Analysis Of The Lord's Supper

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Institutes of the Christian Religion was first published in 1536 by John Calvin (1509-1564) and is his magnum opus of Christian theology. The books, of which there are four, follow the order of the Apostle’s Creed examining God the Father in the first, the Son of God in the second, the Holy Spirit in the third, and lastly the Church in the fourth and final installment. For the purposes of this paper, the 17th chapter of the fourth book will come into view as the Lord’s Supper according to Calvin is analyzed. The chapter is divided into two sections, wherein the first describes the institution of the Holy Supper and the way in which a Christian participates and understands the sacrament. The second section, which makes up the majority of the chapter, is focused on a “refutation of errors” which includes transubstantiation, consubstantiation, and ubiquity. In similar order this paper will first examine the benefits of the Holy Supper conferred to the recipient, and secondly the theological errors (as Calvin puts it) that seek to undermine the simplicity of the truth conveyed by the sacrament.

What God Has Exhibited in the Lord’s Supper.

The Lord’s Supper, as understood by Calvin, is a family meal to which God has extended an invitation for by the death and resurrection of his eternal Son. Calvin argues that while God has provided life for his children, he has not left them alone but out of ‘his continued liberality” has provided the spiritual feast. From the outset of

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