Is my view of the Lords Supper within the beliefs of the Presbyterian fold ?

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dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am a Presbyterian however my thinking on the sacrament of the Lords Supper has become more Zwiglian. I see the Lords Supper as a Memorial and a sign of Christ's redemptive act on Calvary. I believe while the bread and wine remain bread and wine Christ makes himself spiritually present to us in His Supper because of our faith.

According to Zwingli, the sacraments serve as a public testimony of a previous grace. Therefore, the sacrament is “a sign of a sacred thing, i.e. of a grace that has been given.” For Zwingli, the idea that the sacraments carry any salvific efficacy in themselves is a return to Judaism’s ceremonial washings that lead to the purchase of salvation.

Applying his modified understanding of the sacraments to the Eucharist led Zwingli to affirm its primary purpose as the proclamation of salvation and the strengthening of faith in the hearts of believers. Zwingli insisted that the biblical text taught that the Lord’s Supper was a sign, and that to make it something more violated the nature of the sacrament. However, this caution did not keep Zwingli from strongly affirming a “spiritual presence” of Christ in the Eucharist brought by the “contemplation of faith.”

Is my view of the Lords Supper within the beliefs of the Presbyterian fold!
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I am a Presbyterian however my thinking on the sacrament of the Lords Supper has become more Zwiglian. I see the Lords Supper as a Memorial and a sign of Christ's redemptive act on Calvary. I believe while the bread and wine remain bread and wine Christ makes himself spiritually present to us in His Supper because of our faith.

I don't believe Zwingli was a "Zwinglian," if his theological context is taken into account. "Commemoration" is the natural language of all anti-sacerdotal theories of the Lord's supper, including Calvin's.

I think your view is taking into account that the sacrament acts as a "sign" to the senses and a "seal" to faith. If there is a deficiency it would be in the area of "institution." We cannot afford to ignore the historical objectivity of the Lord's supper as an institution of Christ. Christ is present in the Lord's supper whenever we give and receive bread and wine according to His institution. His death is thereby shown forth irrespective of the working of the Spirit in those that by faith receive His body and blood as spiritual nourishment. Hence those that partake unworthily eat and drink damnation to themselves.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am a Presbyterian however my thinking on the sacrament of the Lords Supper has become more Zwiglian. I see the Lords Supper as a Memorial and a sign of Christ's redemptive act on Calvary. I believe while the bread and wine remain bread and wine Christ makes himself spiritually present to us in His Supper because of our faith.

I don't believe Zwingli was a "Zwinglian," if his theological context is taken into account. "Commemoration" is the natural language of all anti-sacerdotal theories of the Lord's supper, including Calvin's.

I think your view is taking into account that the sacrament acts as a "sign" to the senses and a "seal" to faith. If there is a deficiency it would be in the area of "institution." We cannot afford to ignore the historical objectivity of the Lord's supper as an institution of Christ. Christ is present in the Lord's supper whenever we give and receive bread and wine according to His institution. His death is thereby shown forth irrespective of the working of the Spirit in those that by faith receive His body and blood as spiritual nourishment. Hence those that partake unworthily eat and drink damnation to themselves.

I thank you for your response. I believe the Lords Supper is an institution of Christ. When we celebrate the Supper as a Presbyterian I believe we are doing so at His command. And I believe as Calvin did also that Christ becomes present spiritually to all believers who partake worthily.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Dudley, given that you accept that "Christ becomes present spiritually to all believers who partake worthily," what is it that makes you feel you do not hold Calvin's view?
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Austin, I do hold Calvins view that Christ becomes present spiritually. I asked the question because I am reading the positons of all the Protestant Reformers on the Lords Supper. I as a Presbyterian deny the Roman catholic teaching of transubstantiation and the Lutheran positon of consubstantiation. I have had Protestant friends say to me they believe Christ becomes present in communion but how He does is a mystery. I have stated that I believe as a Presbyterian that the bread and wine remain bread and wine and are symbols of the memorial sacrament done at Christs command. I believe that Christ becomes present to us spiritually in communion because of our individual and corporate faith in Him. Please let me know what you think?
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Austin, I do hold Calvins view that Christ becomes present spiritually. I asked the question because I am reading the positons of all the Protestant Reformers on the Lords Supper. I as a Presbyterian deny the Roman catholic teaching of transubstantiation and the Lutheran positon of consubstantiation. I have had Protestant friends say to me they believe Christ becomes present in communion but how He does is a mystery. I have stated that I believe as a Presbyterian that the bread and wine remain bread and wine and are symbols of the memorial sacrament done at Christs command. I believe that Christ becomes present to us spiritually in communion because of our individual and corporate faith in Him. Please let me know what you think?

That is the view of the Reformed confessions, if I understand you correctly. But if it helps, read the sections in the WCF called "Of the Sacraments" and "Of the Lord's Supper." They're very well put. Westminster Confession of Faith - The PuritanBoard

I guess I'll quote the Lord's Supper section here. It's good stuff:

CHAPTER XXIX.
Of the Lord's Supper.

I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord's Supper, to be observed in his Church unto the end of the world; for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death, the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.

II. In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead, but a commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ's one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.

III. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation.

IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone; as likewise the denial of the cup to the people; worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.

V. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ; albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly, and only, bread and wine, as they were before.

VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common-sense and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament; and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.

VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.

VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament, yet they receive not the thing signified thereby; but by their unworthy coming thereunto are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and can not, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
There is a grace that is effectual in the Lords supper that the unbeliever does not have. It is a time of reflection that is left out of a lot of Protestant Communion.

(Mat 5:23) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

(Mat 5:24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

1Co 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1Co 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1Co 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
1Co 11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
1Co 11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
1Co 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

When you look at this and the definition of grace according to Bible and not the definitions of antinomian's and Romist's you will find that there is a contrast from us who believe in the Five Solas.

charis
khar'-ece
From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

When has divine influence ever said we should be in favor or grace when we are at odds with those who are right? The Lord's supper is suppose to keep us knit tightly and in the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Lord's supper is to be more than a memorial.
 

Marvin Torgeson

Puritan Board Freshman
CHAPTER XXIX.
Of the Lord's Supper.

I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord's Supper, to be observed in his Church unto the end of the world; for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death, the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.

II. In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead, but a commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ's one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.

III. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation.

IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone; as likewise the denial of the cup to the people; worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.

V. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ; albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly, and only, bread and wine, as they were before.

VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common-sense and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament; and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.

VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.

VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament, yet they receive not the thing signified thereby; but by their unworthy coming thereunto are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and can not, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto.

With taking the communion I ask the Father to give us a sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit, that while we commune together we also sense that we commune with God too. I expect the Spirit of God to reveal himself to us in a way that moves our hearts to a greater acknowledging of Christ and what He did for us on the cross. We do not much discuss institutionalization but the act of our partaking is memorializing Christ. I lead them to contemplate Christ before they partake and to repent of any known sins that appear to their conscience before they partake. I warn the unbeliever and those visiting that this communion is not to be taken if they do not belong to Christ and have not been born again. For those who are sick and afficted I ask that God heal them during our communion time.

Communion is a glorious and blessed event in our congregation I guard it from becoming common-place as well as I can with a solemnty of mind during the Lord's Supper.
 
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