SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR, OR LORD’S SUPPER:
AS IT IS MOST PLAINLY TO BE TAUGHT BY A FATHER TO HIS FAMILY.
What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
Ans. – It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, with bread and wine, instituted by Christ himself, for us Christians to eat and to drink.
Where is this written?
Ans. – The holy evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the apostle St. Paul, write thus:
“Our Lord Jesus Christ, the night in which he was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it unto his disciples, saying, Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
Likewise after the supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”
What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?
Ans. – This is indicated by these words “given and shed for you for the remission of sins;” namely, that through these words in the Sacrament, the remission of sins, life, and salvation are imparted; for where there is remission of sins, there is also life and salvation.
How can bodily eating and drinking effect such great things?
Ans. – Indeed it is not the eating and drinking which have such effect, but these words declaring: “which is given and shed for you for the remission of sins.” Which words, together with the bodily eating and drinking, are considered as the principal thing in the Sacrament; so that whosoever believes these words, enjoys what they indicate and declare, namely, the remission of sins.
Who then receives the Sacrament worthily?
Ans. – Fasting and keeping the body in subjection, are indeed a good external discipline; nevertheless, he only is truly worthy, and well prepared, who has faith in these words: “given and shed for you, for the remission of sins.” But he who disbelieves these words, or doubts, is unworthy and unprepared; since the expression “for you” requires only such hearts as believe.