Some Thoughts on the Lord’s Supper

  1. TransubstantiationThis view holds that the elements of the Lord’s Supper (bread and wine) actually become the body and blood of Christ. There is a moment when priests bless the elements of bread and wine upon which they transform into the body and blood of Christ.
  2. ConsubstantiationThis view holds that the elements of the Lord’s Supper (bread and wine) contain the body and blood of Christ. There is not a moment when the elements become the body and blood of Christ, they always contain them.
  3. Reformed Model

This view holds that the elements of the Lord’s Supper (bread and wine) provide a means of grace from God. They impart spiritual nourishment. Christ’s is present spiritually in a special way when the Lord’s Supper is celebrated. It is viewed as the sign of the New Covenant.

  1. MemorialThis view holds that the elements of the Lord’s Supper (bread and wine) are symbols which represent the body and blood of Christ (Luke 22:17-23; 1 Cor. 11:24-26). The elements never contain nor become the body or blood of Christ. There is no grace conveyed by partaking of the elements. The ordinance celebrates the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 11:23-27). It acknowledges and celebrates spiritual union with Christ and with other members of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16-22; 11:17-22). It declares the sacrificial death of Christ until He returns (1 Cor. 11:26; cf. Luke 22:18).

I will deal with refuting the Reformed Model of the Lord’s Supper. There is nothing in Scripture which describes the Lord’s Supper as the sign of the New Covenant. It appears that the Holy Spirit is the sign/seal of the New Covenant, not the Lord’s Supper (Ezek. 36:22-32; Rom. 8:9-11; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:13-14). There is nothing in Scripture which portrays the Lord’s Supper as a means of conveying grace to those who participate. Christ is the source of strength for all those who belong to Him, not participating in the Lord’s Supper (Eph. 1:18-21; 6:10; Col. 1:29). There is nothing in Scripture which describes the Lord’s Supper as a means of grace or spiritual nourishment. It is instead a reminder of the grace already received through faith in the gospel – death and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:8-9). There is nothing in Scripture which describes Christ as spiritually present in a special way. Christ is present in the life of a believer through the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, not through the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (John 14:16-26; Rom. 8:9-11, 15-17).

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