Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Usefulness and conscience comforting effect of the Lord Supper. Part III

Chemnitz third point on the comfort that the Lord’s Supper has to do with the redemption of human nature. Human nature lost the image of God in the fall. This not only has its effect on our soul, but also our body our flesh. Humans are both body and soul, this must not be forgotten. That is, it is in the nature of humans to be both body and soul. Should we exist without a body, we would not be human, but ghosts, phantoms, and such. This is not our nature. We are body and soul, as opposed to angels who are spirit alone, and animals which are body alone. Jesus Christ restored all of our human nature, body and soul. Our salvation then is one of both body and soul.
As Chemnitz writes “ The Son of God, therefore, in order that He might become the second Adam, assumed our nature, but without sin, and in that nature condemned sin, destroyed death, and restored that nature to life…. Christ in His Supper again offers us that very nature which He has assumed from us and in Himself first restored, so that when we receive it with our poor flesh we are no longer in doubt concerning the salvation also of our nature through Christ. For in this way He, as it were, grafts our miserable and corrupt nature into the holy and life-giving mass of his human nature, as Cyril says, so that out depravity and misery are cured and renewed through the remedy of this most intimate union.” (The Lord’s Supper, pg 188-189)
Semi-Gnostic, and Gnostic teachings plague many aspects of Christianity today. First and foremost of these teachings is that humans are primarily spirit, that the physical is bad or indifferent. I believe it is this thought process that has led to many of the sexual sins among Christians. Seems you find lots of sermons about smoking and drinking, but not much is said on the topic of premarital sex. Many believe that death is the release of the soul to heaven to live with Christ. They don’t realize that our bodies are also spiritual, that we go to heaven in body and soul. We are not separated from our bodies, but given transformed bodies in heaven. This can be trace back to the fact that in many protestant circles nothing is done for the preparation of the body for heaven. The soul and the soul alone receives all the emphasis when it comes to heaven. Even the Lord’s Supper is turned into some sort of soul feast, that has nothing to do with the body. Yet, The Lord’s Supper emphasizes the resurrection of the flesh. Christ gives us his body so that the transformation of our bodies might begin now. Christ prepares not only our soul for heaven in the Lord’s Supper, but also our bodies.

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