Nov 13

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“I propose that in the Lord’s Supper, that we use cornbread and buttermilk!” Yes, not many would agree to use these two items for the Lord’s Supper, but I ask why? If as Martin Luther proposed, that if the Bible does not forbid it, then, that is authority for it. No where in the New Testament does it forbid the use of cornbread and buttermilk in the Lord’s Supper! Do you get it? Yes, I am using the absurd, to prove the fallacy of the idea, that if the New Testament does not forbid it, then, that is authority for it!
The real question before us is how we ascertain New Testament authority. This question is as old as the church of our Lord. Paul used the absurd to prove New Testament authority when he wrote his first letter to the church in Corinth. The context is Paul’s statement: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). In the body of Christ, the church of our Lord, there is to be no divisions! Period! Therefore, Paul arises questions: 1) “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:12). If there is to be no divisions, and there is not, how is it that some of you, say “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos,” I am of “Cephas,” then, finally, some rightly said, I am “of Christ.” Only one of these is correct, it is “I (am, frw) of Christ.” Of course, this comes on the face of his words, “that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” There is no room in Christ for divisions! How is it then, that ye say, I am of Paul, I am Apollos, I am of Cephas, or I am of Christ? This is division clear and simple! But the absurdity of their state is in the following, as Paul wrote: 1) “is Christ divided?” 2), “was Paul crucified for you?” 3) “or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (verse 13). The state of the Corinthians was totally outside the realm of logic! Here the apostle puts forth two questions: 1) “Is Christ divided?“ and 2) was “Paul crucified for you?” If you do not know the answer to Paul’s questions, then, there is need that you be taught the gospel of Christ!
What is all the above about? It is about “absurbity!” Using it to show how foolish people can be! Using “cornbread and buttermilk” in the Lord’s Supper is foolish, but no more so than saying “I am of Paul!” But the question is: 1) “Why is it foolish?” and 2) How do we show that there is no New Testament Authority for “cornbread and buttermilk” in the Lord’s Supper? Do we have a passage that “forbids” it? If we think like Martin Luther and an ever-growing number of our brethren, we can use “cornbread and buttermilk” in the Lord’s Supper. I challenge you to find the text that “forbids” the use of “cornbread and buttermilk” in the Lord’s Supper! Did you find it? Of course, you did not find a text that “forbids” the use of “cornbread and buttermilk” in the Lord’s Supper. What we do have is Paul’s inspired words as he tells us what the Lord’s Supper is; here are his words: 1) he gives his authority: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, 2) That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed…” 3) he now gives the first item in the Lord’s Supper: “he took bread: “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” (verse 24) and; 4); it is here that the apostle gives us the second item in the Lord’s Supper as he wrote: “after the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (verse 25). There is the Lord’s Supper, and it is nothing else! Please note, that Paul said that Jesus prayed: “when he had given thanks (This is the prayer, frw). The Lord’s Supper as revealed in the New Testament, is the only authority which we have for it! The fact that the Lord’s Supper has been revealed, removes everything else from being part of it! This is how we ascertain New Testament Authority, for all things! We search the scriptures, to ascertain, what we are to do. If the church under the oversight of the apostles did a thing with approval, then, we have authority for doing the same thing!
Yes, it is extremely limited! We do not look for a “thou shall not,” but we search for what is revealed. This same method, must be used in other areas, as we ascertain New Testament Authority! How do we ascertain New Testament Authority? We search to see what the church did under the oversight of the “ambassadors for Christ,” (2 Cor. 5:20) did with approval, then we may do the same!
Look forward to ascertaining. how we know what day to take the Lord’s Supper, as this will be the subject of the next article on “New Testament Authority!”

Frank R. Williams

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