Bucer on Sacraments

Performative signs & what it means to receive in faith

And therefore, when the faithful, believing theses words and not doubting that they are addressed by the Lord to themselves (that they were in fact spoken only to them is proved by phrases in the context such as, “is given for you, is shed for you, is the new covenant,” which are all entirely alien to those who lack faith), truly eat the body of Christ and drink his blood, there is no reason based on the authority of Scripture which compels us on that account to tie the body of Christ to the bread in a physical manner, and not rather to confess that when Christ is eaten by faith by believers these words are completely fulfilled. The godly man hears that Christ offered bread to his disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body,” and believes that this is spoken to himself as well. Does he not truly eat the body of Christ even though no change occurs in the bread that he eats? A prince hands over to a judge elect a rod as the symbol of judicial authority, adding these words: “Behold, I hearby commit to you the authority of a judge.” The latter, believing his prince and accepting the rod, is at the same time constituted a judge, although the rod in itself remains nothing but a rod. Similarly by the symbol of the keys a person may receive the rights of the household, the keys remaining in their own essence the same as they were before.

Source: Martin Bucer, “The Eucharist: the 1526 Apology,” Martin Bucer, Courtenay Reformation Classics IV, p. 330.

{HT: Mark Horne}

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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