Question 78: Do, then, the bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ?
Answer: No1, but as the water in baptism neither is changed into the blood of Christ, nor is the washing away of sins itself, being only the divine token and confirmation thereof2, so likewise the bread in the Lord's supper does not become the real body of Christ3; though agreeably to the nature and property of sacraments4 it is called the body of Christ Jesus.
1Matt. 26:29, But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
2Eph. 5:26, That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Tit. 3:5, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
31 Cor. 10:16, The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1 Cor. 11:26, For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
4Gen. 17:10-11, This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee;
Ex. 12:11, 13, And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD'S passover.... And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt.
Ex. 13:9, And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt
1 Pet. 3:21, The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Cor. 10:3,4, and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Question 79: Why, then, does Christ call the bread His body, and the cup His blood, or the new covenant in His blood, and Paul a communion of the body and blood of Christ?
Answer: Christ speaks thus not without great cause; namely, not only to teach us thereby that, as bread and wine sustain this temporal life, so also His crucified body and shed blood are the true food and drink, of our souls unto eternal life1; but much more, by these visible signs and pledges to assure us that we are as really partakers of His true body and blood, through the working of the Holy Spirit, as we receive by the mouth of our body these holy tokens in remembrance of Him2; and that all His sufferings and obedience are as certainly ours as if we ourselves had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction to God for our sins.
1John 6:55, For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
21 Cor. 10:16, The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
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