Thursday, December 22, 2016

Realizing Christ

It is a great privilege to partake of the Lord’s Table every week. Many have argued for the real presence of Jesus at Communion. Roman Catholics say the bread turns into the flesh of Jesus and the wine turns into His blood, transubstantiation. 

The Lutherans say that the body of Jesus is present near or around the elements that are still bread and wine, consubstantiation. 

The Baptists say that Jesus is only present in our memories and in our hearts as we partake. As to the elements, non-substantiation. 

The Presbyterians argue for the presence of Jesus through His Holy Spirit as we partake of the sanctified bread and wine in faith. Shall we call this hagio-substantiation? 

CREC types like to say that Jesus is present in the action of eating the meal, putting this emphasis on DO this, we’ll call this actio-substantiation.

I agree that there are some real and major theological differences in how we understand Jesus to be present at this meal. We should continue to study God’s Word to answer those important questions. But I hope you notice that all Christians recognize the special presence of Jesus at this meal. Something is going on here as we eat and drink in faith. 

I don’t think we have to argue for the literal body or blood of Jesus to be here at all, unless we further understand who are the body and blood of Jesus. It is you. It is me. In that sense, we are literally body and blood. And Jesus literally gave Himself for us, body and blood. But He expressly said that His Spirit would be here and dwell with us always. As we eat and drink, God is with us, literally, in Spirit. We are body bought, blood bought and His Spirit is here to testify of this truth.

As we eat and drink, in faith, Christ becomes real to us. He presents Himself to us and we receive Him. This meal is not mere remembrance. It is an action in which we who are called by His name and Spirit realize the truth of Jesus. He is given for us. He belongs to us and we belong to Him. So, eat and drink in faith so that Christ is real to you.

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