We see Jesus,
who was made a little lower than the angels
for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honour.
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ONE LOAF ONE BODY
Closing remarks from an article by F.B. Hole –
In the New Testament the truth of the mystery was committed to Paul. He was also the "wise master-builder" who not only laid the foundation, but afterwards in his Epistles treated of matters connected with order, discipline, and administration in the churches. It is especially striking, therefore, to find that in his farewell Epistle to Timothy he addresses simply a faithful individual, and that he designates the aggregate of faithful individuals, not by a phrase which indicates any special corporate status as belonging to them, but by one which indicates their moral character. "Them which call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
The position of a remnant, then, in all dispensations, is an individual one. The present moment is no exception. Saints who in later years have rallied to the truth and met on the ground of the one body have not acquired any special corporate status by so doing; at best they have been but faithful individuals walking in the truth. The fact that they have no status beyond the original status of the church, which all the saints share with them, does not give them licence to disregard any part of the truth. Though individuals they are responsible to be governed by 'assembly' truth, because by ALL truth.
The third thing to which we now refer is the fact that the cup and the loaf of the Lord's supper are linked with the oneness of the body. The cup and the loaf represent the blood and body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 10 they are spoken of as the communion of His blood and body rather than the representation of it, inasmuch as "we being many are one bread, one body"; and hence not only is there the thought of our identification with the death of Christ, as the Jew is identified with his altar, or the heathen with demons, but also the thought that we are all so identified together as one body, for as it adds, "we are all partakers of that one bread" (verse 17).
It should be carefully noted that these words simply indicate that the partaking of the one loaf in the Lord's supper is the expression of that unity, and therefore may be appealed to as the sign or proof of it. It does not mean that our eating of the one loaf is the cause of the unity. We say, for instance, "It will be fine tomorrow for the barometer is rising", and by this we mean not that the barometer produces the fine weather but that it is the sign of it. So our common participation in the one loaf is the sign and setting forth of the fact of our being one body.
This is important, because the almost certain result of believing that saints who meet upon a Scriptural basis thereby obtain a special corporate status will be to connect the Lord's Supper and its communion with that "inner circle" instead of with the whole body; making it thus the expression of 'our' fellowship instead of proper Christian fellowship. This in turn creates a tendency to the exclusion of people from the Lord's supper apart from the authority of Scripture, because they do not please us, or are out of harmony with the aims we are pursuing, or for other similar reasons.
If an individual sits down and partakes of the Lord's supper, he is thereby recognised as a member of the one body and as fit for Christian fellowship; no such point is raised as that of whether all can agree with all his views and actions. This is pretty clearly indicated by 1 Corinthians 10:23-29.
It is a striking fact, and one for which we beg careful and special attention, that the very chapter which most enforces the fact of fellowship or partnership in connection with Christ's death and His table, does not close without dealing with matters in which liberty for the exercise of individual conscience and faith is claimed. A clear proof this that the extreme view of fellowship which makes all in it responsible for and identified with every individual act, has no foundation in Scripture. We are not, of course, supposing views and acts that challenge the truth.
If one contemplated breaking bread with saints assembling in a certain place, in view of the foregoing, it would be a pertinent question to ask — Do you wish me to regard myself as thereby linked up with an association which you have formed, and committed, so to speak, to your platform; or is it that you wish to receive me as a member of the body, that is, linked up with the association which God originally formed, and committed to identification with the death of Christ?
We hope you found this interesting, the full article can be found on our web site. We send out our material to the Lord's people, not in any party spirit but, in the spirit of the one body, seeking that it might be a blessing to all. Other helpful items can be found on our web site WeSeeJesus.com.
May the Lord bless and encourage you to go on in the pathway of faith for His glory.
Yours in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ,