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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Church
See how religious our adversaries are? They require uniform human observances for the unity of the Church, though they themselves have changed the ordinance of Christ in the use of the Supper—which was certainly a universal ordinance before. But if universal ordinances are so necessary, why do they alter the ordinance of Christ’s Supper, which is not human, but divine? We will have more to say later about this entire controversy.
Pulling It Together
The words of Christ spoken over the bread and wine insure the promise of grace to those who believe. When we speak his word over the elements, he is truly present in them. It is his body and his blood that we eat and drink; otherwise we have no life within us (John 6:53). The Lord is our portion (Lam 3:24). So, we see that Christ is both comprehended and apprehended through hearing with faith. This is what Christ instituted and what we ought to celebrate as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup. For this sacrament is divinely established and cannot be overruled by human authority. Human ordinances, however, may be changed or practiced differently in different places without injury to faith or unity in the Church.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for making yourself present your Church. Amen.
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