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Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland
The Lord's Supper Series Index

#5.  Ordinance or Sacrament?
Our work? or God's work?
What is a Sacrament?
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The Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 25:6-9
The LORD All-Powerful will prepare a feast on this mountain for all people.
It will be a feast with all the best food and wine, the finest meat and wine.
On this mountain God will destroy the veil that covers all nations,
the veil that stretches over all peoples;
     he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away every tear from every face.
    He will take away the shame of his people from the earth.
The LORD has spoken.
At that time people will say,
    "Our God is doing this!
We have waited for him, and he has come to save us.
    This is the LORD. We waited for him,
so we will rejoice and be happy when he saves us."

The Epistle Lesson: Revelation 19:6-9
    Then I heard what sounded like a great many people, like the noise of flooding water, and like the noise of loud thunder. The people were saying:
    "Hallelujah! Our Lord God, the Almighty, rules.
Let us rejoice and be happy and give God glory,
    because the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and the Lamb’s bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear."
    (The fine linen means the good things done by God’s holy people.)
    And the angel said to me, "Write this: Happy are those who have been invited to the wedding meal of the Lamb!" And the angel said, "These are the true words of God."

The Gospel Lesson: Luke 22:14-20
    When the time came, Jesus and the apostles were sitting at the table.  He said to them, "I wanted very much to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer.  I will not eat another Passover meal until it is given its true meaning in the kingdom of God."
    Then Jesus took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this cup and share it among yourselves.  I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until God’s kingdom comes.”
     Then Jesus took some bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to the apostles, saying, "This is my body, which I am giving for you. Do this to remember me."  In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, "This cup is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you. "



Here in our final lesson about the Lord's Supper we will do a little review and take care of some unfinished business

First, we saw that the Lord's Supper connects us to Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection.  He gave us the Lord's Supper so we never forget (1) God forgives us, and (2) the price He paid so He can forgive us.

1 Corinthians 11:26
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you announce the death of our Lord until He comes again. 

Second, we studied: What is the Lord's Supper:

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.   (Martin Luther, Small Catechism)

We saw that many Christians disagree about this.

The Bible teaches that the body of blood of Christ is really in the Lord's Supper.  But many Christians believe that the bread and wine are only symbols of His body and blood.

They see the Lord's Supper as our work -- "ordinance"
We see the Lord's Supper as God's work -- "sacrament"

We have the Lord's Supper for the assurance of forgiveness.
They have the Lord's Supper only as a memorial meal, obeying Christ's command.

Real Presence of
Christ's body & blood
Symbolism
SacramentOrdinance
God's workOur work
ForgivenessObey

 We saw this same pattern before in our lessons about baptism.


WHAT IS A SACRAMENT?
    A Sacrament is a holy act that
    (1) has been established by Christ's command
    (2) has visible elements (things that we can see)
    (3) is joined to God's Word
    (4) gives forgiveness of sins.

 
(1) A Sacrament is a holy act that has been established by Christ's command.

BAPTISM
Matthew 28:18-29
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All power in heaven and on earth is given to me.   So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age."

LORD'S SUPPER
Matthew 26:26-28
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread and thanked God for it and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said, "Take this bread and eat it; this is my body."   Then Jesus took a cup and thanked God for it and gave it to the followers. He said, "Every one of you drink this.  This is my blood which is the new covenant that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many to forgive their sins."  (Also Mark 14, Luke 22, 1 Corinthians 11)


(2) A Sacrament has visible elements (things that we can see).

BAPTISM  -- Water

LORD'S SUPPER -- Bread & Wine


(3) A Sacrament is joined to God's Word.

BAPTISM
Matthew 28:19

LORD'S SUPPER
Matthew 26:26-28
Mark 14:22-25
Luke 22:19-20
1 Corinthians 11:23-26


(4) A Sacrament gives forgiveness of sins.

BAPTISM
Acts 2:38-39
Peter said to them, "Change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  This promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away. It is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself."  (also see Acts 22:16, Ephesians 5:25-26)

LORD'S SUPPER
Matthew 26:28
Jesus said, "This is my blood which is the new covenant that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many to forgive their sins."



Who can do baptism?  Only the pastor? 
No!  Any Christian can baptize. 
However, Baptism is not an individual action.  Baptism involves the whole church
(see Ephesians 5:25-26).  The pastor is the church's representative when we baptize.  But in an emergency, any Christian can do baptism.

Who can lead the Lord's Supper?  Only the pastor?
The answer is the same.
The Lord's Supper is not an individual action.  The Lord's Supper is a "communion" (fellowship) of the whole congregation
(see 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:18-19).  The pastor is the church's representative for serving the Lord's Supper. 

However, it is our church's policy that when the congregation does not have a pastor, the congregation can, with the District President's approval, appoint a lay leader of officiate the Lord's Supper.  Remember, a pastor has no special magical power to for making the Lord's Supper happen.  It is Christ alone, by His Word -- His promise and His command -- who offers us His body and blood in the sacrament for the precious assurance that He has forgiven all of our sins.