The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 30: Of the Lord's Supper - Commentary

...d most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments; the Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.[5]

Therefore, if their doctrine of the Mass and the Eucharist (as they most often call it) is proven wrong, their whole religion and worship are proven wrong. The Eucharist is the center of Roman Catholic worship, therefore, if someone wants to refute Roman Catholicism, it is necessary for them to deal with this sacrament as Roman Catholics understand it. Roman Catholics understand that the Eucharist is not only a memorial, but it is actually an unbloody sacrifice. They believe that the bread and wine become Christ’s body and blood when the priest speaks the words “this is my body” (Latin: Hoc est corpus meum). Although the bread still tastes like bread and the wine tastes like wine, yet in actuality, there is a change in the substance of the bread and wine. Thus, the doctrine of Transubstantiation (see paragraph 6 below), which means the change of the substance from one to another. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).[6]

At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread....” “He took the cup filled with wine....” the signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, fruit of the “work of human hands,” but above all as “fruit of the earth” and “of the vine” - gifts of the Creator. the Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who “brought out bread and wine,” a prefiguring of her own offering.[7]

Thus, as the bread and wine change into the substance of Christ’s body, the priest offers the sacrifice of Christ anew, although in an unbloody manner, through which the people receive remission of sins. In other words, this sacrifice of the Mass is propitiatory and is repeated. So, instead of the Lord’s Supper being merely a memorial of that once for all sacrifice, it is actually a propitiatory sacrifice of Christ in an unbloody manner again and again. What is even worse, this propitiatory sacrifice is not only offered on behalf of those living and partaking of the Eucharist but also on behalf of the dead in Purgatory. The Catechism again:

As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.[8]

The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offerin...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 11: Of Justification - Commentary

...">Commentary on the Bible and Library Collection. Taken from the TheWord Bible Software. In loc. ...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day - Commentary

...our prayer and therefore, somehow this gives us a warrant to pray to them. These 24 elders are not the Church, but they are angelic representatives of the Church. This is seen in the fact that they exclude themselves from the song of redemption (contra the Textus Receptus) in Revelation 5:9. Moreover, the fact that they know the content of our prayers, does not in any way give us a warrant to pray either to departed saints or to angels. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic religion has an unbiblical understanding of sainthood. The New Testament teaches that all believers are saints (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; etc…) and that the saints are not a special class of Christians, contrary to Roman Catholicism.

But Catholics will object that the prayer to the saints or through the saints, is just like asking a Christian on earth to pray for you. This is dead wrong and the objection does not work. First of all, those whom we ask for prayer on earth are still alive. Second, that is a thing that we’re directly commanded to do (e.g. 2 Thess. 1:11; 3:1; Jas. 5:16). But contact with the dead is expressly forbidden in the Word. Not only do we not have a command to pray to departed saints, nor do we have a positive example of anyone doing that, but we have actually a negative example. Saul tries to make contact with the now-departed Samuel through a medium and gets rebuked by Samuel in 1 Samuel 28. We are not to have any contact with the dead. We are forbidden by Scripture to have any contact with the dead (Deut. 18:10-12), nor are we anywhere commanded to pray to or through them.

Most importantly, this doctrine is wicked because it casts doubts upon the perfect mediation of Christ. When Roman Catholics pray to Mary and other saints, asking them to intercede with God on their behalf, they are denying the perfect mediation of the Savior. They are asking the departed saints to pray for them from heaven. No such thing has any warrant in the Bible, but the reason why I find it a vile and blasphemous doctrine is because it diminishes the doctrine of Christ’s mediation. Christ is no longer important and He is no longer the only way to God when such heresies are taught. Catholics pray to Mary, ascribing to her all kinds of titles and positions which the Bible doesn’t give her, thinking that their prayers will be better answered, rather than going to the Father directly through the Son. Contrary to this blasphemous doctrine, the Bible states that we may have confidence in our approach to God:

Heb. 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The only Mediator between man and God, is Christ Jesus. There are no other viable candidates. We go to God through Christ and in His Name alone do we make our prayers (John 14:13-14; 16:23-24). To try to put any other person between man and God is to reject the intercession and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, our faithful High Priest who “ever liveth to make intercession for [us]” (Heb 7:25 KJV). We have a perfect Mediator through Whom we can confidently come to God by the power of the Spirit. Why should we seek another? Let’s put away all human traditions and heresies and worship God in spirit and truth, according to His Holy Word alone.

§3 The Doctrine Of Prayer

  1. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the S...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 29: Of Baptism - Commentary

...ptism discovered plainly. p. 12. Italics original. ...