Luther on the Fruit of Holy Communion

I love Luther.  He’s so practical and pastoral!  This is from a sermon entitled, “Confession and the Lord’s Supper”:

“But if you feel that you are unfit, weak and lacking in faith, where will you obtain strength but here [the Lord’s Supper]?  Do you mean to wait until you have grown pure and strong, then indeed you will never come and you will never obtain benefit from the holy communion” (207).

“It is our duty to let the benefit and fruit of the Lord’s Supper become manifest, and we ought to show that we have received it with profit … Now this is the fruit, that even as we have eaten and drunk the body and blood of Christ the Lord, we in turn permit ourselves to be eaten and drunk, and say the same words to our neighbor, Take, eat and drink; and this by no means in jest, but in all seriousness, meaning to offer yourself with all your life, even as Christ did with all that he had, in the sacramental words” (208).

“Therefore, when we have received the Lord’s Supper we must not allow ourselves to become indolent, but must be diligent and attentive to increase in love, aid our neighbor in distress, and lend him a helping hand when he suffers affliction and requires assitance.  When you fail to do this you are not a Christian, or only a weak Christian, though you boast of having received the Lord and all that he is, in the Lord’s Supper” (210-11).

– all from The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther, vol. 1

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