The agape meal
Under the direction of the apostles, the New Testament Christians met publicly and from house to house for ‘love feasts’. Jud 1:12. The Greek word for ‘love’ that the New Testament writers used to describe this meal is ‘agape’. This is the same Greek word that they used to distinguish ‘the love of God’.
The apostle Paul identified ‘the agape meal’ as ‘the Lord’s table’. 1Co 10:21. It is a meal that belongs to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Num 28:2. A believer receives their invitation to participate in the agape meal through the proclamation of God’s word. His word is ministered to the church by those who are part of a presbytery. 1Jn 1:3. Mat 24:45.
By the faith that comes by hearing this message, a believer will be motivated to share in the agape meal. Rom 10:17. 2Co 4:13. This involves their participation in four foundations of fellowship, or communion. These are ‘the apostles’ doctrine’, which is the word of present truth ministered from a presbytery; ‘fellowship’; the ‘breaking of bread’, referring to an actual meal that believers eat and drink with one another; and ‘prayer’. Act 2:42.
Those who are members of the body of Christ celebrate the agape meal as a church community and from house to house. Communion, in both these settings, involves each person’s participation in the four foundations of fellowship.
When Christians gather together in this manner, they are the elements of the bread and wine of communion to one another. This is why Paul said, ‘We, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.’ 1Co 10:17. Furthermore, having testified that he was being ‘poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service’ of another’s faith, he exhorted all believers to this same ministry. Php 2:17-18.