18 July 2009

Lord's Day 29 Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 29

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 10:3-4; John 6:26-59

Question 78. Are the bread and wine changed into the real body and blood of Christ?
Answer. No. Just as the water of baptism is not changed into Christ's blood and does not itself wash away sins but is simply God's sign and assurance, so too the bread of the Lord's Supper is not changed into the actual body of Christ even though it is called the body of Christ in keeping with the nature and language of sacraments.

Question 79. Why then does Christ call the bread his body and the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood? And why does the apostle Paul call the supper a participation in the body and blood of Christ?
Answer. Christ has good reason for these words. He intends to teach us that as bread and wine nourish this temporal life, so too his crucified body and shed blood truly nourish our souls for eternal life. But more important, he intends to assure us, by this visible sign and pledge, that we, through the work of the Holy Spirit, share in his true body and blood as surely as our mouths receive these holy signs in his
remembrance. He also intends to assure us that all his suffering and obedience are as definitely ours as if we personally had suffered and paid for our sins.

For further discussion:
What is the differnce bewtween what is explained here and Martin Luther's view of Communion?
What Scriptural warrant is there for using grape juice instead of wine in th Lord's Supper?

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