The Lord’s Supper

We confess in the Lutheran Church that the bread and wine served in the Lord’s Supper is truly the body and blood of Jesus. In our churches, we do not try to explain this philosophically (transubstantiation; consubstantiation), nor do we interpret our Lord’s Word’s spiritually or allegorically (the bread merely represents Christ’s body). The plain meaning of Christ’s words regarding the Sacrament are: “This is My body; this is My blood.” The Word of Jesus makes it so.

The body and blood of Jesus are received by all who partake of the Lord’s Supper. The body and blood of Jesus depend on the word and promise of Jesus, not on the faith of the person who receives. Faith is what receives the body and blood of Jesus with the benefit of forgiveness, life, and salvation. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there also are life and salvation.

On the other hand, if a person receives the body and blood of Jesus without faith, that is, rejecting the words of Christ and not discerning the body, that person receives the Sacrament to their great harm (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). Therefore, because of these words of Jesus, the practice of the Lutheran Church is to admit people to the Sacrament only after they have been taught to examine themselves and have confessed their faith in the words of Christ.