Should the Lord’s Supper be observed on Sunday and should it be in the evening, as when the Lord instituted it?
The gospels give us the institution of the Lord’s Supper, during the last Passover, which was fulfilled in Christ, the true Passover Lamb. The Lord’s Supper was totally new and has no typical teaching. The Jewish calendar determined the day when it was first observed. Also, this was before local testimonies were established. I Corinthians 11:23 emphasizes the revelation given to Paul, again showing its distinctiveness, since this was written before the gospels. Acts 2:42 emphasizes the identification of the breaking of bread with the local assembly. Acts 20:7 shows the perpetuation of the breaking of bread on the “first [day] of weeks” (literal translation, perhaps implying the first day of each week). This establishes Sunday as the day of the commemoration.
Neither the place (in an upper room) nor the time (in the evening) of its institution are given to us as precedents to follow. They are not part of the pattern in Acts or the epistles. The early part of the day gives a primary place to carrying out the command of our Lord, “This do in remembrance of Me.” In different cultures, especially when Sunday is a work day, believers may meet at a more suitable time. For the Western culture, the morning of the first day of the week is appropriate.
Should the bread be unleavened and the wine unfermented?
The Lord taught (John 4:19-24) that true worship is spiritual. Tangible types were for a past age (see Hebrews 9:9; 10:1). Thus, although they have spiritual significance, we should not attach typical significance to the loaf and the cup. The loaf both reminds us of our Lord’s body given for us at the cross (1 Corinthians 11:24) and also represents the unity of the assembly in which each believer partakes of that one loaf (1 Corinthians 10:17). The cup reminds us of the blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:25) and represents the basis of our fellowship with God (I Corinthians 10:16, 21).
The bread used at the institution of the Lord’s Supper was unleavened bread, but Acts 2:46, 20:11 and (indisputably) 27:35 link breaking bread with the general eating of food. Therefore, we use common bread. The New Testament words for unleavened bread (azumos) and common bread (artos) are different. While Matthew, Mark, and Luke use azumos in their passages giving the institution of the Lord’s Supper they use anos when referring to the bread of which the Lord said, “This is My body.”
Since the grape harvest was in the Fall (the seventh month) and the Passover at which the Lord’s Supper was instituted was in the Spring (the first month) and since there would have been no refrigeration to inhibit the process of fermentation, it is likely that the wine at the last Passover was fermented. In addition, the Lord made water wine (John 4:46). Timothy was told to drink wine (I Timothy 5:23). The word in both those cases is the same word used for wine that causes drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18).
We cannot insist that the loaf be unleavened bread or the cup unfermented wine.
If a man in the fellowship of an assembly has previously been put away on several occasions for fornication, should he be permitted to preach the Gospel or minister the Word in assembly meetings?
I Timothy 3:8-12 gives us the qualifications for deacons, men who serve the Lord in an assembly. The primary service of deacons (servants) is spiritual, that is, ministering the Word of God to believers and preaching the Gospel to sinners. Verse 10 clearly states that they must first be proved; “then let them minister being found blameless” (Newberry margin). The Scripture therefore clearly disqualifies a Christian man in an assembly from preaching the Gospel to sinners or ministering the Word to believers, if he has been guilty of repeated moral sins.
Is the Lord’s Supper the “worship meeting?”
The word “worship” comes from the word “worth” and has the basic meaning of attributing value or worth to a person or object. At the Lord’s Supper we exhort one another to “Come, let us sing the matchless worth” of our glorious Lord. Thus it is a “worship meeting.” Remembering the Lord is bound to produce thanksgiving, praise, and adoration resulting in that overwhelming awe of God we call worship. The danger in speaking of it as a “worship meeting” is, however, that we might lose sight of the fact that worshiping God should take place every time, whether collectively or personally, we meditate on God or approach Him in prayer. The Father is seeking those whose habit will be worshiping Him (John 4:23).
To preserve us from suggesting that worship is exclusive to one gathering, it seems better not to adopt the practice of calling the Lord’s Supper “the worship meeting.” It is vital that we daily worship God so that all our gatherings – and especially the Lord’s Supper – give God the worship He so rightly deserves.