III. THE PERSONS WHO BREAK BREAD
1)“Jesus took the bread…and gave it to the disciples” (Matt. 26:26).
When the Lord established the breaking of bread, He gave the bread and the cup to His disciples, that is, to those who have believed into Him, have His life, and belong to Him. Of course, only those who have such a relationship with the Lord and who know the Lord as their personal Savior can remember the Lord by eating His bread and drinking His cup and can display the Lord’s death by His bread and His cup.
2)“And all those who believed…breaking bread” (Acts 2:44-46).
Those who break bread must be “those who believed,” that is, those who have believed and received the Lord’s salvation, who have the Lord’s life, and who belong to the Lord. Only such believing persons can and may break bread. Therefore, only those who are saved, who are joined unto the Lord, and who do not live in sin are qualified to eat the bread and drink the cup. No one else can have a share in the Lord’s bread and the Lord’s cup.
IV. THE TIME FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
1)“And they were continuing steadfastly…in the breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42).
Here it says that the early believers continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread; that is, they continued without ceasing to break bread all the time. We should follow such a pattern.
2)“And day by day…breaking bread” (Acts 2:46).
The early believers continued so steadfastly in the breaking of bread that they did it on a daily basis. At the time, because they were fervent toward the Lord and loved Him deeply, they spontaneously broke bread every day. This tells us that, if possible, the more often we break bread to remember the Lord the better.
3)“And on the first day of the week, when we gathered together to break bread” (Acts 20:7).
The early believers began by breaking bread daily. Later on, they gradually acquired the habit of doing it once a week on the first day. The first day of the week, which is the Lord’s Day, is the day of the Lord’s resurrection and the beginning of a new week, signifying that the old things are passed away and a new life has begun. Therefore, it is most appropriate to break bread to remember the Lord on this day. Furthermore, although we display the Lord’s death when we break bread, we are actually remembering Him in resurrection.
4)“Eat the Lord’s supper” (1 Cor. 11:20).
Since the breaking of bread is to eat the Lord’s supper, it is best to conduct it in the evening. Furthermore, in the evening, having finished all our work and having discharged all our burdens, we are lightened in heart and refreshed in spirit. It is a proper time in which we can remember the Lord without anxiety, and it is easy to sense the Lord’s presence then. This, however, is not a legal matter. If it is difficult or inconvenient to conduct it in the evening, we may evaluate the situation and change the time to the morning or the afternoon.
(Life Lessons, Vol. 2 (#13-24), Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)