Heidelberg Catechisms 78 – 80


Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: 1 Corinthians 11: 17 – 34

Text: 1 Corinthians 10: 16 – 17 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? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (ESV)

Q. 78 Do the bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ?

No. Just as the water of baptism is not changed into Christ’s blood and does not itself wash away sins but is simply a divine sign and assurance of these things, so too the holy bread of the Lord’s Supper does not become the actual body of Christ, even though it is called the body of Christ in keeping with the nature and language of sacraments.

Q. 79 Why then does Christ call the bread his body and the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood, and Paul use the words, a sharing in Christ’s body and blood?

Christ has good reason for these words. He wants to teach us that just as bread and wine nourish the temporal life, so too his crucified body and poured-out blood are the true food and drink of our souls for eternal life. But more important, he wants to assure us, by this visible sign and pledge, that we, through the Holy Spirit’s work, share in his true body and blood as surely as our mouths receive these holy signs in his remembrance, and that all of his suffering and obedience are as definitely ours as if we personally had suffered and made satisfaction for our sins.

Q. 80 How does the Lord’s Supper differ from the Roman Catholic Mass?

A. The Lord’s Supper declares to us that all our sins are completely forgiven through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself accomplished on the cross once for all. It also declares to us that the Holy Spirit grafts us into Christ, who with his true body is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father where he wants us to worship him.

But the Mass teaches that the living and the dead do not have their sins forgiven through the suffering of Christ unless Christ is still offered for them daily by the priests.

It also teaches that Christ is bodily present under the form of bread and wine where Christ is therefore to be worshipped. Thus the Mass is basically nothing but a denial of the one sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ and a condemnable idolatry

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Introduction:

The value of the Lord’s Supper:

The struggle with the Lord’s Supper:

The agent through the Lord’s Supper:

  1. Important clarifications:

The presence of Christ:

The sacrifice of Christ:

The worship of Christ:

  1. Important functions:

It teaches us:

It reassures us:

It declares to us:

  1. Important confirmations:

Sharing in Christ:

Sufferings of Christ:

United to Christ: