Transcript: Episode 0051

This transcript:
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Welcome to the Stone Choir podcast. I am Corey J. Mahler and I'm still whoa. On today's Stone

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Choir we're going to be discussing Communion or the Sacrum or the Altar or the Eucharist. We

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are doing kind of a collection here. We began with baptism about a month ago, about two weeks

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ago, we did the Reformation episode and we thought that we would end up that sort of grouping with a

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discussion of Communion because they all go together and we'll explain kind of how that works

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historically. I mentioned in the Reformation episode that there are effectively four distinct

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groups that emerged from the Reformation, at least by Lutheran standards. There are obviously the

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Roman Catholics who remained Roman Catholic. Their doctrine really didn't change much at

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Trent. It did change but not much. You have the Lutherans who emerged from the Roman Catholic

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Church. You have the Reformed and you have the Anabaptists. And the reason that we divide everybody

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else, including ourselves into those four distinct groups, has to do with the nature of the arguments

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in the Reformation itself. So obviously the Reformation principally was kicked off based on

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disagreement about justification. So on one side you have Rome with one approach to justification

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and on the other side you have the Protestants with a different version of justification,

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effectively faith alone, grace alone. As soon as the Reformation kicked off, there were immediately

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additional arguments within the Protestant camp about a bunch of other stuff. Because as we said

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in the Reformation episode, like the gates were open, once people started asking the question,

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what did the Roman Catholic Church get wrong, it became a matter of concern. Well, you know,

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did how many things did they get wrong? And unfortunately a lot of people reflexively went

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way too far in rejecting things that were not distinctives of the Roman Catholic Church, but in

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fact just been traditional Christian doctrine in the east and the west, going back to the very

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beginning of the Church. So the initial division was on justification. The substantial immediate

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divisions after that were about the sacraments. The two principal sacraments that Lutherans

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recognize are baptism, which we did an entire episode on, and communion. And as we mentioned

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in the baptism episode, Lutherans and Roman Catholics are more or less in agreement on

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almost all baptism. There's a small matter of disagreement surrounding original sin as

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it interacts with baptism, but otherwise we're pretty much on the same page. And when you look

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at communion, there are very significant differences between Lutheran and Roman Catholic doctrine

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that were initially part of the arguments of Lutheran and the other. Lutheran reformers

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had against Rome, but almost immediately all of the other people who had also left Rome but

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didn't agree with the Lutheran position went so much further that looking backward today,

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Lutherans effectively get lumped in with Roman Catholics in terms of communion. A lot of people,

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if they're coming from certainly like a Baptist upbringing, when you look at Lutheran doctrine

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on baptism and communion, you're going to say these guys are just papas. These guys are Catholics.

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And like you said, there's significant disagreements on communion, but there's so much

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more significant between Lutherans and the Reformed and the Baptists that they're kind of right.

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And so there's not a clean division of three and one anymore. It's almost kind of one and one and a

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half and then the other two. And so we'll talk a little bit down the road about in the Lutheran

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Confessions, initially what began as us disputing with Rome very quickly became a four-way fight

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with what the Confessions call the Sacramentarians. Today it's the Reformed and the Anabaptists,

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which today are Baptists. And those four distinct bodies, the reason we consider those distinct

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is that none of them agree on both sacraments. They'll fall into one camp or the other on either of

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them, such that there's no possible substantial agreement about doctrine among any of them.

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There cannot be any sort of unity until we overcome those disagreements about the sacraments.

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So that's why they're foundational issues. And that's probably why we're going to do this episode.

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As we said before, we don't do too many episodes. They're kind of systematic theology.

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And we're not trying to sell Lutheranism. Obviously we're Lutheran. We think it's important,

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but we had a lot of questions about it. And it's, like I said, it really nicely bookends

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the Reformation episode with the Baptism episode in terms of, like, here's why we have these

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different groups. Why did I mention in the Reformation episode that Lutherans just kind of

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laugh when Reformed guys think that we're part of the same camp? Like, it seems alien to us.

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And it has to do with Communion. It doesn't have to do with Baptism. It has to do with Communion.

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And so working through these issues, at least explaining them, like,

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I'm, this is an episode that I said earlier on Twitter teasing it, that this is going to make

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everybody mad. Because what we say is going to disagree with everything that everyone else believes

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unless you're Lutheran. And even some of the Lutherans are going to get mad at some of the things

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we say, because a couple of things we say disagree with Luther, but don't disagree with the Confessions,

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because they weren't always completely aligned. And it's not something to worry about. But like,

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it's just, it's how things play out in history. So to begin, we're going to dig in in John 6.

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This is one of the first areas where we don't agree with some of what Luther ended up saying down the

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road. John 6 is the chapter that begins with the Feeding of the 5000. And then it's what's called

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the Bread of Life Discourse. And it's a beautiful chapter. It's a very long chapter in John. And

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there's so much theology packed into it. The reason we wanted to begin there is that our view

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in distinction from Luther's, but again, as I said, not in distinction from what the Confessions

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say, John 6 is fundamentally Jesus cataclyzing the disciples and the assembled crowd about communion.

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It's about faith. It's about the entire Christian faith, but specifically dealing with some of the

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particulars of communion in such a way that later on when we address the other verses that deal

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specifically with the words of institution at the Last Supper, and then subsequently,

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when Paul reiterates them, there's a short version there at the time, but the long version is found

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in John 6. And so it's important because this framing of the discussion of communion really

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lays bare all the disputes. Every single disagreement that you will have with us and that you all have

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with each other in different denominations, that we all are mutually incompatible in terms of how

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we view communion, it boils down to the short version in 1 Corinthians 11 and the long version

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in John 6. So we're going to read all and then go through some of the particulars because

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the divisions are clear in Jesus' teaching, including the responses from both the Pharisees

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and the crowd who had the very same responses 2,000 years ago that we see today in these discussions.

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Two quick points before I get into reading the long passage from John 6. First, to be entirely

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fair to Luther, he did affirm both that John 6 is catechesis on the Lord's Supper and that it deals

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with faith, which is the position of the Confessions, the Lutheran Confessions.

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He did emphasize the faith aspect in dealing with the Reformed in part because he was simply

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tired of arguing with them. I'm sure that even some of our Reformed listeners can commiserate

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with Luther on that one. And the second point is Woe mentioned that these divisions in the church

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really center on the sacraments, which is absolutely true. And I just want to read

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Article 7 of the Augsburg Confession because it really points out

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this has been the nature of things from the Reformation forward.

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And so Article 7 defining the church. Our churches teach that one holy church is to

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remain forever. The church is the congregation of saints in which the gospel is purely taught

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and the sacraments correctly administered. For the true unity of the church,

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it is enough to agree about the doctrine of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments.

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It is not necessary that human traditions that his rights or ceremonies instituted by men

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should be the same everywhere. As Paul says, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and

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father of all. Ephesians 4, 5 through 6. And so clearly, given the definition of the church,

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unless we can agree on the sacraments, we can't have that full unity. That doesn't mean we can't

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agree on many things and get along and work together. It just means we can't have the full

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unity of full communion without agreement on the sacraments. And so I will read now from John 6.

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On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea

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saw that there had been only one boat there and that Jesus had not entered the boat with

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his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberius came near

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the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd

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saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to

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Capernaum seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea they said to him,

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Rabbi, when did you come here? Jesus answered them, truly, truly I say to you, you are seeking me,

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not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food

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that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to

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you, for on him God the Father has set his seal. Then they said to him, what must we do to be

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doing the works of God? Jesus answered them, this is the work of God that you believe in him whom

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he has sent. So they said to him, then what sign do you do that we may see and believe you,

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what work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, as it is written,

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he gave them bread from heaven to eat. Jesus then said to them, truly, truly I say to you,

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it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from

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heaven, for the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

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They said to him, sir, give us this bread always. Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life,

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whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst,

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but I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will

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come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven,

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not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me,

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that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

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For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should

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have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. So the Jews grumbled about him because

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he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. They said, is this not Jesus, the Son of Joseph,

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whose Father and Mother we know? How does he now say, I have come down from heaven?

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Jesus answered them, do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the

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Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets,

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and they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me,

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not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God, he has seen the Father.

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Truly truly I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life, I am the bread of life.

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Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread that comes down

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from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from

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heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever, and the bread that I will give

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for the life of the world is my flesh. The Jews then disputed among themselves saying,

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how can this man give us his flesh to eat? So Jesus said to them, truly truly I say to you,

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unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

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Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the

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last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

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Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father

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sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me he also will live because of me.

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This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the Fathers ate and died.

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Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. Jesus said these things in the synagogue,

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as he taught at Capernaum. When many of his disciples heard it they said,

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this is a hard saying, who can listen to it. But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples

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were grumbling about this said to them, do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see

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the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life,

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the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life,

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but there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning,

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who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him. And he said,

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this is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.

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After this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

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So Jesus said to the twelve, do you want to go away as well?

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Simon Peter answered him, Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

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and we have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.

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That's obviously a very long passage and I recommend you go back and reread it yourselves.

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It's beautiful, it's straight from the mouth of God, and it's vital to understanding the theology

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of both faith and communion. There are a couple of interesting things in there that I want to

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tease out. Obviously, there's extensive discussion of eating flesh and drinking blood,

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and when you look in the Greek words that are used for flesh, it's sarks. It means actual

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flesh. If you were to find roadkill and cut a piece off, that's what you're talking about,

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that type of flesh. It's not any sort of metaphorical version, it's the real material version of the

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thing. The historic disputes about this have been, well, this can't possibly be true because

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from the post-Reformation era, we have faith alone, precluding all works, and so there's the

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passage where Jesus says, whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks on my blood has eternal life,

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unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

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If you misunderstand faith alone, grace alone, you will not understand that this is not a work.

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That's one of the problems that we addressed in the baptism episode at some lengths. We're not

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going to repeat the arguments about how sacraments interact with human action. The short version

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is that when God says to do something and you receive his gift when you do it, and then you do

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it, that's not a work in the sense of us affecting anything. That is us receiving God's gift. It's

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like going to church and hearing the word of God. Yes, going to church is obedience, but the hearing

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is passive. It's receptive. When it discusses us eating and drinking from Christ's body and blood,

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it's receiving something. It's not doing something. We'll get to that elsewhere in this episode,

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but it's just important that this is one of the distinctions of a sacrament, that if you misplace

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the action as, oh, well, I'm doing this. Therefore, any passage that says do something

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must necessarily mean that it can't be salvific. You're missing out on a lot of Scripture,

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because there's stuff that God says to do that's clearly not us saving ourselves. There's nowhere

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in Scripture where God says you can save yourself. There's many places in Scripture where God says

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to do stuff, in particular when the sacraments are delivered by God to us, as in the case of

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baptism and in the case of communion. What we receive is the very forgiveness that God promised

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to deliver from the cross. I think the strongest argument to be made for how none of this can be

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taken entirely is Al Goree. Obviously, it's describing faith. Faith is absolutely inextricable.

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Faith is how we receive salvation. No doubt about that. Faith is how we receive the gifts in the

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sacraments. God is pouring out his abundance of his grace to us through the sacraments.

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The fact that there's a physical means with it doesn't change the equation. Apart from giving us

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a physical touchstone in history, in time, in a place that we can point to and say, yes, right here,

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God is giving me his stuff here. Whatever he promised to be attached to the stuff, I will also

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receive. The physical presence of elements is part of God's reassurance to us that he's keeping

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all the other promises. The argument from the Jews, they disputed it and said, how can this man give

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us his flesh to eat? That's one of the arguments that is used against this passage, possibly,

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being about communion. Because how can that be? One of the arguments is that, well,

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God is stuck at the right hand of the Father. He has a corporeal body. Jesus Christ, the incarnate

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Son of God, can no longer do what he could do when he was not corporeal. How can this man give us

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his flesh to eat is, I think, critically set in the context of this passage, which, as I mentioned

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at the beginning, it's immediately after the feeding of the 5,000. The day before, they had

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all sat down and they had the 5 loaves and the 2 fishes, and Jesus performed the miracle. They

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got back 12 baskets full after everyone had been fed, 5,000 men and women and children beside.

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Right in the very context of him saying this and the Jews saying, how can this be that he could

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give us his flesh to eat, the very context of the miracles demonstrates that God was showing how he

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does it. He says, I'm going to do it, and he does it. It's miraculous. It is outside of the

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material world that 5 loaves and 2 fishes could feed everybody. It's impossible, but Jesus did it,

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and it was just as plain as day. There was no magic. There was no moment. There was no flashes.

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He just said, pass it out, and they did. They got back so much more than they had handed out that

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it was clear to everyone that a great miracle had been performed. That was his introduction to

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saying, here is how I will feed you. Then when he finished, the disciples heard it and they

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grumbled. They said, this is a hard saying. Who can listen to this? Many of them grumbled and they

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walked away. They abandoned him on the spot. Now, this is critical because if this passage in John 6

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were just about faith, which they understood, he'd been talking about faith, even the Jews who were

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not believing understood faith. They understood the concept of believing and then receiving things

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from God. If it had been clear from Jesus' teaching that day, the text that we just read,

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if it had been clear that this was only about faith and not about something more immediate,

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more material than that, they wouldn't have been confused. They wouldn't have said,

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this is a hard saying. If they had, he would have said, no, no, wait, come back, come back. I didn't

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mean that. It's all spiritual. There's nothing physical here. He said, do you take offense?

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Then if you were seeing the Son of Man ascending to where he was before,

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he's saying to them, if you don't believe this small thing that I'm telling you,

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how will you believe the greater things? Then they wandered off. I think one of the most beautiful

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parts of this and the reason that we let that passage go long was Simon Peter's confession at

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the end. After some of the other disciples had wandered off because they were offended,

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Jesus said, what do you believe? Will you go away as well? Peter famously

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responded, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. He didn't say, I get it.

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It makes perfect sense to me. He said, where else are we going to go? I think this is a perfect

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example of proper faith when receiving hard teachings. This is a hard teaching. We've said

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in the past episode, there are a few places in scripture where our reason collapses. You have

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the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man. How can there be two 100% in

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one thing? What sort of analogies can you invent to try to explain that? Effectively, every analogy

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that men have invented in the past has effectively created some sort of heresy because it's irrational.

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It's not two boards glued together. It's not two halves in a cup. It's not a mixture. There's no

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comparison for when Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. It's impossible. It doesn't make sense.

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That is the essential predicate for the entire Christian faith, that this man who was incarnate

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is also fully God. The same is absolutely true when we're looking at communion. When Jesus said,

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they didn't know yet what was going to happen with communion. It wasn't until later on the last

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supper when he actually instituted it. This is a teaching moment to explain the theology behind

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it. As we'll get to in a bit, when they received that teaching on the night he was betrayed,

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there was an argument. All the questions went away because they received it the same way.

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I don't think they understood it any better, but when he said, this is my body given for the

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forgiveness of your sins, it wasn't out of left field because they had heard it before.

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They had heard it here at this moment the day after the feeding of the 5000. Whatever questions

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they may have had, whatever doubts they may have had, he had cataclyzed them. When he said it,

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when it was finally being instituted, they just received it and they ate and they drank and they

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gave thanks. I think that this is a good point to define a few terms to go over some things that

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are frequently confused. Two of the most important terms here are sacrament and sacrifice. It is

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important to understand the distinction between these two things because this is where the Roman

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error creeps in. Rome wants to turn the sacrament of the altar into a sacrifice, which it is not in

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the sense that they use it, but I'll define the terms first so that we are on the same page as it

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were. A sacrament is a ceremony or work in which God presents what the promise of the ceremony

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offers. For Christians, well as Lutherans we are not going to quibble over the number of the

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sacraments. We're very explicit in our confessions and elsewhere that we're not going to do that.

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Rome insisted we had to recognize a certain number of sacraments. We said there are most

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certainly two. We're not going to debate whether there are more. If you want to call marriage a

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sacrament, have fun and other things as well. But obviously the two core sacraments on which

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Christians cannot disagree that these are sacraments would be baptism and the Lord's Supper.

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And so you cannot call these a work and the reason you can't call them a work in terms of human

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beings doing the work is because these are God's work and so you cannot steal from God.

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To call baptism or to call the Lord's Supper a human work is to say that a human being is doing

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God's work. Now certainly God uses the hands, the mouth of the pastor as means to deliver his work,

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to deliver his blessing, his promises to those who receive them. That does not make them the work

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of the pastor. They are still God's work. And now a sacrifice, a sacrifice contrary to a sacrament,

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is a ceremony or work that we give to God in order to provide him honor. Now notably, there are two

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kinds of sacrifice and it is important to know both of them because one of them is in play here and

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one is not with regard to those of us mortals who are partaking of the Eucharist.

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And so one of those is in fact the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This does not merit the forgiveness

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of sins or reconciliation. It is practiced by those who have already been reconciled.

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This is so that we may give thanks or return gratitude for the forgiveness of sins that

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has already been received or for other benefits. The other kind of sacrifice there has been one

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in the history of the world that is an atoning sacrifice. That is a work that makes satisfaction

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for guilt and punishment. Obviously there has been only one, that is Christ's sacrifice,

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that is the atonement. And so Rome's error when it comes to the Lord's Supper is that they believe

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that each time the priest oversees the Lord's table, oversees the Sacrament,

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he is re-sacrificing Christ. And that's false. Christ's sacrifice was once for all, one atonement.

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That is why Christ said from the cross, it is finished. This is not something that plays out

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again on altars across the world through all eternity or at least until the end of the world.

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Once for all, what we are doing is one, in remembrance of Christ, two, receiving the benefits

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of Christ, and three, giving thanks for those benefits. What we are doing is a Eucharistic

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sacrifice, the sacrifice of praise. All we're doing is using a Greek term for that in essence.

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And so it's important to keep in mind these moving parts, the difference between a Sacrament

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and a Sacrifice. The Lord's Supper is a Sacrament. It is God bringing His gifts to us. We in turn,

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after partaking of the Sacrament, and in fact in partaking of the Sacrament,

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give a Eucharistic sacrifice, a sacrifice of praise, we are praising God for the gifts He has given us.

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These have to be kept distinct, because we cannot steal from God that which is properly His,

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we cannot claim to be the one doing His works, because they are His works.

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There's no good in an Atoning Sacrifice if it is made by a mere man.

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The Atoning Sacrifice required the God-man who is Christ. Because, again as we have said many

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times before, the debt of sin being infinite required demanded an infinite Atonement, and the

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only possible infinite Atonement is Christ. And so one of the fundamental problems here, if you get

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the theology wrong, the doctrine wrong on the Sacrament, on the Lord's Supper, is that you are

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implicitly denying the Unio Personalis, the personal union of God and man in Christ.

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Because many of the arguments, supposed arguments, against the Sacramental Union,

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the Sacramental Presence of Christ, Christ being actually present in the Sacrament,

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in, with, and under the bread and wine, one of the most common arguments against that is that how can

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this be? It's an argument based on reason, obviously, and human reason does fail, it has limits,

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it's the misuse of reason that is at issue here. The difference between reason as Magister or Master

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and reason as Servant. Reason is a Servant you use to understand things. Reason is not the Master

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of the Universe that determines what is real. If you look at it, top down as reason imposing

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reality, that's incorrect, that's reason as Magister. If you are looking at it instead as reason as one

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of your interpretive lenses to understand reality, that's reason as Minister, reason as Servant,

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that is the correct use of reason. But when you attempt to apply reason as a Master to these

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things, particularly the Mysteries of God, you are not going to be able to understand them in that

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light. You have to understand them from what God has revealed about them, and what God has revealed

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about them we'll get to in Christ's words and Paul's explanation of those words. But when God

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speaks what he says is true and you simply believe it, you do not have to subject his words to your

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reason to prove that they are true. And then I would also like to expand on the issue of what is

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of work? Is this faith plus works? And the answer to that, the second question is no. This is not

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faith plus works as we have highlighted before particularly in the baptism episode but also

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elsewhere. The Spirit uses means to create faith and to strengthen faith. Baptism is one of the

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primary means, the word being the other. Of course the word flows through all of this because a

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sacrament, another way of defining it is simply the word plus an element, the word plus a sign,

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a physical thing. That is one of the traditional or classical definitions of a sacrament. And so

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the word is always present, but you have word and baptism to create faith, and then you have word

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and supper to strengthen faith. That is the way that things are supposed to go, that is the way

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that God has ordained it. And as I've mentioned before, we being spiritual and physical, being

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spirit and body, will set aside the issue of mind and such matters for now. But the fact that we have

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these dual natures, God reaches out to us where we are and how we are, what we are. We have the word

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which reaches the spirit. Yes, it also reaches the physical ear, but you have also the physical

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signs. The body can understand the physical signs. The part of you that is physical can understand

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water, can understand bread, can understand wine. God uses these to strengthen your faith,

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to reach the totality of who and what you are, not just the spirit, because you are not a spirit

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riding around in a meat suit. That's a mischaracterization. You are your body, you are your soul,

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you are both of those things. And so there's some bit of understanding you can have if you can grasp

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that to a certain degree of the personal union. But to get back to that original point, if you

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deny that you can have bread and body, wine and blood, simultaneously present, you are tacitly

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saying that the personal union cannot be possible. And you may think, well, the difference is that

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the one is God, the one is Christ, and the other is bread. No. Because you have Christ's word saying

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that it is bread and that it is body, saying that it is wine and that it is blood. You also have

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his word about the personal union in a number of places in Scripture. God does not lie.

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God always speaks the truth. God always speaking the truth. We have to believe what he has told us.

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And then to emphasize, Woe's comment about the right hand of the Father, because this is

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an issue that comes up constantly in this area, and it is vitally important to understand this,

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to get this right. Because theological and doctrinal errors flow from this, left, right, and center.

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The right hand of the Father is not a physical location. How do we know this?

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The Father is Spirit. The Father does not have a right hand. The right hand of the Father is not

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a physical location, because again, the Father is not physical. Scripture is very clear. Scripture

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says this in a number of places. The Father and the Spirit, obviously, one would hope that

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with the Spirit this is obvious, but the Father and the Spirit being Spirit, being not corporeal,

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do not have right hands. And so their right hands cannot be a physical location. The right hand

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of the Father is a position of power and authority. When Scripture speaks of the right hand of the

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Father and Christ being there, think of it as a right hand man. Or, historically, many kings would

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have a vizier or equivalent, someone, some minister who was very high ranking, who acted as his right

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hand and was called his right hand. That is what Scripture is saying when it says Christ is the

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right hand of the Father. It is a matter of the exaltation of Christ. It is not a matter of a

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physical location. So no, he is not physically limited to some specific small place in heaven.

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That is not how this works. Also notably, heaven, not a physical location. But that's a point for

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another time. Before we conclude with John 6, I just want to provide a warning to the folks who

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are still shouting at us that can't possibly be about the Eucharist, can't be about communion.

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I want to reread a small portion. Jesus says, For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

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Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks on my blood abides in me, and I in him.

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The reason that this is important is that if you say, Well, that can't possibly be about communion,

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because that's tying your salvation to a work, any argument along those lines that anyone would

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make, including some Lutherans against John 6 being Eucharistic, must necessarily and absolutely

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apply to baptism now saves you. And see, this is something that astonishes me that some folks

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who agree that baptism can be salvific, and they can maybe agree that communion is salvific,

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but they will sternly argue against John 6 being about the Eucharist, specifically because of this

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language that Jesus uses that's conditional. Well, if baptism now saves you, then it's obvious that

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if you reject baptism, you're rejecting salvation. And we talked about in the baptism episode says

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nothing about someone who's unable to be baptized. You know, it's not a question of rejection. If

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it's a question of the absence of the opportunity, that is not something that's going to separate

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you from Christ because it is faith that saves. And that's crucial in all this faith undergirds

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salvation period. And there is faith in baptism, and there is faith in communion, and there is

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faith in the forgiveness of sins, the confession and absolution of sins. Again, this is all God

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pouring out as gifts to us in all these myriad ways. And so just when you read the text of this,

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if you're like, that can't possibly be because there's this conditional here, try that same logic

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that you're applying to this, to baptism now saves you, and see a baptism survives as a sacrament.

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What you will find is that it doesn't. If you remove John 6 as being also about communion,

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the logic by which you do that is going to nullify baptism. I think that's one of the strongest

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pieces of evidence that this must be. It's the same type of thing. Another piece of evidence for it is

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back at the beginning. Jesus directly makes the manna in the desert typologically pointing towards

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the bread of life, which is him, which is his body. And how do we receive his body? If it's

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spiritual, if it's by faith, then we're not receiving anything physical. And the type would fall apart

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because they were given manna in the desert. There was actual bread that fell from heaven,

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physical bread. They gathered it up in baskets, and they ate it. And as he said, it sustained them,

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but they still died. The same is true of all the sacrifices in the Old Testament. Blood was shed,

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but it always pointed towards what? The actual shedding of Christ's blood on the cross.

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This is how the typology in the Old Testament always plays out. You have the smaller version

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that's a physical object that points toward the final anti-type of the thing, and that is also

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physical. So it would not be possible if Jesus is making the comparison between physical manna

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from heaven and himself as manna from heaven coming from God. That doesn't then become allegorical.

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He's still talking about his flesh as he says over and over. He gets gratuitous and cumulative

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in the passage where he's talking about his blood being true, food, etc. So don't ignore that typology

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as being a necessary part of this being sacramental catechesis. I can tell you just from personal

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experience, there are multiple Baptists I know who, when they read this, they ceased to be Baptists

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because they realized they had precluded that view of the sacrament. They realized that they were

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Lutheran when they actually believed what John 6 said about communion. Now, I find it terrifying

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that there would be then anyone, but especially Lutherans, to come along and say, no, no, no,

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well, that's not about communion. If it is having this efficacious and beneficial outcome in the

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faith and the souls of men to realize that a false confession needs to be reoriented in a way

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that is Lutheran, we're like, yes, absolutely, that is correct to then say, well, but not that text,

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that can't be it. That's judge the tree by its fruit. And when men read John 6 and they become

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Lutheran, please don't argue with them. Please just don't do that. The same sort of typology,

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incidentally, is used by Jesus elsewhere, again, pointing physically. We always quote John 3.16

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and sometimes 17 and 18. But John 3.14 says, And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

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so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

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If you remember that story, they were being, they've been cursed by God, they're being bitten by

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poisonous snakes and dying. God told Moses to craft a bronze serpent, put it up on a pole,

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whoever looked, whoever gazed upon that serpent would be saved from the poison. He did it,

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and many of Israel lived. And Jesus himself says in John 3, This is typological of me hanging on

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the cursed tree of the cross. The bronze serpent was a typological pointer to Christ's sacrifice

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when he was crucified. Again, there's physical on both ends of that. You will not have typology

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where the physical version then just sort of falls off into, into what? It doesn't just vanish

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into space. It can't just float away. It has to point to something physical. So please, you know,

41:49.360 --> 41:55.200
one of the interesting things about the reason that Luther doesn't necessarily go as hard as we

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do with this is that John 6 is not necessary for the Lutheran view of the sacrament of communion.

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If John 6 were not present, we would still have much the same understanding. And that's part of

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why he was, he just didn't want to fight with the Reformed anymore. At the end of his life,

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he was sick of constantly doing the same battles over and over again. That fact that

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a man would make a concession so as not to have to keep getting beaten about the face and head

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doesn't mean that it doesn't apply. It just means that sometimes you're gonna,

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if you have the argument nailed down elsewhere, you don't need additional evidence. But we have

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the luxury, you know, like, certainly Cori and I have the luxury of no one's yelling at us because

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you don't have mics, you're yelling, but we can't hear you. So we can just go on and on.

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When we point to this, it's because it's all, it's all what Jesus said. This is by far the richest

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and most fleshed out, I'm not saying that ironically, version of catechesis. And so as we get into the

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actual words of institution, just keep in mind the reaction that the apostles had, you know,

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the disciples and their gathered in the upper room on Monday, Thursday. There was no arguing.

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There was no saying, how can this be? There was nothing except for acquiescence because

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their teacher had already explained it to him. And this is something that I think it's an important

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thing when you're reading the New Testament, particularly when you're reading the Gospels,

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and then moved to Acts and beyond. Prior to Pentecost, these 12 men, you know, 11 survive because

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Judas obviously apostatized and was killed and then replaced. He killed himself, self-murdered.

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These men went to seminary with God for three years, three and a half years. Jesus taught them

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every day. They lived together. They ate together morning till night. They were constantly discussing

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these things. He was constantly teaching them. In many places it's recorded, Jesus telling them,

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basically, you'll understand later. And they understood later at Pentecost when they received

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the gift of the Holy Spirit. This teaching, the catechesis in the seminary education that they

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received at Christ's feet was unlocked by the Holy Spirit. And so I think one of the things that's,

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I think we kind of just assumed today, we kind of read into the text of Acts and beyond. Well,

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the apostles were special and they were inspired by God. And we just kind of assumed that what they

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say in Acts and beyond was New Revelation from God directly. I think it's a much more natural

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reading, particularly when you look at what happens, you know, from the end of, you know,

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especially the end of Luke to Acts, which is effectively part one and part two of the same

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book. I wish John came first and then Luke and Acts were bookended. Because when you look at that,

44:54.320 --> 45:00.960
Peter in particular, you know, Peter's like the Kool-Aid man of theology. He's boisterous and he's

45:00.960 --> 45:06.960
enthusiastic and he just crashes through walls and he's like, what's up guys? I'm going to be the

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loudest, most confident man in the room, even if he has no idea what he's talking about. And

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God bless him for it because many of his confessions, even when he didn't understand something,

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he still got enough right. He's like, yeah, that is a good model for our faith. And yet,

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what do we see immediately after Pentecost? He's the man who stands up and just unloads this sermon

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out of nowhere that's beautiful. It's rich, it's textural, there's so much theology and scripture

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that he pulls in. And in some cases, it is new teaching. But I think that if you understand

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that the Holy Spirit unlocked the seminary education that had been locked away behind blinders,

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it makes a lot more sense where all that stuff came from. And so as these men, as the apostles,

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who had lived with Jesus for three and a half years, as they go up on with the rest of their

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lives and their ministries, they certainly did receive direct revelation. Paul in particular

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did not have the benefit. So he was talking to God directly, God communicated with him,

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something that does not exist for us today. So not minimizing the fact that they did,

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in some case, you know, John, obviously with his revelation, the apocalypse,

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that was all new, that was directly coming from God. That wasn't something the book itself says,

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this was a direct revelation. It wasn't something that Jesus told him. So they absolutely did,

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in some cases, receive new, inspired teaching. They were inspired. But much of what they were

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inspired by was not immediate, but it was through their seminary education with Jesus.

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And so just keep that in mind as you look at the things that they say in Acts and beyond. And even

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as the passages were about to read on the night of the Last Supper, and then what Paul says about

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the same moment, the fact that they just sat there and received it faithfully with no argument,

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they're short, they're brief scenes. It's obviously a very short scene that we're given. It was an

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entire night. But the fact that God doesn't say anything about them arguing or grumbling or doubting

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or anything is a clear indication that they'd heard this before. They'd heard it at the feeding

47:19.200 --> 47:24.320
in the 5,000. And so it wasn't new information. It was the fulfillment of what had already been

47:24.320 --> 47:29.520
taught. That's exactly how Catechesis works in churches today. Almost every church, whatever

47:29.520 --> 47:36.800
their views of communion, there's typically some form of teaching before communion. It's the same

47:36.800 --> 47:42.800
thing. You teach and then you deliver. So the disconnection temporarily from the feeding of

47:42.800 --> 47:48.800
5,000 to later on in the upper room when they actually received First Communion, the First

47:48.800 --> 47:54.800
Communion, it makes perfect sense. It's the same model that we have followed ever since. You teach

47:55.360 --> 48:00.880
someone what it is, and then you give it to them, just as Jesus did for the apostles. It's been

48:00.880 --> 48:08.240
passed on to all of us as well. Before we get into the passages dealing with the words of institution,

48:08.240 --> 48:12.000
and we'll really deal with just two of those. There are a couple of parallel ones. We'll mention

48:12.000 --> 48:17.600
the parallel ones, but not read them into the episode, as it were. I want to address

48:18.560 --> 48:21.200
promise and typology. First, promise.

48:23.440 --> 48:28.560
Promise is a central concept to everything we're discussing here, and indeed, to the Christian

48:28.560 --> 48:36.880
faith. And the reason for that is, how do you receive a promise? Because what is promised here

48:36.880 --> 48:41.680
in the Lord's Supper is the forgiveness of sins. We'll get into that with the words of institution,

48:41.680 --> 48:48.240
what is promised in baptism is forgiveness of sins. But how do you receive a promise?

48:49.600 --> 48:56.240
If I promise you that I will do something, the only way that you can receive that promise from me

48:56.960 --> 49:05.360
is to believe what I've said. You have to believe that I will do what I have said I will do.

49:06.080 --> 49:12.160
It's faith. It's belief. That is how you receive a promise. And so all of these things, the core

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of the Christian faith, the things we are dealing in here, are promises. You receive those via faith.

49:21.440 --> 49:26.880
And so when someone tells you that, oh, well, this teaching means there's works, no it doesn't,

49:26.880 --> 49:31.520
this has nothing to do with human works. It has everything to do with Christ's work.

49:32.400 --> 49:41.440
But it is not a human work that receives the promise. It is faith, and faith is the free gift

49:41.440 --> 49:48.960
of God. And so God gives you the capacity, the attribute, the thing that receives

49:50.720 --> 49:57.280
the promise, and that is faith. And so there's no work here on your part. It is all from God,

49:57.280 --> 50:01.360
because He gives you both the capacity to receive the promise, and then He gives you

50:01.360 --> 50:08.080
the promise as well. And the second point I wanted to make is the issue of typology.

50:09.760 --> 50:15.200
We've spoken of typology a fair number of times in this podcast, and we will continue to do so.

50:16.240 --> 50:22.080
I find it very unfortunate that many modern Christian denominations have essentially

50:23.040 --> 50:29.920
jettisoned typology. It's no longer taught, it's no longer used, it's ignored. And that is deeply

50:29.920 --> 50:36.800
unfortunate, because Scripture is incredibly rich, and a great deal of that richness comes from

50:36.800 --> 50:41.920
typology, because typology flows from the beginning of Scripture all the way to the end.

50:43.040 --> 50:49.040
And just as one example of that, you have the Tree of Life standing in the New Jerusalem in

50:49.120 --> 50:54.560
Revelation. But you also have the Tree of Life all the way back in Genesis in the garden.

50:56.880 --> 51:03.680
But you also have the Tree of Life in Christ. Christ is the Tree of Life. It is His flesh

51:03.680 --> 51:12.880
that is given for food to the world, to the elect. And it gives us eternal life. It gives us salvation.

51:13.440 --> 51:19.520
Now, to be clear, that salvation is offered to everyone. Scripture is incredibly clear.

51:19.520 --> 51:24.240
Ton Cosmon, it is Cosmos, the universe. It is all things that are redeemed in Christ.

51:24.880 --> 51:31.040
It is the elect and only the elect who benefit from it. The difference between the objective and

51:31.040 --> 51:38.560
the subjective justification. But typology flows throughout Scripture. You have typology of Christ

51:38.560 --> 51:46.000
sacrifice and of our worship in the Old Testament sacrificial system. You have the typology of

51:46.000 --> 51:52.160
Christ as the rock with the rock in the Old Testament, out of whom, out of which, depending

51:52.160 --> 51:58.160
on your emphasis there, flows living water, water of life, that keeps the ancient Israelites alive

51:58.160 --> 52:04.160
in the desert. And speaking of flowing waters, I will make one sort of tangential point here

52:04.160 --> 52:12.800
right before I get into Matthew. We see both sacraments flowing directly from Christ on Golgotha.

52:14.000 --> 52:22.400
When his side is pierced by that spear, what flows out? It is water and blood. So what do you have

52:22.400 --> 52:28.880
present there? You have his body, you have water, and you have his blood. Well, that's baptism.

52:29.680 --> 52:34.080
And that's the sacrament of the table. That's the Lord's Supper. You have both sacraments,

52:34.720 --> 52:39.040
typologically and physically present there on the cross.

52:41.920 --> 52:47.280
But now I'll read from Matthew 26, the words of institution. I said I would give the parallel

52:47.280 --> 52:53.840
chapters as well, the parallel sections. Those would be Mark 14 and Luke 22, but we'll be reading

52:53.840 --> 52:55.040
from Matthew 26.

53:24.400 --> 53:31.520
There are a few important parts of this that we didn't already cover in John 6. One,

53:31.520 --> 53:37.760
he specifically says, this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the

53:37.760 --> 53:45.120
forgiveness of sins. Now, this is crucial because he's saying that communion does something.

53:46.080 --> 53:53.600
What does it do? It forgives sins. Again, there's no work here of any man. The work is of God,

53:53.600 --> 53:59.040
the deliverance is through means. We receive those means of grace, and they are indeed means of

53:59.040 --> 54:05.920
grace. And this is a point where, thankfully, the Reformed, the Lutherans, and the Roman Catholics

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all agree that communion does deliver the forgiveness of sins. Baptists, the Anabaptists

54:12.640 --> 54:20.800
stand alone in rejecting that because they do not understand what sola fide means. They think that

54:20.880 --> 54:25.680
anything that any man does can't possibly have anything to do with forgiveness of sins because

54:25.680 --> 54:31.200
that would be us taking credit. Jesus, God everywhere, says the opposite. There's a whole

54:31.200 --> 54:35.920
bunch of stuff where God tells us where he's going to deliver the forgiveness of sins.

54:35.920 --> 54:42.480
Baptism now saves you. This blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins, just as his

54:42.480 --> 54:47.680
body was sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins. And again, typologically, that was the

54:47.680 --> 54:53.120
essence of the sacrificial system. There were blood offerings and there were meat offerings

54:53.840 --> 55:00.640
that were typologically pointing forward to the cross. To the final, the ultimate, the pure,

55:00.640 --> 55:06.800
the only sacrifice that actually mattered, because it says elsewhere in the New Testament,

55:06.800 --> 55:13.600
that those sacrifices couldn't do anything by themselves. They were an expression of faith.

55:13.600 --> 55:20.960
They pointed to Jesus' perfect sacrifice once and for all time. So the words of institution,

55:20.960 --> 55:26.240
when it talks about the forgiveness of sins, it's not simply talking about Jesus' blood

55:26.960 --> 55:31.760
was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Remember, this is taking, this is my body,

55:31.760 --> 55:38.080
drink of it all of you, for this is the blood, my blood of the covenant. This is how the forgiveness

55:38.080 --> 55:45.520
of sins is delivered, which is precisely what Jesus said in John 6. He said, whoever has true

55:45.520 --> 55:52.240
flesh and drinks true blood is going to receive eternal life. That was the whole point of that.

55:52.240 --> 55:58.160
And that's why people got annoyed and they wandered off. Like, well, that can't be. They were confused

55:58.160 --> 56:04.000
and they were annoyed because they took it literally. They listened to John 6 literally. He didn't

56:04.000 --> 56:08.160
correct them. He didn't say, no, no, no, it's a figure. Don't worry about it. It's not actually

56:08.160 --> 56:14.880
about blood and body. There's nothing gross here. It's okay. He didn't say it at all. He let them

56:14.880 --> 56:22.800
go and asked the disciples, the 12, what do you think? You can leave too. So again, this is why

56:22.800 --> 56:28.320
it is a sacrament to us and really to everyone, except the Baptist. And if you're Baptist and

56:28.320 --> 56:34.560
you reject that, we're not trying to pick on you. We're trying to clearly delineate the substantial

56:34.560 --> 56:41.040
distinctions among us. And the reason is why we're not the same denomination. Why until such disputes

56:41.040 --> 56:47.120
rooted in Scripture are resolved, there can't be complete unanimity on what the faith means.

56:47.120 --> 56:53.520
Because this is big ticket stuff. Remember the words of institution, given on the night in

56:53.520 --> 56:59.120
which he was betrayed. That was his very last act. Everything else was him being taken in the garden

56:59.120 --> 57:06.560
and then executed and rising. And this was his last act of ministry effectively. Everything after

57:06.560 --> 57:11.760
this was leading to his death and resurrection. I'm not saying that's not ministry, but this was

57:11.760 --> 57:16.400
his last teaching moment. Everything he said afterwards is like, look, I'm fulfilling what I

57:16.400 --> 57:22.640
came to do. I did it. The other thing I want to point to is that he says, I tell you, I will not

57:22.640 --> 57:27.280
drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you and my father's kingdom.

57:28.320 --> 57:33.840
Fruit of the vine is synonymous with wine. It's used in lots of different places in Scripture.

57:33.840 --> 57:40.320
There's only one thing that it means. It means alcoholic wine, which is itself redundant. There's

57:40.320 --> 57:46.560
no such thing as non-alcoholic wine. Now in docks, I can say, I started a distillery. I produced

57:46.560 --> 57:52.960
hundreds of thousands of gallons of alcohol. Both as an industry expert and as someone who

57:52.960 --> 57:58.880
could do this very experiment that you could do in your garage, if you take a pail and you mash

57:58.880 --> 58:05.360
up a bunch of grapes and you put a lid on it and you put something on it to seal it in and it's

58:05.360 --> 58:09.920
called a bubbler, you can put something that will make just a one-way passage where you put

58:09.920 --> 58:15.600
a little water in it so gases can escape, but nothing can get in and just let it sit for the

58:15.680 --> 58:20.720
weekend. When you come back several days later, it's going to be bubbling and the reason it's

58:20.720 --> 58:26.400
going to be bubbling is that you've now produced alcohol. All you did was squished some grapes

58:26.400 --> 58:33.840
through in a bucket and you've produced alcohol. Why? Because there's everywhere in nature and

58:33.840 --> 58:40.720
certainly absolutely everywhere in nature in Jesus' day. Yeast is on everything. Natural yeast is on

58:40.720 --> 58:47.200
all the fruit in the universe. It's just there. It's regional. It's specific to different types

58:47.200 --> 58:52.960
of plants. It's specific to parts of the country, parts of the world. There's always yeast on stuff.

58:53.600 --> 59:01.440
Yeast in the presence of sugar with the right pH and the right temperatures

59:02.000 --> 59:08.240
is going to produce two things. It's going to burp carbon dioxide, which is why you would get

59:08.240 --> 59:13.120
bubbles coming out of your little bubbler if you seal this package up and it's going to excrete

59:13.120 --> 59:20.160
ethanol, which is alcohol. This is how God made the universe. It's not like man used some sort of

59:20.160 --> 59:26.000
alchemy to begin. Demons didn't need to teach anybody how to make alcohol. You accidentally

59:26.000 --> 59:31.360
get alcohol if you just mishandle fruit. The Mongolians, they had fermented yaks milk.

59:31.920 --> 59:39.600
They things get alcoholic very easily. Now the degree of alcohol that's present can vary,

59:39.600 --> 59:44.800
but when Jesus says fruit of the vine, he's only talking about one thing. He's talking about real

59:44.800 --> 59:52.240
natural wine with alcohol and not just a little bit either. The very first miracle that he did at

59:52.240 --> 59:58.880
the wedding of Cana produced a huge volume of alcohol. Why? Because it was a party. Was he

59:58.880 --> 01:00:04.960
say there's going to be wine in heaven? Alcohol is part of creation. It is not a part of the fall.

01:00:04.960 --> 01:00:12.880
It is how God made everything to work. It's notable that today there are denominations

01:00:12.880 --> 01:00:18.720
that reject their tea toddlers either entirely or they simply reject wine in the sacrament.

01:00:20.240 --> 01:00:27.120
One that is completely in violation of the words of institution. If you are not using wine,

01:00:27.120 --> 01:00:33.280
you are not having communion because God says to use wine. The Trayvon Martin

01:00:33.280 --> 01:00:38.800
communion with Skittles in Arizona iced tea, that's the kind of theology that you're

01:00:38.800 --> 01:00:44.000
employing if you think you can just start substituting stuff. Notably, grape juice.

01:00:44.000 --> 01:00:47.680
People are like, you juice grapes and you can have no alcohol. No, you can't.

01:00:48.320 --> 01:00:53.440
The reason that grape juice exists today is that a Wesleyan Methodist named Welch

01:00:54.320 --> 01:01:00.640
denied communion and wanted to produce non-alcoholic wine so that his abolitionist,

01:01:00.640 --> 01:01:07.680
detotaling Methodist congregation could practice communion as they thought they were. They were

01:01:07.680 --> 01:01:14.880
not. It was a farce. But the very existence of pasteurized grapes and grape juice,

01:01:15.520 --> 01:01:21.520
it's a modern scientific, synthetic rejection of scripture. That's the only reason that exists

01:01:21.520 --> 01:01:28.720
today. It was created for the purpose of denying what God said to do. Today, you go to the story,

01:01:28.720 --> 01:01:32.480
like you have the wine aisle and you have the juice aisle and you think, oh, this is all just

01:01:32.480 --> 01:01:39.520
natural. It seems obvious when you're at the grocery store that obviously juice is the natural

01:01:39.520 --> 01:01:45.680
product and then wine is the special product that the bad boys make if they want to make alcohol.

01:01:45.680 --> 01:01:51.040
It's the other way around. All you get in nature is alcohol. You have to work really hard to actually

01:01:51.040 --> 01:01:55.920
just make juice that's never going to grow anything. That is a much more unnatural product.

01:01:56.720 --> 01:02:03.120
When Jesus says fruit of the vine and elsewhere, he says wine, he's talking about alcohol. Alcohol

01:02:03.120 --> 01:02:09.520
is not only a gift from God, but it is explicitly commanded of us for the purpose of communion.

01:02:09.520 --> 01:02:14.080
Even if you don't want to drink it anywhere else, you must drink wine at communion because that's

01:02:14.160 --> 01:02:23.280
what God instituted. I think one of the disputes that has evolved over time is after the Reformation,

01:02:23.280 --> 01:02:29.120
when everyone started getting really fiddly and introspective with the sacrament,

01:02:30.320 --> 01:02:36.000
there became this impulse to try to create the minimum viable communion. What is the smallest

01:02:36.000 --> 01:02:43.920
set of operant conditions we can have where it's still communion? I personally despise this impulse

01:02:43.920 --> 01:02:49.680
in so many people because it's just do what God said. What does he say? He says take, eat.

01:02:50.560 --> 01:02:57.440
Here's what it is. Say this, do this, eat it, receive it. That's it. That is communion. The whole

01:02:57.440 --> 01:03:03.360
thing is communion. If you don't have wine, you don't have communion. If you consecrate it,

01:03:03.360 --> 01:03:08.400
and then instead of eating it, you put it in a monstrance and you parade it around,

01:03:09.360 --> 01:03:14.640
that's not communion either. You're taking something that God intended for one purpose

01:03:14.640 --> 01:03:19.120
and saying, I'm not going to do what you said. I'm going to do something else. This is one of the

01:03:19.120 --> 01:03:25.280
reasons I mentioned the Reformation episode, the Lutheran Confessions in some places refer to

01:03:25.280 --> 01:03:29.680
the Roman Catholic Mass as the abomination of the Mass. This is one of the reasons, is that when

01:03:29.680 --> 01:03:37.040
they consecrate the bread and wine, in the words of institution, Jesus and Paul both clearly say,

01:03:37.920 --> 01:03:42.400
eat, hand drink. One of the things that Rome has long done is denied people the,

01:03:43.120 --> 01:03:49.280
if you call it right, they're denied the wine. They're only given the bread. There's a logical

01:03:49.280 --> 01:03:55.120
construction there that if, because the bread is the body, which is true, and the body must

01:03:55.120 --> 01:03:58.960
necessarily have blood in it, they're already getting blood, so they don't need the wine.

01:03:59.920 --> 01:04:05.040
That's not what God said to do. Why are you trying to logic this? What problem are you trying to solve?

01:04:05.040 --> 01:04:10.880
Just do what God said to do. One of the other abuses that occurs in Rome is that

01:04:13.520 --> 01:04:19.360
they will consecrate the bread. They will say that it has transubstantiated into Christ's flesh.

01:04:20.320 --> 01:04:26.400
Then rather than eating it, which is what God said to do, at some point they decided, you know what,

01:04:26.400 --> 01:04:30.960
we got God. Right here, we got God on a plate. As I said, they have these monstrances. There's,

01:04:30.960 --> 01:04:37.360
monstrances are very fancy presentation cases where they will preserve and parade around

01:04:38.000 --> 01:04:45.600
the body of Christ, the host, to adore it. Now, not only is this an abuse of what is actually

01:04:45.600 --> 01:04:52.400
directed in Scripture, which says nothing of the sort, but it also is a direct corollary

01:04:53.120 --> 01:04:57.040
to the events of the Old Testament where, you know, we mentioned the bronze serpent

01:04:57.760 --> 01:05:02.000
that Moses created at God's command. God said, create this image of a serpent,

01:05:02.000 --> 01:05:07.360
put it up on a wooden pole. Everyone who looks upon it will be healed. They will be saved. They

01:05:07.360 --> 01:05:14.480
won't die from the poison. They did that. They obeyed. Then that bronze serpent shows up later

01:05:14.480 --> 01:05:22.160
in the Old Testament as a false idol named Nehustan. They saved the serpent because like, well,

01:05:22.160 --> 01:05:27.040
God did this one good thing with it. You know, it's pretty cool. You know, we spent some time on

01:05:27.040 --> 01:05:33.040
it. We got this. Let's see what else we can do with it. They saved something that God gave

01:05:33.040 --> 01:05:40.480
for a good purpose and they started worshiping it. They named it Nehustan and they worshiped

01:05:40.480 --> 01:05:46.160
the bronze serpent as an idol. They took the very thing that God had provided according to his good

01:05:46.160 --> 01:05:55.920
will as a salvific means of the flesh and of the soul. They turned it into idolatry. This is

01:05:55.920 --> 01:06:01.200
exactly what the Roman Catholics do with their Corpus Christi parades. They were given something

01:06:01.200 --> 01:06:06.720
for one purpose. They abuse it. They rip it from that purpose and they parade it around and they

01:06:06.720 --> 01:06:14.800
worship it. It's Nehustan worship. It's an abomination. On one hand, they had the obedience

01:06:14.800 --> 01:06:21.600
to believe and to do everything up until eating or drinking where they deny the drinking to some.

01:06:23.360 --> 01:06:28.400
Just do what God said. I think that's one of the key distinctives when you're looking at some of

01:06:28.400 --> 01:06:34.960
the variations in different denominational treatments of this stuff. How closely are you

01:06:34.960 --> 01:06:40.560
following what God said to do? If he says, wine, you're like, no, I don't want wine. I think it's

01:06:40.560 --> 01:06:47.600
sinful to drink. Well, crucially, not only does God not say that it's sinful to drink alcohol,

01:06:47.600 --> 01:06:54.400
God commands the drinking of alcohol for the forgiveness of sins. Just as one last aside

01:06:54.400 --> 01:07:02.720
here makes me incredibly, incredibly angry when there's someone who's an alcoholic who is told,

01:07:02.720 --> 01:07:08.400
no, it's okay if you don't drink any wine and communion because I understand that you're forbidden

01:07:08.400 --> 01:07:14.160
to ever have any alcohol again. One, that's not true. That's not what AA teaches. Even if it were,

01:07:14.160 --> 01:07:19.760
that would make AA a false cult in opposition to Christianity. To whatever extent, that might be

01:07:19.760 --> 01:07:24.400
true. It's neither here nor there. They do a lot of good, but there's also some very weird stuff

01:07:24.400 --> 01:07:30.480
about it. The simple fact is that if someone else teaches you, you will sin by drinking alcohol

01:07:30.480 --> 01:07:37.360
when God says this alcohol is for the forgiveness of sins. If you believe the man, you're denying

01:07:37.920 --> 01:07:41.920
your sin and you're violating the first and second commandments, you're calling God a liar.

01:07:41.920 --> 01:07:46.160
God says to do something like, no, God, I can't do that. You said it's to forgive my sins.

01:07:46.160 --> 01:07:53.600
I would sin if I did that. Just as a mathematical question, the amount of alcohol on a small sip

01:07:54.160 --> 01:08:01.360
cannot possibly raise your blood alcohol whatsoever. I understand that there are people who

01:08:01.360 --> 01:08:04.560
struggle with addiction. I have friends who struggle with addiction. I understand

01:08:05.280 --> 01:08:15.120
that this one specific case must be the exception. If you sincerely believe that you are going to

01:08:15.120 --> 01:08:21.760
sin by obeying God, you shouldn't be communing anyway, not until you get straightened out to

01:08:21.760 --> 01:08:26.400
the fact that God is saying this is for the forgiveness of sins. You must believe that.

01:08:26.400 --> 01:08:31.040
If you can't believe that, that would be unworthy receiving, which is the next thing we're going

01:08:31.040 --> 01:08:36.960
to get to. There are so many of these small variations where we start fiddling with what

01:08:36.960 --> 01:08:44.320
God said to do. It's so simple. It's so simple. What God did in the upper room on Monday, Thursday

01:08:44.320 --> 01:08:49.760
is as simple as it could be. It's a meal. Eat the bread, drink the wine, and yes, it must be real

01:08:49.760 --> 01:08:54.480
bread too. It doesn't matter if it's leavened or unleavened, but it has to be bread. It can't be

01:08:54.480 --> 01:08:59.120
potato chips. It can't be skittles. It has to be bread. Why? Because that's what God said.

01:09:00.080 --> 01:09:05.920
That's it. We don't need to try to reverse engineer it and find the minimum viable communion

01:09:05.920 --> 01:09:10.000
so that we can get away with getting God's gifts by some other means.

01:09:10.000 --> 01:09:15.440
That's not Christianity. What are people doing when they go down that path? It's not a path of

01:09:15.440 --> 01:09:21.440
faithfulness, and it inevitably leads to worse consequences. It's not just one small abuse.

01:09:21.440 --> 01:09:26.240
It will get worse and worse because you can't mess with God's things and call Him a liar and come

01:09:26.320 --> 01:09:35.280
out of it okay. Before we get to additional theology and doctrine, here we'll read one more

01:09:35.280 --> 01:09:41.440
section of Scripture dealing with a number of other issues related to the Lord's Supper,

01:09:41.440 --> 01:09:48.560
and also recounting again the words of institution. This time the reading is from First Corinthians,

01:09:48.560 --> 01:09:54.480
First Corinthians 11. For I receive from the Lord what I also delivered to you,

01:09:54.480 --> 01:09:59.520
that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks

01:09:59.520 --> 01:10:05.360
he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you, do this in remembrance of me.

01:10:06.240 --> 01:10:09.040
In the same way also he took the cup after Supper saying,

01:10:09.840 --> 01:10:15.760
This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.

01:10:16.480 --> 01:10:21.440
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until

01:10:21.440 --> 01:10:27.440
he comes. Whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner

01:10:27.440 --> 01:10:33.040
will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself then,

01:10:33.040 --> 01:10:38.240
and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning

01:10:38.240 --> 01:10:45.120
the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. This is why many of you are weak and ill and some have

01:10:45.120 --> 01:10:54.000
died. Before we get into the specific matter of what it means to eat and drink in an unworthy

01:10:54.000 --> 01:11:00.640
manner and the consequences of doing that, I want to highlight one of the words here that often comes

01:11:00.640 --> 01:11:07.760
up in arguments against understanding the Lord's Supper simply as Christ has presented it to us,

01:11:08.560 --> 01:11:14.480
and that word is remembrance. Now I said earlier that one of the points of

01:11:15.120 --> 01:11:19.840
this sacrament is in fact to remember Christ, and that is simply what Scripture teaches here,

01:11:20.640 --> 01:11:24.320
but we need to know what it means to remember Christ.

01:11:26.320 --> 01:11:34.640
To remember Christ means something specific in this context. The reason for that is that simply

01:11:34.640 --> 01:11:43.120
noting historical facts avails nothing. That's worth nothing to you. Demons have that knowledge,

01:11:43.120 --> 01:11:49.760
as Scripture points out and as is pointed out by basically every Christian theologian down through

01:11:49.760 --> 01:11:57.760
time. Demons have knowledge, it doesn't save them. This comes back to something we have discussed

01:11:57.760 --> 01:12:05.840
previously. There are three kinds of belief or knowledge that are at issue when we discuss theology.

01:12:05.840 --> 01:12:12.800
There would be Noticia, Ascensus, and Fiducius. These are just the Latin terms. Two of them you

01:12:12.800 --> 01:12:18.640
can certainly understand immediately. Noticia is just notice, Ascensus is Ascent, and Fiducius,

01:12:19.040 --> 01:12:27.520
Fiduciary, Trust. Demons have Noticia. They know that these things happen.

01:12:28.320 --> 01:12:34.560
These things happened in the past. Demons also have Ascensus. They assent to the fact that these

01:12:34.560 --> 01:12:40.720
things happen. They don't contest that Christ died on the cross. They don't contest any of the narrative

01:12:40.720 --> 01:12:47.440
in Scripture, and so demons quite frankly have a better faith than many. But what demons do not

01:12:47.440 --> 01:12:53.840
have and what is called for here in remembering Christ, because it's not mere or bare remembrance,

01:12:53.840 --> 01:13:01.600
it's not Noticia, it's not even Noticia and Ascensus, it is Fiducius. It is faith. What is called for

01:13:01.600 --> 01:13:07.520
is belief in the things that Christ said, in the things that he promised. That is what Christians

01:13:07.520 --> 01:13:13.680
have. That is what separates a believer from a demon or an unbeliever. Hardly a difference in

01:13:13.680 --> 01:13:20.880
this case. And so to remember Christ is to remember his benefits, to remember what he has promised,

01:13:20.880 --> 01:13:25.600
what he has told us, what he has said will happen, what he has said that his supper does.

01:13:26.400 --> 01:13:34.240
That is what it means to remember Christ. A bare recounting of the facts is not what is in view here.

01:13:34.240 --> 01:13:39.920
That is not what a Christian does, because a Christian has more than just the belief that the

01:13:39.920 --> 01:13:46.160
thing happened, a scent to the reality of the thing, a Christian has trust in it. And so that

01:13:46.160 --> 01:13:52.960
is what the word remembrance means. And so a focus by certain groups on the word remembrance, as if

01:13:52.960 --> 01:13:58.800
that somehow undermines the totality of the teaching or changes what Christ is saying,

01:14:01.120 --> 01:14:04.640
is just an abominable perversion of Scripture. It is absolutely false.

01:14:05.520 --> 01:14:13.680
Calling to remembrance the work of Christ is faith. That is what is demanded of the believer.

01:14:14.320 --> 01:14:19.120
That is what is demanded for those who would approach the table. And that is part of what it

01:14:19.120 --> 01:14:26.080
means to approach in a worthy manner. Because not to have faith in the reality of this sacrament

01:14:26.080 --> 01:14:29.120
is to approach the table in an unworthy manner.

01:14:29.920 --> 01:14:39.520
So that 1 Corinthians 11 passage is vital for our understanding of the doctrine of communion,

01:14:39.520 --> 01:14:48.160
because in just two paragraphs, it effectively chops up all the different denominations into

01:14:48.160 --> 01:14:54.880
all the buckets that we fall into today. Every single dispute is represented in this text.

01:14:55.840 --> 01:15:01.680
So you have the remembrance argument, as Corey just dispatched. That is the view of some,

01:15:01.680 --> 01:15:06.320
you know, the Baptists and Jehovah's Witnesses say that there's nothing there. It's not a means of

01:15:06.320 --> 01:15:14.320
grace. It's literally just you do it and you remember Jesus and thanks for, you know, thanks

01:15:14.320 --> 01:15:19.120
for being Jesus. They're not that, well, some of them are that sacrilegious, frankly, that's

01:15:19.600 --> 01:15:25.840
that's how the Arizona iced tea and Skittles happen in the first place. It was, it was that sort of

01:15:25.840 --> 01:15:31.280
view that if it's just, you know, remembering God, who cares? Why would you need wine? It's how it's

01:15:31.280 --> 01:15:36.560
how Baptists can be teetotalers because all bets are off. Like it's just, if you're just remembering

01:15:36.560 --> 01:15:40.400
God, if that's the important part, then doing what he said doesn't matter. Because frankly,

01:15:40.400 --> 01:15:45.920
if you do what God says, that makes you acting in earning your salvation. And so you can't be

01:15:45.920 --> 01:15:51.040
Christian, right? Well, no, that's not who said that's not how any of this works. You do what God

01:15:51.040 --> 01:15:56.720
says because he says to do it. No one, no Christian thinks that doing stuff is going to save you.

01:15:56.720 --> 01:16:02.240
I mean, that's again, that was one of the divisions at the initial spark of the Reformation.

01:16:02.800 --> 01:16:07.440
You had the issues with indulgences and with pilgrimages and these other requirements that

01:16:08.080 --> 01:16:12.320
Rome said, this is going to earn you a time off in purgatory. You can do this stuff. You're going to

01:16:12.320 --> 01:16:18.160
earn some portion of your salvation. Even if it's not the eternal part, you're still going to be stuck

01:16:18.160 --> 01:16:26.720
in kind of baby hell for a while. This will help out. Part of the Reformation was a rejection

01:16:26.720 --> 01:16:34.160
saying that's contrary to all of Scripture. Your conflating works with justification as never

01:16:34.160 --> 01:16:38.960
permissible. And yet, once we get on the other side of that justification argument, there's

01:16:38.960 --> 01:16:45.520
still many places where individual denominations still try to bring that notion back into attack,

01:16:45.520 --> 01:16:51.520
more things that are frankly just basic parts of Christian doctrine. So remembrance is right out.

01:16:52.880 --> 01:16:57.840
Eating the bread and drinking the cup, again, that's something that Rome for a long time

01:16:58.880 --> 01:17:05.040
either restricted or forbade or at least an offer to the laity, so-called.

01:17:05.440 --> 01:17:10.800
You also have the very interesting thing that I think it's worth reading that passage in Corinthians,

01:17:10.800 --> 01:17:16.080
beginning with verse 23. Just read through it and note, pay attention to the nouns. Because what

01:17:16.080 --> 01:17:20.800
you will find is that when Paul is writing this, when the Holy Spirit is inspiring him to write this,

01:17:20.800 --> 01:17:26.960
I'm not attributing this argument to Paul. This is God. He uses bread and wine and cup

01:17:27.840 --> 01:17:33.840
and blood interchangeably. He just bounces between them. Why? Because it's the same thing.

01:17:33.840 --> 01:17:40.640
And this is one of the other crucial distinctions among the various denominations.

01:17:42.000 --> 01:17:49.600
When the Reformation occurred, there was already a strong push for rationalism that existed within

01:17:49.600 --> 01:17:55.440
Rome. The age of reason was dawning. People were trying to be more rational about things.

01:17:55.440 --> 01:18:02.320
You have Thomism. You have this vein of, we need to make sure we do the math on this thing, right?

01:18:03.040 --> 01:18:10.240
And so the reason that Rome ended up with the view of transubstantiation, which effectively says

01:18:10.240 --> 01:18:16.320
that when the bread and wine are consecrated, they effectively cease to be the bread and wine,

01:18:16.320 --> 01:18:20.880
and they become the body and blood, and it's only the accidents that are remaining.

01:18:21.600 --> 01:18:24.960
So it still looks like bread and wine, but that's not really the case.

01:18:26.640 --> 01:18:31.520
The Reformed take the same logical position. They simply go in the other direction.

01:18:32.240 --> 01:18:38.560
They say that it can only be one of these things at a time. And obviously, it's still bread and

01:18:38.560 --> 01:18:44.800
wine, which it is. It's obviously bread and wine. And Paul's words say that. He says bread wine.

01:18:44.800 --> 01:18:49.200
Jesus says bread wine. There's no doubt in Scripture that that is completely true.

01:18:51.200 --> 01:18:56.560
The problem is that if you believe that the only thing that bread and wine can possibly be

01:18:56.560 --> 01:19:00.960
is bread and wine, well, it gets back to the argument about the hypostatic union.

01:19:01.520 --> 01:19:05.440
This is the reason that Lutherans refer to this as the sacramental union,

01:19:05.440 --> 01:19:12.640
that it is both simultaneously and we don't know how. We don't take the Catholic position of saying,

01:19:12.640 --> 01:19:17.520
well, it's not bread and wine. It's much more important for it to be the body and blood,

01:19:17.520 --> 01:19:22.720
which is true. Without the body and blood, there's no point. They're completely right about that.

01:19:22.720 --> 01:19:26.720
What they're wrong about is the rational conclusion that, well, we absolutely believe

01:19:26.720 --> 01:19:30.640
this Christ's body and blood and therefore the bread and wine have to be gone,

01:19:31.440 --> 01:19:37.440
all but completely gone. And there's their rational philosophical trash arguments to try

01:19:37.440 --> 01:19:41.920
to substantiate how that's okay. The Roman Catholics and the Reformed agree it can only

01:19:41.920 --> 01:19:49.200
be one or the other. The problem is that God says it's both. So eat the bread, drink the cup.

01:19:49.200 --> 01:19:53.280
Anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body drinks judgment on himself.

01:19:54.480 --> 01:20:02.400
Which is it? Is it the body or is it the bread? Yes, it's both. How? We don't know. That's it.

01:20:02.400 --> 01:20:08.480
We have the same response to these texts that Peter had to the whole scene in John 6. His response

01:20:08.480 --> 01:20:12.720
when Jesus, like, do you wander off? Do you not believe this? Like, Lord, to whom shall we go?

01:20:12.720 --> 01:20:18.640
You have the words of eternal life. That is the Christian confession. God, I don't know what's

01:20:18.640 --> 01:20:25.120
going on, but I believe you anyway. You said it. I believe it. And try to understand. Like, as we said,

01:20:25.120 --> 01:20:29.120
Catechesis teaching around these things is important. Jesus spent time teaching.

01:20:29.680 --> 01:20:33.840
The Church has always spent time teaching these things and teaching before communion.

01:20:33.840 --> 01:20:39.840
Because the other part of this passage is that there were people who died. They were killed by

01:20:39.840 --> 01:20:46.480
unworthy reception. And this goes to one of the errors and the crucial distinction

01:20:46.480 --> 01:20:52.240
between the Lutheran position and what our confessions call the sacramentarian position,

01:20:52.240 --> 01:20:58.560
which is effectively the Reformed position today. And that is that they will say, and you'll find

01:20:58.560 --> 01:21:04.240
this in much reform, particularly some of the Presbyterians, sound just like Lutherans up to

01:21:04.240 --> 01:21:10.480
the very end. They will say that there's a real presence. And if you don't press, you will think

01:21:10.480 --> 01:21:15.600
that we're in agreement. But when you do press, when you ask the right questions and you narrow

01:21:15.680 --> 01:21:23.120
it down, what comes out is that there is no body and blood in your mouth. That's a crucial distinction.

01:21:23.120 --> 01:21:27.600
That's what makes it a sacrament. That's what makes it complete. That's what makes it the

01:21:27.600 --> 01:21:34.240
antitype to the pipe type of the bread of the manna in the desert. Because if it's not actually

01:21:34.240 --> 01:21:41.680
Christ's body going in your mouth, you're not receiving what God promised. And when Paul talks

01:21:41.760 --> 01:21:47.600
about discerning the body, eating and drinking judgment on himself, he means it. And so the

01:21:47.600 --> 01:21:54.400
crucial distinction in the sacramentarian Reformed position is that it is a spiritual mode of presence.

01:21:55.120 --> 01:21:58.560
They will say that they believe it, and God bless them for it. I'm glad that they take it

01:21:58.560 --> 01:22:04.960
seriously. Thank you so much for not being Baptist because that is a far worse error. However,

01:22:05.920 --> 01:22:11.920
the problem with this is that it also denies part of this passage. Because in order for the

01:22:11.920 --> 01:22:20.400
sacramentarian view that there is a physical oral reception of only bread and wine, and then

01:22:21.520 --> 01:22:29.280
we spiritually ascend to the right hand of God, we receive his body and blood in a spiritual sense

01:22:29.360 --> 01:22:35.840
and a heavenly sense. The problem with that is that that requires faith. And what is said here

01:22:35.840 --> 01:22:43.520
in 1 Corinthians 11 is that they're people who ate unworthily, and God makes clear that they're

01:22:43.520 --> 01:22:48.640
guilty of the body and blood because they ate in an unworthy manner by not examining themselves

01:22:48.640 --> 01:22:58.880
and discerning the body and blood. This is crucial because if the Reformed are correct and you can

01:22:58.880 --> 01:23:05.120
have communion and it's all faith-based and it's all spiritual, there's no possibility for anyone

01:23:05.120 --> 01:23:09.360
to die because if you don't have faith, you cannot spiritually ascend to heaven to receive

01:23:09.360 --> 01:23:17.840
Christ's body and blood there. The only way that that mode of thought can work is if the damned,

01:23:17.840 --> 01:23:23.280
if those without faith, can also ascend to heaven to receive Christ's body and blood,

01:23:23.280 --> 01:23:30.160
and then they're killed for it, they're killed by it, that necessarily makes no sense. There's no

01:23:30.160 --> 01:23:35.760
possible ascent into heaven spiritually for those unbelievers, and it is unbelief that's being

01:23:35.760 --> 01:23:40.080
described there. When you're guilty concerning the body and blood of Christ because you don't discern

01:23:40.080 --> 01:23:46.240
it, it's a rejection of God. It's calling him a liar saying that what you said is not true. And so

01:23:47.120 --> 01:23:52.800
the reason for the Lutheran position, it's a literalist and it's mysterious. It's like,

01:23:52.800 --> 01:24:00.240
I don't know. I know this far and I know no further. And as we've said before, for me personally,

01:24:00.240 --> 01:24:05.760
that's always been enough. I don't feel the need to concern myself with trying to figure out the

01:24:05.760 --> 01:24:11.760
mechanisms and the math and the scales of all these things. When God says it, if I don't understand,

01:24:11.920 --> 01:24:17.280
okay, there's something I don't understand. Add it to the list. I have a very long list of things

01:24:17.280 --> 01:24:22.400
I don't understand. And particularly when we're looking at things that are necessarily spiritual,

01:24:22.400 --> 01:24:28.320
they're necessarily supernatural. They're outside of the material world. That's what we're talking

01:24:28.320 --> 01:24:33.920
about here. And remember, that's the crux of this. Because it is outside of the material world,

01:24:34.560 --> 01:24:40.880
all bets are off. You can't rationally figure out that which is inherently irrational because

01:24:40.880 --> 01:24:46.240
it's outside of creation. This is something different that God is doing in a special way.

01:24:46.960 --> 01:24:51.520
And so this one passage, when you look at all the various pieces of it,

01:24:52.160 --> 01:24:56.400
all the denominations are going to fall into their various buckets on one side or the other of

01:24:56.400 --> 01:25:02.400
these disputes. And I believe with a clean conscience that the only possible synthesis

01:25:02.400 --> 01:25:08.560
of this passage and the other passages is a Lutheran one, that it is truly Christ's body

01:25:08.560 --> 01:25:13.680
and blood, physically present. We don't know how. And again, this is not one of the early

01:25:13.680 --> 01:25:18.640
episodes we did on the clarity of Scripture. We go into this detail some more. We did about an hour

01:25:18.640 --> 01:25:25.280
specifically talking about this one debate around physical versus real because it blew up on Twitter

01:25:25.280 --> 01:25:30.000
nearly a year ago. There was a false teacher effectively spreading reform positions and

01:25:30.000 --> 01:25:34.880
pretending that they were Lutheran and causing Lutherans to abandon the Lutheran faith. Not

01:25:34.960 --> 01:25:38.960
that there's a difference in faith, but there's clearly a difference in belief and in practice.

01:25:41.120 --> 01:25:44.960
It's important to get this stuff right, and it's important to know clearly where the lines are

01:25:44.960 --> 01:25:50.560
because we all fall on one side or another. And if you hold a position contrary to what we're saying,

01:25:51.200 --> 01:25:56.320
you need to have an argument that stands up to effectively dismantling the one that we have. And

01:25:56.320 --> 01:26:02.320
I've read them. We're not giving you a fair shake here today by reading off clearly all the other

01:26:02.400 --> 01:26:07.440
affirmative positions for what everyone else believes, because we believe genuinely that

01:26:07.440 --> 01:26:14.320
there's no possibility for them to exist in totality with the very plain words of Scripture.

01:26:14.320 --> 01:26:18.960
Again, there's a tremendous amount in the Book of Concord that deals with these debates in all

01:26:18.960 --> 01:26:23.520
directions, deals with the Roman Catholics, deals with the Reformed, deals with the Anabaptists

01:26:23.520 --> 01:26:28.720
at great length. We're not referring to those confessions not because they're not good arguments,

01:26:28.720 --> 01:26:33.840
but because it's important to look at what God said just as they did. They've made very good

01:26:33.840 --> 01:26:38.240
arguments in that confessional document. The arguments are also from Scripture.

01:26:39.680 --> 01:26:46.560
And so I suppose that the Reformed listeners have expected the following phrase from two Lutherans

01:26:46.560 --> 01:26:55.440
since starting this episode. So I won't disappoint you. Is means is. And I would be remiss if I did

01:26:55.440 --> 01:27:01.760
not mention the Marburg colloquy in which Luther and Zwingli discuss the issue. It would probably be

01:27:01.760 --> 01:27:10.640
too charitable to say attempted to come to terms. But famously, at that debate, Luther carved into

01:27:10.640 --> 01:27:16.400
the table. We don't know if he carved it facing himself or upside down facing Zwingli. I happen

01:27:16.400 --> 01:27:23.120
to believe the latter is more likely. But he carved into the table hook est corpus meum,

01:27:23.120 --> 01:27:32.720
which is simply the Latin for this is my body. And that really is the simplicity of the Lutheran

01:27:32.720 --> 01:27:40.880
position. We take Christ at his words. When some will contend that they have a literal understanding

01:27:41.440 --> 01:27:47.920
of Scripture, I find a great deal of irony in that those who most vehemently insist they interpret

01:27:47.920 --> 01:27:55.120
Scripture literally never interpret the sacraments literally. They always reject at least almost

01:27:55.120 --> 01:28:00.880
always reject baptism and the Lord supper as being what Scripture very clearly says that they are.

01:28:02.320 --> 01:28:10.720
When Christ says this is my body, this is my blood. Well, that's what he means. He said it.

01:28:10.720 --> 01:28:17.840
He means it. Christ most certainly knew the word for symbol or symbolizes, represents,

01:28:18.480 --> 01:28:25.280
or is an allegory of whatever term you want to use. He did not use those words. He said,

01:28:25.920 --> 01:28:32.240
this is my body. And that is why that is the teaching that Lutherans affirm.

01:28:33.280 --> 01:28:39.760
Now, of course, you've undoubtedly heard arguments related to other parts of Scripture parables,

01:28:39.760 --> 01:28:47.200
where Christ taught, I am the vine or I am the door or any various things like that a number

01:28:47.200 --> 01:28:54.080
of different parables. I want to highlight a grammar point here. And grammar is not nitpicky

01:28:54.080 --> 01:28:59.600
grammar matters because grammar determines the meaning of the words you are using. The order

01:28:59.600 --> 01:29:07.360
of the words matters. The words you choose matters. All of these things contribute to the actual meaning

01:29:07.920 --> 01:29:11.120
that you intend and that will be taken away from what you have said.

01:29:12.560 --> 01:29:20.560
And so I want to highlight Christ says, I am the vine. He does not say I am a vine.

01:29:20.560 --> 01:29:24.400
There's a difference there, a very important difference. And yes,

01:29:24.400 --> 01:29:28.880
Greek can also distinguish between the definite and indefinite articles.

01:29:29.840 --> 01:29:34.320
So when Christ says, I am the vine, he is in fact the vine.

01:29:35.760 --> 01:29:45.440
Now, is he a literal vine? No, that's not what that is saying. It is saying that he is the vine

01:29:46.000 --> 01:29:50.560
literal in the sense of being, yes, it's a metaphorical vine. And yes, it does make sense

01:29:50.560 --> 01:29:56.720
to say something is literally metaphorically true. If on the other hand, he had said,

01:29:56.720 --> 01:30:02.880
I am a vine, that would have been him declaring that he is in fact a literal physical vine.

01:30:04.160 --> 01:30:07.360
In which case, perhaps we have to raise Lewis's trilemma.

01:30:08.720 --> 01:30:13.920
He also does not say I am a door. He says I am the door and he is in fact the door,

01:30:13.920 --> 01:30:20.800
because he is the only passage through which we can get to God. He is the only way to salvation.

01:30:20.800 --> 01:30:28.240
So he is in fact the door. So the contentions around those parables, those parabolic sayings,

01:30:29.760 --> 01:30:37.120
do not in any way argue against taking literally what Christ says about the bread and the wine

01:30:37.120 --> 01:30:44.800
in the supper. And so I want to read just four quick paragraphs here from the Lutheran confessions

01:30:44.800 --> 01:30:51.600
that state the Lutheran position on the Lord's Supper that state very clearly what we believe.

01:30:51.600 --> 01:30:54.560
These are from the epitome of the formula of Concord.

01:31:15.600 --> 01:31:22.720
So the bread does not signify Christ's absent body and the wine his absent blood,

01:31:23.280 --> 01:31:28.640
but because of the sacramental union the bread and wine are truly Christ's body and blood.

01:31:29.840 --> 01:31:35.200
Now about the consecration we believe teach and confess that no work of man or recitation of the

01:31:35.200 --> 01:31:41.120
minister produces this presence of Christ's body and blood in the holy supper. Instead,

01:31:41.680 --> 01:31:47.520
this presence is to be credited only and alone to the almighty power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

01:31:48.640 --> 01:31:54.240
At the same time we also believe teach and confess unanimously that in the use of the

01:31:54.240 --> 01:32:00.080
holy supper the words of Christ's institution should in no way be left out. Instead they should

01:32:00.080 --> 01:32:06.160
be publicly recited as it is written in 1 Corinthians 10.16, the cup of blessing that we

01:32:06.160 --> 01:32:11.360
bless and so forth. This blessing occurs through the reciting of Christ's words.

01:32:14.240 --> 01:32:19.200
And so those four paragraphs give a very brief statement of exactly what it is that

01:32:19.200 --> 01:32:24.720
Lutherans believe. Of course they're just a restatement of Scripture. We believe literally

01:32:25.280 --> 01:32:31.600
what the words of Scripture say and it may seem like we mentioned that to repeat that ad nauseam,

01:32:31.600 --> 01:32:36.480
but it is simply the case. In fact it is one thing that annoys many about Lutherans.

01:32:37.120 --> 01:32:41.680
We are simply going to insist on what the words of the book say because they're the

01:32:41.680 --> 01:32:46.560
word of God. That's why we believe them. We don't believe them because we happen to like the book.

01:32:47.280 --> 01:32:53.280
We believe them because having been given faith we believe the word of God. We believe

01:32:54.000 --> 01:32:59.680
that what is contained in Scripture is true because it is the inspired word of God.

01:33:00.240 --> 01:33:09.760
And so when God says this is my body we say yes. But he also says this bread is my body.

01:33:10.400 --> 01:33:15.280
Okay he said two things there. He said this is bread. We believe him. He said the bread is his

01:33:15.280 --> 01:33:21.360
body. We still believe him. We do not have to understand. We do not have to subject it to human

01:33:21.360 --> 01:33:29.040
reason in order to believe it because the ground of all truth said it. And if God says it it's true.

01:33:30.080 --> 01:33:35.200
It's very easy to believe this. You can simply affirm the truth of it. You don't have to work

01:33:35.200 --> 01:33:41.600
out the philosophical minutiae. In fact you cannot do so. But you don't have to do so.

01:33:42.480 --> 01:33:45.280
This again comes back to something we previously discussed.

01:33:47.840 --> 01:33:53.040
You don't believe the things in Scripture because you believe the things in Scripture.

01:33:54.000 --> 01:34:01.040
Let me clarify what I mean. You believe the things in Scripture because having been given

01:34:01.040 --> 01:34:09.520
faith you believe God is the author of Scripture and God being God who does not lie, who cannot lie,

01:34:09.520 --> 01:34:15.680
you believe that his word is true. Many reverse the order of operations there.

01:34:16.640 --> 01:34:23.760
They'll say I believe Scripture and therefore I believe in God. No. You believe God,

01:34:24.400 --> 01:34:29.920
therefore you believe in Scripture. It is the exact opposite way. Now if you're arguing with

01:34:29.920 --> 01:34:36.480
someone who is an unbeliever, who is an atheist, yes you can use secular reasoning to prove things

01:34:36.480 --> 01:34:42.480
in Scripture are true. You can use archaeology, history, etc. in order to prove Scripture

01:34:42.560 --> 01:34:47.920
to tear down some of the barriers to that person hearing the word of God and believing.

01:34:49.360 --> 01:34:56.320
But as a believer you believe the word of God is true because you believe that God is the one

01:34:56.320 --> 01:35:04.560
who inspired it. And just to emphasize to go back to Woe's point about the difference between

01:35:05.200 --> 01:35:09.920
the Romans and the Reformed. Conveniently both start with R.

01:35:10.640 --> 01:35:16.000
But the big difference between them as has been used many times before,

01:35:17.120 --> 01:35:23.520
the example of the illustration of falling off a horse. The Romans fall off the right side of the

01:35:23.520 --> 01:35:30.320
horse. It's not that they take it too literally, it's that they ignore part of it, subject it to

01:35:30.320 --> 01:35:35.840
reason, and say well it must simply be his body, it can't be bred at the same time. So they fall

01:35:35.840 --> 01:35:40.560
off the right side of the horse. For many of them I am willing to concede they are trying to believe

01:35:40.560 --> 01:35:47.120
what God says. But the problem is they aren't believing what God actually said. You have to

01:35:47.120 --> 01:35:54.880
look at what he said. This bred, it's bred, is my body, it's his body, it's both. The Reformed on

01:35:54.880 --> 01:36:00.800
the other hand, also subjecting the words of God to reason, fall off the left side of the horse,

01:36:01.440 --> 01:36:08.080
and say well it's bred, it tastes like bred, when I eat it, it feels like bred, it has

01:36:09.040 --> 01:36:15.440
all of the accidents of bred, it must be bred, and yes I'll hint there at the underlying philosophy,

01:36:15.440 --> 01:36:21.280
it's not really the point of this episode, but it is why we have some of these distinctions between

01:36:21.280 --> 01:36:27.200
the Romans and the Reformed. But so they fall off the left side of the horse and say it's bred,

01:36:27.200 --> 01:36:32.720
my senses all report that it is bred, I have to find some other explanation for God's words.

01:36:34.080 --> 01:36:38.960
Lutherans don't have this problem because God says it's bred, I eat it, it tastes like bred,

01:36:38.960 --> 01:36:45.280
okay it's bred, God says it's its body, if God says it's his body, I just believe him. So the

01:36:45.280 --> 01:36:52.880
Lutheran position is very simple, it is purely a matter of faith of course, because you have to

01:36:52.880 --> 01:36:59.680
believe this in faith, you can't eat the bread and know with your senses that Christ is present,

01:37:01.040 --> 01:37:05.200
and the only reason he's present is because of his word, as I just read from the book of

01:37:05.200 --> 01:37:10.240
Concord, that's what Lutherans affirm, he is present because of his word, and we know he is

01:37:10.240 --> 01:37:18.080
present because of his word, and so all of it flows from faith. And then I suppose I should address

01:37:18.320 --> 01:37:27.280
at least briefly the Reformed contention that comes up throughout discussions of the differences

01:37:27.280 --> 01:37:34.080
between Lutherans and Reformed, and that is this is again a difference in the application of reason,

01:37:34.080 --> 01:37:41.760
as should be unsurprising. The Reformed will assert finitum non-kapax infinity,

01:37:42.400 --> 01:37:46.880
which simply means the finite is not capable of the infinite.

01:37:49.920 --> 01:37:55.440
We will avoid getting into some of the theological weeds as it were here, so

01:37:55.440 --> 01:38:03.040
the Communicatio and such will leave aside to some degree, but the gist of the Reformed position,

01:38:03.680 --> 01:38:14.480
the central contention, is that Christ cannot be physically omnipresent according to his humanity

01:38:15.280 --> 01:38:24.800
because the communication of the divine attributes is impossible in its fullness with regard to the

01:38:24.800 --> 01:38:30.240
human nature, because the human nature is finite. I believe that is a fair statement

01:38:30.240 --> 01:38:37.040
of what the Reformed believe. The Lutheran contention, and quite frankly to be blunt,

01:38:37.040 --> 01:38:42.160
the contention of Scripture, is that the fullness of deity dwells bodily in Christ.

01:38:42.960 --> 01:38:48.480
That's just a quote from Scripture, that's a verse. And so when Scripture says that,

01:38:49.120 --> 01:38:55.680
that necessarily means something, and so the personal union of God and man in Christ

01:38:56.560 --> 01:39:04.560
is indivisible, inseparable, where the divinity of Christ is present, the humanity of Christ is

01:39:04.560 --> 01:39:10.320
present, because Christ is an indivisible person, having assumed the humanity into himself.

01:39:12.240 --> 01:39:20.480
And so the humanity of Christ has and exercises the divine attributes of Christ. It does not have

01:39:20.480 --> 01:39:26.880
them in itself by its nature, because we do not teach that there is a mixing of the natures in

01:39:26.880 --> 01:39:36.080
the person of Christ. We went over this previously in other episodes. But Christ, even according to

01:39:36.080 --> 01:39:44.400
his humanity, is omnipresent because of that communication of the divine attributes, omnipresence

01:39:44.400 --> 01:39:51.200
being properly an attribute of the divinity, but because of the communication of attributes

01:39:51.200 --> 01:39:58.400
being an attribute of the person, the person being the totality of Christ, fully God, fully man.

01:39:59.200 --> 01:40:06.880
And so the argument that the finite is not capable of the infinite is simply refuted by Scripture

01:40:06.880 --> 01:40:13.280
and refuted by not terribly complicated theology. Yes, a little bit, but not horribly so.

01:40:15.120 --> 01:40:22.800
A simpler version of that argument that I think everyone will be immediately able to grasp,

01:40:23.360 --> 01:40:30.560
quite fully, to refute the idea that the finite is not capable of the infinite in

01:40:30.560 --> 01:40:34.080
this particular way, whatever it is, and specifically the reform meme.

01:40:36.400 --> 01:40:37.600
The refutation is Mary.

01:40:37.760 --> 01:40:47.440
And the reason for that is simple. Mary bore in her womb for nine months the infinite God.

01:40:49.840 --> 01:40:58.240
Could there be other than the person of Christ himself, but this is even a more visceral and

01:40:58.240 --> 01:41:04.960
easier to grasp illustration of the principle, really. Could there be any more clear example

01:41:05.040 --> 01:41:11.760
of the finite holding, containing, being capable of the infinite

01:41:12.480 --> 01:41:19.040
than Mary having Christ in her womb? I don't think there is. And so if Mary could have the

01:41:19.040 --> 01:41:24.240
infinite God in her womb, then the finite is most certainly capable of the infinite.

01:41:24.240 --> 01:41:31.920
And the only way to reject that would be to reject the personal union, which would be rank heresy.

01:41:32.720 --> 01:41:39.840
I think everything that you just said is really boiled down by going back to a portion of the

01:41:39.840 --> 01:41:46.640
middle of that passage from John 6. Jesus says again, I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate

01:41:46.640 --> 01:41:51.200
the manna and the wilderness and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven,

01:41:51.200 --> 01:41:56.160
so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven.

01:41:56.160 --> 01:42:01.040
If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for

01:42:01.040 --> 01:42:06.880
the life of the world is my flesh. The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying,

01:42:06.880 --> 01:42:14.880
how can this man give us his flesh to eat? That's really the whole argument, because while these

01:42:14.880 --> 01:42:19.600
things will often boil down to, well, what does the text say, which is always a good question,

01:42:20.320 --> 01:42:26.880
as Corey was dealing with right there at the end, the underlying question is, can God do it?

01:42:27.440 --> 01:42:34.240
And they have first answered, no, God can't. And therefore, they must find in a text some other

01:42:34.240 --> 01:42:40.400
version that lets God not being able to do something be in accord with Scripture. Because

01:42:40.400 --> 01:42:46.320
if you simply believe what Scripture says, you don't have the problem. And you don't have to

01:42:46.320 --> 01:42:52.080
worry about John 6 being eucharistic, because it's all just figurative language. What's the

01:42:52.160 --> 01:42:58.400
same problem that the Jews had? How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Well, exactly the same

01:42:58.400 --> 01:43:04.880
way that Jesus had done the day before with the feeding of the 5,000. Five loaves and two fishes

01:43:04.880 --> 01:43:13.040
turned into 12 baskets of leftovers after probably 20,000 people had eaten. That's how God can do it.

01:43:13.040 --> 01:43:19.280
God works miracles. He works material miracles in the world. And we don't have to worry about it.

01:43:19.280 --> 01:43:24.400
His very demonstration of power, which is given incidentally by their demand, they said,

01:43:24.400 --> 01:43:29.760
give us a sign. They were constantly demanding signs for him to back up his teaching. And so

01:43:29.760 --> 01:43:35.920
sometimes he did. And the sign that he gave them on that day, he didn't cause a dove to appear.

01:43:35.920 --> 01:43:41.920
He didn't cause the clouds to part. What did he do? He took a small amount, a finite amount,

01:43:42.560 --> 01:43:48.160
and created in that day effectively an infinite amount. There was such a super abundance that

01:43:48.160 --> 01:43:54.320
there was more than they could have possibly eaten. That's how God does it. Is that an answer? No.

01:43:55.120 --> 01:44:00.720
It doesn't explain anything beyond just believing. God is like, okay, he delivered. If he can feed

01:44:00.720 --> 01:44:06.960
20,000 people with a basket full of food, I think he can deliver on this promise too.

01:44:07.520 --> 01:44:14.240
And what does he say? He says, I am the bread of life. I will give for the life of the world.

01:44:14.240 --> 01:44:22.080
It's my flesh. It's the same thing. Communion is vital because it delivers the forgiveness of sins.

01:44:22.960 --> 01:44:27.680
Again, the miracle that Jesus performed with the food was just to feed their bellies.

01:44:27.680 --> 01:44:31.520
But the very next day, all the teaching was, this is not about feeding your bellies because

01:44:31.520 --> 01:44:36.160
we skipped a few verses at the beginning of that, where they were demanding a bread king.

01:44:37.200 --> 01:44:42.640
This guy can do miracles. He can feed everybody, put him in charge. No one will ever go hungry

01:44:42.640 --> 01:44:46.320
again. I want this guy to be my king. He's like, no, that's not why I'm here.

01:44:47.120 --> 01:44:51.200
Your fathers were fed in the desert and they still died, even though the food they were giving

01:44:51.200 --> 01:44:57.760
was miraculous. This food that I'm giving you is an even greater miracle. Those who will eat

01:44:57.760 --> 01:45:03.840
this food will never die. And yet, what does he say even then? Jesus said a little while later,

01:45:03.840 --> 01:45:10.000
whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks on my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the

01:45:10.080 --> 01:45:18.720
last day. So note that he's talking both about eternal life and about corporeal death. The only

01:45:18.720 --> 01:45:23.520
reason that a man would need to be raised up on the last day was that he died. So this medicine of

01:45:23.520 --> 01:45:31.680
immortality, this eternal life that's being given by his flesh, by the bread, it's not the tree of

01:45:31.680 --> 01:45:37.440
life from the garden where a man lives forever. This is delivering forgiveness of sins, which

01:45:38.320 --> 01:45:44.160
is how God delivers resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. See, forgiveness

01:45:44.160 --> 01:45:50.160
of sins, which is delivered through faith underpins all of this. It's why it's not a memorial meal,

01:45:50.160 --> 01:45:55.760
it's a sacrament. It's delivering an actual means of grace. God's doing something here. And what

01:45:55.760 --> 01:46:01.120
he's doing is one of the most important things that he's ever done. He's taking the sacrifice on

01:46:01.120 --> 01:46:07.760
the cross once for all and he's delivering it materially in our mouths. As we said and we emphasized

01:46:07.760 --> 01:46:14.800
for two hours in the baptism episode, it's for our comfort. When we receive the body and blood of

01:46:14.800 --> 01:46:20.320
Christ in our mouth, we know that God is delivering on his promises because, yes, we have faith and

01:46:20.320 --> 01:46:25.360
we trust in God and God knows we need more. He knows we need comfort, we need reassurance.

01:46:26.240 --> 01:46:31.840
He pours out more than we actually need because he's giving us everything we could possibly need

01:46:31.840 --> 01:46:38.160
or want. And so when the sacraments are given to us, not us doing them, but God giving them,

01:46:38.160 --> 01:46:44.240
he's delivering forgiveness, he's delivering faith, he's strengthening faith, and he's ensuring that

01:46:44.240 --> 01:46:49.120
no one has any reason to doubt. Because we said in the baptism episode, even if there's a day where

01:46:49.120 --> 01:46:55.200
you doubt how hard you believe, how well you believe, how strong your faith is, if the only anchor that

01:46:55.200 --> 01:47:01.040
you have on that day is your confidence in your baptism, that's still, it's an anchor. It's holding

01:47:01.040 --> 01:47:07.040
you fast to the cross. The forgiveness of sins delivered in communion is the same thing. And

01:47:07.040 --> 01:47:12.880
the beautiful distinction between baptism, the sacrament, and the sacrament of the altar is that

01:47:12.880 --> 01:47:18.560
this is something that's given for us weekly. Jesus says, do this as often as you drink of it

01:47:18.560 --> 01:47:24.640
in remembrance of me. It's to be a regular meal. It's not to be infrequent. It should really be

01:47:24.640 --> 01:47:29.600
every week. And frankly, if you can do it more often, that's good. If you do it less often, it's

01:47:29.600 --> 01:47:35.760
not that, oh well, you went beneath the threshold, so you can't be saved now. It's not like some drug

01:47:35.760 --> 01:47:41.040
dosage. Because again, as we said in the baptism episode, and we'll save repeatedly, because it's

01:47:41.040 --> 01:47:48.560
so vital. It is finished means that all of your sins are already paid for. The fact that you have

01:47:48.560 --> 01:47:53.760
faith to believe that means that all of your sins are paid for and delivered to you through faith,

01:47:53.760 --> 01:47:59.840
in eternity. Your name is written in the book of life. Your name is tied to God's name in your

01:47:59.840 --> 01:48:08.560
baptism, and he gives you forgiveness of sins in the blood and in the body through bread and wine,

01:48:08.560 --> 01:48:12.720
so that there's never any doubt. There's no room for doubt. Even if you doubt yourself,

01:48:12.720 --> 01:48:17.280
even if you have a really bad day, all these things that God pours out through the sacraments,

01:48:17.360 --> 01:48:23.680
particularly eliminate the possibility for a man to think, well, I don't know. Maybe I'm out.

01:48:23.680 --> 01:48:30.000
Maybe this is just, I don't feel it anymore. I don't know if I can trust in God. Well, if you can

01:48:30.000 --> 01:48:34.320
at least trust in his promises, you can work your way back. He will work you back. He's using these

01:48:34.320 --> 01:48:42.560
to hang on to you. And sometimes it's necessary. This food, this medicine that's given to us

01:48:43.120 --> 01:48:49.360
preserves our faith and our health in God. And sometimes it's also a lifeline. But if we're being

01:48:49.360 --> 01:48:56.720
sustained regularly in the body and in the Word, we have more than we need. And so God keeps us safe.

01:48:56.720 --> 01:49:02.000
He keeps our faith preserved. And the reason that the sacraments are so important to Lutherans and

01:49:02.000 --> 01:49:06.720
should be important to everyone, we believe as Lutheran doctrine presents it, is that

01:49:07.680 --> 01:49:14.080
all of the other variations will sow doubt to some degree, some much more than others. We're not

01:49:14.080 --> 01:49:19.520
saying they're all equally incorrect. Some are a little bit off. Some are very terribly off.

01:49:20.240 --> 01:49:25.600
But anytime you're giving up on any of God's promises, you're missing out. And that's the

01:49:25.600 --> 01:49:31.280
point. It's not about winning this argument. It's not about changing minds or having a higher score

01:49:31.280 --> 01:49:36.320
on the board. It's about making sure that all these things that God says are really important

01:49:36.400 --> 01:49:42.800
and these things that deliver immortality take it. It's a free gift. It's freely given.

01:49:42.800 --> 01:49:48.800
Just as our faith is freely given, all this stuff is poured out. And we need to just receive it

01:49:48.800 --> 01:49:55.600
in thanksgiving and in gladness and in faith and in taking it seriously, not being dismissive of it.

01:49:56.320 --> 01:50:01.600
When we're warned that we should examine ourselves before communing, we should take that seriously.

01:50:02.400 --> 01:50:08.160
It's something that I think if some of the people who are causing problems in the world today inside

01:50:08.160 --> 01:50:15.280
the church actually reflected sincerely on the controversies that they've stirred up and the

01:50:15.280 --> 01:50:22.400
injury that they've done, they would repent before they communed, which is the goal. The goal is to

01:50:22.400 --> 01:50:28.560
instill repentance in us for us to turn away from all of our wickedness. We all crucify Christ

01:50:28.560 --> 01:50:35.120
every day with our evil actions. And yet, once for all, it was paid. And when this stuff is given

01:50:35.120 --> 01:50:40.480
to us in Scripture and it's given to us in physical means and the sacraments, it's to reassure us

01:50:40.480 --> 01:50:45.440
that God is going to keep every promise he's ever made. Because ultimately, that is the only thing

01:50:45.440 --> 01:50:50.480
that we can actually count on. You can't count on the sun rising. You can't count on your family

01:50:50.480 --> 01:50:56.080
liking you. You can't count on your heart not stopping, but you can count on God. And when you

01:50:56.080 --> 01:51:01.520
count on that, the rest of those things, while there's still concerns, they can't be worries.

01:51:02.080 --> 01:51:08.480
You can't worry when you have your faith rooted in all of God's promises. Everything else is,

01:51:09.040 --> 01:51:13.680
it's highly desirable, it's nice to have, but it's no longer critical. You don't have to have

01:51:14.320 --> 01:51:18.240
the stuff. You have to have God's promises. And he gives those for free.

01:51:19.040 --> 01:51:26.160
And so we will close out this episode with three quotes, one from the large catechism,

01:51:26.720 --> 01:51:32.480
one from what was effectively Luther's last will and testament, as he intended it at any rate.

01:51:33.120 --> 01:51:41.120
And then one other quote, and then a little bit about the history, just some quick tidbits

01:51:41.120 --> 01:51:45.680
from the history of the beliefs of the church with regard to the Lord's supper.

01:51:45.680 --> 01:51:50.320
And so first from the large catechism.

01:52:15.680 --> 01:52:30.320
Here also we do not wish to enter into controversy and fight with the defamers and blasphemers of

01:52:30.320 --> 01:52:36.240
this sacrament, but to learn first, as we did with baptism, what is of the greatest importance.

01:52:36.960 --> 01:52:42.720
The chief point is God's word and ordinance or command, for the sacrament has not been invented

01:52:42.720 --> 01:52:49.520
or introduced by any man. Without anyone's counsel and deliberation it has been instituted by Christ.

01:52:49.520 --> 01:52:54.320
The Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed keep their nature and worth,

01:52:54.320 --> 01:53:00.800
even if you never keep, pray, or believe them. So also this honorable sacrament remains undisturbed.

01:53:01.360 --> 01:53:06.480
Nothing is withdrawn or taken from it, even though we use it and administer it unworthily.

01:53:07.120 --> 01:53:11.440
Do you think God cares about what we do or believe, as though on that account

01:53:11.440 --> 01:53:16.720
he should allow his ordinance to be changed? Why in all worldly matters everything stays the

01:53:16.720 --> 01:53:20.880
way God has created and ordered it, no matter how we employ or use it?

01:53:22.160 --> 01:53:27.520
This point must always be taught, for by it the chatter of nearly all the fanatical spirits can

01:53:27.520 --> 01:53:33.200
be repelled, for they regard the sacraments unlike God's word as something that we do.

01:53:34.080 --> 01:53:40.560
Now what is the sacrament of the altar? Answer, it is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus

01:53:40.560 --> 01:53:46.320
Christ in and under the bread and wine, which we Christians are commanded by Christ's word to eat

01:53:46.320 --> 01:53:53.120
and to drink. Just as we have said that baptism is not simple water, so here also we say that though

01:53:53.120 --> 01:53:58.800
the sacrament is bread and wine, it is not mere bread and wine, such as are ordinarily served at

01:53:58.800 --> 01:54:05.920
the table. But this is bread and wine included in and connected with God's word. It is the word I

01:54:05.920 --> 01:54:12.160
say that makes and sets this sacrament apart, so it is not mere bread and wine, but is and is called

01:54:12.160 --> 01:54:18.720
Christ's body and blood. For it is said, when the word is joined to the element or natural substance,

01:54:18.720 --> 01:54:24.400
it becomes a sacrament. This saying of St. Augustine is so properly and so well put,

01:54:24.400 --> 01:54:29.760
that he is scarcely said anything better. The word must make a sacrament out of the element,

01:54:29.760 --> 01:54:35.680
or else it remains a mere element. Now it is not the word or ordinance of a prince or emperor,

01:54:36.080 --> 01:54:41.440
but it is the word of the grand majesty, at whose feet all creatures should fall and affirm it as

01:54:41.440 --> 01:54:48.960
he says, and accept it with all reverence, fear and humility. With this word you can strengthen

01:54:48.960 --> 01:54:53.920
your conscience and say, if a hundred thousand devils together with all fanatics should rush

01:54:53.920 --> 01:54:59.840
forward crying, how can bread and wine be Christ's body and blood, and such I know that all spirits

01:54:59.840 --> 01:55:04.560
and scholars together are not as wise as is the divine majesty in his little finger.

01:55:05.520 --> 01:55:12.160
Now here stands Christ's word, take, eat, this is my body, drink of it all of you,

01:55:12.160 --> 01:55:17.920
this is my blood of the New Testament, and so on. Here we stop to watch those who will call

01:55:17.920 --> 01:55:24.160
themselves his masters, and make the matter different from what he has spoken. It is true,

01:55:24.160 --> 01:55:29.360
indeed, that if you take away the word, or regard the sacrament without the words,

01:55:29.360 --> 01:55:34.240
you have nothing but mere bread and wine. But if the words remain with them,

01:55:34.240 --> 01:55:40.000
as they shall and must, then by virtue of the words it is truly Christ's body and blood,

01:55:40.640 --> 01:55:46.000
what Christ slips say and speak, so it is, he can never lie or deceive.

01:55:48.320 --> 01:55:53.600
The second quote is from Luther's Confession Concerning Christ Supper.

01:55:54.320 --> 01:56:00.240
This one was effectively what Luther intended as his last will and testament,

01:56:00.240 --> 01:56:04.880
and you'll note that he concerned himself not with the disposition of his estate or any such

01:56:04.880 --> 01:56:11.040
matters, although those were handled as well elsewhere, he concerned himself with the Lord's

01:56:11.040 --> 01:56:15.680
Supper. That was how centrally important this was to the Reformer.

01:56:15.680 --> 01:56:23.200
I see that schisms and errors are increasing proportionately with the passage of time,

01:56:23.760 --> 01:56:30.160
and that there is no end to the rage and fury of Satan, hence lest any persons during my lifetime

01:56:30.160 --> 01:56:36.080
or after my death appeal to me or misuse my writings to confirm their error,

01:56:36.080 --> 01:56:41.760
as the sacramentarian and baptist fanatics are already beginning to do. I desire with this

01:56:41.760 --> 01:56:48.720
treatise to confess my faith before God and all the world, point by point. I am determined to abide

01:56:48.720 --> 01:56:55.280
by it until my death and so help me God, in this faith to depart from this world, and to appear

01:56:55.280 --> 01:57:01.760
before the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, if any one shall say after my death,

01:57:01.760 --> 01:57:06.400
if Luther were living now, he would teach and hold this or that article differently,

01:57:06.480 --> 01:57:13.040
for he did not consider it sufficiently, etc. Let me say once and for all that by the grace of

01:57:13.040 --> 01:57:19.200
God I have most diligently traced all these articles through the scriptures, have examined them again

01:57:19.200 --> 01:57:24.720
and again in the light thereof, and have wanted to defend all of them as certainly as I have now

01:57:24.720 --> 01:57:30.960
defended the sacrament of the altar. I am not drunk or irresponsible, I know what I am saying,

01:57:30.960 --> 01:57:35.760
and I well realize what this will mean for me before the last judgment at the coming of the

01:57:35.760 --> 01:57:42.080
Lord Jesus Christ. Let no one make this out to be a joke or idle talk. I am in dead earnest,

01:57:42.080 --> 01:57:47.680
since by the grace of God I have learned to know a great deal about Satan. If he can twist and pervert

01:57:47.680 --> 01:57:53.200
the word of God in the scriptures, what will he not be able to do with my or someone else's words?

01:57:54.800 --> 01:58:01.120
In the same way I also say and confess that in the sacrament of the altar the true body and

01:58:01.120 --> 01:58:06.960
blood of Christ are orally eaten and drunk in the bread and wine, even if the priests who distribute

01:58:06.960 --> 01:58:13.040
them or those who receive them do not believe or otherwise misuse the sacrament. It does not rest

01:58:13.040 --> 01:58:18.800
on man's belief or unbelief, but on the word and ordinance of God, unless they first change

01:58:18.800 --> 01:58:24.000
God's word and ordinance and misinterpret them as the enemies of the sacrament do at the present

01:58:24.000 --> 01:58:29.840
time. They indeed have only bread and wine, for they do not also have the words and instituted

01:58:29.840 --> 01:58:34.480
ordinance of God, but have perverted and changed it according to their own imagination.

01:58:36.320 --> 01:58:43.360
And for the third quote. The amazing thing, meanwhile, is that of all the fathers, as many as

01:58:43.360 --> 01:58:49.360
you can name, not one has ever spoken about the sacrament as these fanatics do. None of them

01:58:49.360 --> 01:58:55.360
uses such an expression as, it is simply bread and wine, or Christ's body and blood are not present.

01:58:56.000 --> 01:59:00.960
Yet since this subject is so frequently discussed by them, it is impossible that they should not at

01:59:00.960 --> 01:59:07.520
some time have let slip such an expression as, it is simply bread, or not that the body of Christ

01:59:07.520 --> 01:59:13.120
is physically present or the like. Since they are greatly concerned not to mislead the people,

01:59:13.120 --> 01:59:18.080
actually they simply proceed to speak as if no one doubted that Christ's body and blood are present.

01:59:18.720 --> 01:59:24.240
Certainly, among so many fathers and so many writings, a negative argument should have turned

01:59:24.240 --> 01:59:32.000
up at least once, as happens in other articles, but actually they all stand uniformly and consistently

01:59:32.000 --> 01:59:38.480
on the affirmative side. That quote is speaking of the church fathers.

01:59:39.680 --> 01:59:46.880
And in the church fathers, you will not find a denial of the real present, of the real presence

01:59:46.880 --> 01:59:53.120
of the sacramental union. You will find affirmation after affirmation after affirmation of this

01:59:53.120 --> 02:00:03.200
teaching. And so to close out, I will end with a bit of the history of this with regard to the

02:00:03.200 --> 02:00:10.000
early church. This ties into the fact that you will not find a different teaching on this subject

02:00:10.000 --> 02:00:14.640
in the church fathers, because this is the unanimous voice of the historic church.

02:00:17.520 --> 02:00:22.080
During the Roman persecution, the particularly heinous parts of the Roman persecution,

02:00:22.800 --> 02:00:29.120
of the early Christians, of the early church. One of the charges, one of the common charges,

02:00:29.120 --> 02:00:36.400
was a charge of cannibalism. And that charge was leveled against Christians because of the

02:00:36.400 --> 02:00:42.640
teaching on the Lord's Supper. Now, you may think, well they would still say that because

02:00:42.640 --> 02:00:49.360
of the words, even if no. They were given the opportunity to recant or to explain what they

02:00:49.360 --> 02:00:54.000
meant before they were sentenced to death, typically thrown to the lions, although

02:00:54.000 --> 02:00:58.480
other punishments were also used depending on the emperor and the one passing judgment.

02:01:00.960 --> 02:01:06.640
If they had simply said, no we believe in a spiritual presence, echoing the Reformed,

02:01:06.640 --> 02:01:12.880
or if they had simply said, no this is merely a memorial for Christ, echoing the Baptists,

02:01:13.920 --> 02:01:16.480
they would not have been executed for what they believed.

02:01:16.720 --> 02:01:26.160
Those in the early church who were subjected to persecution on account of Christ, on account of

02:01:26.160 --> 02:01:32.160
the teaching regarding the Lord's Supper, were willing to go to the lions, were willing to die

02:01:33.120 --> 02:01:40.000
rather than to affirm any of the various false teachings that are today held by many traditions,

02:01:40.720 --> 02:01:47.200
many denominations. All they had to do was say no it's a spiritual presence, no it's a memorial,

02:01:47.200 --> 02:01:51.120
and they would not have been sentenced to death. Because if they had said that,

02:01:51.120 --> 02:01:55.040
they would have been just another mystery cult. The Roman Empire had plenty of those,

02:01:55.040 --> 02:01:58.480
those were normal, if you want to be weird in the corner that's fine, you do that.

02:01:59.360 --> 02:02:04.960
It was the charge of cannibalism and the insistence of the early Christians that know

02:02:05.920 --> 02:02:12.640
we consume the body and blood of our Savior in this sacrament, that is what sentenced them to

02:02:12.640 --> 02:02:20.400
death, and they were willing to die for it. Because when you are called upon to affirm

02:02:20.400 --> 02:02:29.280
scriptural truth, when you are called upon to affirm right doctrine, even if failing to do so,

02:02:29.920 --> 02:02:36.160
even if denying those truths would save your life, you are required and in fact you are probably

02:02:36.160 --> 02:02:41.520
more required in the case where your life is in jeopardy, you are required to affirm the truth

02:02:41.520 --> 02:02:48.720
and to die for your faith. That is what it means to suffer persecution gladly. It is when you are

02:02:48.720 --> 02:02:54.560
persecuted specifically for your faith that you stand up and declare the truth and suffer the

02:02:54.560 --> 02:03:00.880
consequences. It is not in regards to the left-hand kingdom, in regard to politics and secular issues,

02:03:00.880 --> 02:03:05.200
that is a separate matter, and we have discussed that previously and will certainly get into it

02:03:05.200 --> 02:03:11.760
more in future episodes. But when it comes to the truth of the faith, when it comes to the word of

02:03:11.760 --> 02:03:19.680
God, we are to affirm the truth whatever the consequences may be. And that is what the early

02:03:19.760 --> 02:03:26.400
Christian Church did when faced with the option of either deny the real presence,

02:03:27.120 --> 02:03:33.280
deny the sacramental union, that presence of Christ in the Supper, in, with, and under the

02:03:33.280 --> 02:03:41.760
bread and wine, deny it or die, they chose to die. Because that is how important the Lord Supper is,

02:03:42.640 --> 02:03:48.480
because as stated before there are two sacraments in the Christian religion, two core sacraments,

02:03:48.480 --> 02:03:53.760
again, we will not argue, quibble over whether or not there are some other sacramental things or

02:03:53.760 --> 02:04:00.560
sacraments. But there is baptism and there is the Lord Supper. Baptism is the ordinary means

02:04:01.360 --> 02:04:07.680
in the sense of traditional or proper. It is the ordinary means by which one enters into the family

02:04:07.680 --> 02:04:15.280
of God. One enters into that covenant, one is given faith and salvation. And the Lord Supper

02:04:15.280 --> 02:04:20.480
is how that is strengthened. It is how you are kept in the faith. And of course, both

02:04:21.440 --> 02:04:26.080
must be with the word, for a sacrament is a pairing together of an element and the word.

02:04:27.280 --> 02:04:32.560
These are the means of grace. These are the things instituted by God for the salvation

02:04:32.560 --> 02:04:38.160
of your soul. And so they are worth defending, even unto death.