Theology of the Eucharist

While according to the Bible "The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking" Rom 14:17, according to Catholicism the kingdom of God is a matter of eating and drinking. For under Catholicism salvation is contingent upon taking "communion" and intentional failure to do so is a mortal sin.

While the Bible instructs us, "Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them." Heb 13:9, Catholicism carries away people with all kinds of strange doctrine, including the idea that grace is imparted through ceremonial food.

Catholicism is a Sacramental Theology. That is that salvation is contingent upon one's participation in their religious rituals. This in contrast to what the Bible teaches that "we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law." Rom 3:27,28 Faith is the sole requirement for salvation according to the Bible. "What must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." Acts 16:30,31 "Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." Gal 2:16  "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." Rom 4:4-8

This in contrast to Catholicism in which CANON IV of their "Council of Trent" states, "If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not indeed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema." Apparently the apostle Paul is anathema to the Catholic Church since he preaches salvation by faith alone. For when he is asked to list the requirements for salvation and when he speaks of the requirements for salvation, only faith is mentioned. And he explicitly excludes salvation being contingent upon any kind of work.

Concerning observing Holy days, the Apostle Paul writes, "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God." Rom 14:5,6 Yet among the "mortal" sins (a category of sins fabricated by Catholicism) are "Missing Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation without a serious reason". Another, "Intentional failure to fast or abstain on appointed days." And how about this one, "Requiring employees to work on Sunday in non-essential occupations" And ironically while the 4th of the 10 commandments insists one rests on the Sabbath, here is Catholic law: Canon XXIX. CHRISTIANS must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

So while the Bible commands, "Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day." Col 2:16, Catholicism violates this very command.

Among all their religious ceremonies is their "Sacrifice of the Mass" as they refer to it, which contains among a multitude of heretical ideas and practices, the idea of "transsubstantiating" Christ into a piece of bread they refer to as the Eucharist, which is their object of worship. They then eat the bread in a particular ceremonial manner along with drinking from the cup which the priest has allegedly "transsubstantiated" from Christ's blood.

This practice they allege to have derived from what Jesus said in John 6 and during the Last Supper. What they have done is so misconstrue the interpretation of scripture as to contradict what it explicitly, emphatically, and comprehensively states that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking in order to make it a matter of eating and drinking. They have made salvation contingent upon religious ceremonies rather than by faith.

Now in John 6:54 Jesus does say, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." This Catholics take in a material sense, as if Jesus were talking about a material substance. But when questioned on this matter Jesus said, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." John 6:63

So in the first case Jesus says that eternal life is contingent upon eating his flesh, but in the second case he says the flesh counts for nothing. So which is it? Obviously Jesus is saying that he was not speaking literally. Nor was he speaking about a material substance like physical bread. For what gives life according to John 6:63? Is it eating a material substance? No, it is the Spirit working through his words.

Drinking of his blood is to put faith solely upon his blood to atone for sin. "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Rom 3:25 and "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Rom 5:9 

Eating of his flesh means to abide in his word. In that same section in John Peter says, "You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68 But while Peter also says, "You have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1Peter 1:23 and "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" 1Peter 2:2 Catholics do not characteristically feed on the Word. Rather they have replaced the Word of God with a religious ceremony involved eating their "Eucharist". While Jesus said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Mt 4:4, Catholicism has turned this into the idea that life is attained by eating their eucharist.

It's words that save. God has implemented salvation in such a way that people are saved by words. The angel told Cornelius ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, ‘who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ Acts 11:13,14 Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." John 5:24 The Apostle Paul stated, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" Rom 1:17 "God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." 1Cor 1:21 Salvation comes through faith in Christ. And "faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Rom 10:17

Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." John 8:31 But Catholics are largely Biblically illiterate. As such Jesus would say to Catholics, "You do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe." John 5:38 If Catholics actually believed in Jesus they would abide in the Word of God. While claiming to "believe", their belief is vain, for they do not show their faith in Jesus (as he is defined in the Bible) by their works. Rather they demonstrate that their faith is in a different Jesus and in a different gospel, as Paul said to the Galatians, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ." Gal 1:6,7 and to the Corinthians he says "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted——you may well put up with it!" 2Cor 11:4

And just as Jesus associates his bread as his words, so also he associates the false teachings of heretics with a different kind of bread. Jesus offers unleavened bread, which is to say that which is true, sincere and without hypocrisy. "For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1Cor 5:7,8 In contrast he speaks of the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees as leavened bread. "'How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? ——but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.' Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Mt 6:11,12 and "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Lk 12:1 Beware of the leaven of Catholicism. Leavened bread is artificially inflated, full of hot air. While it attracts a lot of people, its doctrines are largely in conflict with the Word of God.

Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27 but "they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice." John 10:5 Those who are attracted to the voice of Catholicism are not Jesus' sheep. And if a Catholic comes to genuine faith in Christ they would run away from Catholicism. That is the kind of outworking of one's faith I would expect to see. For faith without any application of that faith is vain.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources