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Page 360



 

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, 10, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

-Matthew 28:18-20

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread:

And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.

After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come.

-I Corinthians 11:23-26

 

In the Reformation, the Protestant churches returned to the belief that there are only two scripturally-based sacraments -baptism and the Lord's Supper. This belief is founded upon the following reasons. To be a sacrament, it must:

    1. Be instituted by Christ

    2. Be a visible sign of invisible grace

    3. Be a seal of the gospel promise and faithfulness of God

    4. Be based upon a perpetual command of Christ to do this in remembrance of Him or in His Name

Only New Testament baptism and the Lord's Supper meet these four criteria.

God's sacraments can be overvalued, undervalued, or incorrectly viewed. Some major examples of these errors would include:

    1. The Roman Catholic view that the sacraments actually give grace and become necessary for salvation.

    2. The Lutheran position that the signified grace comes with, in, and under the sacramental signs.

    3. The Zwinglian belief that the sacraments are only signs but not seals of God's gospel grace. To Zwingli, the sacraments were only visible memorials of Christ's work; there was no special spiritual presence or sealing power of the Spirit associated with the sacraments.

    4. The Mennonite/Baptist belief that places the personal word and confession of the person on the foreground rather than the Word and promise of the covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. The spiritual testimony of the individual is examined by the consistory before he may be baptized and consequently attend the Lord's Supper. Faith in the person's confession and a walking by sight becomes the central focus rather than faith in a Covenant-God's confession and a walking by faith. The person's word of testimony overshadows God's Word of promise.


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