Tuesday, January 24, 2017

One Cup

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Passover Seder In Upper Room

Brethren have upset the unity of believers in Bangladesh by teaching that only one cup must be used in communion.  They insist that the unity of the one body is represented by the one cup, and that we must follow the example of Jesus as He ate the Passover with His disciples.  And they refuse fellowship with all who use multiple cups for communion.

The unity of believers results from being added to the number of those who believe and trust in Jesus when we repent of our sins, confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and are immersed in water by the authority of Jesus Christ, as He commanded.  Unity results from being led by the Holy Spirit that is given to us when we are baptized by the authority of Jesus Christ. See Acts 19.

The Passover Supper of Jesus with the disciples did not take place on Sunday.  The wine of the Passover is mysterious in its origin, as it was not commanded in the instructions for the Passover, but developed over time.  https://jewsforjesus.org/newsletter-mar-2002/the-mystery-of-the-passover-cup

The symbolic use of cup as a representation of judgement is well established in scripture. Jesus prayed in the garden "Let this cup pass from me." http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-cup-consumed-for-us

Therefore we have no reason to focus on the container, but rather on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  We have life by being members of His body.  We eat and drink the bread and the wine in memory of His sacrificial offering for our sins. 

Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover in an upper room in the Essene quarter of Mt. Zion on Wednesday night. He washed the disciples feet, and said we should do likewise. They sat on the floor around a table.  They drank real wine. Jesus said that as often as we eat this supper, we should do so in remembrance of Him.

We should avoid setting rules about our personal understandings of what scripture teaches. The several accounts of what happened should be laid down beside each other, examined in the light of all scripture, and applied in accordance with what Paul taught in Romans 14.  We are not in the business of binding laws based upon opinion, but we are in the work of building each other up in love.

"By this shall all men know you are my disciples, by the love you have for each other."

Please reject those who divide brethren by binding their opinion as law.

Warning Against False Teachers
1 Timothy
3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine,4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship[a] from God that is by faith. 5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,[b]liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[c] doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
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