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Word and Sacraments

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

John 6:51

The Lord’s Supper is precious: an encounter with the living Christ. Grace is poured forth, faith renewed, spirit-encouraged, healing released, and hope restored at the table of the Lord. At the table, the resurrected Christ meets the people of God as the heart of God makes known the love of God in bread and wine.

This same renewal occurs in the hearing and receiving of the Word of God. In the Word, we are drawn to Christ: faith received, hope renewed, obedience empowered, and hearts healed. The Word and sacraments work together: the sacraments portray to our eyes the written truth of God’s promises.

The sacraments are visible means through which we and Christ commune. They encourage us to be like Christ in all His holiness. The grace received through the sacraments is no different from that received through the Word. Both convey the same Christ.

Joel R. Beeke,  Feed My Sheep, ed., Don Kistler (Soli Deo Gloria Ministries, 2002), 121.

Thus does God make known His secret purpose to His Church: first he declares His mercy by His Word; then He seals it and assures it by His sacraments. In the Word we have His promises: in the sacraments we see them.

John Jewell cited in Philip E. Hughes, Theology of the English Reformers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965), 189.