Martin Luther - Lesson 16
Luther on Christ's Supper
Luther's view of the theological and personal significance of the Lord's Supper.
Luther on Christ's Supper
Luther on the Lord's Supper
Luther, the Pastor: 1 Corinthians 11:29
Luther argued against the Roman Catholic tradition, he was urging faith. Their practice had cut off the need for faith.
Later, in this second phase, he argued against Zwingli, Carlstadt, etc. who believed that the body and blood are not actually present.
Luther blazed the middle path between Roman Catholics and those who stripped the sacrament to remembrance.
Luther's Dispute with the Roman Catholics
I. The Historical Context
A. Luther was thinking of writing such a treatise
B. The Catholic writings
1. Augustinus Alveld 1520
Treatise Concerning Communion of Both Kinds - Luther decides not to respond but this spurs some of his writings
2. Anonymous Italian Friar 1519
Recantation of The Augustinian...
C. The Response to the Work
Both sides took the Captivity seriously
II. The Mass: Sacrifice or Gift?
A. The Words of Institution as Interpretive Key
1. Starting point for controversy
2. Luther: it is a combination of word and sign
3. Roman Catholicism makes these a magical change beyond the understanding of the laity and between the Priests and the elements. This sucked the meaning from the sacrament and those partaking.
B. Communion in one Kind
- Luther: it should given as both
- Luther: Consubstantiation
D. The Mass as a Good Work and a Sacrifice
1. Luther: this is the worst captivity
2. For Luther the mass was a promise received in faith
3. Lull pg 293 - Let this stand, therefore,...this cup is the new testament in my blood... most precious sacrament. A testament ... a promise of someone about to die...
III. An Historical and Evangelical Assessment
A. The Context of the Debate
B. The Assumptions of the Debate
C. The Moves that Luther Makes
- Luther calls the sacrament "the Lord's Supper"
Luther's Dispute with Zwingli
I. The Historical Context
A. The bitter dispute with Rome reached a lull in 1525
B. Zwingli writes 2 treatises in 1525
C. Luther's followers publish sermons in 1526
D. This is followed up by other works
E. The Marburg Colloquy in 1529
F. Later attempts at concord
II. Christ's Supper: Memorial or Means of Grace?
A. The exegetical problem
- 1525 emphasis on
- 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
v16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? v17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
- 1 Corinthians 11
B. Spirit and flesh
1. Zwingli separated spiritual from physical
2. Luther: spiritual and physical united - God confronts people in the bodiliness of history. It is not an affront to Luther's thinking that the forgiveness of sin simultaneously the promise of the resurrection of the body in the end times.
C. The issue of Christology
1. Zwingli - Christ cannot be in more than one location. At the right hand of God, which is everywhere a.k.a. omnipresent. This however only applies to his divinity.
2. Luther - Different ways to talk about presence.
a. Colossians 1:19 and John 14:9
b. God is present for us only God's humanity. Christ is the one revelation of God to man.
D. The issue of Real Presence
1. Luther: true faith and a God-fearing heart attaches itself to the word. The Body of Christ does avail and it avails much. Twofold eating of the supper by the mouth and spirit. Forgiveness of sins is always connected to the real presence...
2. The real presence of Christ in the sacrament demonstrates the humanity and divinity of Christ
III. An Historical and Evangelical Assessment
A. The assumptions of the dispute
B. The moves that Luther makes
C. The challenge to evangelical practice
- Dr. Isaacs summarizes the course objectives and lists the recommended textbooks.
Luther expressed his views in a way that was shaped by his theology and the culture.
Martin Luther was born in Germany in the late 15th century, just after Guttenberg developed his printing press.
When Martin Luther posted the 95 theses, his intention was to discuss and debate the misuse of indulgences, but it was interpreted by the church heirarchy as an attack on the power of the papacy.
Luther's writings demonstrate his ability to understand and articulate issues that are at the core of the nature of God and man. His theology is distinct from philosophy and consists of many comments on passages in Psalms and Romans.
Faith alone justifies. By faith the Christian is made to love God, therefore a person does good works because they cannot remain idle.
The work of Christ when he allowed himself to be crucified on the cross, teaches us about God's nature, our nature and our relationship to God.
Luther's fourfold sense of scripture focused on historical (literal), allegorical (figurative), tropological (moral), and anagogic (future).
Luther's view of the atonement differs from classical views taught during his time and view held by the scholastic tradition.
Luther's teaching on justification by faith is central to his theology.
Theology of the cross assumes bondage and moves to freedom.
Four positions on predestination include the Calvinist, neo-Protestant, intuitu fidei, and Gnesio-Lutherans.
Luther's commentary on Galatians is an attempt to set "Law" in its proper setting.
The sacraments are an external expression of an internal reality.
Luther's teachings on the importance of baptism and arguments for infant baptism.
Luther's view of the theological and personal significance of the Lord's Supper.
The kingdom of God and secular government have areas of unity and areas of differences.
Luther gives a definition of the church and describes characteristics of the church.
Luther developed a catechism to help people focus on the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith.
Martin Luther's writings can encourage people to pursue their relationship with God on a deeper level.
This course is an introduction to the life and writings of the great German reformer, Martin Luther. There are 20 lectures totaling approximately 18 hours. These lectures were given at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
Dr. Gordon Isaac
Luther on Christ's Supper
[00:00:02] Okay. As we begin our class, then I'd like to read for you just a little comment that Luther has on First Corinthians chapter 11, verse 29, which reads in the following manner For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves. First Corinthians 1129. Luther says this It is very necessary here that your hearts and consciences be well instructed and that you make a big distinction between outward reception and inner spiritual reception. Bodily and outward reception is that in which a person receives with the mouth the body of Christ and his blood. And doubtless anyone can receive the sacrament in this way without faith and love. But this does not make one a Christian, for if it did, even a mouse would be a Christian for it. Two can eat the bread and perchance even drink of the cup. It is such a simple thing to do, but the true inner spiritual reception is a very different thing, for it consists in the right use of the sacrament and its fruits. I would say in the first place that this reception occurs in faith and is inward and will have Christ without faith. Outward reception is nothing. Christianity consists solely in faith and no outward work. Much must be attached to it. But faith is a firm trust that Christ, the Son of God, stands in our place and has taken all our sins upon His shoulders and that He is the eternal satisfaction for our sin and reconciles us with God. The Father. Those who have this faith are the very ones who take their rightful place at this sacrament.
[00:02:01] And neither devil nor hell, nor sin can harm them as pours for prayer. O Heavenly Father, since no one likes your will, and since we are too weak to have our will and our old Adam mortified, we pray that you will feed us, strengthen and comfort us with your holy word, and with the great gift of the Lord's Supper. And grant us your grace that the heavenly bread, Jesus Christ may be preached and heard in all the world, that we may know it in our hearts, and so that all harmful, heretical, erroneous and human doctrine may cease. And only your word, which is truly our living bread, be distributed. Amen. Okay. Today, we're going to be dealing with Luther's view of the Lord's Supper. I just want to make a couple of preliminary comments as we get underway. It's very interesting to know that when you take a look at Luther and how he evaluates the controversies over the Lord's Supper, that he places himself in the center. See, now, to begin with, Luther argued against the Roman Catholic view of the Lord's Supper or the mass and against the Roman Catholic tradition. He was urging faith and the need for faith in receiving this very important sacrament in the life of the church. And he saw that there. The way that they had set forward their understanding of the mass had effectively cut off any real discussion of the believer's need for faith or the role of faith in receiving the Lord's Supper, the mass during that time frame. So it was against the Roman Catholic tradition that he leveled his first line of argumentation, and we'll deal with that in a moment. But later on in his career, then there was a second portion of the Lord's Supper controversy.
[00:04:02] And in this second phase, he had to deal with Zwingli Zwingli, Ocalan, Pontius Kosh. That and a number of other radical reformers who, in their effort to separate themselves from the Roman Catholic tradition, said there is no body in blood present in the Lord's Supper. They were saying that the centerpiece of the Lord's Supper is the remembrance that one participates in. It is the badge of our Christianity, which has already been sealed through the work of Christ and our believing in that work on the cross. So the Lord's Supper is indeed a ceremony that we continue to practice. But they tried to separate themselves very far away from Rome. Now, interestingly enough, Luther sees himself as being in the middle. He says against Rome, he argues for the new faith against the radical reformers. He argues for the need of the speaking about the objective reality of the sacrament. Luther says it this way The enthusiasts he's talking about Zwingli and Karl shout in the other make mere bread and wine of the sacrament, peal out the kernel and give them the husk. The papers, on the other hand, make a sacrifice and a commercial business of it in order to forgive sins and a rescue from every need in their teaching about the sacraments. The papers go too far to the left, for they ascribe too much to the sacraments and claim that they justified by their mere observance. On the other hand, the sacrament Terrians go far to the right because they take everything away from the sacraments. From Luther's point of view, the Catholic position and that of the Swiss could not be farther apart. As it seems, Luther placed himself in between these two opponents, and he was not willing to go to either extreme.
[00:06:05] But from his own point of view, he was blazing a middle path. If these three views were to be placed on a continuum, Luther would be indeed in the middle. He could not agree with the opera OP Erato and the Catholic belief that the sacrament benefited even those who did not receive it in faith. Neither could he agree with the Swiss who devalued the sacrament to a subjective remembrance. This view in Luther's way of thinking stripped the sacrament of its objective nature by making it dependent upon man's work. So Luther's Middle Way recognizes that the nature of the sacrament is dependent only upon God's Word. Subjective nature does not change, even if it is abused by man. However, the sacrament was instituted with its proper use in mind. And here Luther's view treats the sacrament on a level that, by and large, the other views neglect. Luther maintains that the sacrament was instituted to increase faith the very area where both the Swiss and the Catholics objected to his thought. So Luther's trying to chart this middle course, and it's this middle course that we want to take a look at today. In our time together, one thing that we can say is that really central for Luther is his understanding of the relationship between word and sign in the sacrament. We can see that Luther comes back to the words of institution, both in his argument against the Roman Catholic position and against the enthusiasts. He is very concerned also to place firmly the issue of faith in the believer's faith in the reception of the Lord's Supper, both against the Roman Catholic tradition and against the enthusiasts. We would have to say that this really is a case where Luther's theology of the Cross is applied to his understanding of the Lord's Supper.
[00:08:07] And so we began our discussion. First of all, let's take a look at how Luther deals with the question of the Lord's Supper, the mass with respect to the Roman Catholic tradition rather early on. Luther was convinced that he needed to write something on this topic of the Lord's Supper. He saw that there were great abuses in the Roman Catholic system and the tradition there, and he felt that it really needed to be addressed rather directly in that little treatise entitled to the German nobility. Luther wrote these words I know another little song about Rome, and if their ears itch to hear it, I will sing it for them and I will pitch it in a high key. Does thou take my meaning, Beloved Rome? And subsequent to these little words, Luther then wrote the Babylonian captivity of the church, which was indeed making good on his promise that he would write a song to Rome. And this little song, Babylonian captivity of the church, becomes a veritable prelude to a symphony of various treatises that Luther undertakes to write. Now, when Luther writes Babylonian captivity, he intends his book to be only an introduction to his major engagement on this theme of the sacraments. He expects that after this prelude, the Romans, or that is the Roman Catholics, will gird themselves for battle and attack him in force. But he intends to keep one step ahead of them and lead them on. So Luther writes this treatise, and in the treatise he comes to deal with the issue of the Lord's Supper, and he treats it in a number of different ways. When Luther talks about the Babylonian captivity, the church has reference references clear. Just as the Jews were carried away from Jerusalem into captivity under the tyranny of the Babylonian empire.
[00:10:24] So in Europe, the Christians have been carried away from the scriptures and made subject to the tyranny of the papacy. And Luther felt that that was particularly shown in the way that the Lord's Supper issue had been handled. This tyranny has been exercised by the misuse of the sacrament of the sacraments, plural, actually, chiefly the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Now then there was a, ah, a Catholic author. Augustine is of out. Who in 1520 wrote a little piece called Tractatus de Communion, a sub, a trackway speaker treatise concerning communion and both kinds. It was dedicated on June 23rd, 1520, and after Luther read the piece, he wrote a letter to one of the officials at the court. And Luther says this. He says, The Leipzig, AC has set up a fresh braying against me full of blasphemies. And then he responds also by saying, I will not reply to all velt, but he will be the occasion of my publishing, something by which the Vipers will be more irritated than ever. In addition to this piece that was published by the Roman Catholic author All Veld in 1520, there was also an anonymous tract of a certain Italian friar of Cremona. He's been identified as Isadora Salami. He was a Dominican hailing from Milan who taught theology in various Italian cities. And he wrote a he wrote a few controversial books, and he died in 1528. His book was entitled The Recantation of the Augustinian martin Luther before the Holy See. And in this little piece, he writes quite heartily against Luther and has Luther obviously recanting in the midst of his presentation. But what we have here is Luther responding. Then, finally, and in the Babylonian captivity of the church, what we find is, is that this prelude was a deadly dagger aimed at the very heart of sacramental schism, clericalism and monasticism.
[00:12:56] It was the most devastating assault Luther had yet undertaken against the Roman teaching and practice, and it marked Luther's irrevocable break with Rome. Both sides, both the Reformation side and the Roman Catholic side, took this book very, very seriously. The Papal Nuncio Alexander bitterly assailed the captivity as completely blasphemous because it questioned the authority of the Pope. John Glatt Appian, the father confessor of Charles the Fifth, declared it. It shocked him from head to foot when he read it. Erasmus, when he read the piece, said something rather terse. He said The breach is irrevocable. Thomas Marriner translated Luther's piece into German, thinking that it would expose Luther, and that would further turn the tide against him. I'm not sure that that actually is what transpired there, but nonetheless, that's what Thomas Merton did. King Henry, the eighth in England, interestingly enough, wrote a piece against the Babylonian captivity of the church. And it's not clear that Henry did the actual writing. He probably had Thomas Moore do some of the writing. But anyway, Henry's book against Luther's Babylonian captivity so pleased the Pope that he issued a specific bull declaring that it was written by the help of the Holy Spirit, granting an indulgence of ten years to anyone who had read it. And he bestowed on Henry and Henry's successors the title Defender of the Faith. And so even today, Queen Elizabeth, one of her titles, is Defender of the Faith, precisely because of the action of Henry Yates. Okay. Now, that gives you a little bit of historical background. So it's you can see that this particular chapter in Luther's history is really quite spicy. And in your own reading in Timothy Law and in the selection of Babylonian captivity, you find that there is really some very interesting material.
[00:15:18] Lively in many, many ways. Well, tell you what, let's do let's just take a quick run at this and we'll try to to move through Luther's argument line of argumentation rather quickly in this regard. And we'll see how we come out on this. After I'm finished with this section, we'll take some questions and then we can move on to Luther's line of argument against enthusiasts. One of the things, one of the one of the things that Luther does right off the bat in terms of. Trying to fix an appropriate interpretation of the Lord's Supper is he moves to the words of institution as interpretive key. The Lord's Supper, Luther maintains, finds its proper interpretation in the words of institution. He says it this way If we desire to observe mass properly and to understand it, then we must surrender everything that the eyes behold and that the senses suggest. Until we first grasp and thoroughly ponder the words of Christ by which He performed and instituted the mass and commanded us to perform it, for therein lies the whole mass, its nature, work, profit and benefit. Without the words, nothing is derived from the mass. So Luther meticulously did his biblical work on the Last Supper accounts of Paul and the Gospel writers, and he dealt methodically with each passage. And in Babylonian captivity. What you find this is very interesting in terms of the history of interpretation too, is you'll find that Luther brings together a harmony of the scriptural accounts incorporating features of all of them. Matthew, Mark, Luke, First Corinthians 11. And by so doing, Luther gives us a comprehensive view of the words of institution. Now, as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to his disciples and said, Take it.
[00:17:19] This is my body which is given for you. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink of it. All of you, for this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me. So the words of institution, of the fixed starting point for all expositions and criticisms concerning the Lord's Supper. Luther described the sacrament as the union between word and sign, and the point is constantly underscored in Luther's writings that the sacrament is defined by the word. He says it this way. In the sacrament, Christ is received. However, this would not happen if Christ were not at the same time prepared and distributed through the word for the word, brings Christ to the people and acquaints their hearts with Him. So for Luther, the words of institution define the supper, but also it's the word which helps to distribute and convey the living Christ. His Luther's opposition to the mass was most heartfelt precisely at this point. He was really disgusted with the customary practice of his own day, and he says it in this way. But see what they have made of the mass in the first place. They have hidden these words of the Testament and have taught that they are not to be spoken to the laity, that these are secret words to be spoken in the mass only by the priest. That's not the devil here. And a masterly way stolen from us. The chief thing in the mass and put it to silence. So the very nature of the mass is being contained, in the words of institution, have been discarded by the Roman Catholic tradition.
[00:19:02] And so Luther was really quite upset about this and set about the process of reestablishing the words of institution as being the interpretive key for understanding the mass, but also to reinstitute speaking the words to the laity as a part of the celebration of the mass. Luther declared that it must necessarily follow where faith and the word or promise of God declined or are neglected, that in their place there arise works and a false, presumptuous presumptuous trust in them for where there is no promise of God. There is no faith. Where there is no faith. There everyone presumptuously undertakes to better himself and make himself pleasing to God by means of works. So Luther works hard on this particular instance, and I've taken some pains here simply to underline this this fact that the words of institution are the interpretive key for Luther, and he wants to reestablish them. It's it's really important for us to understand that that is what Luther does. This was quite in opposition to what was going on at the time. There was an approach or a way of understanding the mass by making an allegorical exposition of the mass by way of what happened. Luther was upset because there were a number of different individuals who are trying to understand the mass simply by means of allegorical explanations and human ceremonies. So there's a lot of stuff in Luther where he talks about avoiding human ceremonies. Whenever the words of institutions are neglected, then only the human additions such things as vestments, ornaments, chants, prayers, organs, candles, and the whole pageantry of outward things becomes the interpreter for the mass. We must be particularly careful to put aside whatever has been added to its original, simple institution by the zeal and devotion of men.
[00:21:21] And in this regard, it was Luther's aim to reestablish the words of institution and the speaking of the words to the laity. Now, then, when Luther actually gets into the heart of his writing in the Babylonian captivity of the church, he identifies three captivity, is that the mass has been subjected to, first of all, communion and both kinds. We learned earlier on in the semester that actually the Bohemians receive communion in both both kinds, but they were the exception rather than the rule in Saxony and elsewhere in Germany. The laity received only the bread, and according to Luther, this simply does not square with the words of institution. The Lord's Supper, as he came to call it, was instituted in both kinds, both bread and wine. And so he wanted the laity to receive it in both kinds as well. It's the most complete expression of the Lord's Supper when that takes place. And so he urges that the the Romans see recognize this fact and reinstitute the Lord's Supper as it had originally been instituted. One of the one of the reasons given for refusing the cup to the laity was for fear that the, you know, the bumbling peasants, the mere laity, might spill the wine and thus desecrate the blood of Christ. You have to remember, too, that in this time there used to be processions, the adoration of the host there. They used to have processions where they would make adoration of Christ in their midst. Well, you know, the the celebration of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ is a remnant of that. So that was one of their concerns. And at the Council of Constance in 1415, it was declared that the whole Christ is present in either one of the species, so that if the lady takes one, then they have received the whole benefit of the sacrament.
[00:23:44] So that was what was going on here. Luther says, Look, we need to reinstitute this as it was originally instituted by Christ. The words of institution lead us to that conclusion. So you see how formative the whole business of the Word of God is for Luther and how it is the motive force between us or for his for his critique of the abuse of his own time and for the reestablishment of proper exercise in the church. The second issue that he thinks is a captivity is the doctor of transubstantiation in this. Dr. Transubstantiation, as you know, this was an Aristotelian discussion of what happens to the bread and the wine at the moment of consecration. According to the Roman Catholic dogma, once again established at rather early on, they claim that the bread and the wine. No longer remained bread and wine, but became body and blood. But the accidents of bread, the brownness or the accident of the wine, namely its redness remained. But the substance had been changed. Thus the word transubstantiation. And this was an explanation of how the elements became the body and blood of Christ. And it was said in Aristotelian terminology. Luther, up to 1519 believed in transubstantiation. But in Babylonian captivity, he gives this doctrine scrutiny once again and talks about his own, the development of his own view. He says, while reading Cardinal Brahe on the fourth book of the sentences, Luther found what he called food for thought. The cardinal argued that it would take fewer superfluous miracles to claim that real bread and real wine existed on the altar in which the real body and real blood of Christ are present than to require the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation. If only the church had not decreed otherwise.
[00:25:58] So Luther became bolder when he found out that the Aristotelian church had made the decree, and after some battles he found rest for his conscience and he rejected transubstantiation. But interestingly enough, in his Babylonian captivity says, Look, if you want to believe in transubstantiation, that's okay with me. But it's just an unnecessary philosophical explanation of how the the mass, how the bread and wine become body and blood. So Luther attacks this but this is not he does not think that this is the worst of the. Of the captivity is the worst of all. The captivity is that the mass has become to be understood by the Roman Catholic Church as a good work and a sacrifice. He said this was the most wicked captivity of all. This abuse has brought an endless host of other abuses in its trains so that the faith of the sacrament has become utterly extinct and the Holy Sacrament has been turned into mere merchandise, a market and a profit making business. I fear, therefore, that there is at present, more idolatry in Christendom through the mass than ever occurred among the Jews. So Luther's really quite upset with how this whole thing has gone down, and he says, I am attacking a difficult matter and abuse, perhaps impossible to uproot since through a century long custom in the common consent of man, it has become so firmly entrenched that it would be necessary to abolish most of the books now in vogue and to alter almost the entire external form of the churches and introduce or rather reintroduce a totally different kind of ceremony when the essence and character of the Lord's Supper is expressed in terms of promise and testament as it is in Luther. It becomes clear that on the side of men only faith corresponds to the sacrament.
[00:27:51] In other words, when God offers a gift, it can only be received. It cannot be worked for where the Word of God is making a promise. Faith is the necessary response, as Luther sees it, for anyone can easily see that these two promise and faith must necessarily go together. For without the promise, there is nothing to be believed. Well, without faith, the promise is useless since it is established and fulfilled through faith. From this everyone will readily gather that the mass, since it is nothing but promise, can be observed only in faith. In this way, any idea of the mass as a good work is excluded. So it was. It was thought that the mass was good work. And if you were part of a confraternity or a brotherhood, one of us say we were all a part of a confraternity. One of us could go to the mass and receive its benefit. It's a good work. And as long as I don't place an obstacle in the way of receiving the benefit that the supper offers, then I receive that grace. And by virtue of our being in a brotherhood together, then that grace is transferred to you as well. Even though you may not have been in church service that Sunday. A very interesting kind of notion that it was a good work. It received merits, as it were, and those merits were transferable. So Luther's working against the very entrenched commercialization of the mass. And it's on this basis that Luther says, Wait a minute, hold the phone. What do we receive in the mass? Go back to the words of institution. This is my body given for you. This is my blood shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins. That's the word.
[00:29:44] That's the central meaning. That's the promise conveyed in the supper. Therefore, anyone who attaches their mind and allows their faith to cling to that promise has what the promise offers. It's not a good work. It's a promise of God. Very different kind of thing going on here. So that that's what Luther is up to. Also, the whole business of the mass as a sacrifice. You see, and we've talked about this before in in bits and pieces along the way. But in the sacrifice of the mass, what you have is the priests offering something to God. We offer this gift to you in hopes that this will that you will accept this as our gift, as our offering to you, that you might be appeased, and that you might be merciful to us to sacrifice, to offer to God on behalf of the people, on behalf of the lady. Luther says, No, that's not what's going on in the Lord's Supper or the Mass. The mass is actually what God is giving to us. It's not what we give to God. And so it's a reversal of the direction. It's not from God or from man to God. It is rather a promise and a gift which comes from God to man. It is a great gift that comes to us. Of course, if you understand the masses of sacrifice, one of the questions that arises how do we know whether our sacrifice is pleasing to God or not? The question of conscience becomes plaguing for all, for among all mass holders, there are none who can be sure that their sacrificing is pleasing to God. In this, we see that the sacrifice concept produces unsettled or frightened consciences. The certainty of the divine promise is, in this case, exchange for the uncertainty of a work.
[00:31:37] Only a word of promise that is only gospel can give confidence to an injured conscience. If you want to understand, Luther, you have to understand that he's dealing with the issue of promise and faith. And that is how it works in the Lord's Supper. And that's what he's really at work to describe. Now, Luther did not only have a negative criticism of the mass of sacrifice, but but there was a positive side as well. He discussed in what way the mass could be described as a sacrifice in his little treatise entitled Treatise on the New Testament. That is the Holy Mass, published in 1520. What sacrifices, then, are we to offer ourselves and all that we have with constant prayer? As we say, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Luther argued for a sacrifice of prayer, praise and Thanksgiving. And this can occur apart from the mass, even as testament can exist, apart from the sign of the sacrament. However, it's more precious, more appropriate, more mighty, and also more acceptable when it takes place with the multitude and in the assembly. So Luther's argumentation against communion on both kinds, transubstantiation and the mass is a good work and a sacrifice all work in this direction. One of the things, too, that we want to make a quick point of is that Luther has a very interesting way of describing the Lord's Supper, and we can find this in our edition of Llull. If you have your edition of Lore with you, take a peek at page 293. This is really quite important stuff in terms of understanding Luther's argument against the Roman Catholic tradition. And I want to draw your attention to this passage that you can read in full on your own.
[00:33:33] But I want to just highlight a couple of portions in it On page 293, beginning with that second full paragraph on the page, Luther begins to talk about his understanding of the Lord's Supper as Testament. Let this stand, therefore, as our first and infallible proposition. The mass or sacrament of the altar is Christ's testament, which he left behind, which he left behind him at his death to be distributed among his believers. For that is the meaning of his words. This cup is the New Testament in my blood. Let this true stand, I say, as the immovable foundation on which we shall base all that we have to say. For, as you will see, we are going to overthrow all the godless opinions of men which have been imported into this most precious sacrament. Okay, turn the page. He talks about what a testament is. A testament. First full paragraph here, as everyone knows, is a promise made by one about to die, in which he designates his bequest and appoints his heirs. A testament, therefore involves first the death, the death of the testator, and second, the promise of an inheritance and the naming of the heir. Thus, Paul discusses at length the nature of a testament in Romans four, Galatians three and four, and Hebrews nine. We see the same thing clearly. Also in these words of Christ. Christ testifies concerning his death when he says, This is my body, which is given, this is my blood, which is poured out. He names and designates the bequest when he says for the forgiveness of sins, but he appoints the heirs when he says for you and for many, that is, for those who accept and believe the promise of the testator. For here it is faith that makes men heirs, as we shall see.
[00:35:25] So one of the things that I want you to see is that this this concept of testament is what's going on here. Luther sees the Lord's Supper as the last will and testament of Jesus. And in that moment, he is making his promise as the one who's writing out the will. He is designating the inheritance, namely the forgiveness of sins, and he is designating the inheritors, namely those who receive this in faith. For you, it's the for you, which is direct address by the one who is writing out this last will and testament. So I think this is a marvel. His way of describing to your people what the Lord suffers about. Now, look, if you've got a rich uncle, he's got a million bucks. He wants to give it away and he decides who's who is going to give it away to. You might be a bum on the street and you might have holes in your shoes and wear dirty clothes. You may not be worth looking at, but because the inheritance has been designated to you, it goes to you. That's how it is for those of us. We're not worthy of the gifts that God gives us. But nonetheless, He designates us for you. For you, it's for you. That's what's going on in the Lord's Supper. Now, then, just a quick wrap up here of Luther's argumentation against the Roman Catholic tradition. Of course, there's much, much, much, much more that could be said. Books have been written about this. But we've given you a brief overview of this material. The context of the debate is one in which the words of institution had been severed from the Roman Catholic mass. The words of promise that come in the Lord's Supper were kept from the people and the words offensive institution were actually spoken to the elements and not to the people.
[00:37:20] Further, the Roman Catholic mass had been turned into a commercialization of this sacrament. One that can be bought and sold and distributed. However. And Luther wants to overturn all of this. The assumption of the debate. Luther continues to use the same terminology the mass or the sacrament of the altar. But we see his thinking about these kinds of things moving as he continues with his own critique and reconstruction. You see here that Luther really is a constructive theologian as he's building a a new way of doing an evangelical way of doing the Lord's Supper. And notice the moves that Luther makes. He goes back to the words of institution to reestablish the nature of the Lord's Supper. He also understands that the Lord's Supper, you see, it's not a mass that we offer, a sacrifice that we offer. It's the Lord's Supper. And that's why he uses those terms. You can quite often identify a person's view of the Lord's Supper by the terminology, the use, the Eucharist, sacrifice, the mass, something else. Luther says it's the Lord's Supper. The move that Luther makes is to promise and faith. He is moving toward proclamation, which results in the increase of faith. That's the move that Luther is making. The Lord's Supper. Let's just think about this practically for a moment or two. When you go to church on Sunday and it's communion Sunday. Let me just play a one round of what's your beef? And maybe this will get at some of the issues that underlie what Luther's attempting to do here in an evangelical presentation, The Lord's Supper. You know what drives me crazy is when the Lord's Supper is celebrated and the pastor or the officiant does not even bother to read the words of institution.
[00:39:24] Drives me crazy. Boy, there are some evangelical traditions that are so loose in the way that they practice the Lord's Supper that the words aren't there. Now, a sacrament is a combination of word and sign. We need to be very careful that it's there. So the words of an institution really have got to be there. If it's to be the Lord's Supper and not simply a human ceremony. One of the things that drives me crazy, too, is when the pastor gets up and says, This represents my body, that might be his theological interpretation of what's happening in the Supper, but those are not the words of Jesus. Jesus says, This is my body. So please, if you're going to be the pastor of a church that I'm coming to and you're you're doing the Lord's Supper, don't tell me this represents my body. That's not a word of promise. How can that be a word of promise? This represents my body. Now we're off into Memorial. No, the promises is. This is my body given for you, for the forgiveness of sins. So stick with promise and just let it happen. I mean, you don't have to necessarily give your interpretation of the supper. I kind of like what David Hansen does in his little book, The Art of Pastoring. He says, Well, says, I've been in a lot of different traditions, Baptists among them, Episcopalian as in other. And he says, I know enough to get out of the way of the supper to let it do its own work. So I think that's great advice. And by all means, use good bread and juice. You know, it stretches the incarnation of. Yes, a little wafers and honestly, no Gatorade to stay away from Gatorade.
[00:41:11] But anyway, those are some of the things that bugged me. You know, when when it comes to the, you know, the celebration of the Lord's Supper and it comes out of my own reading of Luther and my my coming to the conviction that, hey, yeah, there may be a number of different interpretations of what's happening here, but I think Luther is right when he says word and sign together and further its promise for you. You know, the word of the sermon goes out to anyone who goes in your ears and anyone who might appropriate. That's fine. But the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is actually a more specific form of personal address. It is the for you that gets you the pro may, as they say, in the Lutheran tradition. It is for you. It's got your name on it. The sermon is kind of a general address, but the Lord's Supper as personal address. It's coming directly to you. Luther was somewhat chagrined that right after his his battle with the Roman Catholic tradition on this issue of the Lord's Supper, there was another battle that arose. No sooner had the first victory been won, then, as Luther Luther stated it, the devil decided to, quote, fall upon our host from the rear, incite rebellion and raise an uproar against us in order that caught between two enemies, we may more easily be destroyed. The sacraments controversies were far from over, and they had just merely entered on their second stage. Zwingli had come to his view of the Lord's Supper by the end of 1524, but it was not until the year 1525 that he published two Latin treatises in defense of his views. Only in 1526 did Zwingli write a treatise for the common people in German.
[00:43:06] Luther had been approached several times to give reply to this new view of the Lord's Supper, but the busy Luther was reticent to give answer. Finally, in 1526, a few preliminary writings came from his pen. But it was not until 1527 that the controversy was Zwingli was fully engaged. At the beginning of the controversy was Zwingli. Luther said that up until that time he had spoken very little concerning the object of faith. The object on C day that is the sacramental presence of Christ in the bread and wine. His attention had been riveted upon the proper and faithful use of the sacraments, which, as Luther said, is also the best part. He relates, however, that now because of Zwingli entrance onto the field, he must speak to the matter of the real presence because it was being assailed by many factious preachers. So once again, we find that Luther turned to the words of institution and he relied upon them in the second phase of the sacramental Arian controversy, no less than he did in the first against swing. The words of institution were considered not only as the vehicle for the promise of the forgiveness of sins, but were also understood as the promise of the real presence. Luther maintains that the word quote brings with it everything of which it speaks, namely Christ, with his flesh and blood and everything that He is and has. The controversy between Zwingli and Luther can be reduced to this one question. Are the words of institution which say, this is my body to be understood literally or symbolically? Now then, of course, it's easy to identify the nub of the issue, but it's rather more difficult to give full expression to the ins and outs of this.
[00:45:00] And of course, you have a fair amount of reading which covers some of this material in your addition of law. But that's not all that Luther wrote on it. There are four volumes in Luther's works about this size on word and sacrament. So what we cover here is just a little slice of what Luther does in terms of his prodigious output. So don't think that you have plumbed the depths of Luther a course on this particular issue. I do recommend to your reading his writings, and there are some very good commentaries on that. Okay. Now, there are a number of different points, actually, where Luther and Zwingli disagree on this whole business. And let's see that if if we can summarize a brief compass, then what the deal is and the different problems that arise. First of all, there's this exegetical problem for the swing. Leigh. He was convinced that saying this is my broad body was problematic because from his point of view to say so created too many absurdities and thus are confronted with these absurdities. He was convinced that these words needed to be interpreted symbolically. So even as Jesus says, I am the true vine, Zwingli maintained that if Scripture uses a metaphor such as this, then surely the words this is my body should be understood metaphorically and thus symbolically as well. Now, Luther didn't think much of this argument by swimmingly. He asserted that it was not enough to show examples of metaphors from Scripture. The proof for this new symbolic interpretation had to be certain Zwingli had to prove that the words of the supper must be understood symbolically, and this is something that Zwingli could never do. Now notice here Luther's starting point, and this is one place where it may be a bit difficult for us as 21st century individuals to get into this discussion.
[00:47:16] Because, you see, Luther has inherited a view of the Lord's Supper, which takes very seriously the real presence, body and blood of Christ are there. That's fact. This is what he's received. Zwingli has the new interpretation. Zwingli says the body and blood are not present. Now, this is a real reversal for us because for most of us who come from evangelical traditions, the accepted view is that there is no body in blood. Don't confuse me. This sounds too gross, and this is just too impossible to believe. So don't confuse my my poor mind. But you see, it's just the exact opposite for Luther. He's received from the tradition, the fact that Christ is present in the supper body and blood are there and not in a crass, vocal, circumscribed presence. Like you can see me here. That's not the way Christ is present in the supper. And you can see and in your own readings there you have those passages where Luther talks about the different modes of presence. Luther's not talking about a grass body, bodily, local presence of Christ, but he's saying that Christ is present there and the whole crisis present there, body and soul. What Luther is saying is that his view received from the Roman Catholic tradition is the established position. Zwingli has to prove his new position. And this is a stretch for us, I think, in terms of dealing with Luther's argumentation. Luther's critique of Zwingli is Zwingli is attempt at the symbolic view as pointed. He claimed that Zwingli had not produced one instance in Scripture where is is the same as represents which was essential if the words of the supper to read. This represents my body. In essence, that's how Zwingli was reading the words of institution.
[00:49:19] Even the passage quoted I am the true vine does not qualify. This is true because the metaphor does not reside within the copula tive, but in the predicate. In other words, Jesus does not represent the vine. He literally is the true vine that is the spiritual vine. This passage is expressed in terms of being not representing. This is Luther's argument against Zwingli his point of view. Now, of course, one could range far and wide over this exegetical problem, and indeed that's just precisely what they do in the many and very thick volumes that they write back and forth to one another. But let's see if we can identify just a little bit more clearly what drives Luther in this exegetical problem. Paul Althouse points out that on two different occasions, Luther asserts that Paul's statements in First Corinthians 1016, the cup of blessing, which we bless, is it not participation in the blood of Christ, the bread which we break? Is it not? Participation in the Body of Christ is the real confirmation of Luther's position. In 1525, Luther declared, That is a verse, which is a thunderbolt on the head of Dr. Kosh. That and his whole party. This verse has also been life giving medicine in my trials concerning the sacrament. Even if we. Had no other passage than this. We could sufficiently strengthen all consciences and sufficiently overcome all adversaries. Let me point out, Luther's concerned about making certain consciences. He has pastoral concern here what Luther is trying to say. Let me just kind of summarize as for you, here is, look, the Apostle Paul in first Corinthians ten, 1617 is saying that the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not participation in the blood of Christ? How can there be participation if the blood isn't there? Or later on in Corinthians 11, first Corinthians 11, how can we eat and drink to our condemnation if we haven't discerned the body of blood in Christ, if the body and blood of Christ aren't present? And so, Luther, combining these scriptures and taking a look at the words of institution maintains that in some manner we have to say that this is my brought my body.
[00:51:41] The text does not read. This represents my body, but it says this is my body. So in 1528, Luther says this text I have extolled and do so still as my heart's joy and crown for it not only says this is Christ body. Indeed the bread, the bread which we break is not only the body of Christ, but the distributed body of Christ. Here now is the text so lucid and clear that the fanatics and the whole world could not desire or demand anything more. This can be seen from these quotes. Paul's statement is quite important for Luther, and it clearly expresses the objective content of the doctrine of the real presence for Luther. Now there's an exegetical problem, and clearly Zwingli and Luther have very different answers to this exegetical problem. But there's also an issue that surrounds. We can spend a lot more time, as you can well imagine, on this exegetical point. But I just want to to strike a couple of chords so that you get the impression of where Luther is going in all of this. But there's another issue, and that is spirit and flesh. Zwingli is objection to a literal rendering of the words of institution stem from multiple factors. But perhaps the most compelling factor was his belief that nothing physical could contain spiritual truth. Underlying Zwingli theology is the conviction that all reality is divided into two realms the spiritual and the physical. This division is indicative of the relation between God and man when describing the nature of man. Zwingli is consistent with his division of reality. The uniqueness of man, as he sees it, is in the coexistence of the two natures of spirit or soul and body. Man is unique because he's both heavenly and earthly.
[00:53:28] He's set apart from the rest of the created order by token of the rational side of his being. For Zwingli, the divergence is decisive. The spiritual and the physical are divorced, and we find that this plays itself out in zwingli as piety. When in 1524 he placed a ban on organ music in churches in Zurich. And as Charles Garside says in his book on Zwingli, insofar as it was possible, Zwingli eliminated everything sensuous from worship, music, vestments, incense, ritual gestures and images. All were of no avail to man, precisely because his face the only reality the invisible action of the Holy Spirit in men's hearts, had nothing whatsoever to do with the senses. So Zwingli has a piety, which in some senses cuts right down between spiritual and physical. That, of course, is not the case for Luther. Luther understands that both spiritual and physical reality are intertwined. Unlike Zwingli view, Luther thought Luther's thought contains no body spirit dualism because of the profound role that his theology of the cross and therefore the Incarnation plays in his thinking. Luther has no room for such a dualism. Using slightly different terminology, Reagan printer sans sums it up in the same way. The theology of the cross, according to Luther, demands the radical rejection of any division of the world into two realms the sacred and the secular. So the concepts of flesh and spirit of principles that come from without to exercise their control. And this is really rather poor line in terms of its orientation. The flesh is that principle that stands outside of us as human beings, that comes to dominate us in such a manner that we do not will the will of God. That's the flesh principle. The spirit is the spirit of God which comes to us in such a manner that we can will the will of God.
[00:55:33] And that's an external principle. It's not that division or that dualism within us. Flesh and spirit as. Zwingli would have it. So Luther and Zwingli really differ. For Luther, God confronts men and women by his spirit in the concreteness, the bodily ness of history. To despise that which is outward is to despise the revelation of God in history. Quote God sets before us no word or commandment without including with it something material and outward. The entire biblical history gives evidence to that. So Luther does not understand spirit in terms of the metaphysical separation of the higher and lower natures. He understands that the two go together. Therefore, it is not an affront to Luther's thinking that the giving of the promise of salvation is simultaneously the promise of the resurrection of the body. You see, this is a very interesting point, and it seems to me we're really coming hard against evangelical theology at this point in much evangelical theology. We've gotten the impression that the forgiveness of sins or salvation is something which is supernatural. Oh, it's something we get in heaven. But really, the biblical witness is that the created order subject to sin shall be redeemed at the end of time so that the forgiveness of sins is simultaneously the promise of the resurrection of the body at the end of all time. Think about Mark Chapter two. You remember that story about the healing of the paralytic. The guys bring him in on a stretcher, you know, for. There wasn't room to get to Jesus. So they. They went through the roof. They tore off the tiles and they dug down and they dropped this guy where They lowered him gently down before Jesus. What does Jesus say? You'd expect he would say you're hailed, you know, you're going to go to heaven with me.
[00:57:30] He doesn't say that, does he? Says your sins are forgiven. Fascinating. Your sins are forgiven. And then what? Oh, the Pharisees and the crowd are mumbling. Oh, I see. You say that no man can forgive sin, but so that you will know the son of man has the authority in the power to forgive sin. I say take up your bed and walk. Notice these two things come together. The forgiveness of sins and the wholeness of his physical body. You see, that's the vision of salvation of the Bible. Salvation means wholeness, inner and outer wholeness. You know, we're not being saved for disembodied heaven. No, no, no, no. We are being saved so that we might reign with Christ on the earth, made new body and soul redeemed at the hands of a God who loves the creation that He established the beginning of all time, and who at the end of all time shall redeem it with a mighty act of victory. That's the vision of salvation that we have in Scripture. And Luther wants to hold on to that, even in his understanding of the Lord's Supper, which, to the offense of Zwingli and others, includes a bodily, although not a locally circumscribed presence of Christ in the supper. You see what's going on here? Zwingli separates spirit and flesh. He works with the dualism. Luther says, No, that dualism is not biblical. The issue of Christology. As we move on in our discussion, we find that Zwingli and Luther have very differing views of the issue of Christology. Zwingli was convinced that Christ cannot be in more than one place at one and the same time. Therefore, if the body of the risen Christ is necessarily only in the one place, without doubt that place cannot be any other than at the right hand of the father.
[00:59:26] And so how can he be here below in the bread? That's how Zwingli puts it. Zwingli is here not trying to limit God to one locality. Zwingli maintains that the right hand of God is everywhere and that consequently Christ is omnipresent. This, however, is true only of His divinity. So thus we run into some of the the difficult waters of the Christological controversy. The human nature of Christ is not everywhere present, as in the divine. Otherwise there would be two infinite categories. Thus, according to Zwingli logic, threatening the exclusive existence of God as infinite. Now, against this point of view. Luther will say that Christ is indeed everywhere present. But if he is present, then he must also be present as the whole Christ, and thus also according to his human nature. And thus, in some way, we must speak about the fact that Christ can be present bodily, but not in a locally circumscribed manner. And once again, Luther says, Look, there are different ways of talking about presence, and we need to be clear about that. But Luther's. Christology can be summed up in some helpful ways. We can say that for Luther, he can talk about the divine and the human natures really coming together in a particularly important way. He can say that the human properties can be attributed to the divine and the divine to the human. He can say this Mary makes broth for God. Mary circles God with her breasts, bathes God rocks and carries him. The infant Christ lying in the cradle and suckling by the Virgin Mary created heaven and earth. So these are very interesting ways of speaking about the Christ child. Conversely, because the human nature shares in the glory of the properties which properly relate to God, Luther can say, To worship this man is to worship God outside this man, Christ, who was born of the Virgin Mary and who suffered.
[01:01:38] You must not seek God or any salvation or help. So you have this very interesting bringing together of this Christological issue. Luther's Christology can be neatly summarized by Colossians 119 that in him should well, all the fullness of God. And John 14 nine He that has seen me have seen the Father. Luther's basic Christological insight is that there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus as an expression of the truth. Luther claims I know of no other God except the one called Jesus Christ. God is present for us only in Christ humanity. The Incarnation then, is not an incidental fact, nor is it past history. But it is the present means of God's dealing with divine transcendence and imminence. Christ is the one revelation of God to man, and wherever Christ is present there, the fullness of the Godhead is fully present. There the Father is present, His center Christ is at his right hand, and the Spirit is present as witness. Any attempt to circumcise or circum circumscribe Christ as the present means of revelation is an attempt of natural theology to win through to God unaided. There's an exegetical difference between Zwingli and Luther. The difference between spirit and flesh. The issue of Christology, which we've only been able to just brush on here. But books once again could be written on this. And now we come to the issue of the real presence. Not enough time, but let's just forge ahead rather quickly. The real presence is important for Luther for a number of reasons. Now, of course, one of the things that Luther's going to say, according to his theology of the cross, is that a faithful, God fearing heart does this. It asks first whether it is God's word.
[01:03:39] When it hears that it is, it will attach its thought to that and not be dissuaded no matter what human reason might whisper in its ears. So in spite of our questions or the necessity or the meaningfulness of God's actions, true faith, a God fearing heart attaches itself to the Word, which is the essence of our certitude. Now, then, against the line of argument, which says My flesh is no avail. Luther rebuked swimmingly, saying, No, that's not what the text says. It says Flesh is of no avail. Secondly, he maintains that flesh in this passage cannot be understood of Christ body. He would say Christ's body really is very beneficial altogether. When you think of the fact that it was by his body that our salvation was one Jesus Christ at a very bodily, very physical thing. When he died on the cross, the nails being hammered into his hands and his feet. But there he one for us, the most spiritual of benefits and fruits, namely salvation itself. So the body of Christ does avail and it avails much. Therefore, we need to recognize that the bodily presence of Christ in the in the supper is rather important. I have taught and still teach that Christ flesh is not only of no avail, but actually is poison in death if it is eaten without faith. And the word Luther teaches that the unworthy receive the body and blood of Christ. And He bases this belief on First Corinthians 11. We've touched on that just a little bit earlier. The reality of the real presence is not contingent upon the worthiness or the heart attitude of the recipient, but it is established in the reality of the supper itself. While it's true, the unworthy physically to their doom, the worthy that is, those who eat with faith.
[01:05:41] Both physically and spiritually to their prophet. The twofold eating of faith includes both mouth and heart. The mouth eats in the body with the bread physically, and at the same time, the heart believes that this is the body which was given for the forgiveness of sins. And so the benefit of the supper comes to those who receive it in faith, the benefit of the suppers, the forgiveness of sins. This is plainly evident from the words in the words of institution forgiveness. A sense of the sacrament is always interrelated with the real presence. The forgiveness of sins depends upon the presence of the New Testament in the sacrament, which in turn depends upon the presence of the body and blood of Christ. The words first connect the bread and cup to the sacrament. The bread and cup. Embrace the body and blood of Christ. The body and blood of Christ embraced the New Testament. The New Testament embraces the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of sins embraces eternal life and salvation. Body and blood thus guarantee the forgiveness of sins. For Luther, the two cannot be separated. The benefit, the fruit of the Lord's Supper is the forgiveness of sins. And then we have to ask the question. All right, then who is the supper prepared for? Who is it received by? And Luther would say that the Lord's Supper is received by those who in this lifetime need the strengthening of this supper. And there's some wonderful passages, especially in the larger catechism. I would refer refer you to that writing of Luther. It's a marvelous pastoral passage there. He would say that, you know, there are many dangers and threats arrayed against our life as Christians, and so we need to go to the supper because in the supper we receive the forgiveness of sins, the promise of Christ return, the promise of the resurrection of the body is included in all of that.
[01:07:43] And so the supper is something that we should take for our daily strengthening. Now, someone might say, Well, I don't feel any hunger or thirst for the sacrament. Luther says this to such a person. No better advice can be given than that in the first place. He should put his hand into his bosom and feel whether he still has flesh and blood, and that he by all means believe that the Scripture say of it in Galatians five and seven. Secondly, that you look around and see whether he's still in the world and keep in mind that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say. Thirdly, he will certainly have the devil also about him, who, with his lying and murdering day and night, will let him have no peace within or without. As the Scriptures picture him in John eight. Faith needs the recreation and the strengthening found in the sacrament. The life of faith is not not only submits itself to preaching in the sacraments, but is dependent upon them. So there is a question about the need and the necessity of the real presence. And Luther would say that. The presence of the body and blood of Christ. Once again, not in a local circumscribed mode, but in a divine presence, a spiritual presence. It is necessary because God desires to save us both body and soul. There were some who said, Well, but isn't that crass? Doesn't that mean that, you know, it goes into our digestive tract? Doesn't that mean that Jesus has changed into us? Luther responds in an acid manner, rather as surgically. He says this When we eat Christ flesh, physically and spiritually, the food is so powerful that it transforms us into itself and not out of fleshly, sinful mortal men make spiritual holy living.
[01:09:33] Then this. We already are, though in a hidden manner in faith and hope. The fact is not yet manifest, but we shall experience it on the last day. It is impossible for Luther to exclude the body from the benefit of the Lord's Supper. To exclude the body from the benefit of the supper is to set the body outside the redemptive plan of God, and thus to deny the resurrection of the body. The body is included in sin and therefore has a part in the forgiveness of sins. The condescension of Christ for us on the cross and in the sacrament is complete. He comes to the depths of man's sinfulness to procure the way of release. God's condescension cannot stop before it has reached the very depths itself. A symbolic understanding of the sacrament is an attempt to stop God's condescension halfway that is at the boundary between body and soul. In the view of Zwingli and the enthusiasts. Fellowship with God does not take place on the level of sinful man in the depths, but on the level of the highest faculties of man. The presence of Christ in the altar means that He will take care of our mortal body. Christ is not too spiritual for that. Otherwise, it really means nothing that Christ says, Take, eat, this is my body. Do this in remembrance of me. He could just as easily have said, Remember me. When you eat the remembrance and the supper is not an accompanying aspect of the sacrament. The meal itself is the remembrance. Do this. That is, eat the meal in remembrance of me. Only when the meal and the words are brought together is the sacrament rightly comprehended. The words of institution only have meaning when the body is included in the participation of the supper.
The body. Okay. The controversy between Lutheran Zwingli over the Lord's Supper centered around one question Is the supper a memorial or a means of grace? Zwingli maintained that it was a memorial, an action of the Christian, a badge of his faith. Luther maintained that the supper was the action of God, where in the forgiveness of sins was proffered to the strengthening of faith and ratified by the real presence of Christ on the altar.