Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Wayne Grudems Systematic Theology, Chapter 50

The Lord's supper

*Just a reminder that this study of Wayne Grudem's book, Systematic Theology, is not by any means me teaching, but rather a simple summary chapter by chapter of his book for my own enrichment.*

(Only 5 chapters left!)

There is a bit of a precedent set in the Old Testament of “feasting in the presence of the Lord,” as seen with Moses, the Israelites as they tithe their grain each year, and even Adam and Eve in a sinless garden.  Even as we can celebrate the Lord’s supper (connected to the forgiveness of our sins and a right relationship with God,) we can look forward to fellowshipping and feasting in God’s presence in heaven.

What is the meaning of the Lords’s supper?
1.     Christ’s death.
2.     Our participation in the benefits of Christ’s death.
3.     Spiritual nourishment. (as we abide in Christ).
4.     Unity of believers.  We participate together to give a clear sign of unity with one another.
5.     Christ affirms his love for us. (Jesus invites us to come).
6.     Christ affirms that all the blessings of salvation are reserved for me.  This is a foretaste of our feasting and fellowship in heaven.
7.     I affirm my faith in Christ.  (almost like a regular reminder of our confession of faith in the Lord).

Various views:
Catholic view of transubstantiation.  (this is physically Christ’s body and blood.) There is also the belief that in every mass Christ performs an actual immediate sacrificial activity.  

Grudems response is that the Lord’s supper is symbolic, just as Jesus also said,  “I am the door, if anyone enters by me…” so we do not assume that he is a literal door.

Christ’s sacrifice was final and complete, having occurred once and only once.

The Lutheran view says that Christ is somehow physically present, “in, with, and under” the bread.
Otherwise, protestants say that the bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of Christ, and give a visible sign that Christ himself was truly present.

Most protestants agree that only true believers should partake in the Lord’s supper, after self-examination and confession of sins.

Next week:  worship

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