Inward Invisible Grace
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Inward Invisible Grace 65

Body of Christ

St Augustine of HippoWhen we look closely enough, we find the Body of Christ beneath the surface of many seemingly mundane objects, such as water, bread, wine and a wooden cross. The term "Body of Christ" is used in two different senses in the New Testament. It may refer to Jesus' statement in Luke 22.19-20 at The Last Supper that "This is my body." It may also refer to the Christian Church as "The Body of Christ" as referenced by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. These "outward and visible signs of an inward invisible grace" are called sacraments. They may be different interpretations by various denominations and churches. St Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) who was a prominent early Christian theologian and philosopher, writes in Sermon 262, "Christians are to see in the many grains, ground by the prayers of exorcism, moistened by the waters of baptism, and now united in the one Eucharistic loaf, the image of themselves as the Body of Christ, the Church." This was Augustine's way of combining the various sacraments into one statement of belief.✞

New Testament Importance

Infant baptismThe sacramental Body of Christ in all its forms has immense importance for the New Testament church. At the beginning of the Twenty First Century, it is a porthole into God's being, and a bringer of divine grace the undeserved gift of God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. These sacramental models, when rediscovered, will provide what we now call "The Church" with a rich and inspirational understanding of the Mystical Body without leading us into superstitions and heresies.✞

"Inward Invisible Grace"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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