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Calvin’s Sacramental Hermeneutics

Calvin’s Sacramental Hermeneutics January 24, 2007

Ephesians 5:31’s description of marriage, Calvin argues, refers to the Supper, a seal of our union with Christ: “As Eve was formed out of the substance of her husband, and thus was a part of himself; so, if we are the true members of Christ, we share his substance, and by this intercourse unite into one body. In short, Paul describes our union to Christ, a symbol and pledge of which is given to us in the ordinance of the supper. Those who talk about the torture exercised on this passage to make it refer to the Lord’s supper, while no mention is made of the supper, but of marriage, are egregiously mistaken [egregiously!!]. When they admits that the death of Christ is commemorated in the supper, but not that such intercourse exists as we assert from the words of Christ, we quote this passage against them. Paul says that “we are members of his flesh and of his bones.” Do we wonder then, that in the Lord’s supper he holds out his body to be enjoyed by us, and to nourish us unto eternal life? Thus we prove that the only union which we maintain to be represented by the Lord’s supper is here declared in its truth and consequences by the apostle.”


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