real presence of Christ

Lord's Day 28

Question 75.

How are thou admonished and assured in the Lord's Supper, that thou are a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all his benefits?

Answer. Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of this broken bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of him, [a] adding these promises: first, that his body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes, the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.

Question 76.

What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?

Answer. It is only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to [b] obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become more and more [c] united to his sacred body, by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; [d] so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding "Flesh of his flesh, and bone [e] of his bone"; and that we live, [f] and are governed forever by one spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.

Question 77.

Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly feed and nourish believers with his body and blood, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?

Answer. In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed: [g] "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said: eat, this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: this [h] cup is the new testament in my blood; [i] this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says: [j] "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body; because we are all partakers of that one bread."

[a]: Mat. 26:26,27,28; Mark 14:22,23,24; Luke 22:19,20; 1Cor. 10:16,17; 1Cor 11:23,24,25
[b]: John 6:35,40,47,48,50,51,53,54
[c]: John 6:55,56
[d]: Acts 3:21; Acts 1:9,10,11; 1Cor 11:26
[e]: Eph. 5:29,30,31,32; 1Cor. 6:15,17,19; 1John 3:24
[f]: John 6:56,57,58; Eph. 4:15,16
[g]: 1Cor. 11:23; Mat. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19
[h]: Ex. 24:8; Heb. 9:20
[i]: Ex. 13:9; 1Cor. 11:26
[j]: 1Cor. 10:16,17

Lord's Day 29

Question 78.

Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?

Answer. Not at all: [a] but as the water in baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself, being only the sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; so the bread in the Lord's supper is not changed into the very [b] body of Christ; though agreeable to the [c] nature and properties of sacraments, it is called the body of Christ Jesus.

Question 79.

Why then doth Christ call the bread his body, and the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood; and Paul the "communion of the body and blood of Christ"?

Answer. Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are [d] fed to eternal life; but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood (by the operation of the Holy Ghost) as we [e] receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; and that all his sufferings [f] and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.

[a]: 1Cor. 10:1,2,3,4; 1Pet. 3:21; John 6:35,62,63
[b]: 1Cor. 10:16ff; 1Cor. 11:20ff
[c]: Gen. 17:10,11,14; Ex. 12:26,27,43,48; Acts 7:8; Mat. 26:26; Mark 14:24
[d]: John 6:51,55,56
[e]: 1Cor. 10:16,17; 1Cor 11:26,27,28; Eph. 5:30
[f]: Rom. 5:9,18,19; Rom. 8:4