The Sacrament Of The Altar Essay

1816 words - 8 pages

The body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is given to us though the holy sacrament of communion. The Lutheran confessions practice two sacraments, baptism and Holy Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper or the Sacrament of the Altar (198, Luther’s Small Catechism). “A sacrament is a sacred act instituted by God, in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to a visible element, and by which He offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ” (197, Luther’s Small Catechism). According to Lutheran teaching, the sacraments are acts performed by Christ and related to a divine promise. Having faith in God and Lutheran beliefs is necessary for receiving the ...view middle of the document...

Paul all write, “Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: ‘Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in the remembrance of Me.’ In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament, in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’” (228, Luther’s Small Catechism). The meaning of these holy words that were instituted by the Lord show us that though Holy Communion, taken at the altar, we have been saved and are forgiven though the shed of His own blood. This holy sacrament is received at the altar because an altar is a place of sacrifice (232, Luther’s Small Catechism). Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice on the cross, where He shed his blood for the sins of the world until His final return.
We are commanded by the Lord to remember and celebrate the distribution of His body and blood until the end of time. Also, we are instructed to receive this sacrament often in order to gain strength to live a new and holy life though Christ (232, Luther’s Small Catechism). The benefits offered though Holy Communion include forgiveness, salvation, new life, and unity though The Holy Gospel. When Christians eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus Christ we are offered grace though the forgiveness of sins that was won for us on the cross. Along with forgiveness, we are offered other various blessings that include eternal life and salvation with Him (234-235, Luther’s Small Catechism). Since we are all children of God, He offers the “pure, wholesome, soothing medicine” (234, Luther’s Small Catechism) of communion that cleanses our body and soul. This sacrament also overcomes sin and hell for all who believe in a new everlasting life with the Lord (235, Luther’s Small Catechism). By taking communion, Lutherans allow and accept the Lord Jesus into their body, and “if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10). Christians, who participate in Holy Communion, publicly confess the unity they have with Christ and His Word (235, Luther’s Small Catechism).
The visible elements in the sacrament are the bread and wine which Jesus Christ broke, blessed and poured out to His disciples (230, Luther’s Small Catechism). In the Bible, God’s Word teaches that the misuse of Holy Communion do not sin against the visual elements of bread and wine but sin solely against Jesus Christ’s body and blood. This sin is proven by 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 when God states, “27 so then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and...

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