March 7, 2011
Sermon on Matthew 26:28 about the Spiritual blessings and benefits of the Lord's Supper.
Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com
Questions and Answers about the Sacrament of the Altar
II. The Benefit of the Sacrament of the Altar What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? These words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
296. What is the benefit offered in the sacrament? A. The chief blessing of the Sacrament is the forgiveness of sins which Christ’s body and blood have won for us on the cross. (The Lord’s Supper is a means of grace.) Matt. 26:28; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Col. 1:22; 1 John 1:7 B. Together with forgiveness, God gives all other blessings as well, that is, “life and salvation.” “We must never regard the sacrament as a harmful thing from which we should flee, but as a pure, wholesome, soothing medicine which aids and quickens us in both soul and body. For where the soul is healed, the body has benefited also” (Large Catechism V 68). “We are talking about the presence of the living Christ, knowing that ‘death no longer has dominion over him’” (Rom. 6:8-9; Apology X 4); Rom. 8:31-32 C. In the Sacrament Christ gives victory over sin and hell and strength for the new life in Him. Rom. 8:10; 1 Pet. 2:24 D. As Christians partake of this sacrament together, they make a solemn public confession of Christ and of unity in the truth of His Gospel. 1 Cor. 10:17; 1 Cor. 11:26; Heb. 12:22-24
III. The Power of the Sacrament of the Altar. How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things? Certainly not just eating and drinking do these things, but the words written here: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” These words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: “forgiveness of sins.”
297. How can forgiveness, life, and salvation be obtained through bodily eating and drinking? Not simply the eating and drinking, but the words of Christ together with His body and blood under the bread and wine are the way through which these blessings are given. “We do not claim this of bread and wine—since in itself bread is bread—but of that bread and wine which are Christ’s body and blood and with which the words are coupled. These and no other, we say, are the treasure through which forgiveness is obtained” (Large Catechism V 28). Christ’s words of promise have put these gifts into the Sacrament, and the believer receives them there through faith.
298. Does everyone who eats and drinks the Sacrament also receive forgiveness, life, and salvation? Forgiveness, life, and salvation are truly offered to all who eat the Lord’s body and blood in the Sacrament, but only through faith can we receive the blessings offered there. Luke 1:45; Luke 11:27-28. Note: To “keep” or “obey” God’s Word of promise is to believe or trust it. “For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Rom. 1:17). 1 Cor. 10:3-5. Bible Narrative: There was a blessing in touching Jesus or being touched by Him, and faith received it. Matt. 9:20-22, 27-29.
From Luther’s Small Catechism © 1986, 1991 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission. www.cph.org.