Jesus promised to build His church in Matthew 16:18. The purchase price of the church was His own blood
(Acts 20:28). Since the church was promised and purchased by Christ should it not wear His name? Paul said, "The churches of Christ salute you" (Romans 16:16).
The church was founded in Jerusalem (Zechariah 1:16; Isaiah 2:1-4) and originated in the first century (Acts 2:47).The church was organized with a plurality of elders whose qualifications are found in I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-11; and I Peter 5:1-4. The elders were rulers of the congregation (Acts 20:28-32).
There were also men who served the congregation through the office of deacon (Philippians 1:1). The qualifications of a deacon are found in I Timothy 3:8-13.
People entered the church in the first century through faith, repentance, confession, and baptism (Hebrews 11:6; Luke 13:3; Acts 8:35-37; Romans 10:9-10; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-6, 16-18; Mark 16:15-16). The church is entered by the same means today because Jesus and His gospel have not changed.Those in the church we read about in the Bible worshiped God according to the Scriptures (John. 4:24). They cametogether on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 16:1-2; Acts 20:7). While they were assembled together, they worshiped by praying (Acts 2:42; I Timothy 2:8-12); by giving to God as they had been prospered (I Corinthians 16:1-2); by singing and making melody in their hearts to God without the accompaniment of any type of mechanical instrument (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19); by eating the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 11:17-29); and by studying the word of the Living God (Acts 20:7).
We conclude then that any church today that was not promised by Jesus and built by Him is not the true church. Any church today that was not founded in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus according to Acts chapter 2 is not the true church.
Any church today that has an organizational government that is contrary to I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus. 1:5-11; and I Peter 5:1-4 is not the church we read of in the Bible. Any church today that has terms of entrance that require more or less than faith, repentance, confession of Christ, and baptism for the forgiveness of sins is not the church that Jesus built. Any church today that does not worship as we read about in the New Testament is not the right church.
Memorials have always been important to God. God has used a variety of things from the rainbow to a pile of rocks as a reminder for Himself and others. The Lord's Supper is a memorial for us. There are certain things that are worth remembering, and Calvary fits into that category.Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper in an upper room of a house in Jerusalem on the night before His crucifixion. Four accounts of this event are presented in the Bible (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; and I Corinthians 11:23-26). His words were anticipatory. The memorial was established before the event it ommemorates took place.
Terms such as "The Lord's Supper" (I Corinthians 11:20), "the breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42), "communion" (I Corinthians 10:16), and "the table of the Lord" (I Corinthians 10:21) are biblical expressions designating an act of worship. "Eucharist," "Sacrament," and "Church Ordinance" are terms invented by men (they are not found in the Bible) to designate the Lord's Supper.
Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper immediately after He and His disciples partook of the Passover meal. Because of this close connection, the Passover meal is an important background for understanding the Lord's Supper. God instituted the Passover meal as Israel's celebration of deliverance from slavery (Deuteronomy 16:1-8). The Lord's Supper is the Christian's memorial of what it cost God to deliver him from the slavery of sin.
The Lord's Supper is a memorial service. Jesus said, ". . . this do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). Jesus left no shrouds, personal relics or statues of Himself - only an unpretentious act, the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is the world's greatest monument commemorating the world's greatest event. As Christians remember Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, they become conscious of their past need (they were sinners without hope) and their present responsibility (to live a life of purity and devotion to God).
To partake in a worthy manner, each participant is to examine his life in light of the terms of the New Covenant (I Corinthians 11:27-28). Although the Christian's self examination is not restricted to the worship assembly (II Corinthians 13:5), each should thoroughly examine himself just before partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine. This self-examination is for the purpose of identifying and repenting of any sin in one's life (Psalm 139:23-24). Proverbs 28:13 says, "He that covereth his sins (not bringing them out in the open by self-examination) shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (God will accept his worship). When the Lord's Supper is observed in a worthy manner, the Christian leaves the Lord's Supper with renewed spiritual strength gained by (1) his reflection on why Jesus had to die and by (2) his renewed determination to live out the terms of the New Covenant.
The Lord's Supper is made up of two elements : the "bread" and the "cup." The bread of the Passover meal was unleavened bread (Exodus 12:17-20; Matthew. 26:17-20). The leaven (which is a yeast that causes dough to sour or ferment) was to be removed from the house for a seven-day period (Exodus 12:15,19). Jesus instituted the supper immediately after He and the disciples observed the Passover meal. To suggest that Jesus had leavened bread in the upper room is to accuse Him of violating Exodus 12:15,19.
Jesus used the word "leaven" in a figurative sense to denote corruption (Matthew. 16:6; Luke 12:1; cf. I Corinthians 5:6-8; and Galatians 5:9). The unleavened bread is symbolic of Christ's body (Luke 22:19). Therefore, the "bread" is without leaven, even as Christ is without corruption or sin (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26). No leavening agents were present in the Passover meal because it was to be a perpetual reminder to the Hebrew people (Exodus 12:25-27) of the "haste" in which they left Egyptian slavery (Deuteronomy 16:3). Likewise, the absence of "leaven" in the bread of the Lord's Supper reminds the Christian of the "haste" in which he left the slavery of sin.
The "cup" contained the "fruit of the vine." The word "wine" (which can mean either unfermented grape juice as in Isaiah 65:8; John 2:1-11 or fermented grape juice as in Proverbs 20:1, depending solely on the context) is never used in the Bible to refer to the Lord's Supper. Only the terms "fruit of the vine" or "cup" are used. The "fruit of the vine" is symbolic of Christ's shed blood (Mark 14:23-25; Matthew 26:27-29). Because it is pure and wholesome, it is a fit symbol of the life-giving blood of Jesus Christ.
Many religious people believe that the "bread" and the "fruit of the vine" become the literal or actual "body" and "blood" of Jesus Christ. Matthew 26:26-28 says, "...Take eat; this is my body. . ., Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament (i.e. covenant). . .. " When Jesus took bread and said, "This is my body" He was living In His earthly body. If the bread became His literal body, then He had two literal bodies at the same time. If, as Jesusspoke the words, "This is my body," He had suddenly disappeared, and the apostles had seen nothing but the bread, they would have understood that his body had been miraculously transformed into bread. However, His body was still there, and His blood was still flowing in His veins, proving that Jesus was not teaching a miraculous Transubstantiation.
John 6:53 says, ". . . Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." The context shows that Jesus was not talking about the Lord's Supper. Verse 60 suggests that the disciples took the statement literally. But Jesus corrected their misconception by showing that His statement referring to the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood (verses 53-59) was figurative - "It is the spirit that giveth life; The flesh profiteth nothing : the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life." (John 6:63). Men eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ by accepting His words and bearing them out in their daily living.
In addition, the Lord's Supper is a memorial - ". . .this do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). Memorial services are not held for people who are physically present. If the Lord is physically present in the bread, the Lord's Supper could not be a "memorial" service.
Jesus said, ". . . this do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). The frequency was not revealed to the apostles until the kingdom was set up some 50 days later on the day of Pentecost. From that time on, Christians observed the Lord's Supper on a weekly basis. Acts 20:7 says, "And upon the first day of the week, when they were gathered together to break bread . . .. " The first day of the week comes 52 times a year. When Christians meet together "each " first day of the week, they are meeting on "the" first day of the week, according to the example in Acts 20:7.
"Every" first day of the week is conveyed by the use of the definite article: "the " first day of the week, not "a" first day of the week. Just as the Jews knew the command to observe "the Sabbath" (Exodus 20:8) meant "every" Sabbath, so Christians know the example in Acts 20:7 means "every" first day of the week. As a result of this weekly observance, the church at Jerusalem is said to have "continued steadfastly" in the breaking of bread (Acts 2:42); and the church at Corinth observed the Lord's Supper "often" (I Corinthians 11:25-26).
The observance of the Lord's Supper is limited to the Lord's day - "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread . . . " (Acts 20:7). Not only are Christians to observe the Lord's Supper "every" first day of the week, but also they are only authorized to partake "on" the first day of the week. It is true that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper on a Thursday, but He said that He would not partake again ". . . until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29). The only day that the Lord's Supper was observed in the kingdom was "on" the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
Even the apostle Paul did not have the authority to partake on any day other than the first day of the week. Paul was on an urgent trip, but he delayed his journey to fellowship with the church at Troas in the observance of the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7). Even though this no doubt inconvenienced him, he was not free to observe the Lord's Supper on any of the six days preceding the Lord's day. The Lord's Supper is a memorial of the Lord's death and is to be observed only on the Lord's day (Revelation 1:10) - the day Jesus arose from the dead.
God wants those in the kingdom to observe the biblical pattern (Hebrews 8:5) regarding the Lord's Supper "until" theLord's return (I Corinthians 11:26). At that time there will be no need of a reminder of Christ because we will be in His presence (Revelation 22:3-5) and ". . . we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).
In I Corinthians chapter 11, we are given several "looks" pertaining to the Lord's Supper. WE LOOK:
1. UPWARD (verse 24) "And when He had given thanks."
2. BACKWARD (verses 24-25) "This do in remembrance of Me."
3. FORWARD (verse 26) "Ye do shew the Lord's death till He come."
4. INWARD (verse 28) "But let a man examine himself."
5. OUTWARD (verse 33) "Wherefore...when ye come together."
This question has plagued the religious world for many years. The answer is a resounding "YES"! Let us begin our journey in the Garden of Eden in the first three chapters of Genesis. Adam and Eve were created by God in perfect innocence. There was no sin in the world at that time. God would come down and walk with them in the Garden. There was full fellowship between God and man in this blissful setting. During the course of time, something happened. The devil came on the scene and tempted Eve of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She ate and gave to Adam and also ate of the forbidden fruit.
At this point God was very displeased with that first couple. God came to them in the Garden of Eden and asked where they were. They were in the bushes hiding from the same God that they previously were accustomed to walking with. Sin had driven a wedge between them and God (cf. Isa. 59:1?2).
If once saved always saved is true, then how did Adam and Eve sin? They walked with God in innocence and fellowship before they ate the forbidden fruit. If their sin did not separate them from God why were they hiding from Him? Will God tolerate sin just because it is committed by one of His children? If their sin didn’t cause them to die spiritually that day then why did God lie to them and say that they would (Gen. 2:17)? Where was the tree of life? Answer: in the Garden of Eden! What happened to Adam and Eve? They were driven from the garden and separated from the tree of life. They died spiritually and began to die physically that day. If a saved person could not become lost then sin could never have come into the world in the first place. This is true because Adam and Eve walked with God.
Let us continue on our journey and include some very instructive New Testament passages. I trust that you will have an open Bible and mind as you consider what the Bible has to say on this and all matters. From this point onward, "Once Saved Always Saved" will be referred to by "OSAS"
II Peter 3:17?18 Beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever.
They had once stood fast, but there was a danger in their falling. How could this be true if OSAS is true?
James 5:19?20 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Here are brethren (Christians) who wander from the truth. He is called a sinner. If he is turned he will be saved and his sins will be covered. The opposite is also true, if he is not turned back to God he will be lost.
Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
What does it mean for a Christian to become estranged from Christ?
What does it mean for a Christian to fall from grace?
Can one fall from something he never was on?
Can one lose what he never had?
If they had fallen from grace it must mean that they had stood upon grace at one time.
Hebrews 6:4?6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Those who were "once enlightened..." "Tasted the heavenly gift..." "Partakers of the Holy Spirit..." could fall away.
Question, "Can one be described as thus and not be a Christian?" The answer is NO! They had been fully saved and became fully lost!
Matthew 13:47?51 Again, the kingdom of heaven (Church) is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
Some in the kingdom will be classified as bad and will be thrown away when the Lord returns. Doesn’t sound like OSAS to me.
Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
Notice – fell.
Notice – if.
Notice – otherwise.
II Peter 2:20?22 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."
They escaped (were saved from their sin).
They became entangled in the spider web of sin once again.
They are in worse shape that if they had never known the way of righteousness and turn form it.
Here is proof that one can lose what he once had – it is the word vomit!
Colossians 1:22?23 In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight ?? if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
What happens to the one who does not continue and is moved away?
He loses his hope in the gospel. But, the gospel saves us (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 15:1?4).
Therefore, he loses his salvation if he does not continue and is moved away.
Sounds like what Jesus said (Mt. 10:22).
Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
If a Christian fails to overcome, but instead is overcome (II Pet. 2:19?21) then his name will be blotted out of the book of life.
If salvation is having one’s name written in the book of life, what does it mean to have one’s name blotted out?
Can one argue that if his name is blotted out, it means that it was never written there in the first place?
Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.
Will one still be a partaker with Christ if he does not hold his confidence steadfast to the end?
What does the word "IF mean? Is "IF" conditional or unconditional?
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in thelight as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
What IF one ceases to walk in the light, is he still cleansed by Christ’s blood?
His blood cleanse us from ALL sin. But notice the IF! It is conditional.
If a Christian cannot sin so as to lose his soul, why does the devil work so hard to get him back? Is the devil a fool? If OSAS is true then the devil is a huge fool for working so hard to accomplish the impossibility of gaining one back (I Peter 5:8).
Why would an inspired man warn Christians of the danger of falling, if they could not fall (I Cor. 10:12)?
Notice the following truth about an individual that is saved through the new birth.
Out of the world and into the kingdom through virtue of the new birth (Jn. 3:3?7). This person is saved!
Out of the kingdom and into the furnace of fire because of lawlessness (not only murder – but disobedience to any of the laws of God) (Mt. 13:41?43). This person was saved by the new birth but was cast into the lake of fire because of sin!
What about the church at Ephesus? Not only an individual can fall from God’s grace like listed above, but an entire congregation can lose their standing with God.
It was saved by God’s grace (Eph. 2:8?9).
Paul says "are YE saved".
The Ephesians had been saved by God’s grace.
She was told to remember from whence you have FALLEN and REPENT (Rev. 2:5).
What happens to those who do not repent? They will perish (Lk. 13:3, 5).
If she did not repent, Christ would remove her candlestick.
These verses only touch the hem of the garment of all the Bible has to say about remaining faithful to Him.