Chapter 30: Of the Lord’s Supper

  1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him on the same night in which he was betrayed. It is to be observed in his churches to the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance and showing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death; for the confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits of Christ’s death; for their spiritual nourishment and growth in him; for their further engagement in and to all the duties which they owe to him;1 and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other.2

1 1Cor 11.23-26 2 1Cor 10.16-17, 21

  1. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor is any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the living or dead. There is only a memorial of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all,3 and a spiritual oblation [offering] of all possible praise to God for that same sacrifice.4 As a result, the popish [Roman Catholic] sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominable [abhorrent], injurious to [undermining and detracting from] Christ’s own sacrifice, which is the only propitiation for all the sins of the elect.

3 Heb 9.25-26, 28 4 1Cor 11.24; Mt 26.26-27

  1. In this ordinance the Lord Jesus has appointed his ministers to pray and to bless the elements of bread and wine, and in this way to set them apart from a common to a holy use. They are to take and break the bread, and to take the cup, and to give both to the communicants while also communicating [participating] themselves.5

5 1Cor 11.23-26, etc.

  1. The denial of the cup to the people, also the worshipping of the elements, lifting them up or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance and to the institution of Christ.6

6 Mt 26.26-28; Mt 15.9; Ex 20.4-5

  1. The outward elements in this ordinance, properly set apart for the use ordained by Christ, have such a relation to Christ crucified that they truly (although these terms are used figuratively) are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, namely, the body and blood of Christ.7 However, in substance and in nature they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.8

7 1Cor 11.27 8 1Cor 11.26, 28

  1. The doctrine commonly called transubstantiation, which maintains that the substance of bread and wine changes into the substance of Christ’s body and blood by the consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant [inconsistent with, offensive to] not only to Scripture but even to common sense and reason.9 It overthrows [destroys] the nature of the ordinance,10 and has been and is the cause of multiplied superstitions to the degree of gross idolatries.

9 Acts 3.21; Lk 14.6, 39 10 1Cor 11.24-25

  1. When worthy receivers outwardly partake of the visible elements in this ordinance they also inwardly by faith receive and feed upon Christ crucified and all the benefits of his death. They do this really and actually, but spiritually rather than carnally [bodily] and corporally [physically]. The body and blood of Christ are not corporally [physically] or carnally [bodily] present in the ordinance, but are spiritually present to the faith of believers just as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.11

11 1Cor 10.16; 1Cor 11.23-26

  1. All ignorant and ungodly persons are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ.12 They are therefore unworthy of the Lord’s table. While they remain in this condition they cannot, without great sin against Christ, participate in these holy mysteries or be admitted to them. Indeed, whoever receives the supper unworthily is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves.13

12 2Cor 6.14-15 13 1Cor 11.29; Mt 7.6