QATransubstantiation teaches that after giving thanks, the bread and grape wine transform materially into the physical body and blood of the Lord Jesus. Consubstantiation teaches that the physical body and blood coexist with the bread and the grape wine. Why does your church not agree with either view?
- The bread and grape juice are the body and blood of the Lord after giving thanks. By eating and drinking the communion, we may receive the spiritual effects promised by God’s word. But the bread and juice have not changed materially.
- The manna that the Israelites ate in the wilderness prefigures the true bread from heaven—the flesh of the Lord Jesus (Jn 6:31-33, 49-51). According to Paul, the Israelites ate “spiritual food” and drank “spiritual drink” (1Cor 10:3-4). The prefiguration is applied in spiritual terms. Therefore during Holy Communion, we partake of the spiritual body and spiritual blood of the Lord.
- The Lord Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life, flesh counts for nothing” (Jn 6:63). Here he elaborated on the previous passage (Jn 6:32-57), which his followers found difficult to accept (Jn 6:60). In other words, the flesh and blood Jesus was referring to was flesh and blood in the spiritual rather than the material sense.