THE LORD’S SUPPER—CONCLUDED.
We have quoted, noted, collected and compared the words of Scripture that speak of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. We now wish to ask and examine the question: What do these passages taken together and compared with one another teach? Or, in other words, what is the Bible doctrine of the Lord’s Supper?
Does the Bible teach the doctrine of Transubstantiation, as held and confessed by the Roman Catholic Church? If our investigation of the teachings of the Holy Scriptures convinces us that they teach Transubstantiation, we will be ready to believe and confess that doctrine, no matter who else may believe or disbelieve it. What we want to know, believe, teach and confess, is the Bible doctrine.
What is Transubstantiation? The word means a change of substance. The doctrine of the Romish Church is that after the consecration by the priest, the bread in the sacrament is changed into the material body of Christ, and the wine into His blood—so entirely changed in substance and matter, that after the consecration there is no more bread or wine there; what was bread has been converted into the flesh of Christ, and what was wine has been converted into His blood. Is this the doctrine of God’s word? Does the Word anywhere tell us that the bread and wine are thus changed? Does it call the bread flesh, either before or after the consecration? Let us see. “Jesus took bread.” “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine.” “The bread which we break.” “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup.” Such is the language of inspiration. Now we ask, if the Holy Spirit desired that plain and unprejudiced readers should find the doctrine of Transubstantiation in His words, why does He call the earthly elements bread and wine before, during and after the consecration Why does He not say, “as often as ye eat this flesh and drink this blood?” Evidently because the bread is, and remains plain, natural bread, and so with the wine. There is no change in the component elements, in the nature, matter, or substance of either. Transubstantiation is not the doctrine of God’s word; neither was it the doctrine of the early Church. It is one of the human inventions and corruptions of the Church of Rome.
Do then these words of Scripture teach the doctrine of Consubstantiation? There are persons who talk a great deal about Consubstantiation, and yet they know not what it means. What is it? It is a mingling or fusing together of two different elements or substances, so that the two combine into a third. A familiar example, often given, is the fusing or melting together of copper and zinc until they unite and form brass. Applied to the sacrament of the altar, the doctrine of Consubstantiation would teach that the flesh and blood of Christ are physically or materially mingled and combined with the bread and wine; so that what the communicant receives is neither plain, real bread, nor real flesh, but a gross mixture of the two.