The Sacrament of the Altar
The Sacrament of the Altar
What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.
Where is this written?
Answer: The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul, write:
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”
In the same way also, He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20;1 Corinthians 10:16-17;11:17-29; Revelation 19:6-9
“With this Word you can strengthen your conscience and say, “If a hundred thousand devils, together with all fanatics, should rush forward, crying, ‘How can bread and wine be Christ’s body and blood?’ and such, I know that all spirits and scholars together are not as wise as is the Divine Majesty in His little finger” [see 1 Corinthians 1:25]. 13 Now here stands Christ’s Word, “Take, eat; this is My body.… Drink of it, all of you; this is My blood of the new testament,” and so on. Here we stop to watch those who will call themselves His masters and make the matter different from what He has spoken. It is true, indeed, that if you take away the Word or regard the Sacrament without the words, you have nothing but mere bread and wine. 14 But if the words remain with them, as they shall and must, then, by virtue of the words, it is truly Christ’s body and blood. What Christ’s lips say and speak, so it is. He can never lie or deceive [Titus 1:2].” Martin Luther; Large Catechism: The Sacrament of the Altar
· We confess that Jesus’ body and blood are truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar.
· We confess that we receive the forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of the Altar.
· We confess that the body and blood are present in, with, and under the bread and wine.
· We confess that those who receive the Sacrament receive the body and blood, whether they believe in the real presence or not.
· We deny all attempts to interpret the words of Jesus to mean anything other than His body and blood truly being present in, with and under the bread and wine.
· We deny that the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood.
· We deny any teaching that makes the real presence dependent on what the recipient believes it to be.
1. What do you receive in the Sacrament and how do you know that?
2. Why don’t some Christians believe in the real presence?
3. Why doesn’t the presence of Christ depend on the belief of the individual?
4. In what sense is our belief important to our confession of God’s Word?
Spirit of life bring me here to Your table, that in body and blood I receive grace in Christ, so that I may be strengthened in faith to live here and hold fast to Your promise of life. Amen.