No. 8. >> As I said earlier, we do not have many people of the Eastern Orthodox faith in our region of the country. But we do have many Roman Catholics. I have heard some Protestants say that the LCMS should not oppose the teachings of the transubstantiation and the Sacrifice of the Mass because they strongly emphasize the important doctrine of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ. How should I respond to such comments? >>DR. THOMAS E. MANTEUFEL: Well, first of all, Roman Catholics are, indeed, to be commended for teaching that Christ's body and blood are really present in the Lord's Supper according to the Words of Institution. We Lutherans say that, also. But the doctrines of transubstantiation and the Sacrifice of the Mass go beyond the Words of Institution and should not be commended. Take transubstantiation, first of all. Transubstantiation is the change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of the body and blood of Christ, with only the accidents or outward appearances of bread and wine remaining. This is contrary to Saint Paul who indicates that the bread really remains, even when we are distributing and eating it. Look at I Corinthians. In Chapter 10 Verse 16 Paul says: Is the bread which we break not a communion of the body of Christ? And in the next chapter, 11 Verse 27, Paul says: Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the Lord's cup in an unworthy way is sinning against the Lord's body and blood. This may appear to be just a matter of hair splitting, but it really is a serious matter for us to consider. And that's because it raises a question for us Lutherans whether we can use the Words of Institution with confidence to support our doctrine of the sacrament. On the one side of the controversy Roman Catholics have charged that we are not taking the Word seriously, "This is my body and this is my blood," if we don't really think that the bread and the wine are changed into the body and the blood of Christ. And on the Reformed side, we may be told that if we're going to take the words literally in the Words of Institution: This is my body, this is my blood, then we must teach transubstantiation with the Catholics. And if we don't want to do that, we then must logically give up our literal interpretation. To both sides we say our interpretation in Lutheranism is sound. As for the Sacrifice of the Mass, which is taught by both Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox, it is contrary to evangelical doctrine. It is the use or the alleged use of the body and the blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper to offer a sacrifice for sin. That is to offer this sacrifice along with Christ. Because it is his offering. He offered his body and blood on the cross. And now we can join him in making that offering of his body and blood to the Father in heaven for the sins of the world. For our sins. But the problem is that man, according to Scripture, does not really take part in offering the sacrifice that makes atonement for his own sin. That is another version of the Roman Catholic doctrine of man doing something for his own salvation. Man somehow bringing about salvation through his own endeavors added to the endeavors of Christ the Savior. Scripture says only that Christ offered this sacrifice. And it says that over and over again. For example, in Hebrews 7:27 we read: Unlike the other high priests, he, Christ, does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. Again, Hebrews 9:14: How much more then will the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God? Never is it said that we did it. Or are doing it. That is making that sacrifice of Christ. It's clear in the book of Hebrews that no man, not even the Old Testament priest, is able to offer the atoning sacrifice for sin, except Christ, the great high priest. We should not impose on Scripture the false idea that man has a part to play in bringing about his salvation. Only one who is holy and undefiled by sin can offer the saving sacrifice. Hebrews 9:26 has these words: Such a high priest was fitting for us who is holy and harmless and undefiled and separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens who does not need daily like those Old Testament high priests to offer up sacrifices first for his own sin and then for the sins of the people. And then it goes onto say that he offered sacrifice for the sins of the people once for all when he offered up himself. I Peter 3:18 says: Christ died for sins, once for all. The righteous for the unrighteous. He died for them. He didn't die with them. Or in cooperation with them. II Corinthians 5:14 says: He died for all. It doesn't say that he died with all. It is never said that we in any way join Christ in offering this sacrifice to God and bringing it before him. It's not an offering that he and we do together over and over again. Christ did it once. Once for all. And we simply receive the benefit which has been gained. We receive that by faith.