Friday, January 05, 2018

The Vision (1.5.18): Eating Christ's Flesh and Drinking His Blood

Image: Thanksgiving desserts at the Riddle house, November 23, 2017. Peanut butter pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and banana pudding.
Have we tasted of faith in Christ?

Devotion taken from study notes for sermon on John 6:52-58.
John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him at the at the last day.
Is this passage about communion? No. If that were the case, it would be teaching justification by the work of taking the Lord’s Supper, and the Bible would be incoherent and internally contradictory (cf. Eph 2:8-9).
It is, instead, about saving faith in Christ and, in particular, about faith in what he has accomplished in the cross when he gave up his flesh for the life of the world (cf. John 6:51).
Matthew Poole on v. 53:
The short and true sense of these words is, that without a true believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, as he who died for our sins, no man hath any thing in him of true spiritual life, nor shall ever come to eternal life.
John Calvin on v. 54:
From these words, it plainly appears that this whole passage is improperly explained as applied to the Lord’s Supper. For if it were true that all who present themselves at the holy table of the Lord are made partakers of his flesh and blood, all will, in like manner, obtain life; but we know there are many who partake of it to their condemnation. And indeed it would have been foolish and unreasonable to discourse about the Lord’s Supper, before he had instituted it. It is certain, then, that he now speaks of the perpetual and ordinary manner of eating the flesh of Christ, which is done by faith only.
He adds, however:
And yet, at the same time, I acknowledge that there is nothing said here that is not figuratively represented, and actually bestowed on believers, in the Lord’s Supper.
Of course, the one who takes the Lord’s Supper aright is first and foremost a believer.
The questions we are meant to ask are:
Have I trusted in the cross work of Christ?
Have I ingested Christ? Have I eaten of his flesh and drunk of his blood? Has he become my necessary food?
Have I come into union with Christ, I in him and he in me?

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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