Tag Archives: Lord’s Supper

A Debate on Infant Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Continuing our theme of new additions to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary this week, we’re proud to offer you this:



Where does the Bible authorize–or even mention–infant baptism?

It doesn’t.

This debate, held in 1937, is between G.K. Wallace (Christian) and E.E. Stauffer (Lutheran).  Wallace attacks the false doctrine of infant baptism from several different angles, and leaves Stauffer with nothing to say except for “let’s move on to the Lord’s Supper.”

Wallace then exposes the false idea that the Lord’s Supper literally turns into the physical skin and blood of Jesus.  Stauffer is unable to counter his arguments and calls the debate to a close.

Back in 2014, we took this debate and gave it the full Cobb Publishing treatment, correcting all the mistakes we could find, and refurbished the whole thing to give you the best possible reading experience.  We still have it available in print (just $5.99), but we’re also making it available as an eBook for free in the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary!

To read it online, or download for later enjoyment, just click the link below!

Wallace-Stauffer Debate on the Lord’s Supper and Infant Baptism

-Bradley S. Cobb

An Address on the Importance of the Lord’s Supper

Sometimes you stumble upon a book by accident, and it becomes a blessing, helping you to grow as a result.  I’ve opined before about how the Lord’s Supper, in some congregations, is given a diminished importance, when it should be the focal point of our Lord’s Day gathering (see that article here).  This was something that was a problem almost 200 years ago as well.

Today’s addition to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is a short book (just 16 pages), but it is full of valuable observations about the importance of the Lord’s Supper in the life of a Christian.


Now, I’ll tell you ahead of time, I don’t know the religious background of the author, and I don’t agree with some of his interpretations of a couple passages.  But there are enough good points in this book that we thought it to be well worth sharing with you.  Here’s a couple short excerpts:

The institution itself is well adapted to commemorate this interesting event. The broken bread is a just and striking emblem of the body of Christ, which was wounded and crucified; and the cup of wine is an effectual memorial of his blood shed for the remission of sins; it also reminds us of the obligations and blessings of the new covenant which was sealed and ratified by his blood. And by partaking of these elements, the disciples of Jesus are naturally led to reflect upon the relations in which they stand, and the duties which they owe to their common Lord, and to each other.


We live in a state of frailty and imperfection; the objects of sense have too much influence upon our minds; and kind and amiable as the friend of sinners is, we are too apt to forget him. But Jesus well knew that a constant affectionate remembrance of him at his table, would inspire his followers with a penitential sorrow for sin, kindle in their bosoms an unfeigned ardent love to him, a lively gratitude for the blessings they derive from his gospel, animate them with heroic zeal and fortitude in his cause, unite them to each other in the bonds of undissembled affection, and that it would induce them to aspire to the highest attainments in universal excellence. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper tends to perpetuate the memory of his sufferings and death, not only in our own hearts, but also in the church and in the world. By frequenting his table, we openly profess our value and esteem for a crucified Redeemer; show that we are not ashamed of our Master, but glory in our relation to him; that we are not ashamed of his gospel, but obedient to its requisitions, and that we are not ashamed of his cross, but cheerfully enlist ourselves under its banner.

We’ve gone through this book, updating the spelling and punctuation, correcting any mistakes, and reformatting the entire booklet to give you the best possible reading experience (trust me…you should have seen what we had to work with to begin with…it was a MESS!)

To read or download this book, just click the link below!

Scott, James – Address on the Lords Supper (James Scott)

-Bradley S. Cobb

A Debate on The Fruit of the Vine (two of them, actually)

There exists within the churches of Christ some who believe that alcoholic wine is permissible to use during the Lord’s Supper.  But beyond that, there are those who teach that to use anything other than alcoholic wine in the Lord’s Supper is sinful!

Most of the ones who hold that position are among our brethren who use a single drinking vessel (i.e., one cup).  Obviously, just because some among them hold that view does not mean that all–or even most–of them do.

Recently, I came across two debates which dealt with this subject, and they are today’s additions to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary!

The Harper-Trail Discussion


This written debate took place in 1933 and was published in H.C. Harper’s paper, The Truth (Later known as Old Paths Advocate).  Brother A.J. Trail takes the position that only alcoholic wine can be used in the Lord’s Supper, while brother Harper argues that only non-alcoholic grape juice is permitted.


  • It is Scriptural to use grape juice as the drink element in the communion.
  • It is Scriptural to use fermented grape wine as the drink element in the communion.

We have corrected several spelling and typographical mistakes (and a couple mistaken Scripture references) in preparing this debate for you.  We hope you will find it to be interesting!  Scroll down for the download link!

The Smith-Bledsoe Debate


The Smith-Bledsoe debate is interesting in that it is only half of what it was meant to be.  M. Lynwood Smith affirmed that grape juice was the only thing allowed under the phrase “the fruit of the vine,” while Jack Bledsoe argued that both alcoholic and non-alcoholic grape juice (or wine) were equally acceptable–though he puts forth the idea that alcoholic would be more in keeping with the Bible.

For some reason, the second part of the debate, with Bledsoe in the affirmative, never took place.  One man claimed that Bledsoe quit because he couldn’t answer the arguments, but one look at his final rebuttal in this work shows that certainly wasn’t Bledoe’s belief or attitude.

We have corrected several typographical errors, spelling problems, and some Scripture references in preparing this work for you.

We hope that you will find these two short debates to be interesting and will help you to better understand the actions of our Lord in taking “the fruit of the vine” which He said was His blood.

Harper-Trail Debate on Alcohol in the Lord’s Supper

Smith-Bledsoe Debate on Wine in the Lords Supper

-Bradley S. Cobb

Is the Lord’s Supper the most important part of worship?


Question: Is the Lord’s Supper more important than the other actions in the worship service? –B.C., Indiana.

Thanks for the question. There are many sincere brethren who believe that the Lord’s Supper is the central element of our worship, and there are many other sincere brethren who believe it is exactly of equal importance with the other areas of worship and dedication to God that take place in the assembly. But the question is this: What does the Bible say?

First, notice Acts 20:7. The apostle Paul had spent a full week in Troas just so he could assemble with the saints on the Lord’s Day. But Luke describes the assembly this way: “The disciples came together on the first day of the week to break bread.” This isn’t talking about a common meal. Paul could have had a common meal with the saints any day of the week. Especially consider that during Paul’s time, Sundays were work days. This verse is a reference, not to a regular meal, but to the Lord’s Supper.

According to Luke, the inspired historian and writer of Acts, the main reason the disciples came together was to take the Lord’s Supper. Was it the only reason? Of course not. Paul preached to them all night long, and though the text doesn’t say it, we can safely surmise that they also sang and prayed as well.

Second, Christians in the Bible were criticized because they weren’t focusing on the Lord’s Supper when they came together. Look at 1 Corinthians 11: “…I am not praising you, because you are not coming together for the better, but for the worse. … When you come together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.”

The inspired apostle Paul told the Christians in Corinth that they were sinning, coming together for the worse, because their coming together wasn’t to eat the Lord’s Supper. Sure, they literally ate the unleavened bread and drank the fruit of the vine, but they didn’t treat it as the sacred, Jesus-instituted meal that it was meant to be.

Other passages in the same book show us that they also prayed and sang when they came together, as well as exhorted and instructed one another with preaching (see chapter 14). The Lord’s Supper was not the only reason they were to come together, to be certain. But Paul uses soul-condemning language in regards to their lack of focus on the Lord’s Supper (see 11:29), but doesn’t use that language when talking about their improper singing and speaking in the assembly.

Third, the Lord’s Supper is the only part of the assembly that was actually ordained specifically by Jesus Christ. Think about it for a moment: singing, praying, preaching, and giving were all things done throughout the Old Testament. But the Passover was a special event, one with great depth of meaning; one that was a memorial of what God had done for Israel; one that held a place of prominence over the regular temple worship.

In the same way, the Lord’s Supper is a special event; one with great depth of meaning; one that is a memorial of what God (through Jesus Christ) has done for us. It is given prominence by God through His inspired writers. It is the part of worship that Jesus Himself commanded His followers to practice to remember Him and His death.

Don’t misunderstand me.  Singing and praying, preaching and giving, they are all commanded by God, and are therefore important.  But there is a focus, an emphasis given to the Lord’s Supper that puts it above the rest.

Final Thoughts

Christians have been done a disservice by hearing preachers, elders, and members talk of the Lord’s Supper as “an important part, but not the most important part of our worship.” The Lord’s Supper has been relegated to a five-minute snack with little to no spiritual reflection offered by the ones serving at the Lord’s table.

If you were to ask most Christians what they remembered about the worship period last Sunday, they’d probably tell you about the sermon, perhaps the song leading, and maybe a prayer that stuck out in their mind.

The Lord’s Supper was the primary reason the early church gathered together. Don’t you think it’s time we got back to doing that?

-Bradley Cobb

Bible Q&A – How Many Cups?

Dear sir, a friend of mine said that it is sinful to use more than one cup per congregation when taking the Lord’s Supper, and that everyone must drink from that one cup.  He said that Jesus took “the cup” (singular), and therefore, we can only use one cup.  What does the Bible say about this?–Anonymous

Thanks for the question.  It is true that we have some good, sincere brethren that insist that you can only use one cup in the Lord’s Supper.  They claim there is a special significance to the one cup.  They claim that Jesus only authorized one cup.

How can we know for sure? As always, let’s go to the Bible!

I Corinthians 10:16-17 has the apostle Paul (who at that point was sitting in the city of Ephesus) writing to Christians in Corinth (which was over 100 miles away, across the Aegean Sea).  And in that passage, he says “the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”

Did you notice that? He said that the Christians in Ephesus, as well as the Christians in Corinth all used the same cup!  Now, was Paul saying they (over 100 miles apart) used the same literal cup each time they took the Lord’s Supper?  Of course not, because that would be physically impossible.

It is pointed out by these brethren that the Bible says we are to “drink this cup [singular]” (I Corinthians 11:26), and that Jesus took the cup and said that as often as we drink it [the cup, singular] we are to do it in remembrance of Him (I Corinthians 11:25).  Our brethren in Christ then ask, “In light of this evidence, how can we come to any other conclusion?”

It’s not the cup that is being drunk, it’s the stuff in the cup.

If the focus is on one literal cup, then that one literal cup (not the stuff in it, but the cup itself) has to be drunk…by each person present.  Don’t drink the contents, but drink the actual container.  Put it in your mouth and swallow it.  Jesus is obviously talking about drinking the “fruit of the vine” which is in the cup.  You can’t drink a literal cup.

IF we are only permitted to use one cup in the Lord’s Supper, then it must be the same cup that Jesus Himself used!  Jesus said this cup is the New Testament in my blood (I Corinthians 10:25).  And every congregation across the entire world must use that one exact cup.

But let’s look at one more verse which settles the issue.

Luke 22:17 – “And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “take this, and divide it among yourselves.

Look at that passage, and you will see that it was after telling them to divide it among themselves that he instituted the Lord’s Supper (verses 19-20).  When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, the fruit of the vine was already in twelve different cups.

The conclusion from this is that the number of cups doesn’t matter—it’s what is in the cup that counts.

–Bradley Cobb

Sermon Thursday – The Lord’s Supper

This week, we continue our series on Fundamentals of the Faith.  Enjoy!


Why do we have a snack in the middle of worship on Sundays?
Why do we call it a supper?
Why is it always the same thing?
Does it mean anything?
Is there a reason why we take it so often?

There are a lot of questions surrounding what is called “The Lord’s Supper.”

There are so many people who teach conflicting doctrines about it, and in the church there are many different views and attitudes towards it.  You want to see how confused some people are on this topic?  Here’s things that are said about the Lord’s Supper:

  • Take it annually; take it quarterly; take it monthly; take it each week; take it whenever you feel like it.
  • Must be unleavened bread and alcoholic wine; must be unleavened bread and non-alcoholic grape juice; it doesn’t matter what you use there so long as you’re thinking about Jesus; you can take the bread, but only a priest can take the fruit of the vine.
  • It is to be done until the end of the world; it isn’t to be done at all; it had to be done religiously until Jerusalem was destroyed.
  • It is supposed to be part of a congregational meal; it is to be the centerpiece of our worship; it is irrelevant.
  • It represents the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; it is something to keep the parents from getting hungry in the middle of services; it is a time set aside by Jesus so you can make out a check or dig through your purse to find money to put in the collection plate.

How can we cure all this confusion? BACK TO THE BIBLE!

 Where did it come from?

There are a lot of things that are done religiously that are nothing more than traditions.  The specific order of worship (announcements, two songs, Lord’s Supper, two songs, sermon, two songs, prayer).  The time to assemble (9:00? 9:30? 10:00?).

But the Lord’s Supper isn’t a tradition—it’s from the Bible!

It was instituted during the Passover. You may say, why does that matter?  It matters because (1) the Bible specifically says it, and (2) It helps us understand what specifically is being referenced.

Matthew 26:17-29 records that the Lord’s Supper was instituted during the Passover celebration, on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread.

It was instituted by Jesus Christ.  Matthew 26:26-29 shows clearly that Jesus is the one who established the Lord’s Supper.  I Corinthians 11:23-26 reiterates that it was Christ who instituted the Lord’s Supper.

Thus, the Lord’s Supper is not a tradition of man, but is a Divinely-given ordinance for the followers of Jesus Christ.

What does it consist of?

Some years back, there was a great uproar in the religious world when a denominational leader came out in favor of changing the contents of the Lord’s Supper to hamburgers and coke.  When you don’t believe that the Bible is the standard, then things like this sound acceptable.  But when you follow God’s word as your standard, you know that making changes like that are unauthorized, disrespectful, and sinful.

Jesus authorized specific items which were to be used in the Lord’s Supper.  He used “bread.”  This bread was unleavened.  What this means is that it was a flat bread, with nothing in it that would make it rise.  The modern-day equivalent would be a tortilla, which may actually be more authentic than the cracker-type bread we normally use.

How do we know that it was unleavened bread?  Because the Lord’s Supper was instituted during the feast of unleavened bread (Matthew 26:17).  Because the Passover feast, when instituted by God, began with getting rid of all leavening from the house (Exodus 12:15).  Because of the evidence, the only acceptable bread for use in the Lord’s Supper is unleavened bread.

He used “the fruit of the vine.”  It seems noteworthy to me that the Bible never once describes the drink that Jesus used here as “wine.”  In all the accounts of the Lord’s Supper being instituted, it is called “the fruit of the vine” (Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18) or “the cup” (I Corinthians 11:25).  The only “fruit of the vine” that the Jews drank was grape juice.

Well, was it grape juice or was it alcoholic grape juice—wine?

One thing that is important to remember is that grape juice becomes alcoholic when it ferments, when yeast forms in it and “leavens” it.  If all leavening was to be cast from the house before the feast began, could there have been any “leavened” or “fermented” grape juice in the house?

Why is that question important?  Because if it was grape juice, then it would be sinful to substitute alcoholic wine in its place (just like it would be sinful to used leavened bread).  Because if it was alcoholic wine, then it would be sinful to use regular grape juice.

By inspiration, the writers of the Bible did not use the word oinos which can refer to either grape juice or alcoholic wine.  Instead, by direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, the writers used the phrase “fruit of the vine,” which refers to juice as it is directly from the grape—grape juice.

These are the only two items authorized for use in the Lord’s Supper.

What does it represent?

The bread and the fruit of the vine are meaningless unless you know why you’re taking them.

The bread is the body of Christ. That is, it is a reminder of the body of Christ; it represents the body of Christ.  When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He said of the bread, “this is my body which is for you.”  Jesus hadn’t died yet, so it obviously wasn’t the literal body of Christ.

Instead, the bread is there to remind us of the body of Christ, the body that was beaten and nailed to the cross because of our sins, and the need for our sins to have a means of forgiveness.

When you take the bread, it is a reminder of your sins, and that they caused the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The fruit of the vine is the blood of Jesus Christ. Again, it is a reminder or a representation of the blood of Christ.  Christ had not yet shed His blood, but He knew it was going to happen.  Because of the surety of its taking place, Jesus could say “this is my blood which is shed for many for remission of sins” (Matthew 26:29).

The blood of Christ is that which washes away our sins (Revelation 1:5).  When you take of the fruit of the vine, remember that your sins put Christ on the cross, but the blood of Christ is what has brought forgiveness.

The bread reminds you of your sins, the fruit of the vine reminds you of the forgiveness.

It is the perfect representation of the gospel message.