Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The REAL Presence of Christ

Christ's Presence at the Table---by Jeff Meyers

The way “spiritual” and “spiritually” are understood by most in conservative Presbyterian circles is not Calvinian. Heck, it’s close to sub-Christian. It's certainly not biblical. It always amazes and angers me that people pit “spiritual” against “physical,” “material,” and/or “body” in popular Reformed theology. The adjective "spiritual" in the Bible is a reference to the work of the Holy Spirit. Something that is "spiritual" is "of the Holy Spirit," and not necessarily anti- or supra-material or physical. It’s the Holy SPIRIT, people! We should all agree to capitalize the word "Spiritual" from now on in order to get this straight.

"How is your Spiritual life this week?"
"Fine, I have been striving to not grieve the Spirit in my behavior at work"
"That's great. I've been praying for you."

What is worse, I’ve found that even most ministers think that the “spiritual presence of Jesus” in the Supper is a shorthand way of saying that he is omnipresent as God the Son. Press them about what they mean by "spiritual presence" and they will say that Jesus is present invisibly and “spiritually” in his divine nature at the Table. But that doesn't get us anywhere. God the Son is omnipresent as God always and everywhere. So is the "spiritual presence of Jesus" at the Lord's Supper nothing more than the reality of his divine presence at Home Depot or Greenbriar Golf Club? No. The miracle of the Lord's Supper is that the Holy Spirit makes the glorified, life-giving body and blood of Jesus present to his people.

Perhaps we are so sloppy in our thinking about the Supper because we practice it so infrequently and we are so frightened to say that Baptism and the Lord's Supper actually do something. Talking about Baptism and the Lord's Supper in our circles is pretty frustrating.

I love it.

someone once said,

"If unbelievers don't go away from your service thinking, 'Those people are cannibals,' we probably haven't done it right."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the charismatic church, I aways felt so guity and disconnected at the table. We always had to over exame ourselves of our own worthiness. Our righteousness is only found in Chirst perfect satisfation though and his imputed righteousness by faith and not by my works or my works of repentance, though they are there. It's only found in Christ alone. It wasn't till I read that book by Keith and experience it at a good Reformed Presbyterian church that I realized Christ real presences and that it was a means of grace.