This is a seven-week devotion by Pastor Ricky Jacob, of Winnebago, Nebraska.
(Read the full series here)
It is still all about Jesus.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Some of you may wonder, just what do we Lutherans believe?
Today, I will attempt to summarize just one of the chief articles of faith that we Lutherans believe and teach, based solely on the sacred Word of God.
Today's chief article of faith: What is the Lord's Supper?
Our Lutheran churches teach that the body and blood of Christ are truly present and are distributed to those who eat in the supper of the Lord.
Listen to the very words of Christ in the Gospel of St. Matthew, the twenty-sixth chapter:
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28 ESV)
Based on these words, we Lutherans believe, teach, and confess that, of the bread, it is what Jesus said it is, namely "This is my body." And of the wine, "This is my blood."
These are given and shed for the forgiveness of sins. So, in the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine, one receives the very body and blood of Jesus. These are given so that those who receive them in faith also are assured of their forgiveness of sins. Where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation. But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts is unworthy and unfit, for the words "for you," require that you truly believe.
Don't forget: to truly believe is a gift of the Holy Spirit.