The Teaching Of Example And Acts 20:7
The example of Paul and other disciples eating the Lord's supper on the first day of the week is the Christian's authority as to time when the Lord's supper is to be eaten. This example of Acts 20:7 is therefore important to all who are determined to do the will of the Father. Brother J. W. McGarvey's comments on the passage are clear and will help the student to a better understanding. Here are his comments from his New Commentary Acts of Apostles:
A Lord's Day Meeting In Troas
"ver. 7. The stay of seven days in Troas terminated on the Lord's day. (7) And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight. This passage shows that the first day of the week was the day in which the disciples broke the loaf; and also that the prime purpose of their meeting on that day was to observe this ordinance. Paul's preaching on the occasion was incidental. In the original institution of the Lord's supper, nothing was said as to the frequency with which it was to be observed. The Lord's words are, "This do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me" (I Cor. 11:25). Had nothing more been said, every congregation of believers would have been left to its own judgment as to frequency of observance. But the apostles were afterward guided by the Holy Spirit in this, as in other matters left indefinite by the Lord's personal teaching, and their example is our guide. Little is said on the subject, but that little is decisive in favor of a weekly observance of the ordinance. Here it is represented as furnishing the chief purpose of the Lord's day meeting; and the same appears in the rebuke administered to the Corinthians: "When therefore ye assemble yourselves together, it is not possible to eat the Lord's supper; for in your eating each one taketh before other his own supper" (I Cor. 11:20,21). Such being the purpose of the Lord's day meeting, as surely as the disciples met every Lord's day, they broke the loaf on that day. Slight as this evidence is, when taken in connection with the universal practice of the church in the second century, and for a long period afterward, it has proved sufficient to win universal agreement among biblical scholars, that this was the apostolic custom; and as the example of the apostles acting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit shows plainly the will of the Lord, our custom should be the same, and all the excuses which we ingeniously frame for rejecting this custom are invalid. It is this ordinance which brings us nearest of all to the sufferings of our Redeemer; and if we commemorate weekly the fact that he arose again for our justification, why should we not as frequently commemorate the fact that he died for our sins?
The extreme length of Paul's discourse on this occasion is accounted for in the remark that he was "intending to depart on the morrow;" and we learn further on, that he expected never to see these disciples again (38); hence his desire to give them all possible instruction and admonition while he was with them."
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