All believers who are followers of Jesus Christ should participate in Holy Communion. That was the command of Jesus Christ Himself. We read that in John 6:53: “ Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. “
Jesus said that we should participate in his body and also the New Testament believers were breaking bread from house to house. They were having communion with the Body of Christ and therefore similarly, if we are believers in Jesus Christ and we committed ourselves to Him, if we have been baptized in water through obedience to Jesus Christ we should also participate in His body, but only believers can participate in His body. Only those who have committed themselves to Him, only those who are disciples of Jesus Christ who are obedient to Him.
If we participate in communion in unworthy fashion we come under judgment. Let us read 1 Corinthians 11:23 what Paul wrote: 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 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. 25 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. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. “
Paul explained to them, they were having communion from house to house and that was the way that the New Testament church did it. We should have communion with the Body of Christ through participation in communion, taking the bread which is the body of Christ and the wine, or fruit of the vine, some people prefer to use grape juice rather than wine, and participate in the Body of Christ. This is given to those who those who believe in Jesus Christ but we should make sure that we do it in a worthy manner.
Churches and religious organizations give communion to members. A member of the church is not necessarily a member of the Body of Christ. A member of the body of Christ is a person who has accepted Jesus Christ, who has committed himself to Jesus, who has been baptized and is following Jesus with all his heart. If we participate in communion and we have sins in our life we will be judged. Many churches just dish out communion to anybody, and the Lord will judge such people because if we take communion we must be sure that there is no sin in our life, that we don’t have anything against a brother or a sister. If we have any sin in our life we first need to fix that up, we must repent of our sins, ask forgiveness and then only when we are ready to have communion with the body of Jesus Christ Himself, then only can we participate. If we do it in unworthy manner we will be judged. “29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” 1 Corinthians 11:29,30.
Many Christians are sick, many have died because they are under judgment of God because they participated in communion without observing the Body of Christ. For believers, how do we participate? If we are believers in Jesus Christ and we come together as the Body of Christ and we have communion, we take bread and we break the bread. We pray the blessing of the Lord over the bread exactly as Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 11:23. A good custom would be to read this passage of Scripture and prayerfully examine ourselves while we participate, first of the bread, and remember the Body of the Lord broken for us. Thereafter as we drink of the wine we remember the blood of Christ, the New Testament in Jesus Christ, which brings life to us. That way we have life in ourselves and as Jesus said in John 6:57: “so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.”
We need to participate, as children of God. We need to participate with the Body of Christ, with believers, not necessarily an organization. An organization is not the Body of Christ, true Christians, believers in Jesus Christ, your brother and your sister in Christ, they are the body of Christ. We should with them, have communion with the body of Christ. So that we are unified with Jesus through our communion and through taking of the bread and of the wine. He says in John 6:54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
We as believers come together, we have the bread and we have the wine or the grape juice. We sanctify to the Lord, we come prayerfully before His throne and we use these instruments the bread and the wine in remembrance of the cross of Christ, of the price He paid on Calvary, of His blood that was shed for us. And therefore we unify ourselves with Jesus Christ through the communion. This is done by believers to Jesus Christ, as an act of faith, as an act of obedience to Him, as an act of unifying ourselves with Jesus Christ. It need not be done in the church, it need not be done by certain ordained people, it is done by true believers in Jesus Christ. They can do it in their homes, like it is done in China and many other countries, where there is no formal church.
We must participate in the Body of the Lord, we must make sure that when we do so, we do it in proper fashion. We do it with a clear conscience to Jesus Christ, we are not just participating in communion we are communing with the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord in obedience to Him. So that we can have life in ourselves, the bread, His body broken for us, His blood shed for us. So that we can have life in ourselves as Jesus said in John 6:48-59 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-33. We should do that, it is the right way to do it as the Body of Christ, as those who believe in Jesus Christ. We must do it at every occasion, that we find to unify ourselves with Jesus Christ and strengthen our relationship with Him.