"The offering of Christ once made is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of masses in the which it was commonly said that the priests did offer Christ for the quick and the dead and to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." Scripture support: Acts 4:12, 5:8, 8:34; Galatians 2:16, 3:2-3, 11; II Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:23-27, 9:11-15, 24-28, 10:14.
This article, Article XX, was established in 1553. It then bore the title "Of Perfect Oblation of Christ." The last clause of the article then read "pain of sin" instead of "pain of guilt."
It does not seem to be based on any earlier Article but some of the wording does appear in the draft of an Article prepared by Cranmer for a conference of Anglicans and Lutherans which met in 1538, but it was not actually accepted at that time.
The object of the Article is to restate the completeness and perfection of Christs atonement and condemns current false theories of the Eucharistic sacrifice. We should look at the article under two headings. We shall study the sufficiency of the sacrifice of the Cross. Then we shall look at the reasons why the "sacrifices of the Mass" is condemned as being in error with the Scriptures.
A.The Sufficiency of the Cross
"The offering of Christ once made is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone."
The doctrine of the Atonement is only here introduced in order to assert emphatically the ground on which the "sacrifices of Masses" are condemned. The language is very similar to that used in the opening prayer of consecration for the Communion. It reads: 'Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of Thy tender mercy didst give Thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there (by His oblation of Himself once offered), a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world..."
This is in complete harmony with the teaching of the epistle to the Hebrews in chapters 7:26-27; 9:11-14; 9:24-28 and 10:10-14.
These passages are absolutely conclusive in stating the perfection and completeness of the sacrifice once offered on Calvary. The language of the Article is entirely covered by them. If this be true, it must be admitted, that it completely destroys any notion that in the "Eucharist" there can be any sacrifice supplemental or additional to the sacrifice made "once for all" on the Cross. The Eucharistic sacrifice, even in its highest aspects, must be put in one line, not with what Christ did once for all on the Cross, but with what He is continually doing in heaven. As present in heaven and sacramentally present in the Eucharist of "the Cup," the Lamb of God exhibits Himself to the Father and pleads the Atonement as a once finished act, but ever living in operation. In neither case does He repeat it or add to it.
B. The Condemnation of The Mass
"The sacrifice of Masses, in which it was commonly said, that the priests did offer Christ for the quick and the dead." The Reformation Fathers declared that this reoffering of Christ for the remission of the pain or guilt of sin was a blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit.
Desperate attempts have been made to deny this, but other statements justify the above conclusion.
The Roman and Greek Church declare that Christ instituted the Mass as an oblation for daily sins, both mortal and venial.
The confession of Augsburg declares such to be a grave error and declares that Christs death on Calvary, once for all, was a perfect satisfaction for all sins of the world, past, present, future. It also states that it is sufficient for both original sin and actual sin.
The words of the Hebrew epistle are sufficient to deny the doctrine of the Mass in which Christ dies again and again for sin. Hebrews 7:27 states: "Who needeth not daily, like those hi priests, to offer up sacrifices for His own sins, and then for the sins of His people: for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself." And again in Hebrews 9:24-28 "Nor yet that He should offer Himself often--but now once at the end of the ages---." So Christ also, having been once offered..." It is again so clearly stated in Hebrews 10:10-14, "the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.. .by one offering He hath perfected forever...
Once for all, oh sinner receive it.
Once for all, oh brother believe it,
Christ bath redeemed us,
Once for all.