In this passage, our Lord declared, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." This is surely one of the most difficult sayings of Jesus Christ and hard for many to understand. Many believe that these words apply directly to the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion.
There have been at least four views regarding the Lord's Supper throughout church history:
1. The Mystical View or Transubstantiation (taught by the Roman Catholics and some Anglicans) - The substance of the bread and wine literally changes into the body and blood of Christ.
2. The Lutheran View or Consubstantiation - Christ is "within and under" the bread and wine, though the substance does not change.
3. The Presbyterian View - There is a spiritual presence of Christ in the elements of the Lord's Supper.
4. The Memorial View - The bread and wine are symbols for remembrance and declaration of our Lord's sacrifice.
Pastor Linehan explains why we accept this fourth view as being the correct biblical doctrine. He further explains the meaning behind the hard words our Lord in John 6, when He speaks of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The Lord was calling people to completely trust Him for salvation. We do not trust a ritual for eternal life. We receive life as a gift from the Lord Himself.
Dr. Hamp Edward Linehan is Pastor of Reformed Baptist Church of Ft. Worth, Texas, where he has preached since 1999. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas, his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and...