What Is the Meaning of Communion and Why Do It?

Communion is defined as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” Communion is sometimes referred to as the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, or in some church denominations as Eucharist, or Sacrament. Unleavened bread, together with wine, or juice, are consecrated and given to the participants. Partaking in communion is a sharing and remembrance of your covenant with God. The covenant made possible by Christ’s sacrifice.

Names for Communion: What Do They Mean?

  • The Lord’s Supper— We can now come to the table of our Father and place our feet beneath it because we are part of His family.
  • Holy Communion— We are sharing in this Holy and intimate time with God as part of His Body—the Church.
  • Eucharist— This word comes from the Greek language and means “thanksgiving.” It’s a time of personal reflection, humility, and thankfulness as we think about how we were brought out of the bondage of sin and stepped into freedom through Christ.
  • Sacrament— This is a religious ceremony or act that is regarded as an outward symbol of an inward relationship with Christ.

There are several other descriptions for communion used in the Bible:

  • The Lord’s Table— You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.—1 Corinthians 10:21
  • Cup of Thanksgiving— The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”—1 Corinthians 10:16
  • Breaking of Bread— And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”—Acts 2:42

The sacred covenant, or bond, between a God and a Believer is divine and mutually beneficial. The covenant brings glory and honor to the Father, and dominion and power to the Believer. No matter the frequency of communion, it is a moment of sincerity, to come before the Lord and to soberly and humbly assess your relationship with Him.

This assessment and time of reflection are not meant to be legalistic; God designed it to be humbling, purifying, accompanied by immense thanksgiving. The purpose is for Believers to experience more of Him through remembrance and reflection of the covenant relationship.

The Jewish Roots to Communion

We must remember that the Last Supper was a Passover meal.

“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;  for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’”—Luke 22:14-16

In the context of Jewish traditions and biblical commands, this was a remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt to the Promised Land. Taking these Hebraic roots of the Passover, Jesus spoke to the disciples about its deeper meaning, a picture of the spiritual freedom that was to come from His blood shed on the cross.

“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’”—Luke 22:19

The unleavened bread of the Passover meal is a picture of the sinless Body of Christ. Unleavened bread was instructed to be part of the Passover Seder in the book of Exodus.

Over the course of the last 2,000 years, Believers and nonbelievers alike have constructed personal definitions of this sacred act. When questions about practices in the Church arise, it is always best to search and study the scriptures, just as the Bereans. This intense study opens the doors for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you God’s definition and intent, unlocking your spiritual inheritance as you uncover the Jewish roots to the faith.

“These (the Barean Jews) were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”—Acts 17:11

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”—John 16:13

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4 Things to Know about Communion

Communion’s sacred symbolism is multifaceted, just like all of God’s work and design. The Lord cuts deep into our hearts and “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit” (see Heb. 4:12). As Believers, we have the blessing of experiencing Him in new and intimate ways with every step we take.

These are things to consider when partaking in communion:

  1. Remembrance. Communion should stir our hearts to remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’”—1 Corinthians 11:25

  1. Acceptance. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior enters you into a covenant with God. Communion is a reminder of that covenant. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, you now have access to His resurrection power.

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places…”—Ephesians 1:17-20

  1. Decree and Declare. As we remember and reflect, we can also declare the promises of God. God doesn’t forget, but He wants you to call upon Him and decree His promise of blessing out into the heavenly realms. Words have power. When we declare our identity in Christ, the enemy is blocked from his attempts of stealing our spiritual inheritance.

“Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.”—1 Kings 8:56

“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”—James 4:6-7

  1. Proclaim. Paul tells the Church in Corinth, that through partaking in communion they are proclaiming the Lord’s death until His return. We can look forward to His return and the marriage supper of the Lamb!

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”—1 Corinthians 11:26

“Then he said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’”—Revelation 19:9

The discovery of your faith roots brings you into the presence of the Lord that you may walk in the increased knowledge of His divine and sovereign character. The immeasurable depth of God is revealed by combining the history of His story with our faith journey today. Tapping into His presence penetrates and changes your heart, and you begin to show Christ to others.

“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…”—Colossians 3:16