Q43: What are the sacraments or ordinances?
A: The sacraments or ordinances given by God and instituted by Christ, namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are visible signs and seals that are bound together as a community of faith by his death and resurrection. By our use of them the Holy Spirit more fully declares and seals the promises of the gospel to us.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4
“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘this cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” – Luke 22:19-22
Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
We all use reminders at some point in our day, whether it’s the alarm that wakes us up in the morning, a daily planner, an accountability partner, or a sticky note on the fridge. If you are someone who never needs to use reminders, please come find me and tell me what your secret is!
God desires relationship with us. He proved this by sending Jesus to die on the cross in our place so that He could have relationship with us. He created baptism and the Lord’s Supper as reminders of this relationship with Him. Baptism is a one-time step of obedience to proclaim we have a relationship with God, and the Lord’s Supper is a continual remembrance of what Jesus did so that we could enjoy fellowship with God. To reject participation in these things as a believer, is to reject ways in which God is trying to help us remember Him and His love for us.
Luke 22:18-20 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
We are made for community. Baptism & the Lord’s Supper are things that we do in community. Baptism is a public expression of your faith. The Lord’s Supper is also enjoyed in community with other believers as a sign of remembrance. We ought to live these things out and encourage others in the faith to walk in obedience to these things.
Acts 2:46-47 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
Simply put, we should do them. God has given them to us and instructed us to do it, so we should be obedient.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”