Cleansed and Fed: The Sacramental Life
Zabell, Jon F.
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Jesus gives his bride - the Church - the Gospel in Word and Sacraments. Through these means, we received the love and forgiveness of our Savior and our hearts’ alignment with Christ’s doctrine. Through baptism, Jesus took what was once a symbolic event in the Old Testament to connect us to him through water and the Word. Baptism washes away all of our sins, saves us from sin, and covers us in his righteousness. God has given us this assurance, apart from our feelings or opinions, that we are renewed for a lifetime. Though we live in the sinful flesh while on earth, God sees the baptized as a saint. As we struggle with sin, Jesus provides his true body and blood under the bread and wine in Holy Communion as medicine for our souls. He has saved us from the consequence of death. Christ regularly reminds us that he took on flesh and died a gruesome death to redeem us from our sins. He resides with us just as he did when he gave these instructions as his last will and testament to the disciples in the upper room. The mystery of which human reason and logic cannot explain. Nevertheless, both of these are gifts God has entrusted to his people. The regular reminders - through the speech of a Christian to another or a pastor, hymns, liturgy, fellowship, and confession of sacramental doctrines - preserve the sanctity of God’s gifts. They fight against the temptation to be Pietistic and regard Christian living as more important than the salvation God won for us. Instead, they encourage us to live godly lives amidst the toil of sin. Christ gives to his bride - the Church - regular admonishment and encouragement to express his love, reminding us of the gift of salvation won.