The Presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper

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The Lord’s Supper is a precious time each month at Audubon Drive Bible Church. At this special time we deliberately choose to partake of Christ’s “body and blood” by remembering His sacrificial death for us. This sacred remembrance is carried out by our congregation when we examine ourselves and then receive the symbolic elements of crackers/bread and juice/wine, which depict His atoning death for His Sheep (John 10:11). 

Yes, it’s a special celebration each month of the forgiveness of our sins: for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28); and, Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Dearly beloved, may we never forget that Christ’s death washed away all of our sins (past, present, and future)! Have you forgotten the great price that He paid for your sins in order that you might possess eternal life? 1 Corinthians 6:20, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. So, the believer is necessarily marked by a life that is constantly recognizing his own sin, and then, quickly confessing it (1 John 1:9)! He then experiences the cleansing work of God. This being so, it is only right that we call it a “means of grace.” Just as our Bible reading (John 15:3) and prayers (Matthew 6:9-15) cleanse and spiritually strengthen us, so does our regular preparation and participation in the Lord’s Supper: The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread (1Corinthians 10:16-17). However, before we go further, it is very important to understand that the Lord’s Supper is viewed by some in the church today as an “ordinance” (an authoritative rule or practice), and by most others, as a “sacrament” (to dedicate, consecrate, or render sacred or solemn) -- my position is that it’s both an ordinance minimally and a sacrament particularly. Lastly, we will examine the four prevalent views concerning the “Presence of Christ” in the Lord’s Supper: (1) The Roman Catholic view – maintains that this sacramental union is physical believing that the symbols become the actual “body and blood” of Christ. This transformation is call transubstantiation; (2) The Lutheran view – says that Christ’s body is really physically present in, under, and around this sacrament. This position is called Consubstantiation; (3) The Zwinglian view – Ulrich Zwingli believed that Christ is not present in the Lord’s Supper in any way. It’s simply a memorial to Christ’s work on the Cross. Thus, Zwingli did not fully understand the spiritual significance of this sacrament. And finally (4) Calvin’s view – Christ is really present in the Lord’s Supper, not physically, but spiritually. In this sacrament, believers partake of the virtues and effects of the sacrifice of Christ, and their faith is strengthened and nourished as their hearts are lifted into Christ’s presence – In conclusion, it is right to say that this final view lies between Luther and Zwingli, accepting the best of both, while rejecting their deficiencies. Michael Horton helps us: The sacraments were instituted by God chiefly as a means of grace. Whatever other blessings may result from their lawful use, this must be recognized as their principal object: to convey Christ to poor sinners who every hour depend on the continuing intercession of the Savior so that their faith will not fail. Faith is weak, not strong, in the believer. It therefore needs to be regularly nourished by the means of grace which God alone has prescribed for that benefit.” So, we conclude with the Word of God: And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood…  (Luke 22:19-20).

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