Today, we commemorate John Chrysostom (AD 347–407), who preached passionately about the free salvation of Christ. We read about Chrysostom’s teachings on the Lord’s Supper with an excerpt from Christian Dogmatics.
Everything about our salvation—from the hearing of God’s Word to the deliverance of His forgiveness by Baptism and Holy Communion—happens by God’s power, not our own. Thanks be to God for providing preachers who faithfully proclaim this truth to us!
Because the Lord’s Supper is a Sacrament which should be celebrated until the end of time, . . . we must deal also with the important question, What produces the true presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper? . . .
Neither the faith of man (Reformed) nor the power of the priesthood (Romanists) nor any magic influence of the spoken word makes the eating or drinking a Lord’s Supper, or Sacrament, but only Christ’s institution and command: “This do ye.”
The Formula of Concord stands on solid Scripture ground when it declares: “The true and almighty words of Jesus Christ which He spake at the first institution were efficacious not only at the first Supper, but they endure, are valid, operate, and are still efficacious, . . . so that in all places where the Supper is celebrated according to the institution of Christ and His words are used, the body and blood of Christ are truly present, distributed, and received because of the power and efficacy of the words which Christ spake at the first Supper. . . . As Chrysostom says in his Sermon concerning the Passion: ‘Christ Himself prepares this table and blesses it; for no man makes the bread and wine set before us the body and blood of Christ, but Christ Himself who was crucified for us. . . . Just as the declaration Gen. 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth,” was spoken only once, but is ever efficacious in nature, so that it is fruitful and multiplies, also this declaration [“This is My body; this is My blood”] was spoken once, but even to this day and to His advent it is efficacious and works so that in the Supper of the Church His true body and blood are present.’” . . .
Lutherans rightly insist upon the use of the words of institution in the Holy Supper no less than in Holy Baptism. While they do not regard the accidental omission or mispronunciation of a word or an unintentional error that may occur during the consecration as an offense by which the whole Sacrament is invalidated, they demand that “the words of institution are to be publicly spoken or sung directly and clearly and should in no way be omitted.” (Formula of Concord, Thor. Decl., VII, 79.)
Devotional reading is from Christian Dogmatics, pages 528–30 © 1934 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
What shall I render to the LORD
for all His benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD,
I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all His people.
Scripture quotations from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.