Frequency of the Lord’s Supper

by Billy Moore

As to the frequency of eating the Lord’s Supper, many have wrestled with this question.  Since Acts 20:7 is the only reference of disciples coming together to eat the Lord’s Supper, it is the only reference to which we can appeal to establish frequency.  We learn “what to eat” and “what to drink” from the words of Christ when he instituted it (Matt.26:26-28) and in Paul’s reference to it in 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. The Acts 20:7 reference does, in fact, teach “how often” they came together to “break bread”, and it does so by a necessary inference, one of the three ways of teaching.  I reach this conclusion based upon the following reasoning:

1. A thing that is to be observed annually must have both the month and day of the month for its observance. Example: your birthday. Or a Bible example would be Pentecost, the day following the seventh Sabbath after the Passover, which was an annual occurrence.

2. Anything that is to be done monthly must have a day of the month. Example: a house payment, or rent, due on the first day of the month.

3. That which is to be observed weekly need only have the day of the week. Example: the Sabbath day. The command was simply, “re­member the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” And since every week had a Sabbath day the people knew that it was a weekly observance. The local Lions’ Club has a sign in front of a restaurant which says: “Lions’ Club meets here, Friday at Noon.” It does not say “every Friday”, but all who read it will certainly reach that conclusion. Other clubs may meet twice a month and their sign may read: “Second and Fourth Friday at 12:00.”

If the Lord ’s Supper were not to be eaten each week, then who is to decide which “first day” of which week?

Incidentally, everyone seems to understand that “upon the first day of the week let every one of them lay by him in store” (1 Corinthians 16:1,2) authorizes a weekly collection. The identical expression is used regarding the breaking of bread and it also necessarily infers a weekly observance.

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