On another board I’ve been having some discussions with some Protestants on the Real Presence, and I think I’ve got the argument down pretty well, so I thought I would post it here too. As far as I can tell (and please tell me if I’m wrong), the only thing I have assumed is the inerrancy of the Bible.
**The First Argument **
that we must eat the literal flesh of Christ in order to receive eternal life
*]Jesus says we must eat his flesh to have eternal life. John 6:51a: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” John 6:53: "Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” John 6:54: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
*]Jesus says the flesh that we must eat is the same flesh that he will Sacrifice on the Cross. John 6:51b: “This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
*]Jesus’ literal flesh was Sacrificed on the Cross.
*]Therefore, we must eat the literal flesh of Jesus to have eternal life.[/list]
The Second Argument
that the Apostles physically ate the literal body of Christ at the Last Supper
*]At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed the apostles to physically eat bread, which he called “his body”. Matthew 26:26 - While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
*]Jesus said the body the apostles would eat at the Last Supper is the same body that would be Sacrificed on the Cross. Luke 22:19: And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
*]Jesus’ literal body was Sacrificed on the Cross.
*]Therefore, the apostles physically ate the literal body of Christ at the Last Supper.[/list]
The Third Argument
tying the first two arguments together
*]In the gospel of John, we are told we must eat the literal flesh of Christ in order to receive eternal life (The First Argument).
*]The Twelve Apostles were instructed by Jesus to physically eat the literal body of Christ at the Last Supper (The Second Argument).
*]Christ’s body and Christ’s flesh are the same thing (or near enough for the sake of these arguments).
*]Therefore, we must physically eat the literal body of Christ to receive eternal life.[/list]
The Second Argument is needed to define the context of what is meant by “eating” the flesh of Christ - is it meant in a physical sense? The Second Argument proves that it is. The First Argument shows that we must “eat” the flesh of Christ in order to receive eternal life. Therefore, both arguments are needed. The Third Argument really isn’t an argument as such; more of a summary.