4 Views of the Eucharist with regard to the presence of Christ’s body (what do you think)

All the work below was taken from this web address below. What I like just like said big tent ideal each person with in the church will be taught all four of these views, but will pray on it and look to Bible for wisdom. .



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  1. Zwinglian (e.g., most Baptists): The Eucharist is a Biblical ordinance which Christians put into practice in obedience to Christ as a token or symbol of their faith and their membership in his body.  Christ’s physical body is not literally present in the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is a memorial (because Christ said, “Do this in memory of me”) reminding us of what Christ did for us once for all on the cross. ( if this is true, then our Eucharist can really just be done by anyone. And it really has no meaning at least to me)


  1. Calvinist (e.g., Presbyterians): Christ’s body is present at the Eucharist, but not “locally present,” i.e. not present in any particular place or locality (e.g., not in the bread, not in your mouth). Christ’s presence is spiritual, not bodily—in the power of his life-giving flesh, but not in its material substance.  His body is located literally in heaven, but it is present by the power of the Holy Spirit for all who believe.  If we receive the bread and wine in faith, it is as if we were raised on high by the power of the Spirit to partake of his flesh in heaven.  For that’s where his resurrected body remains, until he comes again in glory.  The liturgies informed by Calvin’s theology typically say: as truly as we eat this bread, we partake of his body.  But we partake of his body by faith, not by chewing it with our teeth.  Those who take the sacrament without faith receive bread and wine, but not the body and blood of Christ. ( I like this concept, but I think more in line with Lutheran. But this make sense much more then ladder.)


  1. Lutheran (often called Real Presence). Christ is present bodily, not just spiritually. His body is present in the bread.  (Lutherans like to say it is “in, with and under” the bread.  But I think just plain “in” is clearer).  The body is present in the bread just as truly as the bread is present in your mouth.  Since Christ is bodily present in the bread, all who eat it are eating his body, even if they don’t believe (but without faith it does their soul harm rather than good).  How this is all possible is something we can’t fully explain, but it has to do with the fact that we are talking about his resurrected, glorified body.  Also, he has ascended to heaven, which does not mean some place in the sky (you’re not going to get there in a spaceship) but at God’s right hand—and God’s right hand is everywhere.  Thus Christ’s body can be everywhere, while remaining at God’s right hand.  So it is literally his body, right there in the bread and in our mouths. But we should remember it is his glorified body.  We chew it with our teeth, but we don’t do it any harm (his glorified body cannot be cut up, digested, etc.).  And it is locally present, located in space, in the sense that it’s right there in the bread in our mouths—even though it’s not contained or limited by the bread, because Christ’s body is present in every place that God is present. 


  1. Roman Catholic (Transubstantiation): Christ is indeed bodily present in the Eucharist (as the Lutherans say). The great difference is that for Catholics, there is no bread left.  The bread has been wholly changed into Christ’s body, and the wine into his blood.  So in the Eucharist you still have the appearance of bread and wine, looking and tasting exactly like bread and wine, which is to say (in technical terms) that you have the accidents of bread and wine.  But in its substance (i.e. in its true, underlying reality) these are not bread and wine but the body and blood of Christ.  Just as a change of form is called a trans-formation, this unique and miraculous change of substance is called tran-substantiation. ( I like this, but I do not feel necessary Biblical Jesus , I am not sure would want people to go to church and worship bread on the altar. However, I am not Catholic anymore.)


In short, in the Eucharist:

  1. For Zwingli, Christ’s body is not present, but is symbolized by the bread.
  2. For Calvinist, Christ’s body is spiritually but not locally present.
  3. For Lutherans, Christ’s body is locally present, literally in the bread.
  4. For Roman Catholics (and Eastern Orthodox), the bread has been changed into Christ’s body.

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