The Lord 's Supper As A Sacrament For The Christian Religion Essay

The Lord 's Supper As A Sacrament For The Christian Religion Essay

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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 sacrament (cf. Janse, 39–40). Hence, as a vantage point of the essay, Calvin 's explication on the Lord 's Supper wrestles with the mysteries of faith and Christ 's command for believers to partake of him.

Importance of Lord 's Supper §1–11
Calvin assumes that those who partake the Supper are those who have been established by faith. 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 par...


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...s this essay draws to a close, it is prudent to see how Calvin 's understanding of the Lord 's Supper and refutation of consubstantiation works out in a service. This is where Mckee 's edited book becomes beneficial for this essay. Within the book, Calvin sets out the question and answer for children to participants in communion. It is there that Calvin 's thoughts come through with such clarity and unambiguous nature on what the Supper meant for Calvin (cf. Mckee, 101–4). Focusing on the Trinitarian nature of salvation and the Christian life, Calvin pointedly questions the children over what the sacrament signifies and what the elements do. For this reason, Calvin 's focus for the believer 's piety concretely manifests itself in this: Christ nourishes our lives, and we come to this meal, expressing faith, to cling to the Triune God 's benevolence and promises to us.

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