Sep 26

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Where in the New Testament is the authority to take of the “Lord’s Supper” on “the first day of the week,” Sunday? It is not in any commandment, as there is no such commandment in the New Testament. Clearly, Jesus intended his supper to be eaten in his “Father’s kingdom,” for he said: “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29). When was the first time it was done?
Luke reveals the answer to the question, in these words: “And they (Those of verse 41) continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Were these acts of worship done by the authority of Christ? Yes! As the apostles of Christ did none other! Is it right for the churches of Christ today to do the same thing? Yes! And in doing so, the churches of Christ today are doing so by the authority of Christ! Yet, it remains that there is no commandment for such action in the New Testament! This brings us to this question: Is there authority in action, that is done without a commandment?
Search the New Testament from beginning to end, and there is no commandment to take the Lord’s Supper upon “the first day of the week!” There is authority to take the Lord’s Supper, as Jesus himself gave such authority in his words to the disciples in Matthew 26:26-29. But when this was to be done, by way of commandment, is never found. However, we do read: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, …” (Act 20:7). That the “Lord’s Supper” was taken on “the first day of the week” cannot be assailed in honesty! Yes, there are some who do teach, that these words do not refer to the Lord’s Supper, but they are only trying to “muddy the water,” as they have no other authority for when the saved of the first century took of the Supper!
Paul’s words to the Corinthians, uses the words “Lord’s Supper” in chapter eleven: “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to (as they were abusing the Lord’s Supper) eat the Lord’s supper” (1 Cor. 11:20). He then continues to write about how it is to be taken, (1 Corinthians eleven, verses 23-29). However, the apostle never reveals a day, upon which it is to be done! He refers back the Lord’s actions of Matthew twenty-six, verses twenty-six through twenty-nine but Jesus never gave a day! Therefore, the question continues: Upon what day of the week is the Lord’s Supper to be taken by the authority of Christ! Upon what day of the week do we take of it with our fellows who are in his Father’s kingdom?
You may be getting tried of reading about this subject, but it is so important to the Christian, that it must be covered, the day must be questioned. If the day cannot be identified, upon which the Lord’s Supper is to be taken, by the authority of Christ, then we are left with no authority on the subject and we are free to take of it upon the day of our choice; be it Sunday through Saturday! All debate is removed as to what day, as any day is acceptable! So, is there a way to determine what day the Lord’s Supper is to be taken? Is their authority for what day the Supper is to be taken? To the child of God these questions are important and needs answers!
Is there any authority in the words of Luke: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, …” (Acts 20:7)? Is the phrase “break bread” the only reason for the disciples to come together? No, but it is certainly one reason but I dare not put one act of worship above another! (a synecdoche) Question: Did “the disciples,” which included Paul, come “together” to sing, to pray, teach, to give of their means; as Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2)? Of course, they did just so!
Is there authority without a commandment? If so, and there is, how is it determined? This question remains unanswered to this point in our writings. To answer the question, when is the Lord’s Supper to be taken, is to be answered by implication! Remembering, no writing of the New Testament is directly addressed to us today but reaches us through impliction!
We are using the Lord’s Supper as our example, as nearly all denominational churches and all churches of Christ, to my knowledge, take the Lord’s Supper in their worship.

Frank R. Williams

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