Jesus said, “This is my body. This is my blood,” and we believe he meant what he said. We believe that His body and blood are truly present in, with, and under the bread and the wine.
This is what I’ve always believed! We believe that the Bible is inerrant. It’s the Word of God. We confess that the Sacrament of the Altar “is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.”
Regrettably, there are many who hear Jesus’ words and refuse to believe them. Their human reason asks, “How can bread and wine be Christ’s body and blood?” We know these people cannot bring themselves to believe. The bread and wine in the Sacrament are not mere bread and wine, such as are served at our dinner table, but this is bread and wine included in, and connected with, God’s Word. We understand that all human reason is “not as wise as is the Divine Majesty in His little finger.” Jesus says, “This is my body. This is my blood.” And we know that he can never lie or deceive (Titus 1:2).
In the Large Catechism, Luther says, “Everyone who desires to be a Christian and go to this Sacrament should know” these three points: “What is it? What are its benefits? and Who is to receive it?” As we come together in “community” at the communion rail we all should be crystal clear on the three aspects of what the Sacrament of the Altar is!
Closed communion is often questioned. So while we will take time in the future to examine this Biblically, I would like to point out briefly why we do this; The Apostle Paul tells us that if we partake without knowing what we are doing and what it is we are receiving, we take it to our condemnation. We do not wish to see anyone injured by what we receive for blessing, so we restrict who may approach the altar to partake - just as the church has done since the time of the Apostles. It is not an act of judgment or condemnation, but of compassion.