Theological Fragment: Unworthy reception of the Lord’s Supper

Who, then, are they that eat and drink unworthily in the Lord’s Supper, so that we might learn to guard the more carefully against that unworthiness?

“That unworthiness does not consist in this, that we miserable sinners are unworthy of that heavenly food. For that food is prepared and intended especially for sinners. But the following are they that eat unworthily, as one can very clearly gather from Paul, 1 Co 11:

“I. They that do not discern the body of the Lord, that is [they] that do not hold that the very sacred food of this Supper is the body and blood of Christ, but handle and use it with no greater reverence and devotion than other common foods.

“II. They that continue in sins without repentance and have and retain not the intent to lead a better life, but rather continue in sin…

“III. They that come to this Supper without true faith, namely they that either seek the grace of God, forgiveness of sins, and eternal salvation elsewhere than alone in the merit of Christ, or who…hunger and thirst, with no true desires, after righteousness, that is, the grace of God in Christ, reconciliation and salvation.”

— Martin Chemnitz, Ministry, Word, and Sacraments: An Enchiridion, (Concordia Publishing House), 130.

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