Originally scheduled for May 14
Most evangelical Christians have never heard of Ignatius of
Antioch. He lived in the late first and early second centuries
(dates uncertain). A martyr for the faith as well as the
Bishop of Antioch, he is perhaps best known for his argument with
The Docetists — and there were many varieties of
these people, with varying belief schemes — all agreed that Jesus
did not have a physical body. He was some sort of spirit who
appeared to have a physical body. This belief system is rooted in
Greek philosophy of the time, and seems strange to Christians today.
Ignatius countered this idea with an argument structured around
· He argued
that the elements in communion are physically real, an undoubted
fact. We do not take imaginary communion.
He then argued that Christ himself told us that these elements are
his body (see Matthew 26:26-28). If the elements which make up
Christ’s body are real, Ignatius reasoned, then Christ’s body must
We too may gain by examining the fact that the elements
of communion are real. For if they are real, the suffering they
represent is also real. Christ really was nailed to that cross; he
bled and died, suffering for our sins. In this way He demonstrated
his real love for us. As you partake this morning, consider the
ultimate reality of communion: God in the flesh, Jesus of Nazareth,
bled and died for your sins out of his great love for us.