1 Corinthians 11:23–26
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Both Kinds in the Lord’s Supper
Now, if Christ has established his meal for the entire Church, why is one kind denied to a part of the Church? Why is the use of the other part prohibited? Why is the directive of Christ changed—especially when he himself calls it his testament? If it is illegal to annul man’s testament, how is it allowable to overturn the testament of Christ?
Pulling It Together
Luther frequently taught that “the Words of Institution are the ‘gospel in a nutshell’” (Luther’s Works, vol 53, p 59). “Take and eat; this is my body, given for you... Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink...for the forgiveness of sin.” This is a summary of the gospel because it shows that in Holy Communion we receive the forgiveness of sins. Sinners receive God’s grace for Christ’s sake. That is the gospel.
Lutherans do no alter Christ’s institution, for in so doing, we would change the very message of the gospel. Christ gave his body and shed his blood for all. So, the bread is given to all, and the cup is given to all. This is done so that all may receive God’s grace as Christ intended.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the forgiveness of sin, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Written in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, The Life of Martin Luther, a nine-session adult study, takes participants through the circumstances and events of the life of Martin Luther as it reflects on the biblical themes underlying the Lutheran Reformation.