Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Lesson #93—Instituted by Christ

Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 6:06
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Lesson #93Instituted by Christ

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Shorter Catechism Q & A #93

Q. Which are the sacraments of the New Testament?

A. The sacraments of the New Testament are, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.

Memorize Q&A—Exposition

The sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are outward blessings by which we draw near to Christ in fellowship and thanksgiving. John Calvin, in his Institutes, wrote that Christ “has appointed pastors and teachers, by whose lips he might edify his people (Eph. 4:11); he has invested them with authority, and, in short, omitted nothing that might conduce to holy consent in the faith, and to right order. In particular, he has instituted sacraments, which we feel by experience to be most useful helps in fostering and confirming our faith. For seeing we are shut up in the prison of the body, and have not yet attained to the rank of angels, God, in accommodation to our capacity, has in his admirable providence provided a method by which, though widely separated, we might still draw near to him.”

What does it mean?

Discuss the meaning of:

  • “Baptism”—Matt. 28:19
  • “Lord’s Supper”—Matt. 26:26-28

What is our practice?

Our approach to the sacraments reveals our desire to be obedient to the commands and precepts of the Lord according to his Word. Study, self-examination, and walking in the way of our Lord develop within us, by the Spirit, a maturity and moral life which gives glory to our Creator and Redeemer.

Quotes for thought and discussion:

Francis R. Beattie wrote in his The Presbyterian Standards that a “factor in the sacraments is the spiritual grace signified by the signs. In baptism, … the grace in question is the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, by which we are united to Christ, and made partakers of his benefits. In the Lord’s Supper, the sufferings and death of Christ, together with all that these provide for us in regard to salvation and advance in the spiritual life, constitute the spiritual grace in this case. The latter is Christ’s work for us; the former is the Spirit’s work in us. Both are necessary to our salvation, and both are set forth in the sacraments. “It may be added here that the sacraments of the Old Testament, which were circumcision and the passover, are, in regard to the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, for substance, the same with those of the New. The only difference is in regard to the nature of the signs used. The covenant is one, the mediator is one, and the spiritual grace is one and the same in both dispensations, for the church of God is one throughout all ages.”

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