The Due Administration and Right Receiving of the Sacraments Instituted by Christ, Pt. 1 of 2

                  The Elements of Public Worship Part VII

breadwine.jpgThe Due Administration and Right Receiving of the Sacraments Instituted by Christ

Pt. 1 of 2

Q92: What is a sacrament?

A92: A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.” – The Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 92

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you…” (1 Cor. 11:23)

During His earthly ministry The Lord Jesus Christ, instituted two Sacraments to be perpetually observed in the worship of the church until his return. These sacraments are Baptism (Matthew 28:19) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23). Each of these sacraments plays a vital role in the life and worship of the church.

Sacraments have two parts, the outward signs which we can see and touch, which are administered in our worship according to Christ’s instructions, and an inward spiritual grace which they point to. Like the preaching and the reading of the Word and prayer, the Sacraments are a means by which grace is conferred to those who receive them worthily. The grace thus received is not conveyed by any power in the elements themselves (the physical water, bread, and wine), but is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer who receives them in faith. The Sacraments are not merely memorials of the completed work of Christ, but rather a precious and powerful gift that God has given to strengthen and increase the faith of believers.

Baptism is the sign by which the person being baptized is solemnly admitted into the visible church. In that sense Baptism fulfills the role under the New Covenant that circumcision fulfilled under the Old, and consequently we see the Apostle Paul comparing baptism to circumcision in Colossians 2:11.

In our Baptism we have a visible sign that tells all the world that we have been admitted into the Covenant community. It is also a visible, or outward sign and seal of the inward spiritual changes that occur in believers; their union with Christ, their regeneration, their remission of sins, and their being given up to God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life.

We are to Baptize not only adult believers on their profession of faith, but also the children of believers in keeping with the promises of God regarding their salvation (Acts 2:38-39) and the practice of the Apostolic church. While Baptism is a means of grace, the power of Baptism is not necessarily tied to the moment in which it is administered, but rather the Holy Spirit will confer that grace at the time appointed by God. This means that while the children of believers thus Baptized may not be regenerate at the moment they are baptized, the grace that was exhibited in their baptism will certainly be conferred by the Holy Spirit when they come to faith.


About Andrew Webb

I was converted out of paganism and the occult in 1993 and while I was initially Charismatic/Arminian in my theology, I became Reformed and Presbyterian through bible study and the influence of ministries like RC Sproul's. After teaching in local bible studies, and taking seminary courses part time, I began to feel called to the ministry in 1997. I was Ordained as an RE at Christ Covenant PCA in Hatboro, PA in 2000 and as a TE by Central Carolina Presbytery in 2001 when I was called to be the Organizing Pastor/Church Planter for Providence PCA Mission, Cross Creek PCA's church plant in Fayetteville, NC (home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Airforce Base). In 2005 when the Providence PCA Particularized I was blessed to be called by the congregation to be their Pastor
This entry was posted in Baptism, Sacraments, The Means of Grace, Worship. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Due Administration and Right Receiving of the Sacraments Instituted by Christ, Pt. 1 of 2

  1. Pingback: Can Reformed Baptists Join Old School Presbyterian Churches? « Building Old School Churches

  2. Pingback: Building Old School Churches Blog – Can Reformed Baptists Join Old School Presbyterian Churches? « Pilgrimage to Geneva

  3. Pingback: Can Reformed Baptists Join Old School Presbyterian Churches? | Providence Presbyterian Church

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s