Question 170: How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord's Supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?
Answer: As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper, and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a spiritual manner; yet truly and really, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.
‘through the agency of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of Christ, the effectiveness of the Finished Work on Man’s behalf is spiritually experienced and appropriated by them who have entered within the bonds of the Covenant of Grace.’
‘To neglect and disregard the Holy Sacrament is to disregard the very Covenant itself.’
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deut. 29:29)
O HEAVENLY Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ did command his disciples to proclaim the glad tidings of thy saving love to all mankind: Pour out thy Holy Spirit, we beseech thee, on all who are now in training for the Ministry of thy Church; make them to be modest, humble, and constant in their labours, and to have a ready will to obey all spiritual discipline; that they may become faithful ministers of thy Word and Sacraments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Some have questioned whether Confession of Sin has a place in contemporary worship. Such acknowledgement of our shortcomings may be perceived as a "downer" or "turnoff" to congregants who have little background in church. However, it is reasonable to question whether worship is Christian worship at all if there is no opportunity for confession. Human confession is the reflex response of divine encounter. If there really has been no confession in a worship service, then there has been no real apprehension of God. His praise necessitates our humility. We cannot truly honour his worth without sensing our unworthiness. We cannot really see who he is and fail to bow.
- Revelation - The incarnate Christ reveals the Father to us (John 1:18; 14:9)
- Salvation - Only a sinless man could pay for sinful men (Heb 2:14-17); Only God could bear the full weight of an infinite punishment.
- Destruction - To save sinners, sin had to be dealt with. 1 John 3:8 tells us that Christ came to 'destroy the works of the devil' (i.e. sin). So Christ became incarnate in order to defeat and destroy sin.
- Motivation - Although it's not the only reason He came, or even the most important, the Bible is clear that Christ incarnate is an example for believers to follow. You won't be saved by following Christ's example, but for those who have been saved, what better example could there be than the only sinless person ever to have lived? (1 Pet 2:21; 1 John 2:6).
15. What kind of a mediator and redeemer then must we seek?
One who is a true and righteous man, and yet more powerful than all creatures, that is, One who is also true God.
16. Why must he be a true and righteous man?Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should make satisfaction for sin, but one who is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others.
17. Why must he also be true God?That by the power of His Godhead He might bear in His manhood the burden of God's wrath, and so obtain for and restore to us righteousness and life.
18. But who now is that Mediator, who in one person is true God and also a true and righteous man?Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is freely given unto us for complete redemption and righteousness.