Who Can Take Communion?

Who can partake of communion according to the Bible?

Who can take communion?

Ever heard this said at church?

And now as we turn to the communion table, I would like to invite all those who love Jesus and call him Lord to join with us in partaking of the elements. If you’re visiting with us today and you don’t know Jesus, feel free to spend this time in quiet reflection. Communion is something that Christians do to remember Jesus’ death.

You may have heard it, but I have said it, and how I wish I could take those words back!

Could I not see the staggering ungraciousness of my comments? Was I blind to the unholy line I was drawing between Us (welcome to take communion) and Them (not welcome)? Jesus died for all, but not all were being invited to remember his death.

How did I get so mixed up?

Like many pastors I was confused about the meaning of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:26-32. I understood that the Corinthians had been making fools of themselves by gorging and getting drunk at communion. I thought that Paul wrote to warn them of the dire consequences of acting irreverently:

He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself… (1 Cor 11:29 KJV)

I hindered people from partakng because I was worried they would take communion in an unworthy manner. I now understand that Paul wasn’t condemning the Corinthians for their poor behavior. How could Paul preach condemnation to the Corinthians in one letter while preaching no condemnation to the Romans in another?

Who is worthy to partake of the Lord’s Supper?

Somehow Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11 have been twisted into a worthiness test for communion. “Examine yourself before you eat the bread and drink of the cup.” Okay, but how do we do that? How do I know if I’m worthy enough?

Some churches mandate minimum standards of worthiness. They say you must be a believer or a baptized believer or a welcomed member of the church or what-have-you.

Perhaps what we need is some kind of Christian caste system. India’s caste system is pretty good at separating the rabble from the rest. Maybe we can learn from them.

At the bottom would be unbelievers or the unchurched because someone who rejects Jesus is obviously not worthy. That’s basically what I was saying in my church. By telling visitors that they were “free” not to partake of communion I was sending the message, “This is not for you – you’re not good enough for Jesus.”

God forgive me, but I was judging them unworthy of the body and blood.

Of course I didn’t think of it in such terms. I thought I was honoring Jesus and protecting sinners from judgment.

Slowly it began to dawn on me that there was something odd about denying communion to sinners. After all, didn’t Jesus die for sinners?

Religion draws lines between us and them, but grace tears down dividing walls. Nowhere in the Bible will you find any suggestion that we should exclude people from communion. (Didn’t Jesus serve the bread and wine to Judas?!) This is a death-dealing tradition of man.

When I said communion was for us but not for them, I was acting religiously and in a manner opposed to the Spirit of grace. Happily, I repented. I changed my tune and began saying, “all are welcome at the Lord’s Table.” I then watched amazed as the Holy Spirit revealed the love and grace of God to those who didn’t know him.

Who can partake of communion?

Communion is when we remember Jesus’ death on the cross. So who communion it for? Obviously it’s for all those he died for, meaning everyone. If the Gospel is for everyone, so is communion, because communion is the Gospel in a cup.

Who can take communion? Only those that Jesus died for, which means anyone and everyone can partake. So can unbelievers take communion? Well, did Jesus die for unbeliever?

That said, I want to single out two groups who can especially benefit from communion:

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. (Mark 2:17)

1. The sick

Sickness and death are part of sin’s curse (Gen 2:17). In Deuteronomy 28:15-68 there is a long list of curses that result from disobedience to God’s commands. These include “severe and lingering illnesses” along with “every kind of sickness not recorded in the Book of Law” (v.59-60).

There is no sickness that is not part of the curse. Even modern-day sicknesses (e.g., anorexia, HIV, DVT) are covered.

During his time on earth Jesus healed every sick person who came to him (Matt 12:15, Mark 6:56). Not one person went away unhealed. Jesus did this to demonstrate his complete power over sin and all its effects.

Before you eat and drink, examine yourself to see if there are things in your life – sickness, disease, afflictions (Is 53:4, AMP) – that Jesus carried in his body and paid for in his blood. If you are sick, proclaim his death and triumphant victory over your life.

Identify your illness as a defeated enemy and lift up the Name of him who is above every sickness. He was wounded that you might be healed, and cursed that you might be blessed (Gal 3:13, 1 Pet 2:24). Take your Jesus’ Medicine and be well.

2. Sinners

In the old covenant, sinners and unclean people were kept far away lest they contaminate the righteous. If there had been communion back then, they would not have received it.

But Jesus was a friend of sinners. He went into their houses and broke bread with them. He met with thieves, adulterers and murderers and “contaminated” them with his righteousness. Sinners were radically changed by his grace.

By saying communion is only for the worthy we have turned a new covenant blessing into an old covenant curse and denied grace to those who need it most.

Jesus is still the sinner’s Friend! He died for us while we were sinners and he reconciled us to God while we were his enemies (Rom 5:8,10).

Those who hesitate over communion do so because they are distracted by their imperfections. They draw back like Old Testament lepers because they believe that they are unclean. But you have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus (1 Pet 1:19). If God loves you enough to die for you, then in his eyes you must be really something special!

Communion is not a time for self-examination but Jesus-examination. The only thing that will empower you to overcome sin is the grace of God and it’s not stored in your navel.

Look to Jesus. His blood bought your forgiveness and his death triumphed over all your sin. See yourself crucified with him (Gal 2:20). He is our perfect high priest, a Lamb without blemish or defect. Don’t draw back but come boldly to the throne of grace.

The next time someone says “communion is only for the worthy,” don’t be distracted by your sin, but say this: “Yes, communion is for the worthy, and Jesus makes me worthy.”


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109 Comments on Who Can Take Communion?

  1. I think communion is taken to remember Jesus finished work. The bread remind us of why we are healed and can expect healing. The blood remind us of the new covenant where the blessing and acceptance and forgiveness hinges on Jesus work..

    So all Christians should take communion, strictly speaking, communion is not meant for unbelievers or sinners as it don’t mean a thing to them but for us, it is the reason why we are saved, delivered and healed.

    • The church I attended felt the same way. BUt I think this is ridiculous. At what point does a person become saved? When he believes in Christ Jesus. That is a moment or process that happens inside that person’s heart and mind, whether or not he publicly announce it to the church. Who are we to tell – that we are “saved, delivered and healed” but the other person is not. Many church goers do not feel the reality of Christ, some fell away… many are trying to come to God. By making this artificial segregation – one group welcomed to partake, another told to refrain, we are just being legalistic and self-righteous.

      • In the bible Jesus healed as said Go but never sin again! If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth you are saved!….. It’s a process a healing and growing process….to stop all your mess…stop cursing, stop smoking, stop sex without marriage, stop being mean and humble thy self for fill the ten commandments and studies the word. God will not reside in an unclean temple.. With prayer and fasting he will give you the gift of the holy ghost. So to take communion it’s to remember what the Lord has done for you with benefit that he died for our sins and we are clean and believe that we are healed. What good will it do an non believer?

      • Please, please there is no segregation here.
        Bible has made it clear that they that believe in him shall be saved( Rom 10:9)
        And the bread and wine Jesus himself gave, he did not invite everyone to just come and partake of it.He gave to his followers the 12. If it was meant for every one he would have made a public announcement and invite all, after all he loves sinners.
        Surely he died for the world , by making the provision in his blood that whosoever believes in should have eternal life(John 3:16)
        Jesus said go ye into the world and make disciples baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy ghost.
        No one should be turned away he the one is ready to receive him , that’s what is meant by he died for the world.
        Been in the church does not make one a believer, but the one who has been born again by telephone blood can not be denied communion no matter his moral standing, for accepting Jesus qualifiers that one the right before God that why Hebrews 4:14 -16 gives one the boldness to come to the throne of grace.

      • David Penneigh // May 9, 2019 at 1:32 am //

        I am satirized with what I have just read. Thank you.

    • thesouldoctor // September 30, 2013 at 6:11 am // Reply

      So your wrote this article people who don’t know Christ can eat matzoh and drink grape juice all they want. they do not know what they are doing. This is symbolic of our union with Christ eating his flesh and drinking his blood spiritually. This is also the marriage supper of the Lamb a precursor for his bride who has made herself ready. Why should people who refuse the Son of God and his work on the cross be allowed to partake of the Lord’s supper when THEY DON’T CARE!

      • would you also condemn the jewish people for partaking of the matzah and cup each passover…? because they obviously dont know the true meaning of what they are doing either… what is the difference between an unsaved jew or an unsaved gentile eating matzah and drinking grape juice?

    • Amen Redtide, its for those who have a memory (in the first place) to be having a remembrance from. Sounds odd I know, but really, how can sinners (unbelievers) have anything to do with communion. It brings me to ‘remembering’ Philip and the eunuch wanting to be baptized. Acts 8:37, “And Philip said, If you believe with all thine heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Why did Philip say that to him? Because, like communion, you have to qualify. Let the sinner repent and believe first, then he or she can do communion, “as often as you do this”1 Cor. 11:26.
      Another thing I did not agree with is how he dealt with the ‘unworthy’ part. He never really said what it is or that its important. Just left it behind. Strange.
      Beware of false teachers.

    • Jennie parker // August 13, 2016 at 4:58 am // Reply

      I completely agree with you I have been a Christian for over 50 years a sinner is condemned already to believe in Jesus is to follow his teachings why K communion when you have no relationship with Him communion cannot possibly have any significance to a sinner

  2. love you man for this article. thankyou!!!

  3. In uni I was occasionally invited by a Lutheran pastor’s wife to sing in the church choir she directed. She and her husband had no problem with my participation in communion, but some choir members took for granted that because I didn’t regularly attend their church, I wouldn’t. So I sat, robed and alone, while the rest of the choir filed out to partake first so the congregation could enjoy our musical selection as they received “..the body of Christ…the body of Christ…”

  4. sooooo legit!

  5. Jesus died for all of us because we are sinners, unworthy, no one is righteous except He. Jesus did the ultimate sacrifice because of His ultimate love and grace. He taught us to remember of what he has done to remind us not to sin anymore but instead to show love, compassion, grace, kindness, faithfulness, self-control and obedience.Because Jesus is Lord, let us be obedient, ask for forgiveness and repent to our sin that not to sin again to Him to be worthy in His very presence in partaking in communion. Do not abuse the grace of God for we must remember there is judgement to come. Hell is real. God bless us all.

    • A sinner says…….thank you!!!!! Well said….I totally agree!!!!!!

    • There is no judgement for believers when he died on the cross he took our sins permanently to lower him to the level that every time we sin we have to repent means he’s no better than goats blood but he is the man God and His sacrifice is good for eternity our walk in Christ will affect how difficult are flesh life will be but we all get to heaven if we believe that is the grace of Jesus

  6. Hey “sinner”, guess what. You’re a saint! 🙂
    Great article Paul! Full of God’s grace 😀

  7. Roger Muller // September 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm // Reply

    Can non-christians take the communion too? My friend said the communion are only for christians because Jesus first break the bread and drink the cup with his apostle, furthermore he said if it’s for the non christian too, Jesus would already done this communion on the sermon on the mount.

    • Yes, absolutely! Religion, such as practiced under the old covenant, divides. But grace, such as revealed in Jesus, unites. Jesus died for every one, not just Christians.

      • Restoration // April 26, 2017 at 6:32 am //

        I feel you have part of the statement on communion wrong. Its not he’s not saying all people should take communion then after all are the righteousness of Christ. Are you saying anyone who take communion is righteous, or you become righteous because you took communion. If this is true why should people repent at all just take communion

        The joy in your heart upon accepting Christ should send a signal that you want everyone to know you are saved and Jesus have set you free from sin and shame. Its a joy to know you are saved. The Bible said Jesus said if you be a shame of me I will be a shame of you before my father.

      • No, communion doesn’t make you righteous. We are made righteous through faith in Christ (Rom 1:17).

    • Jesus in a manner celebrated communion with the masses when he took the 5 loaves and two fish and distributed them among the crowd. Look at the same words described in this action – being the very same pattern that is used in all communion verses
      He took it – he blesses it – he broke it – he gave it. Powerful eh?

      • Tom Howard // February 13, 2014 at 6:18 am //

        Yes, Paul and PM , but the difference is, Jesus called the bread He broke before the twelve disciples, “His Body”. No such description with the 5 loaves. As a matter of fact, Paul was rebuking the Corinthian believers about that very thing, “Dont you have house’s to eat in?” It was not a meal to physically live by, but a meal to Spiritually live by.
        Sure, Jesus died for everyone, but only those that “believe on Him are Christians. So there is not only a qualification to be a communion participant, but also a warning!

    • What! What is Paul Ellis saying, ridiculous.This is heresies. PLEASE COME AGAIN PAUL.
      And tell us what you really mean .
      When Jesus asked his disciples what people were calling him and Peter answered that he was the Christ , Jesus said upon that revealation he will build his church. That makes Jesus the head of the church which is his body.
      Paul, no one can be stopped from coming to Christ, and no one can be stopped from coming to the body, the church for he indeed died and made provision for all men , that WHOSOEVER believes in him should receive eternal life. John 3: 16
      Roman 10 :9 says if one believe and confess he will be saved. Mark 16 15…….go ye into the world and make disciples baptising them in the name of the Father ,Son and Holy Spirit.
      Paul the fact that you are in the church does not qualify you to partake of the bread and the wine., but the moment you do Romans 10 verse 9 you are eligible, after all the thief on the cross was promised paradise the moment he confessed Christ.
      Why didn’t Christ say they both , because one confessed and it was credited to him to partake of paradise. Truly 1John 2:2 Jesus is the probation for the all world as a provision that whosoever comes shall be saved.
      Been in church is no guarantee that you qualify for communion , you need to be born again.
      But a person who has already believed but living a carnal life can not be denied of partaking , for it is not his works that qualifies him or her, but faith in body and blood of Christ.

  8. I have been reading over this scripture and am still having difficulty in seeing the different view. I do understand and agree/believe anyone can participate in communion, I am good with that, but my trouble is in the context of what paul is talking about. He was in the previous verses scolding them for getting drunk and gorging themselves and told them to do that at home. Then he explains what communion is about, and then says if you do this in an unworthy manner, you bring judgement on yourself. Wouldn’t the judge yourself then be to just check yourself in that you are taking communion remembering the finished work of the cross, and not eating it because your hungry? Obviously our old way of thinking is wrong, we cannot “cleanse” ourselves before taking communion, that is silly. But Paul was scolding them in the previous verses about how they were taking communion in a “wrong” manner. If this is a wrong interpretation, please help me see it.

    • Hi Scott, I think your interpretation would be spot on except it cannot accommodate verse 30. What would happen if they failed to examine themselves? Paul says they would get sick and die. Either the grace preacher has suddenly forgotten which covenant he’s under or he’s saying something else. I’ve had a few people write in and say the context was the scolding. But Paul was not one to badger the saints. He needs just two verses to address their poor behavior and then he moves on. Paul’s MO is always to remind us of (a) who we are in Christ and (b) what Christ has accomplished on the cross. This is the way to get people to change their behavior – preach grace.

  9. Al W. Benton // March 14, 2012 at 3:02 am // Reply

    Thank you for a great article. You have made clear your understanding to which I agree. Sometimes we are often bashful about asking questions about various facets of Christianity, although we should not be. It helps folks like me when we can read the opinions and views of others to help establish our position. As a Christian I have often heard that you should not partake in the Lord’s Supper if you are not “right with God”. I had trouble with that position and am now even more confident in my belief that all who desire to, should take communion. I particularly like your reference to Eph. 1:4 and the comment ” Communion is not a time of self-examination, but of Jesus examination.”
    Jesus died for all, each and everyone of us.

    • Yes, He did die for all. But He did not say, who so ever ‘takes communion’ shall be saved, did He? He said who so ever ‘believes on’ Him! The unbeliever has to believe first, then take communion. How or why would the unbeliever be remembering something they never received a memory from from in the first place. Nothing hard here.

    • Brother Davis // August 4, 2016 at 7:03 pm // Reply

      so what do we do with verse 28 that says: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup”? Let’s chuck it out of the BIble?

  10. It is called communion for a reason. Like intimate sex is called what it is. Let me ask: Intimate sex is communion with a spouse, right? The trinity communes with each other. Those that know Jesus is the bride of Jesus. How would you maried people feel if the next door neighbor comes into your house and sleeps with your spouse? The Spirit communes with us. And the bread and wine is a manifestation of that communion. yeah you would hurt that other intuder if you are faced to them. That is how it is. Shall I say don’t be ignorant?
    Those in the know understand sex is between man and woman who have made a commitment, most of the time under God’s authority!
    Appropriate intimate communion with one another is inside that marriage. No one else outside that marriage are invited. Yes, Church communion has been reveled, to be considered, by God, to be intimate. why invite the world to it?

    • Sheesh, what a picture. Guess I’m not one of those “in the know.” Guess Jesus wasn’t either since He had communion with that reprobate Judas. Good thing we have you to point out our ignorance SJ.

      • Brother Davis // August 4, 2016 at 7:08 pm //

        and look where the reprobate found himself? He did bring about judgment and condemnation on himself because he put Christ on trial didn’t he?

      • The question is who can take communion, not what happens to people who sell Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and then feel so remorseful about it they kill themselves. If serving communion to reprobates and sinners is a sin, what does that make Jesus?

    • the angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
      TASTE and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him (psalm 34:7-8)

    • Sj, by your definition, then it is better to have a church only for Christians and another for the “world’s sinners who are in the process of becoming a Christians.” Don’t forget, Jesus was in the upper room with his disciples – there was no “outsiders”. Therefore, why should communion be taken in the church when there are sinners present? In your analogy, sex then should only happen in the bedroom of a husband and a wife, no other should be in the bedroom. So when the holier Christians are taking their communion, the world’s sinners should not be in the church at all. Therefore, sinners should not even be in the church – where communion is being offered.

  11. Hi Paul, I wanted to offer communion to fellows in our retirement communal room but was met with disbelief! No-one wanted to offer it, and one friend said strictly I coulnd’t in case someone came in who was an unbeliever and tried to take it even though they were not saved. I said if someone who was not saved came in and wanted to take communion I believed they would be saved! It did not go ahead. People in this world already feel alienated and judged so for the “church” to confirm it to them is a travesty. Love says welcome them, but religion says make them acceptable first.

    • How sad. There is something wrong when those who follow the “friend of sinners” are unfriendly to sinners.

    • Exactly! On one hand, you tell the world how much Jesus loves and welcomes them. Another moment, you tell them refrain – if you are not a Christian. So when does one become a Christian – need to prove to Church first before one can partake? Even very young kids in church are offered the communion – by virtue of being kids of Christian parents but what do they know about Jesus’s sacrifice for them?

  12. Hi Paul, I don’t agree with some of what you have posted. But thank you for the manner in which you have posted and defended your position. Your desire to be true to Scripture and your burden for the unsaved is clear. Also, when I read your post, I did not feel condemned for for holding a different position. Scripture also encourages us to be patient with each other as we build each other up. I think disunity among believers does so much harm!

    In this matter as with any other, I suppose the fundamental thing is an understanding of being saved by Grace alone through Christ alone (although for some that might also be another debate) – participating in Communion does not save us from God’s wrath.

    That said, I also think that it should then be the leader’s/pastor’s/(etc’s) responsibility to at least highlight to participants that when they partake, they are “claiming” to recognise the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you then reject Christ as Lord and Savior, this would for sure leave you without excuse as you stand before Him in judgment of your sins. So we can use Communion as an opportunity to remember, to examine our hearts (yes, I agree that we come as we are because even our best deeds are like filthy rags – hence our great joy and encouragement in remembrance, and the turning of our eyes to be fixed on Jesus, to His glory), and to encourage unbelievers to find Salvation while it is to be found.

    I’m sure you would read between the lines and know that I believe that Communion is for believers only… 🙂

    • Well spoken. In simplest terms, holy communion is for believers only. They have the reasons to thank Jesus for in their lives. He gave us eternal life after believing in His finished work of the Calvary. Thank you Jesus.

  13. Just because someone is a sinner, doesn’t mean that they are not a believer, in order for you to accept that your are a sinner, you have to have someone (GOD) to sin against, if they don’t believe in God then why would they be in church to begin with….who are we to say who is worthy to par=take in the breaking of the bread, and the drinking of the sweet that of the blood of jesus…..Don’t judge…. ,

    • I wanted to offer Communion in our residents lounge once a week and invite everyone. I thought if people want to come and take Communion with us they must have some faith, some belief however small or misguided, and we could minister life and truth to them. Then the argument arose that someone who was not worthy might take it! I had to laugh or cry as I felt the Holy Spirit inside say “love”?

    • Henrea, thats so true. We dont judge them, they judge themselves. 1 Corinthians 11:31
      “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.’ This is the examination Paul is talking about. Communion is a serious thing. After Judas took communion, he left to betray Jesus. He failed to judge himself. He died.

  14. emmanuel wayo // October 18, 2012 at 9:32 am // Reply

    thanks for the good works done, but i want to know this, did judas ate the bread and wine before he betrayed Jesus?

  15. If you are not baptized or refused to be baptized you should not take communion – when you take it you are saying that you believe in jesus to be your only saviour, and you believe in him dying for your sin’s and you only believe in the the father, the son and holy spirit – if you cannot make that sacifice to god to be baptized then you should not take communion – we all had to get baptized and do it in order baptizim, then our first holy communion we girls dressed in white as brides of christ and then our confirmation….this is our faith you not respecting that is creating sin in our own church and towards yourselves. Jesus said follow me…but if you refuse then you are disrespecting jesus because to us when we take communion for that little 15 seconds Jesus is with us and in us….So again ask yourself will to get christained or baptized for Jesus? if not DO NOT TAKE COMMUNION….beause you have no understanding what it is about.

    • but being baptized is not a sacrifice… it is a proclamation that you have made the choice to believe in all that Jesus has done for you and represents your death and resurrection in Him. taking communion doesn’t “make” Jesus be with you and in you only for the time you are partaking – if you are a believer in Christ then Jesus is already and always with you and in you from the moment you believed in Him! 🙂

  16. I believe the teachings on who can take communion is a heresy.
    If one has not received Jesus, he is not right in the sight of God. Hence he is a sinner and can not take the communion.
    The blood of Jesus cleanses the sinner who has repented and not any body at all in the Church.
    The holy communion is an ordinance for the Church and the Church is the call out ones.
    Read ( Acts 2:36-42 )

    • Aidoo, did Christ die for only those who repented, or for the whole world? Lets imagine this scenario. Jesus with his disciples, having communion, and a sinner wants to join Him, does Christ tell him he has to repent first, or does He invite him to the table with open arms?

      • I think it is more of an understanding about what communion is. To the believer, it is a reminder to us of the Lords sacrifice. To a nonbeliever, you have to ask the question, why are they here? Why would a nonbeliever be in a place that is serving communion? Are they seeking Jesus? Can they be invited to partake in our tradition of remembrance? Or is this a sacrament that unholy hands can’t touch? I’d say if the later, there have been many times that I had previously and I would argue many others that were not truly understanding what we were doing by participating in. Is that heresy, or just a lack of knowledge, a knowledge of the One, who says he came to save the very sinner you claim as “unholy”. Don’t forget, the ONLY people Jesus ever rejected were the prideful religious leaders

      • Ofcoarse Jesus would ask him to repent first. Duh

      • Christians still sin every now and then….. does that “disqualify” them? The world’s sinners coming to Christ with broken hearts, remorse and wanted to seek Jesus (that is why they come to the church right?) – so who “disqualifies” them as unfit to partake the communion?

      • Salle frankline // August 29, 2017 at 3:31 am //


  17. THANK YOU! Having just got home from church and communion, hubby and I were discussing the legalistic view churches take on communion. Your article pinpointed exactly what we have been feeling. Oh the horrors from our childhood of the staunch stance on who could or couldn’t take communion. May Jesus always be remembered!

  18. Didn’t the early church ask nonbelievers to leave during communion?

  19. Great great article Paul. What a shame we have so marginalized the marginalized. Gays, goths and guru’s, come and share this sacred meal and delight in the love that forever speaks ‘neither do I condemn you’…

  20. Francois Du Toit // September 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm // Reply

    Interesting debate. There is only two places a person can be – believer in Christ or non-believer; free from all judgement and condemnation or under God’s judgement.

    When a non-believer does take communion, and still remain an unbeliever, nothing changed. He’s not more or less under God’s condemnation.

    When the unbeliever recieves Christ, then things change in an amazing way. Then s/he changes from an unbeliever into a believer. And that is also the change from condemnation to eternal no condemnation. This is the change from cursed to blessed.

    Partaking in the communion won’t make an unbeliever into a believer (as some churches think). There is no scriptual evidence for such a teaching. Though, while parttaking as an unbeliever, the person might, as at any other point in time, come under the impression of Jesus’ perfect love and finished work. That might just be the point in time, when s/he recieves Jesus as his/her personal savior.

  21. never weighed in on the subject, i was raised catholic,which was communion every Sunday , i didnt feel either way on it,because I didnt understand it, now that I understand it more over the years I embrace it, some of the confusion came from when the church told my mother she could not take communion because she married my dad who was Lutheran,the more i understood what was going on,it kinda ticked me off,I feel like my mother could have experienced,maybe some healing,and or better health,she died to early, more confusing was they were good parents,we loved them,so as a child i was wondering what was wrong, so now I wish all could see that the lord has a lot of sheep in ALL denominations. all are welcome

  22. I love this article on ‘Holy Communion’ and I believe you can help me out on this. Who is qualified to administer the Holy Communion and must it be only in the church, what about our various homes?

    • Who is qualified to preach the gospel? The answer to that question is the answer to yours and the answer is every believer.

    • Pete Van Zyl // September 7, 2017 at 1:48 am // Reply

      Ben, the Communion can be, and should be taken in homes – or only your home if that’s where you find yourself! Its about celebrating – not judging!! The first “breaking of bread” ( communion) took place in the houses of the Israelites way back in Egypt thousands of years before the upper room “passover” – a beautiful picture of Christ in the future!

    • Peter vanzyl // January 25, 2018 at 7:35 pm // Reply

      The first Communion ever – took place in the homes of the Israelites in Egypt – on the eve of their miraculous emancipation from slavery – and the Angel of death passed over their houses marked by the lambs blood – and its meat on their table (a perfect picture of Christs table – the lamb who takes away the sins of the world).The “church” has over the Centuries reduced this celebration to a sterile “in -church only” solemn “activity” – Believers are encouraged to take the celebration anywhere – in your home – as often as you feel led to – and “because the Lamb may be “to Big” for you and yours alone – invite others to share” – and get ready to see God move – ( Gen 12: 38 – “many other people went up with them”) Remember this – “There is No-one in the Kingdom of God except those He gives Birth to” He calls, Redeems and keeps!!

  23. Can a person who was forced when he was a child to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit by his older brother take holy communion & if he did would it of cleansed him from the eternal sin ?

    • Hi Vass Co,

      Absolutely, that person can deffinately take communion.

      Yet its not the communion that take the sin away – it’s Jesus’s blood that take the sin away. The holy communion only shows to and reminds us of Jesus’s sacrificial death. There, with His death, He paid for ALL my sins as well as every one who believes in Him.

      And with His blood, He washed us completely from EVERY sin, past, present and future.

      There are various definitions of what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is. And this is a possible source of confusion. The thing that most of these theories have in common, is that this sin won’t be forgiven.

      In the light of the whole Bible, this unpardonable sin is constant rejection of Jesus. In other words, it’s unbelieve in Chist until the person dies.

      Yet, for those who believe in Jesus, ALL sins are forgiven. Even cursing God in His trinity (as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit).

      It’s the Son that cleanses us, communion is only the proclamation of that cleansing. While it’s proclaimed, the Holy Spirit convinces us that we are eternally rightious in God’s eyes.

      We are also convinced that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. (Rom 8:1)

      In one sentence, for everyone who believes in Jesus (Rom 10:17), there is no condemnation, because all sins are already punished in Jesus’ body on the cross.

      • Tom Howard // February 13, 2014 at 7:15 am //

        Francois Du Toit,
        Great word brother, but you did not complete the sentence. Sentence structure is very important. The brothers that brought forth the Holy scripture, thought so too! It express;s a truth. The truth being that, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk (live) not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

        That leads us right to communion and Paul addressing us that believe to Judge ourselves, examine ourselves cause we that believe (us saints) can get out of the Spirit and in the flesh. But not to remain there. No! But to take communion, making us do an examination, an account (if you will).

        “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
        But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be ‘condemned’ with the world.” So thus, then there is no condemnation. Praise God.

  24. Steven Colby Walker // February 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm // Reply

    I did this before I got saved and thought I was condemned.

  25. Great Article!
    I thought I’d just put the cat among the pigeons and mention the fact that when Jesus’ disciples had communion with Him, it wasn’t only Judas that wasn’t a Christian – none of them were! As Jesus hadn’t yet gone to the cross and paid the price for our salvation, there was no way for them to be Christians. So, in effect, they were no different to people today who are looking for the truth.

  26. Thanks JESUS and Paul (both of you) : ) Jesus the Good Shepherd said “Follow Me” (as in discover my destination for you every day is the table I have prepared for you where I can share myself as the bread of life and affirm all who sit down with me are totally forgiven by holding the tangible cup of My everlasting covenant and taste of new wine by my Blood – anyone/everyone) He says “Come to Me” to the children, the weary, the hungry, the thirsty, those that have no money and when the table is not full he says – Go a carry the blind, the halt the lame to fill my table… and then (Lord, there is still room) He says then go into the countryside and compel them to come until my house is full!” And we will dwell in His house forever. To come to His table sinners doomed – we leave forgiven, fed, filled and blessed with the promise as He said in John 6:29-44 We will live forever and be raised up at the last day! Anyone who hears His invitation and comes will….

  27. To answer a lot of your questions regarding how a “non-believer” cannot remember what Jesus did on the cross while taking communion, let me ask you this, can you remember the Olympics last time we had them? Were you there? Did you attend them? No. Yet you remember them. Does that mean that you were cannot be a believer that they existed? No. You know they did. Just because you were not there and did not go doesn’t mean you don’t believe they existed. Trust me, the non-believers know about Jesus, they know about God, they know about communion and what it represents. Just because they might not have accepted Him into their life as their personal Savior under YOUR conditions and definitions, doesn’t mean that they have not done so. You are walking in a grave area judging someone and saying they are not welcome at Jesus’ table when He welcomes ALL people to Himself. You are not his keeper, He doesn’t need you or anyone else to take care of His table. Just a thought.

  28. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
    Revelation 22:17

  29. You said communion is not a time of self-examination. According to 1 Corinthians 11:28 it is. ‘But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.’

  30. Yes examine yourself in light of the bread and the cup, if you are not participating in what Jesus has done for you it is time to start, that is what is being said, not to examine your behavior but Gods sacrifice.

  31. Hi Pual ,
    Thank you for the calrifications ,surely it is helpful to me.I have doubt as per romans 10:9 if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
    I have a scenario that one person is confessing Jesus and believing that Jesus died for our sins and God has raised Him.But still he did not take baptism and taking communion without taking baptism,is it correct?
    if it is correct whta is the reason for baptism?what is role of baptism in getting saved? could u pls explained more about baptism?

    • Salvation is by faith in God’s grace. Baptism is faith in action, confession is faith in action, but the main thing is faith which resides in the heart. God sees the heart.

      Why get baptized? Because it is one of the best ways to demonstrate our faith in what Christ has done. When you were born again you were placed or dipped or baptized into Christ. You were included in his death and resurrection. This is the mystery of the cross (Rom 6:3-4). When we go down into the water we are re-enacting that mystical event – we are demonstrating it, identifying with it, saying “I believe in it.” We are telling ourselves and the world, “I no longer identify with my old self. That old man died with Christ and the life I live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Baptism is a way of honoring Jesus.

  32. Thank you Paul..surely it is helpful to me..God bless You!
    Please be mercy on me ,i have one more doubt about baptism.
    I accept all you said above and i have no doubt about that..One thing i did not understand…Still Jesus still not died and resurected why John the babtist was giving baptism?why Jesus have to take babtism becuase He is not a sinner?could you please clarify me?
    Please don tmistake me i am not arguing with you.Just want to clarify my doubts.

    • He who knew no sin, became sin that we might become the richousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21) So Jesus, eventhough he was both devine and human, had to be the example for all sinners.

  33. we have open communion at my church even when I went to another church growing up. As long as you understood what you were doing, you were ok to take communion (member or not)….. I’ve only gone to non-denominational churches, so maybe that makes a difference.

  34. Thank you
    Be blessed
    I feel the same
    This is the perfect time to invite non believers to receive salvation and celebrate with them into The Kingdom

  35. I agree what better way to introduce unbelievers to the finished work of Jesus ..

  36. Paul, could you help me. in my church, who can receive holy communion must be aged over 12 years. this is true? I did not find the verse. so all my children did not receive holy communion. whether there is an age limit acceptance communion? thanks

    • Communion is not complicated. In two words, it’s simply “remembering Jesus.” There is NOTHING in scripture to suggest children should be kept from the communion table and plenty to indicate they should be included. The following is from my book Grace Party:

      “What about children taking communion?” Some churches make it a habit to keep small children from the table because they “don’t understand.” I don’t think this is a wise practice for it’s motivated by fear rather than love. It sends the message that all are not welcome and God is scary. This is not a message for our children, or anyone, to hear. In our house we take communion with our young children nearly every Sunday. For us it’s an opportunity to remember Jesus, and we partake with joy and thanksgiving. Our only requirement for the children is that they need to be old enough to eat the crackers!

      • Great answer pastor Paul, there is still one more disturbing, the church we attend also said people aged of 12 years and older should be baptized. I will not run away from the discussion, but in the index there was no discussion about baptism. if a person can only be saved when it is already baptized? thanks before

  37. If I understand Communion properly, the main point that is being overlooked is we are told not to partake (Unworthily) unworthily is an adverb which describes the (act) not the actor. No one is worthy, we are made worthy by the blood of the lamb. The verse goes on and describes partaking unworthily, for this cause many are weak and sick, and so on (Not discerning the Lords body. If you can understand what Jesus did for you on the cross and the stripes he endured that is all that is required to partake. Don`t look to see if you are worthy, that is not what is being said. His shed blood was for our salvation and his stripes were for our healing.

  38. No where in scripture did any disciple use it for evangelism. On the contrary, keeping the unbeliever out of this would do ‘more to convince’ such a one to realize their plight and need to get right.
    Examining ones self is needful, “But let a man examine himself, and ‘so’ let him eat…” The scripture is self explaining. First the examination, then the partaking! If one is an unbeliever before the examination and is still an unbeliever after examination, then there is an obvious lack in, discerning the Lord’s body, as His body brought death to sin. Romans 6:2 and 1 Peter 2:24.
    What is most disturbing now is this participant is now in possible deception of thinking all is well with their soul. When in fact, nothing is further from the truth! Its not the communion that takes the sin away – it’s Jesus’ blood and confessing! Romans 10:9,10.
    No, the lords supper is for the believers only as indicted by the Lord Himself when he took communion with His disciples, a close intimate few that believed! Yet notice what happened to the one that did not believe. Reminiscent of 1 Corinthians 11:29,30, “For he that eats and drink unworthily, eats and drink damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” He (Judas) was dead within hours after taking it!
    No elements of any kind, not even bread and wine, will empower one to over come sin

    • If it’s wrong to give communion to unbelievers, then Jesus did wrong. In every house where people gathered to hear Paul preach the gospel there were Jews and Gentiles, Christians and seekers, yet not once do you find Paul saying “the Lord’s supper is only for those who believe.” The moment you “keep the unbeliever out” you play judge and jury. You’re saying “Let me examine you,” which is the very opposite of what Paul says and what Jesus did. More here.

      • Taking communion doesn’t make you a Christian. It doesn’t save your soul or get you to heaven.
        Actually, taking communion without considering what it means and why we’re doing it is out of order, Ephesians 1:13.. The intent is not for us to mindlessly perform a ritual, but to intentionally set aside time to remember what Jesus has done and why He did it (1 Corinthians 11:27-31).
        You say; “People who hesitate over communion – both saints and sinners – do so because they are distracted by their imperfections.” And that’s not a good thing?
        1 Corinthians 10:16, the bread and the cup are understood to be a “communion” or “sharing” in and with Christ. Communion is born out of union with Christ. Only those in union with Christ have fellowship with Him. They share in His body and His blood and are consequently united to Him (John 6:56) The unconverted has no fellowship nor union with Christ. There is no promise of Christ’s abiding with him. He has no portion in the body of Christ, thus “distracted by their imperfections”. So, encouraging an unbeliever to participate would not only be perpetrating a sham, but also be out of order (1 Corinthians 14:40) with such lack of sincerity, as
        “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8.
        No, we are to warn every man (Colossians 1:28), not lull them into false security.

  39. Well thought out. I appreciate a theologian that uses scripture to interpret scripture. Thanks for sharing your insights into communion, faith and Christ.

  40. Remember all: The Word of God is efficacious. It holds within itself the power to produce an effect. The preacher no more creates faith than an infant provides for his or her own meals. A sinner that attends communion does so BECAUSE he or she was already moved by the Holy Spirit to do so through the Power of Scripture creating faith. What came first: the chicken or the egg? The egg. Faith came first. Communion second. That’s WHY clergy doesn’t walk down the street and randomly offer it.

  41. Jesus served Judas communion… That’s clear enough for me regardless of what Paul said.

    • excellent point!

    • Jesus served it, but Judas took it.. He took it with deceit in this heart and proved 1 Corinthians 11:29,30. Remember, Jesus came not to be served but to serve. He did what He came to do. Judas should not have taken It but was his only way of deceiving the others by,his very partaking of it! To his own demise, “.. and many sleep”.

      • Mwansa chimponda // April 3, 2016 at 4:29 am //

        Kindly do not confuse unbelievers and sinners….
        We are all sinners whether believers or unbelievers…
        So all sinners should partake of holy communion as long as they know the meaning of communion…

  42. Westcott Frank // April 9, 2016 at 10:47 pm // Reply

    All Your Comments Have In One Way Or The Other Helped Not Me Alone But As Many Who Searches For The Truth I Believe.
    I Believe That The Only People Who Are Unqualified For The Holy Communion Are “Unbelievers”
    Thus, Those Who Do Not Believe Jesus, His Existence, Death And Resurrection And Position As The Only Begotten Son Of God The Father.
    All These Church Standards Aren’t A Worthy Line Before Jesus The Christ For Salvation Through The Blood Wasn’t By Moral Deeds But By Grace.
    I Stand To Be Corrected If Any Mistakes Done.

  43. I know and love Christ died for my sins. I know that I am forgiven. I am actively turning my life away from selfishness to doing good and improving my life. I am learning from the Bible how Christians and like minded people should live. I have not been baptized yet because I don’t feel quite ready for that. I have been going to Church for more than a year and a half, but my spiritual journey took off about six years ago when I felt the need to pray for something that was happening in my life at the time.
    Is it right that I am not allowed to partake of the bread and wine? Every week when I sit in quiet contemplation and prayer I am feeling left out because all the others around me have something I don’t.

  44. Joseph Anya // July 26, 2016 at 10:54 am // Reply

    As far as I can tell, water baptism has nothing to do with holy communion. What qualifies one to partake in holy communion is ones personal confession of faith in Christ. See the bible the story of colinus and peter one of the apostle , how God send down His holy spirit among all present both Jews and gentiles Acts 10:44-45. And also see peters responds to those in Jerusalem Acts 11:15-16 for me what Holy Ghost baptism is what actually counts .

  45. Waseem Anjum Bhatti // August 7, 2016 at 5:18 pm // Reply

    Jesus shed his blood and gave His life openly, so who so ever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life, He did the last supper with HIS chosen ones. So before partaking one should observe himself and ask forgiveness to enter his grace. In the condition of remembered sins he/she should not partake.

  46. This is an amazing truth. God bless you. you know, the Gospel isnt just good news; it is news, too good to b true.

  47. Bright Mensah // October 18, 2016 at 2:27 am // Reply

    False teaching by all standards

    • What is meant by your comment there? What is being falsely taught and by whom?
      Is it right that the Church elders decide that I can’t take the bread and wine because I haven’t been baptized?

      • No, that’s not right. Where in the Bible do you see Jesus insisting the disciples pass certain standards before he would break bread with them? Jesus even served communion to a man he called a devil (John 6:70). Communion is about remembering Jesus. More here.

  48. I think the important thing that any person ready to participate in the Lord’s supper to do is to answer why he or she wants to participate and whether the person has prepared his/her heart for the Lord’s communion> It is not for fun but serious session to remember the gift from GOD.

  49. Love the caste/church parallel. It is ridiculous how we all were tricked into believing the who’s in, who’s out of partaking malarkey.
    Used to make me mad, now it makes me want to laugh at how ridiculous it is.

  50. My pastor told me to give communion last Sunday even though he nowas I’m a recovering alcholic and still drink but only tiny amount of alcohol so I don’t get ill till I’m completely of it i also smoke was he right ask me to share the bread and wine I have spoke to other pastors they said he was wrong

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