Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Real Presence (Lord's Supper, Episode XI)

Referenced Texts

Mt 26:26-28 “Take, eat; this is My body....”27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks,... saying,... 28 ... this is My blood of the new covenant,..."

Jn 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you."
Cor 10 1:16 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?"
1 Cor 10:16-17 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, thoughmany, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread."
1 Cor 11:28-29 "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body."
The Body and Blood of Christ Are Present in the Eucharist in a Real Manner.

When a biblical study of the Lord's Supper is executed, it soon becomes clear that both the earthly substances (bread and wine) and the heavenly elements (the body and blood of our Lord) are veritably and genuinely present at the same moment—in any true communion service.

When the Christian considers the words of Christ, spoken at the time of institution: "This is my body" and"This is my blood," it is good, also, to think on the sober words of the noble John Chrysostom:
“Let us submit to God in all things and not contradict Him, even if what He says seems contrary to our reason and intellect; rather let His words prevail over our reason and intellect. Let us act in this way with regard to the (eucharistic) mysteries, looking not only at what falls under our senses but holding on to His words. For His word cannot lead us astray. . . When the word says, `This is My Body', be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. . . How many now say, `I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.' Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him!” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, 82, 4, 370 A.D.)
To deny EITHER the presence of real physical bread and wine at any stage during the eucharistic event (as does the Roman doctrine of "transubstantiation," contradictory to 1 Corinthians 11:28-29; notice that Paul says, “ let him eat of the bread;” the element of bread remains bread, even after it is blessed and while being eaten), OR the real presence of the true body and blood of Christ (as the reformed teaching does, against Matthew 26:26-27; John 6:53; and 1 Corinthians 10:16), is to deny the clear teaching of Scripture. It is not our position to reason the how of it all, only our duty to believe that it is.
In offering the physical elements to His disciples the Lord employed "locitio exhibitiva" (a linguistic function which is common to every language of man), when He names that which is not seen, while giving that which is seen: Jesus said, "This is My body" when He offered His disciples the bread, and "This is My blood"when He offered the wine. To use a modern day illustration, your grocer might say, "Here are your spices," when he literally hands you the packages that contain them. It is in this sense, then, that when offering the bread of the Eucharist, the body of Christ is indeed presented, and when offering the wine, the blood of Christ is indeed presented.
The relationship, between the earthly and heavenly, is further expressed in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 by the Greek word "koinōnia." Koinōnia is translated:communion, fellowship, concord, intercourse, agreement, and joint participation.Koinōnia declares that the bread has a communion, fellowship, concord, intercourse, agreement, and joint participation with the body of Christ; as does the wine with the blood of Christ. It is impossible to define the mode, or manner, of communion that the earthly has with the heavenly elements. We can, however, assert that in a manner incomprehensible to us, the body and blood of the Lord ARE in a sacramental union with the physical eucharistic elements—the bread and wine; much as heat is in iron, or the divine nature is in the human being. We may call this union consubstantiation.

Trial of Martin Luther at Worms.
Trial of Martin Luther at Worms.


The doctrine of Consubstantiation holds the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist without admitting Transubstantiation. According to Consubstantiation, the substance of Christ's Body exists together with the substance of bread, and in like manner the substance of His Blood together with the substance of wine. Hence the wordConsubstantiation. Just as God the Father took to Himself a human body without in any way destroying its substance, so does Christ, in the Sacrament, assume the nature of bread and wine. Christ is in the Eucharist through His human body substantially united with the substances of bread and wine, and thus is really present as God, made bread:Deus panis factus. As, in consequence of the Incarnation, the properties of the Divine Word can be ascribed to the man Christ, and the properties of the man Christ can be predicated of the Word (communicatio idiomatum), in the very same way, in consequence of the impanation — a word coined to correspond with incarnation — an interchange of predicates takes place between the Son of God and the substance of bread, though only through the mediation of the body of Christ. The doctrine of impanation agrees with the doctrine of consubstantiation, as it was taught by Luther, in these two essential points: it denies on the one hand the Transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and on the other professes nevertheless the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We, therefore, assert that the Body of Christ penetrates the unchanged substance of the bread and wine. The Apostolic Orthodox position expresses this sacramental union between the Body of Christ and the substance of bread in the well-known formula: The Body of Christ is "in, with and under the bread" —in, cum et sub pane;really present, though only at the moment of its reception by the faithful — in usu, non extra usum.
Lastly, the concept of consubstantiation is appropriate for the Eucharist, which makes Jesus present to us in a physical way. I say this because the Eucharist becomes a powerful teacher of the incarnation. In the incarnation, the Heavenly person of the Father was manifested in His earthly Son, Jesus. In the eucharistic elements, the now heavenly person of Christ, is manifested in the earthly elements of bread and wine.

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

Own this book on the Lord's Supper by Bishop Hayes.

The Lord's Supper: An Apostolic Bishop Cuts Through Reform Theology and Lays Bare Biblical Teaching Concerning the Lord's Supper (First Corinthians Eleven)
The Lord's Supper: An Apostolic Bishop Cuts Through Reform Theology and Lays Bare Biblical Teaching Concerning the Lord's Supper (First Corinthians Eleven)
In "The Lord's Supper" Bishop Hayes presents a comprehensive study of the holy Sacrament. Both the Catholic and Reformed positions are examined and biblical solutions are given for the problems that exist in the mentioned theologies. The book answers important questions, like: "What is the Lord's supper?" Who may partake of the Lord's supper?" "Is the body and blood of Christ really present in the elements or do the elements actually change into the body and blood of Christ?" "How often should the Lord's Supper be observed?" These are but a few of the questions addressed in the book. Having shopped in several Bible bookstores and discovering how little is written on the subject it is safe to predict that this work will be in great demand and a standard volume in the libraries of those who love the Sacrament.
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