Of The Sacraments

25  Lord's Day

Question  65
Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all His benefits
by faith only, whence does this faith proceed?

A. From the Holy Ghost,  who works faith(1) in our hearts
by the preaching of the gospel, and confirms it by the use of the sacraments.(2)

(1) Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not   of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Eph 6:23  Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philip.1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.

(2) Matt 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Rom 4:11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.

Additional Questions:

1. What is asked here? 
It asks who works saving faith.

2. Can we ourselves, our parents, or another person work this faith?
No, for faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

3. Who then works this faith? 
The Holy Ghost. "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost" (1 Corinthians 12:3).

4. By what means does the Holy Ghost work this faith in the heart?
By the preaching of the gospel.

5. What is here meant by the gospel?  
The entire Word of God. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).

6. Does the Holy Ghost only work faith?  
No, He also strengthens faith by the Word and the use of the sacraments.

Question  66
What are the sacraments?

A. The sacraments are holy visible signs and seals, appointed of God for this end, that by the use thereof He may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the gospel, namely, that He grants us freely the remission of sin and life eternal for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross.(1)

(1) Gen 17:11  And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you.
Rom 4:11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.
Lev 6:25  Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.
Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Matt 26:28  For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Additional Questions:

1. What are sacraments? 
Signs and seals of Godís grace.

2. What does the answer tell us regarding the sacraments?  That they are holy, visible, and appointed of God.

3. Why did the Lord give the sacraments to His church? 
That by the use of them the promise of the gospel might be more fully declared and sealed.

4. In what does the promise of the gospel consist?  
That He, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross, freely grants the remission of sin and life eternal.

Question  67
Are both Word and sacraments, then, ordained and appointed for this end, that they may direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation?(1)

A. Yes, indeed, for the Holy Ghost teaches us in the gospel, and assures us by the sacraments, that the whole of our salvation depends upon that one sacrifice of Christ which He offered for us on the cross.

(1) Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Additional Questions:

1. Mention certain things in which Word and sacraments are distinguished.

a. The Word is audible; the sacraments are visible;
b. The Word works and strengthens faith; the sacraments only strengthen it;
c. The Word is indispensable for salvation; the sacraments are not.

2. In what aspects are they similar?  
Both are given by God, both direct us to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation.

3. May the Word and the sacraments be separated from each other? 
No, for the Holy Ghost teaches by the Word and assures by the sacraments.

Question  68
How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant,   or testament?

A. Two, namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.(1)

(1) 1 Cor 10:2  And all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1 Cor 10:3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1 Cor 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Additional Questions:

1. What are the sacraments of the Old Testament?   Circumcision and the Passover.

2. Which are the sacraments of the New Testament?  
Holy baptism and the holy supper.

3. When was the holy supper instituted?  
In the night when Jesus was betrayed.

4. When was holy baptism instituted?  
Shortly before Christís ascension: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).

5. What is the similarity of the sacraments of the Old and New Testaments? 
They both direct to the one sacrifice of Christ.

6. What distinction is there between them?  
Those of the Old Testament were bloody, and those of the New Testament were not.