We believe, teach, and confess that not only the true believers in Christ and the worthy, but also the unworthy and unbelievers receive Christ's true body and blood. However, they do not receive them for life and consolation, but for judgment and condemnation, if they are not converted and do not repent (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
We believe, teach, and confess also that there is only one kind of unworthy guests: those who do not believe. About these guests it is written in John 3:18, "Whoever does not believe is condemned already." And this judgment becomes greater and more grievous, being aggravated by the unworthy use of the Holy Supper (1 Corinthians 11:29).
We believe, teach, and confess that no true believeróas long as he has living faith, however weak he may beóreceives the Holy Supper to his judgment. For the Supper was instituted especially for Christians weak in faith, yet repentant. It was instituted for their consolation and to strengthen their weak faith [Matthew 9:12; 11:5, 28].
We believe, teach, and confess that all the worthiness of guests of this heavenly feast is and is founded on Christ's most holy obedience and perfect merit alone. We receive these for ourselves by true faith, and by the Sacrament we are assured of them. Our worthiness is not at all in our virtues or preparations. (paragraphs 16, 18-20)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.