Skip to comments.Essays for Lent: The Eucharist
Posted on 03/19/2012 7:19:57 PM PDT by Salvation
by Sebastian R. Fama
The Church has always taught that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. This is difficult for some to accept. However, belief in the Real Presence rests upon the words of Christ Himself. In John 6:48-57 we read:
I am the the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread, will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. The Jews quarreled among themselves saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me." Opponents of the Real Presence contend that this is all symbolic. But read what happens in verses 60 and 66, "Then many of His disciples who were listening said, 'This saying is hard, who can accept it?'...As a result of this, many [of] His disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied Him."
Opponents of the Real Presence contend that this is all symbolic. But read what happens in verses 60 and 66, "Then many of His disciples who were listening said, 'This saying is hard, who can accept it?'...As a result of this, many [of] His disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied Him."
Why was it hard for Jesus' disciples to accept something that was supposedly symbolic? Why would they abandon Him over it? Apparently they took Him literally. If they were wrong, why didn't He correct them? When Jesus taught something and it wasn't understood, He would explain it as He did with the parables. If His message was understood but rejected, He just repeated it with more force, as He did with the Pharisees. Which category do you suppose John 6 is in?
At the Last Supper, Jesus fulfilled His promise: "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, 'Take and eat, this is My body.' Then He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins'" (Matthew 26:26-28). This could hardly be seen as symbolic, as Jesus held bread and the cup of wine in His hands and said "This is my body" and "This is my blood." He was obviously referring to what He was holding. Luke records that Jesus also said to do this in memory of Him (22:19). For the Jews, to do something "in memory" meant to make it actually present.
Paul affirms the Real Presence in 1 Corinthians 10:16 and 11:27-29. "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?... Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord...For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself." If the Lords body and blood are not present, how can a wrong be committed against them?
Jesus is the sacrificial lamb of the New Covenant. The Old Covenant sacrifice prefigured the New Covenant sacrifice. Both include a partaking of the sacrifice to signify participation in its effects.
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch from the year 69 to 110, writes in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans, "But look at the men who have those perverted notions about the grace of Jesus Christ They will not admit the Eucharist is the self same body of our Savior Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins, and which the Father in His goodness afterwards raised up again" (7:1).
A few decades later, around the year 150, Justin Martyr wrote: "Not as common bread or common drink do we receive these, but since Jesus Christ our savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" (First Apology 66).
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Leviticus Chapter 5
5: When a man is guilty in any of these, he shall confess the sin he has committed, 6: and he shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD for the sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.Read More
Matthew Chapter 9
2: And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." 3: And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." 4: But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5: For which is easier, to say, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise and walk'? 6: But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he then said to the paralytic -- "Rise, take up your bed and go home." 7: And he rose and went home. 8: When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to MEN.Read More
Matthew Chapter 16
19: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."Read More
Matthew Chapter 18
18: Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.Read More
Mark Chapter 2
7: "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"Read More
John Chapter 20
23: If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."Read More
Acts Chapter 19
18: Many also of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.Read More
2 Corinthians Chapter 2
10: Any one whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,Read More
2 Corinthians Chapter 5
18: All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;Read More
James Chapter 5
15: and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16: Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.Read More
1 John Chapter 1
9: IF we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.Read More
Early Church Fathers
The Letter of Barnabas [70-90 AD] Epistle of Barnabas "You shall judge righteously. You shall not make a schism, but you shall pacify those that contend by bringing them together. You shall confess your sins. You shall not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light" (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).Read More
Ignatius of Antioch [50-117 AD] Epistle to the Philadelphians
"For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of penance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ" (Letter to the Philadelphians 3 [A.D. 110]).Read More
"For where there is division and wrath, God does not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop" (ibid., 8).Read More
Irenaeus of Lyons [120-180 AD] Adversus Haereses (Book I, Chapter 13)
"[The Gnostic disciples of Marcus] have deluded many women. . . . Their consciences have been branded as with a hot iron. Some of these women make a public confession, but others are ashamed to do this, and in silence, as if withdrawing from themselves the hope of the life of God, they either apostatize entirely or hesitate between the two courses" (Against Heresies 1:22 [A.D. 189]).Read More
Hippolytus [170-236 AD] Against the Heresy of Noetus "[The bishop conducting the ordination of the new bishop shall pray:] God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Pour forth now that power which comes from you, from your royal Spirit, which you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and which he bestowed upon his holy apostles . . . and grant this your servant, whom you have chosen for the episcopate, [the power] to feed your holy flock and to serve without blame as your high priest, ministering night and day to propitiate unceasingly before your face and to offer to you the gifts of your holy Church, and by the Spirit of the high priesthood to have the authority to forgive sins, in accord with your command" (Apostolic Tradition 3 [A.D. 215]).Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] On Repentance "[Regarding confession, some] flee from this work as being an exposure of themselves, or they put it off from day to day. I presume they are more mindful of modesty than of salvation, like those who contract a disease in the more shameful parts of the body and shun making themselves known to the physicians; and thus they perish along with their own bashfulness" (Repentance 10:1 [A.D. 203]).Read More
Origen [185-254 AD] De Principiis (Book IV)
"[A final method of forgiveness], albeit hard and laborious [is] the remission of sins through penance, when the sinner . . . does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord and from seeking medicine, after the manner of him who say, I said, "To the Lord I will accuse myself of my iniquity"" (Homilies on Leviticus 2:4 [A.D. 248]).Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 8
"Of how much greater faith and salutary fear are they who . . . confess their sins to the priests of God in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of conscience. . . . I beseech you, brethren, let everyone who has sinned confess his sin while he is still in this world, while his confession is still admissible, while the satisfaction and remission made through the priests are still pleasing before the Lord" (ibid., 28).Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 9
"[S]inners may do penance for a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of Communion. [But now some] with their time [of penance] still unfulfilled . . . they are admitted to Communion, and their name is presented; and while the penitence is not yet performed, confession is not yet made, the hands of the bishop and clergy are not yet laid upon them, the Eucharist is given to them; although it is written, Whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord [1 Cor. 11:27]" (Letters 9:2 [A.D. 253]).Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 51
"And do not think, dearest brother, that either the courage of the brethren will be lessened, or that martyrdoms will fail for this cause, that penance is relaxed to the lapsed, and that the hope of peace [i.e., absolution] is offered to the penitent. . . . For to adulterers even a time of repentance is granted by us, and peace is given" (ibid., 51:20).Read More
"But I wonder that some are so obstinate as to think that repentance is not to be granted to the lapsed, or to suppose that pardon is to be denied to the penitent, when it is written, Remember whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works [Rev. 2:5], which certainly is said to him who evidently has fallen, and whom the Lord exhorts to rise up again by his deeds [of penance], because it is written, Alms deliver from death [Tob. 12:9]" (ibid., 51:22).Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Treatise 3
"The apostle [Paul] likewise bears witness and says: . . . Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord [1 Cor. 11:27]. But [the impenitent] spurn and despise all these warnings; before their sins are expiated, before they have made a confession of their crime, before their conscience has been purged in the ceremony and at the hand of the priest . . . they do violence to [the Lords] body and blood, and with their hands and mouth they sin against the Lord more than when they denied him" (The Lapsed 15:13 (A.D. 251]).Read More
Aphrahat/Aphraates [280-367 AD] Demonstration VI (Of Monks) "You [priests], then, who are disciples of our illustrious physician [Christ], you ought not deny a curative to those in need of healing. And if anyone uncovers his wound before you, give him the remedy of repentance. And he that is ashamed to make known his weakness, encourage him so that he will not hide it from you. And when he has revealed it to you, do not make it public, lest because of it the innocent might be reckoned as guilty by our enemies and by those who hate us" (Treatises 7:3 [A.D. 340]).Read More
Basil the Great, St [329-379 AD] Hexaemeron (Homily IX) "It is necessary to confess our sins to those to whom the dispensation of Gods mysteries is entrusted. Those doing penance of old are found to have done it before the saints. It is written in the Gospel that they confessed their sins to John the Baptist [Matt. 3:6], but in Acts [19:18] they confessed to the apostles" (Rules Briefly Treated 288 [A.D. 374]).Read More
Ambrose of Milan, St [340-397 AD] Concerning Repentance (Book I)
"For those to whom [the right of binding and loosing] has been given, it is plain that either both are allowed, or it is clear that neither is allowed. Both are allowed to the Church, neither is allowed to heresy. For this right has been granted to priests only" (Penance 1:1 [A.D. 388]).Read More
John Chrysostom, St [347-407 AD] Homily 41 on First Corinthians
"Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed. Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? Whose sins you shall forgive, he says, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men [Matt. 10:40; John 20:2123]. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven" (The Priesthood 3:5 [A.D. 387]).Read More
Miscellaneous [Unknown] Canons of the Thirteen Holy Fathers (various dates)
"Confess your sins in church, and do not go up to your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life. . . . On the Lords Day gather together, break bread, and give thanks, after confessing your transgressions so that your sacrifice may be pure" (Didache 4:14, 14:1 [A.D. 70]).Read More
Jerome, St [347-420 AD] To Pammachius Against John of Jerusalem
"If the serpent, the devil, bites someone secretly, he infects that person with the venom of sin. And if the one who has been bitten keeps silence and does not do penance, and does not want to confess his wound . . . then his brother and his master, who have the word [of absolution] that will cure him, cannot very well assist him" (Commentary on Ecclesiastes 10:11 [A.D. 388]).Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Tractate 41 (John 8:31-36)
"When you shall have been baptized, keep to a good life in the commandments of God so that you may preserve your baptism to the very end. I do not tell you that you will live here without sin, but they are venial sins which this life is never without. Baptism was instituted for all sins. For light sins, without which we cannot live, prayer was instituted. . . . But do not commit those sins on account of which you would have to be separated from the body of Christ. Perish the thought! For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities. That is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice to blot them out. . . . In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptisms, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance" (Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed 7:15, 8:16 [A.D. 395]).Read More
johngrace, please post the links.
I did that from my Faith Data Base software on the Church History and Faith. It is not a site unless you want to buy the software.
OF COURSE one isn't guaranteed a place in heaven with what you said. One may commit a sin even on one's deathbed. One might CURSE the Lord. One might say or think all kinds of hateful things AT ANY TIME. There aren't too many guarantees in life...just death. You KNOW that and shouldn't have your "mind blown away" with that fact of life.
One point: the "last rites" comment shows me that you haven't been listening the last several years about the "sacrament of the sick." It's NOT called the "last rites" anymore. It's called the "sacrament of the sick" and one may ask for it when one wants.
Example: if I go to the hospital for an operation, not a dangerous one, I can ask to receive the sacrament of the sick before the operation...and after too, if I want.
When were you ever ASSURED/guaranteed that you would go to heaven? Wasn't there ALWAYS a caveat about sinning? I always heard that. Maybe the Catholic teaching is different. I never believed that ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BELIEVE. Belief, words, action...that's the whole ball of wax. Just one of those isn't enough. Jesus used to really go after, verbally of course, the Pharisees who didn't always follow through on ALL of those things.
Those who think that are only fooling themselves.
The Jews had a "confession" of sorts. They told their sins to their High Priest and brought "sin offerings." Confession didn't come out of thin air, it was another legacy of Judaism.
At the last supper, Jesus said "...do this in remembrance of me.", but what did Jesus do? He he took sustenance, food, live giving material, gave thanks for it, blessed it and gave it away.
The Eucharist is gratitude to God for the gifts of life and charity with same. We can and should partake of this Eucharist in every moment of our lives. It is not something which can be dispensed by a man who claims a special power to wield the Holy Spirit.
He is talking about spiritual matters not earthly. In other words when he declares The Body and Blood are real. It is real because it is spiritual matter not earthly matter.
Notice when flesh is spoken here too. Spiritual matters super see earthly.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Supporting Bible Passages
Genesis Chapter 14
18: And Mel-chiz’edek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.Read More
Mark Chapter 14
22: And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23: And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24: And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.Read More
Luke Chapter 24
13: That very day two of them were going to a village named Emma’us, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14: and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15: While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16: But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17: And he said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18: Then one of them, named Cle’opas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19: And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20: and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21: But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. 22: Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning 23: and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24: Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.” 25: And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26: Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27: And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28: So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, 29: but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30: When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. 31: And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32: They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” 33: And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, 34: who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35: Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.Read More
John Chapter 6
22: On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23: However, boats from Tiber’i-as came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24: So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Caper’na-um, seeking Jesus. 25: When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26: Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27: Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.” 28: Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29: Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30: So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? 31: Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32: Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33: For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34: They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. 36: But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37: All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38: For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; 39: and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. 40: For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” 41: The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42: They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, `I have come down from heaven’?” 43: Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45: It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46: Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48: I am the bread of life. 49: Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50: This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52: The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54: he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55: For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57: As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58: This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” 59: This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper’na-um. 60: Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61: But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62: Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63: It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64: But there are some of you that do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65: And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66: After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67: Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69: and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70: Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71: He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.Read More
1 Corinthians Chapter 5
7: Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. 8: Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.Read More
1 Corinthians Chapter 10
14: Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. 15: I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17: Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.Read More
1 Corinthians Chapter 11
26: For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27: Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28: Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29: For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30: That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.Read More
Hebrews Chapter 13
10: We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11: For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12: So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13: Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. 14: For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. 15: Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.Read More
Early Church Fathers
Didache, The [70-100 AD] The Didache
The Eucharist... And concerning the broken bread: We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, anRead More
The Eucharist. Now concerning the First, concerning the cup: We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever.. And concerning the broken bread: We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever..Read More
But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”Read More
Ignatius of Antioch [50-117 AD] Epistle to the Romans
“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]).Read More
Ignatius of Antioch [50-117 AD] Epistle to the Philadelphians
Take ye heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to [the will of] God.Read More
Ignatius of Antioch [50-117 AD] Epistle to the Smyraeans
“Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:27:1 [A.D. 110]).Read More
See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.Read More
Justin Martyr [100-165 AD] First Apology
“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).Read More
Justin Martyr [100-165 AD] Dialogue with Trypho (Chapters 9-47)
Justin: And the offering of fine flour, sirs, which was prescribed to be presented on behalf of those purified from leprosy, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist, the celebration of which our Lord Jesus Christ prescribed...Read More
Justin Martyr [100-165 AD] Dialogue with Trypho (Chapters 109-142)
, in the Eucharist of the bread and the cup, and which are presented by Christians in all places throughout the world, bears witness that they are well-pleasing to Him...Read More
Irenaeus of Lyons [120-180 AD] Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus
“Let us offer the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of the lips.” Now those oblations are not according to the law, the handwriting of which the Lord took away from the midst by cancelling it; but they are according to the Spirit, for we must worship God “in spirit and in truth.” And therefore the oblation of the Eucharist is not a carnal one, but a spiritual; and in this respect it is pure. For we make an oblation to God of the bread and the cup of blessing, giving Him thanks in that He has commanded the earth to bring forth these fruits for our nourishment. And then, when we have perfected the oblation, we invoke the Holy Spirit, that He may exhibit this sacrifice, both the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ, in order that the receivers of these antitypes may obtain remission of sins and life eternal. Those persons, then, who perform these oblations in remembrance of the Lord, do not fall in with Jewish views, but, performing the service after a spiritual manner, they shall be called sons of wisdom.Read More
Irenaeus of Lyons [120-180 AD] Adversus Haereses (Book IV, Chapter 18)
“If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?” (Against Heresies 4:3332 [A.D. 189]).Read More
But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion...Read More
Irenaeus of Lyons [120-180 AD] Adversus Haereses (Book V, Chapter 2)
When Christ visited us in his grace, he did not come to what did not belong to him: also, by shedding his true blood for us, and exhibiting to us his true flesh in the Eucharist, he conferred upon our flesh the capacity of salvation...Read More
But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body...Read More
“He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life-flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?” (ibid., 5:2).Read More
Clement of Alexandria [150-215 AD] The Paedagogus (Book I)
“Eat my flesh, [Jesus] says, and drink my blood. The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children” (The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]).Read More
Clement of Alexandria [150-215 AD] The Paedagogus (Book II)
...is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul...Read More
Clement of Alexandria [150-215 AD] The Stromata (Book I)
Both must therefore test themselves: the one, if he is qualified to speak and leave behind him written records; the other, if he is in a right state to hear and read: as also some in the dispensation of the Eucharist...Read More
Clement of Alexandria [150-215 AD] The Stromata (Book IV)
“ For Salem is, by interpretation, peace; of which our Saviour is enrolled King, as Moses says, Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who gave bread and wine, furnishing consecrated food for a type of the Eucharist...Read More
Hippolytus [170-236 AD] The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus: Exegetical
“And she [Wisdom] has furnished her table [Prov. 9:2] . . . refers to his [Christs] honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper [i.e.,Read More
Hippolytus [170-236 AD] Appendix
That a deacon may dispense the Eucharist to the people with permission of a bishop or presbyter.Read More
Hippolytus [170-236 AD] Refutation of All Heresies (Book VI)
And very often, taking the Cup, as if offering up the Eucharistic prayer, and prolonging to a greater length than usual the word of invocation...Read More
And this (Marcus), infusing (the aforesaid) mixture into a smaller cup, was in the habit of delivering it to a woman to offer up the Eucharistic prayer, while he himself stood by, and held (in his hand) another empty (chalice) larger than that...Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] De Corona (The Chaplet)
We take also, in congregations before daybreak, and from the hand of none but the presidents, the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord both commanded to be eaten at meal-times, and enjoined to be taken by all alike...Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] The Prescription Against Heretics
How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile! See what she has learned, what taught, what fellowship has had with even (our) churches in Africa! One Lord God does she acknowledge, the Creator of the universe, and Christ Jesus Resurrection of the flesh; the law and the prophets she unites in one volume with the writings of evangelists and apostles, from which she drinks in her faith. This she seals with the water (of baptism), arrays with the Holy Ghost, feeds with the Eucharist, cheers with martyrdom, and against such a discipline thus (maintained) she admits no gainsayer.Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] On the Resurrection of the Flesh
“[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed [in baptism], in order that the soul may be cleansed . . . the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands [in confirmation], that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds [in the Eucharist] on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may be filled with God” (The Resurrection of the Dead 8 [A.D. 210]).Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] Appendix (Against All Heresies)
To these are added those heretics likewise who are called Ophites: for they magnify the serpent to such a degree, that they prefer him even to Christ Himself; for it was he, they say, who gave us the origin of the knowledge of good and of evil. His power and majesty (they say) Moses perceiving, set up the brazen serpent; and whoever gazed upon him obtained health. Christ Himself (they say further) in His gospel imitates Moses’ serpent’s sacred power, in saying: “And as Moses upreared the serpent in the desert, so it behoveth the Son of man to be upreared.” Him they introduce to bless their eucharistic (elements). Now the whole parade and doctrine of this error flowed from the following source. They say that from the supreme primary Aeon whom then speak of there emanated several other inferior Aeons. To all these, however, there opposed himself an Aeon who name is Ialdabaoth. He had been conceived by the permixture of a second Aeon with inferior Aeons; and afterwards, when he had been desirous of forcing his way into the higher regions, had been disabled by the permixture of the gravity of matter with himself to arrive at the higher regions; had been left in the midst, and had extended himself to his full dimensions, and thus had made the sky. Ialdabaoth, however, had descended lower, and had made him seven sons, and had shut from their view the upper regions by self-distension, in order that, since (these) angels could not know what was above, they might think him the sole God. These inferior Virtues and angels, therefore, had made man; and, because he had been originated by weaker and mediocre powers, he lay crawling, worm-like. That Aeon, however, out of which Ialdaboath had proceeded, moved to the heart with envy, had injected into man as he lay a certain spark; excited whereby, he was through prudence to grow wise, and be able to understand the things above. So, again, the Ialdaboath aforesaid, turning indignant, had emitted out of himself the Virtue and similitude of the serpent; and this had been the Virtue in paradise—that is, this had been the serpent—whom Eve had believed as if he had been God the Son. He plucked, say they, from the fruit of the tree, and thus conferred on mankind the knowledge of things good and evil. Christ, moreover, existed not in substance of flesh: salvation of the flesh is not to be hoped for at all.Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] On Prayer
Similarly, too, touching the days of Stations, most think that they must not be present at the sacrificial prayers, on the ground that the Station must be dissolved by reception of the Lord’s Body. Does, then, the Eucharist cancel a service devoted to God, or bind it more to God? Will not your Station be more solemn if you have withal stood at God’s altar? When the Lord’s Body has been received and reserved? each point is secured, both the participation of the sacrifice and the discharge of duty.Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] On Modesty
The “ring” also he is then Wont to receive for the first time, wherewith, after being interrogated, he publicly seals the agreement of faith, and thus thenceforward feeds upon the “fatness” of the Lord’s body,—the Eucharist, to wit. This will be the prodigal son, who never in days bygone was thrifty; who was from the first prodigal, because not from the first a Christian. Him withal, returning from the world to the Father’s embraces, the Pharisees mourned over, in the persons of the “publicans and sinners.”Read More
But now I write to you, if any is named a brother among you, (being) a fornicator, or an idolater” (for what so intimately joined?), “or a defrauder” (for what so near akin?), and so on, “with such to take no food even,” not to say the Eucharist: because, to wit, withal “a little leaven spoileth the flavour of the whole lump.”Read More
Tertullian [160-240 AD] Against Marcion, Book IV
If, however, you deny that divorce is in any way permitted by Christ, how is it that you on your side destroy marriage, not uniting man and woman, nor admitting to the sacrament of baptism and of the eucharist those who have been united in marriage...Read More
Origen [185-254 AD] De Principiis (Book IV)
“Formerly there was baptism in an obscure way . . . now, however, in full view, there is regeneration in water and in the Holy Spirit. Formerly, in an obscure way, there was manna for food; now, however, in full view, there is the true food, the flesh of the Word of God, as he himself says: My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink [John 6:55]” (Homilies on Numbers 7:2 [A.D. 248]).Read More
Dionysius the Great [190-265 AD] Extant Fragments
...he gave the boy a small portion of the Eucharist, telling him to steep it in water and drop it into the old man’s mouth. The boy returned bearing the portion; and as he came near, and before he had yet entered, Serapion again recovered, and said, “You have come, my child, and the presbyter was unable to come; but do quickly what you were instructed to do, and so let me depart.” The boy steeped the morsel in water, and at once dropped it into the (old man’s) mouth; and after he had swallowed a little of it, he forthwith gave up the ghost. Was he not then manifestly preserved? and did he not continue in life just until he could be absolved, and until through the wiping away of his sins he could be acknowledged s for the many good acts he had done?Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] The Seventh Council of Carthage
...the profane person administers the office of the priesthood; the sacrilegious person establishes an altar. In addition to all these things, there is also this evil, that the priests of the devil dare to celebrate the Eucharist; or else let those who stand by them say that all these things concerning heretics are false. Behold to what kind of things the Church is compelled to consent, and is constrained without baptism, without pardon of sins, to hold communion.Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Treatises Attributed to Cyprian
...since, as he hastens to the spectacle when dismissed from the Lord’s table, and still bearing within him, as often occurs, the Eucharist, that unfaithful man has carried about the holy body of Christ among the filthy bodies of harlots, and has deserved a deeper condemnation for the way by which he has gone ‘hither, than for the pleasure he has received from the exhibition.Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 9
For although in smaller sins sinners may do penance for a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of communion...Read More
have brought me back to His Church,—yet these, disregarding the honour which the blessed martyrs with the confessors maintain for me, despising the Lord’s law and that observance, which the same martyrs and confessors bid to be maintained, before thRead More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 10
Although you sent letters to me in which you ask that your wishes should be examined, and that peace should be granted to certain of the lapsed as soon as with the end of the persecution we should have begun to meet with our clergy, and to be gathereRead More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 11
Yet I hear that certain of the presbyters, neither mindful of the Gospel nor considering what the martyrs have written to me, nor reserving to the bishop the honour of his priesthood and of his dignity, have already begun to communicate with the lapsRead More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 53
And, as the Eucharist is appointed for this very purpose that it may be a safeguard to the receivers, it is needful that we may arm those whom we wish to be safe against the adversary with the protection of the Lord’s abundance...Read More
“ First of all, he cannot be fitted for martyrdom who is not armed for the contest by the Church; and his spirit is deficient which the Eucharist received does not raise and stimulate...Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 69
Further, it is the Eucharist whence the baptized are anointed with the oil sanctified on the altar...Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Epistle 74
But that woman, who previously by wiles and deceitfulness of the demon was attempting many things for the deceiving of the faithful, among other things by which she had deceived many, also had frequently dared this; to pretend that with an invocation...Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Treatise 3
“He [Paul] threatens, moreover, the stubborn and forward, and denounces them, saying, Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord [1 Cor. 11:27]. All these warnings being scorned and contemned-[lapsed Christians will often take Communion] before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest, before the offense of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, [and so] violence is done to his body and blood; and they sin now against their Lord more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord” (The Lapsed 1516 [A.D. 251]).Read More
In a profane body and mouth the Eucharist could not remain; the draught sanctified in the blood of the Lord burst forth from the polluted stomach...Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Treatise 4
And we ask that this bread should be given to us daily, that we who are in Christ, and daily receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation, may not, by the interposition of some heinous sin, by being prevented, as withheld and not communicating, frRead More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Treatise 9
Let patience be strong and stedfast in the heart; and neither is the sanctified body and temple of God polluted by adultery, nor is the innocence dedicated to righteousness stained with the contagion of fraud; nor, after the Eucharist carried in it,Read More
Cyprian of Carthage [200-270 AD] Treatise 12
That it is of small account to be baptized and to receive the Eucharist, unless one profits by it both in deeds and works...Read More
That the Eucharist is to be received with fear and honour...Read More
That it is of small account to be baptized and to receive the Eucharist, unless one profit by it both in deeds and works...Read More
That the Eucharist is to be received with fear and honour...Read More
Gregory Thaumaturgus [213-275 AD] The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen
Be this, then, the method of my eucharistic discourse. To God, indeed, the God of the universe, I shall not think of speaking in such terms: yet is it from Him that all the beginnings of our blessings come; and with Him consequently is it that the beginning of our thanksgivings, or praises, or laudations, ought to be made... ...a capacity with which he has not been gifted by any other one, but which he has received from Him alone, he cannot possibly find any greater matter of thanksgiving than what is implied in its possession.Read More
Nicaea I (325) [ECUMENICAL]
But, if any one should be restored to health again who has received the communion when his life was despaired of, let him remain among those who communicate in prayers only. But in general, and in the case of any dying person whatsoever asking to receive the Eucharist, let the Bishop, after examination made, give it him.Read More
It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great Synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them. Furthermore, let not the deacons sit among the presbyters, for that is contrary to canon and order. And if, after this decree, any one shall refuse to obey, let him be deposed from the diaconate.Read More
Eusebius of Caesarea [265-340 AD] Church History (Book V)
But none were ever cast out on account of this form; but the presbyters before thee who did not observe it, sent the eucharist to those of other parishes who observed it...Read More
But though matters were in this shape, they communed together, and Anicetus conceded the administration of the eucharist in the church to Polycarp, manifestly as a mark of respect...Read More
Eusebius of Caesarea [265-340 AD] Church History (Book VI)
But as I had commanded that persons at the point of death, if they requested it, and especially if they had asked for it previously, should receive remission, that they might depart with a good hope, he gave the boy a small portion of the eucharist,Read More
Antioch in Encaeniis (341) [LOCAL] [341 AD] Antioch in Encaeniis (341) [LOCAL]
All who enter the church of God and hear the Holy Scriptures, but do not communicate with the people in prayers, or who turn away, by reason of some disorder, from the holy partaking of the Eucharist, are to be cast out of the Church, until, after they shall have made confession, and having brought forth the fruits of penance, and made earnest entreaty, they shall have obtained forgiveness; and it is unlawful to communicate with excommunicated persons, or to assemble in private houses and pray with those who do not pray in the Church; or to receive in one Church those who do not assemble with another Church. And, if any one of the bishops, presbyters, or deacons, or any one in the Canon shall be found communicating with excommunicated persons, let him also be excommunicated, as one who brings confusion on the order of the Church.Read More
Aphrahat/Aphraates [280-367 AD] Demonstration XVII (Of Christ the Son of God)
“After having spoken thus [at the Last Supper], the Lord rose up from the place where he had made the Passover and had given his body as food and his blood as drink, and he went with his disciples to the place where he was to be arrested. But he ate of his own body and drank of his own blood, while he was pondering on the dead. With his own hands the Lord presented his own body to be eaten, and before he was crucified he gave his blood as drink” (Treatises 12:6 [A.D. 340]).Read More
Basil the Great, St [329-379 AD] De Spiritu Sancto
Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of tim invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching.Read More
Cyril of Jerusalem, St [315-386 AD] Catechetical Lecture 19
“The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ” (Catechetical Lectures 19:7 [A.D. 350]).Read More
Cyril of Jerusalem, St [315-386 AD] Catechetical Lecture 22
“Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Masters declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ. . . . [Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so, . . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul” (ibid., 22:6, 9).Read More
Ambrose of Milan, St [340-397 AD] On the Mysteries
“Perhaps you may be saying, I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ? It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ” (The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]).Read More
John Chrysostom, St [347-407 AD] Homily 24 on First Corinthians
But why adds he also, “which we break?” For although in the Eucharist one may see this done, yet on the cross not so, but the very contrary...Read More
John Chrysostom, St [347-407 AD] Homily 5 on Galatians
Again, the Scripture is wont to give the name of the Flesh to the Mysteries of the Eucharist, and to the whole Church, calling them the Body of Christ...Read More
Miscellaneous [Unknown] Canons of the Thirteen Holy Fathers (various dates)
He speaks of the written doctrine, and the unwritten tradition of the Apostles, and says, that both have the same efficacy as to religion. The unwritten traditions which he mentions, are the signing those who hope in Christ with the Cross; praying toward the East, to denote, that we are in quest of Eden, that garden in the East from whence our first parents were ejected (as he afterwards explains it), the words of invocation at the consecration of the Bread of Eucharist, and the cup of eulogy; the benediction of the baptismal water, the chrism and of the baptized person; the trine immersion, and the renunciations made at baptism; all which the Fathers concealed from those who were not initiated.Read More
Miscellaneous [Unknown] Apostolic Constitutions (Book II)
As to the deacons, after the prayer is over, let some of them attend upon the oblation of the Eucharist, ministering to the Lord’s body with fear...Read More
“ Thou shalt also permit him to offer the Eucharist; but if, out of reverence to thee, and as a wise man, to preserve the honour belonging to thee, he will not offer, at least thou shalt compel him to give the blessing to the people...Read More
Jerome, St [347-420 AD] The Dialogue Against the Luciferians
Still it is one thing, he says, to admit a penitent neophyte, another to admit a man to be bishop and celebrate the Eucharist...Read More
There is a difference between shedding tears for sin, and handling the body of Christ; there is a difference between lying prostrate at the feet of the brethren, and from the high altar administering the Eucharist to the people. It is one thing to lament over the past, another to abandon sin and live the glorified life in the Church...Read More
And all this proves that you with a little leaven have corrupted the whole lump of the Church, and receive the Eucharist to-day from the hand of one whom yesterday you loathed like an idol...Read More
Since Hilary when he left the Church was only a deacon, and since the Church is to him, though to him alone, a mere worldly multitude, he can neither duly celebrate the Eucharist, for he has no bishops or priests, nor can he give baptism without the Eucharist...Read More
Jerome, St [347-420 AD] Letter 71
You ask me whether you ought to fast on the Sabbath and to receive the eucharist daily according to the custom—as currently reported—of the churches of Rome and Spain...Read More
Jerome, St [347-420 AD] Letter 82
“ If then we l may not offer gifts that are our own unless, we are at peace with our brothers; how much less can we receive the body of Christ if we cherish enmity in our hearts?..Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Letter 54 (A.D. 400)
4. Some one may say, “The Eucharist ought not to be taken every day.” You ask, “On what grounds?” He answers, sacrament, he ought to choose those days upon which he lives in more special purity and self-restraint; for whosoever eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.’” Another answers, “Certainly; if the wound inflicted by sin and the violence of the soul’s distemper be such that the use of these remedies must be put off for a time, every man in this case should be, by the authority of the bishop, forbidden to approach the altar, and appointed to do penance, and should be afterwards restored to privileges by the same authority; for this would be partaking unworthily, if one should partake of it at a time when he ought to be doing penance; and it is not a matter to be left to one’s own judgment to withdraw himself from the communion of the Church, or restore himself, as he pleases. If, however, his sins are not so great as to bring him justly under sentence of excommunication, he ought not to withdraw himself from the daily use of the Lord’s body for the healing of his soul.” Perhaps a third party interposes with a more just decision of the question, reminding them that the principal thing is to remain united in the peace of Christ, and that each should be free to do what, according to his belief, he conscientiously regards as his duty. For neither of them lightly esteems the Body and Blood of the Lord; on the contrary, both are contending who shall most highly honour the sacrament fraught with blessing. There was no controversy between those two mentioned in the Gospel, Zacchaeus and the Centurion; nor did either of them think himself better than the other, though, whereas the former received the Lord joyfully into his house, the latter said, “I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof,” — both honouring the Saviour, though in ways diverse and, as it were, mutually opposed; both miserable through sin, and both obtaining the mercy they required. We may further borrow an illustration here, from the fact that the manna given to the ancient people of God tasted in each man’s mouth as he desired that it might. It is the same with this world-sabduing sacrament in the heart of each Christian. For he that dares not take it every day, and’ he who dares not omit it any day, are both alike moved by a desire to do it honour. That sacred food will not submit to be despised, as the manna could not be loathed with impunity. Hence the apostle says that it was unworthily partaken of by those who did not distinguish between this and all other meats, by yielding to it the special veneration which was due; for to the words quoted already, “eateth and drinketh judgment to himself,” he has added these, “not discerning the Lord’s body;” and this is apparent from the whole of that passage in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, if it be carefully studied.Read More
7. Let me add, that it would be a mistake to suppose that the custom prevalent in many places, of offering the sacrifice on that day after partaking of food, is to be traced to the words, “ Likewise after supper,” etc. For the Lord might give the name of supper to what they had received, in already partaking of His Body, so that it was after this that they partook of the cup: as the apostle says in another place, “When ye come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper,” giving to the receiving of the Eucharist to that extent (i.e. the eating of the bread) the name of the Lord’s Supper.Read More
As to the question whether upon that day it is right to partake of food before either offering or partaking of the Eucharist, these words in the Gospel might go far to decide our minds, “As they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it;” taken in connection with the words in the preceding context, “When the even was come, He sat down with the twelve: and as they did eat, He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me.” For it was after that that He instituted the sacrament; and it is clear that when the disciples first received the Body and Blood of the Lord, they had not been fasting.Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Letter 98 (A.D. 408)
4. As to the incident mentioned in the same letter, that a girl who was left as an infant in charge of her nurse, when her parents had escaped by sudden flight, and was made by that nurse to take part in the profane rites of idolatrous worship, had afterwards in the Church expelled from her mouth, by wonderful motions, the Eucharist when it was given to her, this seems to ate to have been caused by divine interposition, in order that persons of riper years might not imagine that in this sin they do no wrong to the children, but rather might understand, by means of a bodily action of obvious]’ significance on the part of those who were unable to speak, that a miraculous warning was given to themselves as to the course which would have been becoming in persons who, after so great a crime, rushed heedlessly to those sacraments] from which they ought by all means, in proof of penitence, to have abstained. When Divine: Providence does anything of this kind by means , of infant children, we must not believe that they are acting under the guidance of knowledge and reason; just as we are not called upon to admire the wisdom of asses, because once God was, pleased to rebuke the madness of a prophet by the voice of an ass. If, therefore, a sound exactly like the human voice was uttered by an irrational animal, and this was to be ascribed to a divine miracle, not to faculties belonging to the ass, the Almighty could, in like manner, through the spirit of an infant (in which reason was not absent, but only slumbering undeveloped), make manifest by a motion of its body something to which those who had sinned against both their own souls and their children behoved to give heed. But since a child cannot return to become again a part of the author of his natural life, so as to be one with him and in him, but is a wholly distinct individual, having a body and a soul of his own,Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] The City of God (Book V)
“Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, This is my body [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands” (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Contra Faustum, Book XIX
14. And if the righteous men of old, who saw in the sacraments of their time the promise of a future revelation of faith, which even then their piety enabled them to discern in the dim light of prophecy, and by which they lived, for the just can live only by faith; if, then, these righteous men of old were ready to suffer, as many actually did suffer, all trials arid tortures for the sake of those typical sacraments which prefigured things in the future; if we praise the three children and Daniel, because they refused to be defiled by meat from the king’s table, from their regard for the sacrament of their day; if we feel the strongest admiration for the Meccabees, who refused to touch food which Christians lawfully use; how much more should a Christian in our day be ready to suffer all things for Christ’s baptism, for Christ’s Eucharist, for Christ’s sacred sign, since these are proofs of the accomplishment of what the former sacraments only pointed forward to in the future! For what is still promised to the Church, the body of Christ, is both clearly made known, and in the Saviour Himself, the Head of the body, the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, has already been accomplished. Is not the promise of eternal life by resurrection from the dead? This we see fulfilled in the flesh of Him of whom it is said, that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. In former days faith was dim, for the saints and righteous men of those times all believed and hoped for the same things, and all these sacraments and ceremonies pointed to the future; but now we have the revelation of the faith to which the people were shut up under the law; and what is now promised to believers in the judgment is already accomplished in the example of Him who came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them.Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] On Baptism, Against the Donatists (Book V)
28. But what kind of argument is this, that “a heretic must be considered not to have baptism, because he has not the Church?” And it must be acknowledged that “when he is baptized, he is questioned about the Church.” Just as though the same question about the Church were not put in baptism to him who within the Church renounces the world in word and not in deed. As therefore his false answer does not prevent what he receives from being baptism, so also the false reply of the other about the holy Church does not prevent what he receives from being baptism; and as the former, if he afterwards fulfill with truth what he promised in falsehood, does not receive a second baptism, but only an amended life, so also in the case of the latter, if he come afterwards to the Church about which he gave a false answer to the question put to him, thinking that he had it when he had it not, the Church herself which he did not possess is given him, but what he had received is not repeated. But I cannot tell why it should be, that while God can “sanctify the oil” in answer to the words which proceed out of the mouth of a murderer, “He yet cannot sanctify it on the altar reared by a heretic,” unless it be that He who is not hindered by the false conversion of the heart of man within the Church is hindered by the false erection of some wood without from deigning to be present in His sacraments, though no falseness on the part of men can hinder Him. If, therefore, what is said in the gospel, that “God heareth not sinners,” extends so far that the sacraments cannot be celebrated by a sinner, how then does He hear a murderer praying, either over the water of baptism, or over the oil, or over the eucharist, or over the heads of those on whom his hand is laid? All which things are nevertheless done, and are valid, even at the hands of murderers, that is, at the hands of those who hate their brethren, even within, in the Church itself. Since “no one can give what he does not possess himself,” how does a murderer give the Holy Spirit? And yet such an one even baptizeth within the Church. It is God, therefore, that gives the Holy Spirit even when a man of this kind is baptizing.Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] On Baptism, Against the Donatists (Book VI)
11. Caecilius of Bilta said: “I know of one baptism in the one Church and of none outside the Church. The one will be where there is true hope and sure faith. For so it is written, ‘One faith, One hope, one baptism.’ Not among heretics, where there is no hope and a false faith; where all things are done by a lie; where one possessed of a devil exorcises; the question of the sacrament is asked by one from whose mouth and words proceeds a cancer; the faithless gives faith; the guilty gives pardon for sins and Antichrist baptizes in the name of Christ one accursed of God blesses; the dead promises life; the unpeaceful gives peace; the blasphemer calls on God; the profane administers the priesthood; the sacrilegious sets up the altar. To all this is added this further evil that the servant of the devil dares to celebrate the eucharist. If this be not so, let those who stand by them prove that all of it is false concerning heretics. See the kind of things to which the Church is compelled to assent, being forced to communicate without baptism or the remission of sins. This, brethren, we ought to shun and avoid, separating ourselves from so great a sin, and holding to the one baptism which is granted to the Church alone.”Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Answer to Petilian the Donatist (Book II)
53. Or do you say, Even if I am guilty of sacrilege, I ought not to be slain by you? It is one question as to the enormity of my action, which you never prove with any truth, another as to the baptism of your blood, from whence you derive your boast. For I never killed you, nor do you prove that you are killed by any one. Nor even if you were to prove it would it in any way affect me, whoever it was that killed you, whether he did it justly in virtue of power lawfully given by the Lord, or committed the crime of murder, like the chaff of the Lord’s harvest, through some evil desire; just as you are in no way concerned with him who in recent times, with an intolerable tyranny, attended even by a company of soldiers, not because he feared any one, but that he might be feared by all, oppressed widows, destroyed pupils, betrayed the patrimonies of other men, annulled the marriages of other men, contrived the sale of the property of the innocent, divided the price of the property when sold with its mourning owners. I should seem to be saying all this out of the invention of my own head, if it were not sufficiently obvious of whom I speak without the mention of his name. And if all this is undoubtedly true, then just as you are not concerned with this, so neither are we concerned with anything you say, even though it were true. But if that colleague of yours, being really a just and innocent man, is maligned by a lying tale, then should we also learn in no way to give credit to reports, which have been spread abroad of innocent men, as though they had delivered up the sacred books, or murdered any of their fellow-men. To this we may add, that I refer to a man who lived with you, whose birthday you were wont to celebrate with such large assemblies, with whom you joined in the kiss of peace in the sacraments, in whose hands you placed the Eucharist, to whom in turn you extended your hands to receive it from his ministering, whose ears, when they were deaf amid the groanings of all Africa, you durst not offend by free speech; for paying to whom, even indirectly, a most witty compliment, by saying that in the Count he had a god for his companion, some one of your party was extolled to the skies. But you reproach us with the deeds of men with whom we never lived, whose faces we never saw, in whose lifetime we were either boys, or perhaps as yet not even born. What is the meaning, then, of your great unfairness and perversity, that you should wish to impose on us the burdens of those whom we never knew, whilst you will not bear the burdens of your friends? The divine Scriptures exclaim: “When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him.” If he whom you saw did not pollute you, why do you reproach me with one whom I could not have seen? Or do you say, I did not consent with him, because his deeds were displeasing to me? But, at any rate, you went up to the altar of God with him. Come now, if you would defend yourself, make a distinction between your two positions, and say that it is one thing to consent together for sin, as the two elders consented together when they laid a plot against the chastity of Susannah, and another thing to receive the sacrament of the Lord in company with a thief, as the apostles received even that first supper in company with Judas. I am all in favor of your defense. But why do you not consider how much more easily, in the course of your defense, you have acquitted all the nations and boundaries of the earth, throughout which the inheritance of Christ is dispersed? For if it was possible for you to see a thief, and to share the sacraments with the thief whom you saw, and yet not to share his sin, how much less was it possible for the remotest nations of the earth to have anything in common with the sins of African traditors and persecutors, supposing your charges and assertions to be true, even though they held the sacraments in common with them? Or do you say, I saw in him the bishop, I did not see in him the thief? Say what you will. I allow this defense also, and in this the world is acquitted of the charges which you brought against it. For if it was permitted you to ignore the character of a man whom you knew, why is the whole world not allowed to be ignorant of those it never knew, unless, indeed, the Donatists are allowed to be ignorant of what they do not wish to know, while the nations of the earth may not be ignorant of what they cannot know?Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Against Two Letters of the Pelagians (Book IV)
But now it plainly appears in what way Cyprian proclaims the grace of God against such as these, when he is arguing about the Lord’s Prayer. For he says: “We say, ‘May Thy name be made holy,’ not that we wish for God that He may be made holy by our prayers, but that we beseech of Him that His name may be made holy in us. But by whom is God made holy, since He Himself makes holy? But, because He says, ‘Be ye holy, because I also am holy,’ we ask and entreat this, that we who were made holy in baptism may continue in that which we have begun to be.” And in another place in the same epistle he says: “We add also, and say, ‘Thy will be done in heaven, and in earth,’ not in order that God may do what He wills, but that we may be able to do what God wills. For who resists God that He may not do what He wills? But, since we are hindered by the devil from obeying God with our thought and deed in all things, we pray and ask that God’s will may be done in us. And that it may be done in us, we have need of God’s will, that is, of His help and protection; since no one is strong in his own strength, but he is safe by the indulgence and mercy of God.” In another place also: “Moreover, we ask that the will of God may be done both in heaven and in earth, each of which things pertains to the fulfilment of our safety and salvation. For since we possess the body from the earth, and the spirit from heaven, we are ourselves earth and heaven; and in both, that is, both in body and in spirit, we pray that God’s will be done. For between the flesh and the spirit there is a struggle, and there is a daily strife as they disagree one with the other; so that we cannot do the very things that we would, in that the spirit seeks heavenly and divine things, while the flesh lusts after earthly and temporal things. And, therefore, we ask that, by the help and assistance of God, agreement may be made between these two natures; so that while the will of God is done both in the spirit and in the flesh, the soul which is newborn by Him may be preserved. And this the Apostle Paul openly and manifestly declares by his words. ‘The flesh,’ says he, ‘lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’” And a little after he says: “And it may be thus understood, most beloved brethren, that since the Lord commands and teaches us even to love our enemies, and to pray even for those who persecute us, we should ask even for those who are still earth, and have not yet begun to be heavenly, that even in respect of these God’s will may be done, which Christ accomplished in preserving and renewing humanity.” And again, in another place he says: “But we ask that this bread should be given to us daily, that we who are in Christ, and daily receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation, may not, by the interposition of some more heinous sin,—by being prevented, as those abstaining and not communicating, from partaking of the heavenly bread,—be separated from Christ’s body.” And a little afterwards, in the same treatise he says: “But when we ask that we may not come into temptation, we are reminded of our infirmity and weakness, while we so ask as that no one should insolently vaunt himself; that none should proudly and arrogantly assume anything to himself; that none should take to himself the glory either of confession or of suffering as his own, when the Lord Himself teaching humility said, ‘Watch and pray, that ye come not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak;’ so that while a humble and submissive confession comes first, and all is attributed to God, whatever is sought for suppliantly, with fear and honour of God, may be granted by His own loving-kindness.” Moreover, in his treatise addressed to Quirinus, in respect to which work Pelagius wishes himself to appear as his imitator, he says in the Third Book “that we must boast in nothing, since nothing is our own.” And subjoining the divine testimonies to this proposition, he added among others that apostolic word with which especially the mouths of such as these must be closed: “For what hast thou, which thou hast not received? But if thou hast received it, why boastest thou as if thou hadst not received it?” Also in the epistle concerning Patience he says: “For we have this virtue in common with God. From Him patience begins; from Him its glory and its dignity take their rise. The origin and greatness of patience proceed from God as its Author.”Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] On the Predestination of the Saints (Book II)
Because he says, among other things, are in Christ, and daily receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation, may not by the interposition of some heinous sin be separated from Christ’s body by being withheld from communicating and prevented from paRead More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Sermon 7 on the New Testament
For shall we receive the Eucharist when we shall have come to Christ Himself, and begun to reign with Him for ever? So then the Eucharist is our daily bread; but let us in such wise receive it, that we be not refreshed in our bodies...Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Sermon 8 on the New Testament
“ Again, this is a very good sense of, “Give us this day our daily bread,” thy Eucharist, our daily food...Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Tractate 6 (John 1:32-33)
“I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lords Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ” (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).Read More
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Homily 3 on the First Epistle of John
receive with us what the faithful know they receive, Benediction, the Eucharist, and whatever there is in Holy Sacraments: the communion of the very altar they receive with us, and are not of us...Read More
Sozomen [375-447 AD] Ecclesiastical History (Book III)
Therefore we received and embraced your pastor, and, having held communion with you through him, we dispatch this address and our eucharistic prayers that you may know how we are united by the bond of love to him and you...Read More
Theodoret of Cyr [393-457 AD] Dialogue 3)
“They do not admit Eucharists and oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which of His goodness the Father raised...Read More
Leo the Great, Pope [395-461 AD] Sermon 91
The Truth of the Incarnation is proved both by the Eucharistic Feast and by the Divine institution of almsgiving...Read More
Leo the Great, Pope [395-461 AD] Letter 9
The repetition of the Holy Eucharist on the great festivals is not undesirable...Read More
Leo the Great, Pope [395-461 AD] Letter 59
They are to be rejected who deny the truth of Christ’s flesh, a truth repeated by every recipient at the Holy Eucharist...Read More
Constantinople/”Trullo”/Quinisext (692) [692 AD] Constantinople/”Trullo”/Quinisext (692) [LOCAL]
No one may give the Eucharist to the bodies of the dead; for it is written “Take and eat.” But the bodies of the dead can neither...Read More
Councils [600 AD] Nicaea II (787) [ECUMENICAL]
On the rite of consecrating churches with reliques see Cardinal Bona. (De Rebus Lit., Lib. I., cap. xix.) The Antimensia are consecrated at the same time as the church; a full account of the ceremony is found in the Euchologion (Goar’s ed., p. 648). A piece of cloth is placed on the altar and blessed, and then subsequently, as need requires, pieces are cut off from it and sent to the various oratories, etc. The main outline of the ceremony of consecration is as follows. J. M. NEALE. (Int. Hist. East. Ch. p. 187. ) Relics being pounded up with fragrant gum, oil is poured over them by the bishop, and, distilling out to the corporals, is supposed to convey to them the mysterious virtues of the relics themselves. The holy Eucharist must then be celebrated on them for seven days, after which they are sent forth as they are wanted.Read More
Council of Constance (1414)
Certain people, in some parts of the world, have rashly dared to assert that the Christian people ought to receive the holy sacrament of the eucharist under the forms of both bread and wine...Read More
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. (Titus 3:3-8)
God saved us by his grace and mercy and we receive this gift through faith. Afterwards, we should live lives that honor and glorify our Savior and like the verse above says, we should devote ourselves to doing what is good because it is good AND beneficial to everyone, because it helps others and sets a good example for the world. But note that it nowhere says that these good works are done so that we may STAY saved. No, we are saved by grace and we are kept saved by that same grace.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for Gods wrath remains on them.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his bloodto be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.
I John 5:13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Define "all you HAVE to do" for me, please. Also, if by "living righteously" you mean we have to work for our salvation - be good, don't sin, play fair, be nice, etc. - where does "grace" come into the equation? What part does "faith" play in the economy of our salvation? Why did Jesus have to die if we could make it to Heaven by our own merit? If you have time, of course. Thanks.
The confession John is writing about is individual sins not a once statement of belief in Christ. He is talking to Christians in the "WE."
"IF WE( Christians) claim to be Without Sin, WE DECEIVE ourselves and the TRUTH IS NOT in US. 9 IF WE CONFESS Our SINS, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 IF we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
There are several IF s in this by John The Apostle. IF is defined as Condition, Requirement Or Stipulation in my Dictionary.
Do Not be Deceived.
May Christ Always Guide you and Bless You!
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