The Holy Spirit, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

*This is not a definitive answer on the topic but I hope it is useful food for thought.

The Holy Spirit, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

The full question:

Discuss the role of the Holy Spirit in baptism (including infant baptism) and the Lord’s Supper. What implications should this have for our understanding of these rites?


The Holy Spirit’s role in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper is key to the participation in these signs and seals of the covenant. These physical symbols ordained in Scripture strengthen one’s faith by the work of the Spirit. There is an objective and subjective reality that must be realised to avoid the pitfalls in church history. The sign and the thing signified is intertwined but most certainly not identical. The Spirit ordinarily uses baptism in adults and in infants. This is not always directly correlated with the time of administration nor the institution which administers it. The Lord’s Supper is something to be relished and enjoyed. The real presence of Christ appears to conflict with Scripture, yet the spiritual presence is supported. The implications of the Spirit’s role in the sacraments are varied but essentially one must realise it means they are not salvific, they are to be carefully taught and they are to be treasured.


The person and work of the Holy Spirit is essential to the Christian life. The Paraclete witnesses to Christ, ‘glorifying him by showing his disciples who and what he is (John 16:7-15), and making them aware of what they are in him (Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 4:6)’.[1] This is the essential role of the Spirit. All of God’s work in his children is conducted by the third member of the Trinity.[2] A point of contention within Christianity is the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the sacraments or ordinances. Some contend that the Spirit’s work is linked ‘directly and exclusively to the sacraments’ while others ‘do not limit the Spirits’ work’ to the sacraments.[3] The two rites commanded by Christ for the Church are baptism (cf. Matt 28:18-20) and the Lord’s Supper (cf. Lk 22:19-20). A clear comprehension of the Holy Spirit’s role in these sacraments is vital to every Christian’s understanding and flourishing. This paper will provide a biblical discussion on the role of the Holy Spirit in baptism and the Lord’s Supper followed by the implications this provides for a correct understanding of these rites.

The Role of the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments

To correctly ascertain the role of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments it is essential to comprehend the role of the sacraments. Essentially, they are covenant signs and seals that God provides for his people. This is a pattern that God has used throughout his relationship with his people. From the rainbow in the Noahic covenant (Gen. 9:8-17) to circumcision in the Abrahamic covenant (17:1-4). The sacraments symbolise the promise (sign) and confirm it to faith (seal). These signs ‘act as a physical and visible confirmation (seal) of it.’ [4] In essence, they are ‘acts of divine reassurance to us’.[5] Jesus confirms the continuation of God’s covenant commitment when he inaugurated the Lord’s supper and refers to ‘the new covenant’ (cf. Lk 19:20; 1 Cor 11:25). The language used for the covenant signs (cf. Gen 17) draws a connection between the covenant signs and the promise, identifying them together yet retaining a distinction between them.

This fine line has been the undoing of a correct understanding of the sacraments. One side ‘adores’ the elements confusing the sign with the thing signified and thereby misses ‘the point of the sacramental analogy and in fact’ commits idolatry[6], ‘so objectifying the effectiveness of the blessing of the symbol that we identify the reception of the sign with the reception of what it signifies’[7] (ex opere operato). On the other hand, the sign and the thing signified have been so far disconnected that such a view struggles to comprehend scriptural references that contend otherwise (cf. Gal 3:27; Rom 6:1-4; 1 Pet 3:21; Col 2:11-12) ‘so subjectivising the symbolism of the rite that our use of it throws us back upon our own actions’[8]. There is biblical warrant for a connection between the sign and the thing signified yet clearly a distinguishing element between the two. The connection is often referred to as the ‘sacramental union’.[9] This is the tightrope one must traverse for a thorough understanding of the sacraments.

God graciously provides these physical symbols to strengthen one’s faith. While the Word of God is to be heard, these gospel elements are to be seen, smelt and tasted.[10] They do not merely call to mind Christ and his work. Rather, God objectively delivers by the Spirit sanctificational purposes to be received subjectively by the elect through faith.[11] This is the Holy Spirit’s role within the sacraments. For there is no natural power within the signs themselves or the one conducting the sign but only ‘due to the attending operation of the Spirit, and is conditioned on the presence of faith in the recipient’.[12] The two sacraments are similar in that they are both covenant signs and seals pointing to Jesus Christ yet they are distinctive in their function and focus. Baptism is ‘inaugural and is received only once as a sign of union with Christ’ and on the other hand the Lord’s supper is ‘a sign of ongoing communion with Christ and is to be received frequently’.[13] The Holy Spirit’s role in these two ordinances will now be more carefully discussed.

In Baptism

There are an abundance of views regarding baptism and its significance. These range from the Roman Catholic view of baptism causing regeneration to the Baptist view of it merely symbolising regeneration as having occurred.[14] The Roman Catholic view of baptismal regeneration principally rests upon scriptures such as John 3:5. Hodge carefully considers this passage and concludes that ‘water and being born of the Spirit are one and the same thing, the one expression being figurative, and the other literal, precisely as in Matthew iii. 11’.[15] Even if water were to refer only to baptism in this passage it still does not provide adequate reasoning for baptismal regeneration. Scripture is resoundingly clear that the only ‘indispensable condition of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ’ (i.e. John 3:14-16, 36; 6:35, 40; 11: 25, 26; Acts 16:31; 1 John 5:1, 5).[16] Although the early church began equating baptism to the forgiveness of sins, deliverance from death, regeneration and the gift of the Holy Spirit[17], Basil the Great still grasped that the water was not magical when he noted, ‘if there is any grace in the water, it is not of the nature of the water, but of the presence of the Spirit’[18]. In Acts 8:13-24 though Simon Magus was baptised he did not have a renewed heart. So, ‘the outward sign does not automatically or magically convey the inward blessing that it signifies, and the candidates’ professions of faith are not always genuine.’[19]

Erickson, from a Baptist perspective, sees no spiritual benefit apart from obedience and church membership thereby creating no role for the Holy Spirit.[20] Grudem, also a Baptist, differs from Erickson and claims baptism is a means of grace enjoying God’s favour, reassurance in Christ’s work and a means to strengthen faith.[21] Such a conclusion would surely include the necessity of the Spirit to bring about such a response, yet one must realise ‘it is not faith that is signified or sealed. It is Christ’.[22] The gospel of Christ is sealed by the sign to which faith is to respond.

If baptism is not only a symbol and it does not cause regeneration then what is it? It is a sign (representation) and a seal (ratification) of one’s ‘faith-union with Christ’.[23] There is most certainly symbolism, yet it is not empty symbolism merely witnessing to God’s grace and one’s faith. Bird notes that ‘the New Testament knows of no divorce between the reception of the Spirt and the confession of Christ in baptism’[24] (cf. Acts 2:38; Gal 3:27; 1 Pet 3:21). He helpfully describes the early church as believing baptism to be ‘intrinsically bound up’ with,

‘faith, union with Christ, and the life of the age to come. Baptism is part of the salvific drama with a chorus of actors chanting their lines in solos, duets, counterpoints and chorales. The result is not a cacophony of noise, but a sweet harmony of sound. Spirit, baptism, faith, and union with Christ are all indelibly connected together in one dramatic movement.’[25]

Thus baptism is a sign and a seal which assures of a promise and ratifies faith as Calvin notes when he says the sacraments do ‘not so much confirm his word as establish us in the faith of it’.[26] This means that baptism objectively contributes ‘to the assurance of those who receive them by faith’.[27]

If ‘baptism without faith is without effect’[28], as Hodge puts it, the question that must be carefully considered is, in what way does the Holy Spirit achieve this role of baptism in the infant? If baptism is a means of grace how does the Spirit convey it to the infant? As Berkhof notes the adult’s faith is strengthened through this means of grace, but it is not as clear ‘how it can operate as a means of grace in the case of children who are entirely unconscious of the significance of baptism and cannot yet exercise faith’.

The first and simplest understanding of the benefit which baptism conveys to an infant is securing the visible membership of the infant in the visible church of God, seen to be part of the covenant community, which is a ‘distinction and blessing’.[29] Second, the sign and seal of baptism is in no way tied to the moment of its administration as it is suggested by Roman Catholics and Lutherans. Rather, ‘it may be instrumental in augmenting faith later on, when the significance of baptism is clearly understood’.[30] This point is explicitly stated in the Westminster Confession with the words, ‘the effectiveness of baptism is not tied to that moment of time in which it is administered’[31]. Third, it is more than possible for children to be regenerated already (Jer 1:5; Lk 1:15). Fourth, the means of grace provided by the Spirit in baptism can also be given to the parents of the child and the congregation who witness it. Berkhof realises the role it can play in strengthening in the community and particularly inculcating in the parents a ‘sense of responsibility for the Christian education of their child’.[32] The benefits provided by baptism are not for ‘every baptized adult…nor are all those who are baptized in infancy made partakers of salvation’.[33] God ordinarily works through his Spirit objectively through baptism subjectively received by faith. This is the vital role of the Holy Spirit in baptism.

In the Lord’s Supper

Christ’s presence in the Lord’s Supper is the ‘oldest and most fundamental dispute’ when it comes to this sacrament.[34] Catholics, Lutherans and some Anglicans consider there to be a real presence, others consider there to be only a memorial function, yet the Reformed teaching is one of a spiritual presence.[35] This understanding of communion is only made possible through the role of the Paraclete.

The memorial view[36] does not line up with the discussion on the sacraments above and the real presence concept fails to correctly identify the physicality of Christ as being located at the Father’s right hand (Acts 2:33; 5:31; 7:55; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet 3:22).[37] In the wonder of the hypostatic union it appears to be a denial of Christ’s humanity to claim that his body can be ubiquitous, as is taught in the real presence view.[38] One passage that a memorialist must wrestle with is 1 Corinthians 10:16: ‘Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?’.[39] It seems there is a direct link here to the Lord’s Supper addressed in the next chapter. The key word under consideration is ‘participation’ (κοινωνία). Hauck sees it as entering into a spiritual communion with Christ[40] and Hainz argues that it refers to the partnership with the others there but concludes that it is both the other participants and the powers to which the offerings are dedicated[41]. In the context, however, it seems as though ‘Paul’s stress seems to be on the divine aspect of the fellowship throughout’.[42] It is this unique relationship between Christ and the believer in the Lord’s Supper that ‘excludes all other fellowships, particularly those associated with idolatry,’ yet this is achieved by the Spirit and not the meal itself (1 Cor 12:13).[43] Another key passage that is often referred to is John 6 yet this chapter is discussing the ‘essence of salvation’ not the Supper.[44] Calvin makes the point that ‘it is wrong to expound this whole passage as applying to the Lord’s Supper’ otherwise ‘all who come to the Lord’s holy Table are made partakers of His flesh…but we know that many of them fall into perdition’.[45] At the same time, as Gibson puts it, ‘if John 6 is not about the eucharist, the eucharist is undoubtedly about John 6’.[46] For there is nothing here ‘that is not figured and actually presented to believers in the Lord’s Supper’.[47]

There are four other significant passages when it comes to the Lord’s Supper (Matt 26:26-27; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-29). For each of the gospel accounts it is important that they are ‘pre-explanatory’, meaning Jesus’ language is not drawing attention to his physical body but instead a ‘contemplation of his death’.[48] In these explanations, seeing as Jesus is there bodily does not seem realistic for them to interpret Jesus as saying he will be ‘physically present in the bread’.[49] At the same time, the symbols have such an analogy that they are ‘truly, but only sacramentally,’ called the body and blood of Christ, though in substance and nature ‘they are truly and only bread and wine’.[50] The first Corinthians’ passage in chapter eleven makes it clear that the Supper is looking forward to Christ’s bodily return[51] (1 Cor 11:26). This suggests that if Christ is present bodily in any way it overturns this key component of communion.

In consideration of these points it is clear that Christ is in no way corporeally or carnally associated with the bread and wine. Nevertheless, Christ is spiritually ‘present to the faith of believers’, not by any power in the ritual but completely in a way that is ‘dependent upon the work of the Spirit’.[52] One does not commune with Christ through either the church that administers it, or by simply one’s own memory. Rather, this takes place by the Spirit through faith. Ferguson equates this role of the Spirit to how he operates with the preached Word, ‘just as in the preaching of the Word he is present not in the Bible (locally), or by believing, but by the ministry of the Spirit’.[53] As Caird observes that a kiss and a handshake are a means of conveying what they represent[54], so also the emblems in this sacrament communicate a ‘crucified and risen Saviour are employed by the Spirit working in the heart to communicate to Christ’s people the love he has for them’[55]. Some examples of what the Spirit affirms in the believer are: Christ’s death; one’s participation in the benefits of Christ’s death; the unity of believers; and Christ’s love.[56] As in baptism, the Supper is dependent on the presence of the Spirit and also ‘on the activity of faith in the recipient’.[57] Such an understanding of the Supper is something to be relished rather than critically rejected based on an experiential understanding.

This view of the sacraments provides a Trinitarian understanding. The Father’s gracious character is seen in sending Christ and then uniting the Church to Christ through the Holy Spirit.[58] Without the role of the Holy Spirit in these two sacraments nothing is accomplished; everything is worthless. There are various implications that naturally follow from such an understanding of the Spirit’s role in baptism and the Lord’s Supper which is what this paper will now briefly consider.

The Implications of the Holy Spirit’s Role

There are a number of implications that flow naturally from a strong comprehension of the role of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments. Such an understanding is vital in their practice. Namely, they are not salvific and they are to be taught and treasured.

The correct balance of objectiveness and subjectiveness, as noted above, assists in steering away from any view ‘that obscures the truth that we come to God through Christ alone’.[59] The sacraments should point the participants to Christ being the only way rather than towards an unhealthy reliance on ritual activities of the church. This can be seen once it is realised that ‘the grace or spiritual benefits received by believers in the use of the sacraments, may be attained without their use’.[60] This is not to say that they have no value, but merely, that their value is not an end in itself but is a means to point to the reality of the gospel.

If the role of the Holy Spirit is to benefit the believer one must be aware that barring someone from the Lord’s Supper due to a ‘lack of the assurance of salvation’ goes against the activity the Spirit in strengthening the faith of the believer.[61] This can be part of the danger of mishandling the teaching of examining oneself before coming to the table (1 Cor 11:28).[62] Due to this tendency, the teaching of the use of the sacraments should be carefully considered.

The joy of the Sacraments should be taught and encouraged. Communion especially impacts the senses of sight, smell, touch and taste. Explaining their significance and the beauty of what is taking place is one implication that must be upheld if the Spirit plays such a vital role within the act.[63] Grudem strongly agrees that ‘it would be healthy for the church today to recapture a more vivid sense of God’s presence at the table of the Lord’.[64] This heightening of joy can be communicated more effectively through a thorough understanding of the sacraments. Therefore it is imperative that the teaching reflects the beauty of the sacraments in a simple way.

Another implication that can be drawn from the difficulty of delineating the role of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments is that we must engage in teaching which reflects the correct balance. This can be seen as vitally important through a reflection on church history. If memorialism is taught, then the ‘illuminating ministry of the Spirit’ is sadly minimalised.[65] The importance of strong teaching requires one with careful understanding and a spiritual maturity.[66]

Finally, one must pray for the Holy Spirit to work the benefits of the sacraments in the hearts of believers. The Spirit ordinarily works through these means to glorify Christ. So we must treasure and teach these vital aspects of the ‘new covenant’ that Christ inaugurated and upholds with the signs and seals of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.


There is much debate on this issue and though many may feel it is clear-cut, we must recognise the ultimate unity that we have through faith in Christ, regardless of our understanding of the sacraments, because one day we will ‘fellowship around a supper in the new earth. Then…we will be united around the table’ and ‘the “real presence” of Jesus won’t be a matter of dispute at all’.[67] What a vital role the Spirit plays as Christ ‘fulfils what the sacraments figure’ though ‘the whole effect of them rests upon’ the Spirit’s work.[68] Therefore, we should not mistake them for salvation, but treasure them all the more and teach their meaning throughout the church.

  1. J. I Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 2011), 126.

  2. Packer, Concise Theology, 126. Examples of this work are enlightening (Eph. 1:17-18), regenerating (John 3:5-8), leading to holiness (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:16-18), transforming (2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5:22-23) and assurance giving (Rom. 8:16).

  3. Gregg Allison, Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 430.

  4. Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit (Contours of Christian Theology; Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 196. Although only circumcision is noted as being a ‘sign and a seal’ (Rom 4:11), this provides a modus operandi (mode of operation) of all covenant signs.

  5. Ligon Duncan, ‘True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence’, in The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century (Mentor Imprint; Fearn: Christian Focus Publications, 2004), 2:451.

  6. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 473.

  7. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 199.

  8. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 199.

  9. This is the term often used in various reformed theological statements including the Westminster Confession. Westminster Assembly, The Westminster Confession and Catechisms in Modern English: 350th Anniversary Edition (ed. Rowland S Ward; Melbourne: New Melbourne Press, 1996), 55.

  10. Michael F. Bird, Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 802.

  11. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 470.

  12. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology (London: James Clarke & Co., 1960), 3:501.

  13. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 200.

  14. Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1999), 383.

  15. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:595.

  16. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:600.

  17. Tertullian, ‘CHURCH FATHERS: Against Marcion, Book I’, in New Advent, 2017,, (accessed September 19, 2018), 28. After Tertullian two other features were added to this list – the renunciation of Satan and identification with Jesus Christ. Allison notes that ‘all six ends played a key role in the theology of baptism in the early church’. Allison, Historical Theology, 613. This practice remained from the fifth century on seen in Hugh of Amiens and Anselm who are examples of upholding this position and the baptism of infants. Anselm, Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works (eds. Brian Davies and Gillian Rosemary Evans; Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 388–389; Allison, Historical Theology, 622.

  18. Basil the Great, ‘Chapter Fifteen: Of the Holy Spirit’, in Episcopalnet.Org, 2018,, (accessed September 19, 2018), 35.

  19. Packer, Concise Theology, 182.

  20. Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984).

  21. Grudem, Bible Doctrine, 384.

  22. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 198.

  23. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 197.

  24. Bird, Evangelical Theology, 775.

  25. Bird, Evangelical Theology, 775.

  26. John Calvin, ‘Chapter 14, Institutes of the Christian Religion Book 4’, in Bible Study Tools, 1599,, (accessed September 17, 2018), 3.

  27. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 439. Though Duncan makes sense when he makes the clarifying statement that the sacraments are a ‘seal proximately, while the Spirit is the seal ultimately’. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 472.

  28. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:590.

  29. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:590.

  30. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1938), 642.

  31. Westminster Assembly, The Westminster Confession and Catechisms, 56.

  32. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 642.

  33. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:590.

  34. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 429.

  35. Although, since the ‘late nineteenth century there has been a minority report in parts of the Reformed community wanting to claim the language of “real presence” as Calvinian view and propone it as the central teaching of the Reformed tradition’. For a clear understanding of how to comprehend these ideas from various authors Ligon Duncan and Sinclair Ferguson helpfully address some of these misunderstandings. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence”, 429; Sinclair Ferguson, ‘Calvin on the Lord’s Supper and Communion with Christ’, in Serving the Word of God: Celebrating the Life and Ministry of James Philip (eds. David F Wright and David Stay; Edinburgh: Mentor; Rutherford House, 2002), 203–217. Hesselink and Horton are examples who appear to lean towards the ‘reformed real presence view’ that Duncan refers to. I. John Hesselink, ‘Reformed View: The Real Presence of Christ’, in Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper (ed. John H. Armstrong; Counterpoints: Church Life; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2007), 59–71; Michael Scott Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011).

  36. According to Christopher Wright, this view generally claims to follow the Swiss reformer, Huldreich Zwingli, who encouraged them to be merely symbols and to recommit oneself to each other and to God. Christopher Wright, ‘The Church’, in The New Lion Handbook: Christian Belief (ed. Alister E McGrath; Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2007), 243. This may not be completely accurate as Berkhof notes that Zwingli did deny the bodily presence of Christ ‘but did not deny that Christ is present’ in a ‘spiritual manner to the faith of the believer’. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 653. Ligon Duncan helpfully points out that ‘the difference between Calvin and Zwingli on the Supper, based upon the primary data, seems to be one of emphasis, expression, detail and sophistication rather than fundamental divergence’. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 445. For a clear understanding of a memorialist view that argues biblically for his understanding Russell Moore presents the view well. Russell D. Moore, ‘Baptist View: Christ’s Presence as Memorial’, in Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper (ed. John H. Armstrong; Counterpoints: Church Life; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2007), 29–44.

  37. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 649.

  38. Calvin considers the Papist view of consecration as ‘a kind of magic, that has its roots in heathendom, for it has no resemblance to the unadulterated rite which Christians follow.’ Jean Calvin, The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (eds. David W Torrance and Thomas F Torrance; trans. by John W. Fraser; Calvin’s Commentaries; Grand Rapid, Mich: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1960), 215.

  39. Though this does refer to the Lord’s Supper, ‘since his focus is only on what is genuinely similar between the two meals, one cannot learn everything here’. Gordon D. Fee, ‘Paul’s Conversion as Key to His Understanding of the Spirit’, in The Road from Damascus: The Impact of Paul’s Conversion on His Life, Thought, and Ministry (ed. Richard N. Longenecker; Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub, 1997), 465.

  40. Friedrich Hauck, ‘Koinonia’, in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (eds. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich; trans. by Geoffrey William Bromiley ed. and tr; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1965), 3:804.

  41. J. Hainz, ‘Koynonos’, in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (eds. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich; trans. by Geoffrey William Bromiley ed. and tr; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1965), 2:304.

  42. Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians (The Pillar New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, Mich. : Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. ; Apollos, 2010), 473.

  43. David E. Garland, 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2003), 477.

  44. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 466.

  45. Jean Calvin, John 1-10 (eds. David W. Torrance and Thomas F. Torrance; trans. by T. H. L. Parker; Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1995), 170.

  46. David Gibson, ‘Eating Is Believing?: On Midrash and the Mixing of Metaphors in John 6’, Themelios 27/2 (2002): 15.

  47. Calvin, John 1-10, 170.

  48. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 455.

  49. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 461.

  50. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 441; Westminster Assembly, The Westminster Confession and Catechisms. 58

  51. This verse in first Corinthians also seems to suggest a more celebratory stance when it comes to communion rather than the somber tone so often experienced in various churches.

  52. Westminster Assembly, The Westminster Confession and Catechisms, 58. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 441.

  53. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 201.

  54. George B. Caird, Language and Imagery of the Bible (London: Duckworth, 2002), 101–102.

  55. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 204.

  56. These are some of the summaries Grudem provides from Berkhof’s list. Grudem, Bible Doctrine, 388–389.

  57. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 656.

  58. Bird, Evangelical Theology, 790.

  59. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 471.

  60. Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:502.

  61. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 657. The term for ‘lack of assurance’ is to be taken as one who is feeling distant from God and has a doubting faith. This does not include the person who is in habitual sin refusing to repent.

  62. Perhaps a clearer explanation of this teaching is required in consideration of the actual context of the warning. Bird is helpful in explaining the explanation and the context. Bird, Evangelical Theology.

  63. Perhaps another way to ‘heighten our gratitude, increase our unity, and maximize the experience of grace’ is to celebrate the Supper alongside a proper meal. Bird, Evangelical Theology, 802. Jewett sets out a challenge by stating how ‘the purely symbolic meal of modern Christianity, restricted to a bit of bread and a sip of wine or juice, is tacitly presupposed for the early church, an assumption so preposterous that it is never articulated or acknowledged.’ Robert Jewett, ‘Tenement Churches and Pauline Love Feasts’, QR 14/ (1994): 44.

  64. Grudem, Bible Doctrine, 388.

  65. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, 198.

  66. Bird, Evangelical Theology, 795.

  67. Russell D. Moore, ‘A Baptist Response’, in Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper (ed. John H. Armstrong; Counterpoints: Church Life; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2007), 74.

  68. Duncan, “True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Calvin, Westminster and the Nature of Christ’s Sacramental Presence,” 472.

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