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Calvin on the Efficacy of the Lord's Supper

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

To summarize: our souls are fed by the flesh and blood of Christ in the same way that bread and wine keep and sustain physical life….Even though it seems unbelievable that Christ’s flesh separated from us by such great distance, penetrates to us, so that it becomes our food, let us remember how far the secret power of the Holy Spirit towers above all our senses, and how foolish it is to wish to measure his immeasureableness by our measure. What, then, our mind does not comprehend, let faith conceive: that the Spirit truly unites things separated in space.

For Calvin, it’s impossible to conceive that God would, “put in your hand the symbol of his body,” and then fail to give you a true participation in it. He thus concludes, I believe correctly, that when we receive the symbol of the body, we must also trust that the body itself is as surely given to us. In this way, God gives believers Christ and all his benefits through the Sacrament of Communion. That’s something for which we can truly be grateful.

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