The Lord's Supper Analysis

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In this essay, I seek to elucidate the importance of the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament for the Christian religion within John Calvin’s Institutes, and then move forward to one of the practical or pastoral concerns that John Calvin brings up in his refutations over the Lord’s Supper. This essay assumes that it cannot deal comprehensively with every argument on account of its limited space. So, the singular concern for this essay will be Calvin 's refutation against consubstantiation. Additionally, the essay presupposes the soundness of Wim Janse thesis that Calvin’s belief on the Lord 's Supper cannot be static but instead is an "underdetermined or [opened]" view developing through his interactions with other reformers and reflecting on the…show more content…
Calvin 's point within this is that humanity is not just servants but, through Christ, are embraced as family. Thus, humanity must partake of the spiritual banquet. Calvin seeking to be consistent establishes the point of the sacrament that it is not sacraments that carry power. Instead, the Supper signifies Christ as being our only source for continued the Christian life (Institutes 4.XVII.1). However, Calvin pretty quickly states the mystery of Christ 's union to the believer, yet this union is our transformation into the likeness of Christ from the old self. Hence, the Supper is a continued extension of our regeneration. Moreover, Calvin emphasizes that our participation in the sacrament comes about for our being brought up into the life of God. To do this, Calvin states that one must "carefully observe" that the strength of the Supper symbolizes the redemption and salvation, Christ himself procured for humanity…show more content…
Hence, Calvin asserts that these varying views distort true piety. One such view is consubstantiation. In this view, usually Lutheran perspective, Calvin finds that they make the corruptible elements, as they are material things, yet underneath the elements, the elements hold the body of Christ. Or, in Calvin 's words, these people "cannot bear to conceive any other partaking of flesh and blood except that which consists in either local conjunction and contact or some gross form of enclosing" (4.XVII.16). Thus, the concern deals a misinformed idea that the resurrected Christ somehow masks himself within the bread and wine. In other words, the resurrected Christ comes down to make the sacrament salvific in some sense. But, Calvin already established that the Lord 's Supper is a sacrament meant to strengthen faith. Furthermore, those with this view locate the grace of God within the elements. Since Calvin sees the whole spectrum of a Christian 's salvation solely in the hands of the Triune God 's action, this emphasis in the material as a means of salvation distorts the reality of faith. Faith is exercised in the recognition, and living in God 's benevolence and promises to humanity. Lastly, Calvin 's concern aims at misconstruing the Gospel that states Christ sits at the right hand of
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