersects with today's culture and all the things that are going on in our world. We would love to hear from you. Your questions are welcome at 833-843-2673.

That's 833, the Core. We also receive emails here at Core Christianity and got this one from Julius. Julius says, When the pandemic started, I saw a lot of people begin to watch church virtually, and then some of them try to take communion at home with things other than bread and wine. A popular Christian rapper even recently tweeted about doing this. Something about this doesn't sit right with me. Does it matter what things we use when we take communion?

Hey, Julius, thank you for that question. And there have been a lot of discussions about this recently, as you said, just with the pandemic and people being at home, maybe watching a virtual service, worship service, that kind of a thing. I know that a lot of churches were doing it, especially the front end, the very beginning of the pandemic, when really no churches were meeting. Was it okay to take communion, the Lord's Supper, individually on our own?

That was a big question that people had. My position as a pastor, as a minister of the gospel, is that we should be taking communion with bread and wine like Jesus instituted. I mean, this is absolutely clear in the gospels, and that it's something that we do together that is not on our own, not in isolation, but with the gathered body of Christ. Now, this is, I think, something that's clear in places like 1 Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, listen to what the apostle Paul said there in verse 14. My beloved, flee from idolatry.

I speak as to sensible people. Judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. In other words, the Lord's Supper, this meal, this sacrament, if you will, given by the Lord Jesus to his disciples, to his church, in one sense signifies the unity we have as a body of Christ.

The togetherness, the oneness, we who are many are one loaf, if you will, as we partake of the bread together. You don't get that when you're on your own, separated from the rest of the body of Christ. In fact, Paul has an extended discussion about the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians chapters 10 and 11. He says to the Corinthians in chapter 11 verse 17 in the following instructions, I do not commend you because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. He says, look, you guys are coming together but it's not to take the Lord's Supper. You guys are sinning against one another.

You're not recognizing the needy among you. And so Paul has no problem calling out essentially something that a church was doing, the Corinthian church in particular, that wasn't right related to the Lord's Supper. And so we have to realize that this is a holy sacrament given by Jesus to the church and we want to take that seriously. And we want to follow the Lord, to worship the Lord as his word says. Now why does Jesus institute the Lord's Supper with wine?

I mean, have you ever thought about that? I mean, obviously wine throughout the Gospels in one sense is a picture of the blood of Jesus Christ, in particular in the Gospel of John. Blood, the sacrificial death of Jesus. It's also the drink of God's kingdom, if you will. Way back in Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter 25, the prophet Isaiah, this wonderful vision of God conquering death, this picture of the kingdom of God and he says in verse 6, Isaiah 25 verse 6, On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. In other words, this is the drink of celebration. Think about what Jesus did in John chapter 2. Turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.

Celebration. So the Lord's Supper really is remembering the death of Jesus Christ, but we're celebrating his victory over death. It's tasting, if you will, the kingdom of God here and now in this unique way together as the church gathered together. So there's more that I could say there and I recognize that there's a lot of difference of opinion here, but I think we have to stick to what the scriptures say. And ultimately, brothers and sisters, we need to take worship seriously. In 1 Corinthians chapter 11, again with regard to the Lord's Supper, Paul says this is why many of you are sick and weak and some have even died, because the way you take the Lord's Supper, you're coming faithlessly, you're not taking this seriously.

This isn't just a common meal. This is a holy ordinance given to us by Jesus Christ himself that signifies his work for us. And it's a way in which we get to participate in that work, experience it by receiving it by faith. And so really a great question. Appreciate that one. Feel free to follow up if you'd like. God bless. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can hop on the phone right now. We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so at 833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to David in St. Louis, Missouri. David, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, Adriel. Thanks for taking my call, you guys. Mine is more of a concern. I know sometimes you pray for listeners, but mine is a particularly very strange situation. My long story short, my mother, my mother-in-law, we gave my wife and her sister to a man growing up.

Basically, it is what it sounds like it is, basically, to have his way with them from about the age of 10 to about 18 to 20 is when my wife left. My wife has pretty much been blessed enough to have gotten saved, has pretty much been healed through the whole situation. But my wife's sister, unfortunately, was used as pretty much like a baby machine. So she has three children by the man, and most of the children are with the family of his in Texas. So basically, if you have time, just for prayer, we've almost reached the sister a few times.

But basically, long story short, the devil has a huge stronghold on that part of the family. David, man, what a heartbreaking situation. I'm grateful to hear that there's been some healing in your wife's life. She's with the Lord and walking with Him. Definitely, it sounds like there needs to be more healing and also certainly prayer. So let me pray for your wife and for her sister and just invite all those who are listening right now to pray. Father, God, we come to You, Lord, and we pray for these women who have experienced this abuse, Lord. We pray, Jesus, for Your gracious and tender hand to comfort, to heal, to give safety, Lord, to deliver, Lord, these kinds of things. Lord, we know that there's such serious damage that can be done, Lord, and that there's a lot of help that needs to be had. So we pray, Lord, that You would give help, that You would surround especially my brother's sister-in-law with people who can encourage her, help her to be safe, Lord God, and also help to guide her in this time. So, Lord, we look to You. We do pray for justice. We pray for healing. In Jesus' name, amen. David, it just sounds like a horrible situation.

I think one resource that we oftentimes recommend is netgrace.org. GRACE stands for Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment. They have some excellent resources, even some recommendations in terms of counseling and support groups that can be sought out for things like abuse, sexual abuse.

And so we're always plugging the work that they do, and I think they're a great resource for survivors of abuse. And then I just think fleeing to Jesus, we know how seriously Jesus Christ takes this, how seriously He takes it when one of His little ones is taken advantage of. I think of the words of our Lord in Matthew chapter 18 in verse 5. He says, Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin or to stumble, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Now, in this situation, of course, we don't think that your wife or her sister sinned in any way. They're the victims, and we're the victims of abuse, and Jesus is the great avenger of those victims. And so we run to Him, we flee to Him, and I pray that the Lord continues to grant just healing and restoration to your wife, blesses your marriage, and that He gives you guys wisdom as you seek to care for and minister to her sister. And so thank you for giving us a call. We'll continue to be praying for you guys, David. And may the Lord be with you.

Man, the way you hear situations like that, it just breaks your heart, doesn't it, Adriel? Yeah. This is core Christianity.

Go ahead. I was just going to say, it's just something, Bill, that the Church has to take really seriously. It's important for the Church to have these kinds of conversations. That organization that I mentioned, Grace, they'll even come in and provide training for entire churches.

They came to our church some years ago. And one of the things that you find is when you begin having this discussion, you begin bringing in people who know about abuse in the Church, you realize it's a lot more prevalent than you thought it was. And there's a lot of wounded people who need help, who need care, who need to be encouraged with the truth of the Gospel, but also oftentimes just need to have extra professional help in terms of navigating through these things and getting the care that they need. And so that's a resource that the Church can really be for those who are struggling. And I hope that David and his family get that from the Church that they're a part of. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Ben, who's calling in from Jefferson City, Missouri. Ben, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. Yeah, I just had a question about the Bible. Reading it, like in the beginning of the Bible, it talks about the permanent. And it just confused me about, like, when I think of a permanent, it sounds like a big, basically like a dome or something. I just wondered if you can explain what that all meant. And it talked about the water was on—yeah.

If you can just explain it to me. Yeah. Yeah, thank you. Looking at the early chapters, is there a particular verse, Ben, that you're looking at there in Genesis 1? No, I actually don't have the Bible in front of me right now. I'm not sure what verse it was.

It talked about the permanent and all that. I just wondered what it really meant, I guess. If it was like a dome or something. Yeah, there are different ways in which that's been interpreted.

I've seen pictures where people depict it as a dome. In Genesis 1, verse 6, God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters. And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse heaven.

And there was evening, and there was morning, the second day. This is when God created essentially the sky. And so that could be in earlier where it talks about this expanse. It could be this canopy there.

And that's what some people have said. This canopy holding back the waters prior to the flood that you have later in the book of Genesis. But this is a very unique situation that we have here at the very beginning of creation.

And so I think one way to look at it would be sort of like a canopy or a dome, if you will. And then of course you have basically the floodgates open a little bit later with the flood in particular. And you get a little bit of this discussion in Genesis chapter 2 as well in verse 5, When no bush of the field was yet in the land, and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground. And a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground.

So again, you have this sort of unique situation there in the early days of creation where you have this sort of canopy over the earth and the earth being watered by this mist that comes up from the ground. And so yeah, I think that's how we would picture it. I think that's what the text of scripture says. And hopefully that helps to clarify a little bit for you. Ben, I appreciate that you're digging into Genesis. God bless. Hey Ben, thanks so much for your call, for being one of our regular listeners here at CORE Christianity. Just a reminder, we have that free Bible reading plan to start your new year off right.

It's wonderful. It'll help you go through the Bible a little bit at a time, about 10 minutes a day. And it's very comprehensive. We'd love to have you download that for free. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan to find it. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan. Well, let's go back to the phones. Misty is on the line from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Misty, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, hi. I have a question about when Jesus was on the cross, he said, you know, God forgive them for they know not what they do. I was wondering if that was, you know, for their sin, committing murder, because Jesus knew at that time, you know, he needed to be crucified to fulfill his purpose. So I was wondering exactly what he meant by that. Yeah.

Like why is Jesus saying forgive them if they're instrumental in his death, which is leading to, you know, his atonement for sin? Is that what you're asking? Yes, sir. Great. Yeah.

Yeah. That's a good question, Misty. So you look at the Gospels, places like Luke chapter 23, when Jesus is being crucified. I'm going to start in verse 32. It says, Two others who were criminals were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called the skull, there they crucified him and the criminals, and one on his right and the other on his left. And Jesus said, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. And they cast lots to divide his garments, and the people stood by watching.

And they said, the rulers scoffed at him, saying, He saved others, let him save himself, if he is the Christ, the Son of God, his chosen one. Now, we have to differentiate, I think, between, I mean, it's very clear that these people are sinning in what they're doing. They're crucifying the blameless, pure, spotless Son of God, and they're casting lots.

I mean, think about that. They're just sort of gambling there, casting lots for his garments as he's being murdered. And yet we see the compassion of Jesus praying for their forgiveness, in one sense making an appeal to the Father, saying they don't fully even understand what it is that they're doing. They're blind by their own sin. Now, he can pray for this because he's merciful, because he's good, because he's again making this appeal. And yet at the same time, God is using their sinful actions to accomplish his sovereign purposes. This is something that we see actually later, Misty.

It's kind of cool how this works out. In the book of Acts, in Acts chapter 4, the disciples are praying for boldness. And they talk about this very scene when Jesus is being crucified. And in verse 27, this is part of their prayer. It says, Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness. In other words, they're praying, they're saying, look, Father, everything happened according to your purposes, according to your predestined plan. Even the things that happened to your son Jesus at the hands of the religious rulers and Pontius Pilate and the crowds. And it's absolutely, absolutely just amazing how in one sense you have God's sovereign purposes, his sovereign hand, ordaining, orchestrating these things, and yet these people are still responsible. And the people there who crucified Jesus, the people for whom Jesus is praying, they were responsible for their sinful deeds, for their sinful actions, and yet God is working through them. Jesus is providing for their forgiveness, the perfect sacrifice of atonement, and so that's why he's praying. And we can hold those two things together. It's not a contradiction that Jesus has here, praying for them, and it's not that their actions were pleasing to God in the sense that God was pleased with their murderous hearts. No, God used their sinful deeds to bring about redemption for others, even redemption for them. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-01 23:05:52 / 2023-07-01 23:16:00 / 10

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