The ordinances of the church
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THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH. Baptism. Lord’s Supper. THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH. I. An Overview of the Ordinances A. No One Baptist Theology 1. Anthony Cross 2. R. Wayne Stacey B. The Two Ordinances of the Church C. Definition of Ordinance

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THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

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The ordinances of the church

THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

Baptism

Lord’s Supper


The ordinances of the church1

THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

I. An Overview of the Ordinances

A. No One Baptist Theology

1. Anthony Cross

2. R. Wayne Stacey

B. The Two Ordinances of the Church

C. Definition of Ordinance

1. Henry Cook

2. A.S. Langley

3. “Sacrament”

D. Not Salvific

1. Difference from a sacramental view

2. A.T. Robertson

3. R. Wayne Stacey

4. G. Thomas Halbrooks


Anthony cross

Anthony Cross

“The present study has shown conclusively that there is no single Baptist theology or practice of baptism, only theologies and practices, and this diversity accords with Baptist ecclesiology which continues to tend towards independency . . . .”


R wayne stacey a baptist s theology note the emphasis in the title

R. Wayne StaceyA Baptist’s Theology(NOTE the emphasis in the title.)

“There is something uniquely Baptist about a theology in which individual Baptists, rather than just one Baptist, express their own diverse views, not attempting to speak for all Baptists in these matters—which no Baptist can” (vii).


Bill j leonard

Bill J. Leonard

Baptists in general affirm “Two sacraments/ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (some later include the washing of feet as a biblical mandate).”


The nine christian rites observed by sandy creek baptist christ

The nine Christian rites observed by Sandy Creek Baptist Christ

Baptism

Feet washing

Lord’s Supper

Laying on of hands

Anointing the sick

Love feasts (or communal meals)

Right hand of fellowship

Kiss of charity

Devotion to children


Anthony cross definitions of ordinances

Anthony CrossDefinitions of “Ordinances”

1. “’something commanded, something that has authority behind it, and Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, we believe, have come down to us from the Christ Himself.’” (from Henry Cook)

2. “A.S. Langley, however, defined ‘ordinance’ by what it was not. They were not sacraments because they did not ‘convey saving grace’, rather they were ‘symbols observed and preserved by the churches’ and of value ‘to those who observe them only as their meaning is discerned’”


Anthony cross on sacrament

Anthony Cross on “Sacrament”

Cross appears to conclude that usually it is used in the sense of being “’an outward and visible sign of an inward, spiritual grace.’”

“More often than not [Baptist] authors meant the same thing by either word [sacrament and ordinance].”


Ion bria

Ion Bria

“Baptism with water, or the sacrament of initiation or birth in Christ through immersion in water and the invocation of the Holy Trinity.”

“. . . [It] is the beginning of new life in Christ. Baptism is not given merely for justification or only for the forgiveness of hereditary sin but especially as regeneration, as the restoration of fallen humanity, as the recuperation of positive identity. . . . Through triple immersion negative humanity is destroyed”


Ludwig ott

Ludwig Ott

“Baptism is that Sacrament in which man being washed with water in the name of the Three Divine Persons is spiritually reborn. . . . Baptism, provided that the proper dispositions (Faith and sorrow for sin) are present, effects: a) eradication of sins, both original sin and, in the case of adults, also personal, mortal or venial sins; b) inner sanctification by the infusion of sanctifying grace”


A t robertson

A.T. Robertson

“’This is the one thing that Baptists stand for against the great mass of modern Christians. The Greek Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the High Church Episcopalians, and the Sacramental wing of the Disciples attach a redemptive value to one or both of the ordinances. It is just here that the term ‘Evangelical Christianity’ comes in to emphasize the spiritual side of religion independent of rite and ceremony.’”


R wayne stacey

R. Wayne Stacey

We must understand that “ a symbol without significance is meaningless at best, magic at worst . . . .”

He (and I) prefers the use of “sign” rather than“symbol” because “whereas a symbol can be arbitrary, a sign participates in the reality of that which it signifies.”

Further, speaking specifically of baptism, he says, “The act of being buried beneath the water and being raised from underneath the water is a sign of the very kind of death and life that conversion demands.”


G thomas halbrooks

G. Thomas Halbrooks

“Communion is more than a bare memorial that calls to remembrance somethingwhich happened long ago. It is a remembrance that draws the fullness of God’s past action in Christ into the present moment with power, so that believers experience anew God’s reconciling love.”

Further, “The bread and wine are far more than mere symbols. They are signs that point to Christ’s presence.”


The ordinances of the church2

THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

II. Historical View and Theology

A. The Emphasis on Believer’s Baptism

B. The General Baptists

1. Smyth in 1609

2. Helwys in 1611

C. The Particular Baptists

1. A note on baptizo

2. The turn to immersion

D. Later Sources

1. Baptist Distinctives and Diversities and Differences of Emphasis Among Baptists 1964

2. ABGTS Theological Principles


Affussion or pouring

Affussion or Pouring


R wayne stacey1

R. Wayne Stacey

The importance of baptism in Baptist life is addressed by Dr. Stacey: “. . . as such, baptism’s centrality in Baptist life is indicated by the fact that the immersion pool (baptistery) typically occupies the highest, central, most visible place in a Baptist church.”


John smyth 1609 the short confession of faith in xx articles

John Smyth, 1609The Short Confession of Faith in XX Articles

a. Article 12 affirms believer’s baptism: “That the church of Christ is a company of the faithful; baptized after confession of sin and of faith, endowed with the power of Christ.” The emphasis here is on defining the church.

b. Article 14 defines baptism and further affirms believer’s baptism: “That baptism is the external sign of the remission of sins, of dying and of being made alive, and therefore does not belong to infants.”

c. Article 15 explains the Supper: “That the Lord's Supper is the external sign of the communion of Christ, and of the faithful amongst themselves by faith and love.”


Thomas helwys 1611 a declaration of faith of english remaining at amsterdam in holland

Thomas Helwys, 1611 A Declaration of Faith of English Remaining at Amsterdam in Holland

a. Article 10 addresses believer’s baptism and the church: “That the church of CHRIST is a company of faithful people (1 Corinthians 1:2. Ephesians 1:1) separated from the world by the word &Spirit of GOD (2 Corinthians 6:17) being knit unto the LORD, &one unto another, by Baptism. (1 Corinthians 12:13). Upon their own confession of the faith (Acts 8:37) and sins. (Matthew 3:6).” Note again that the emphasis here is on defining the church.

  • Article 13 has the same subject: “That every Church is to receive in all their members by Baptism upon the Confession of their faith and sins wrought by the preaching of the Gospel, according to the primitive Institution, (Matthew 28:19) and practice, (Acts 2:41). And therefore Churches constituted after any other manner, or of any other persons are not according to CHRISTS Testament.”

    c. Article 15 is on the Supper: “That the LORDS Supper is the outward manifestation of the Spiritual communion between CHRIST and the faithful mutually (I Corinthians 10:16, 17) to declare his death until he come. (I Corinthians 11:26).”


Baptizo means to dip or to immerse

Baptizomeans “to dip,” or “to immerse”


The 1644 london confession of the particular baptists

The 1644 London Confession of the Particular Baptists

Article 33 speaks on baptism: “JESUS Christ hath here on earth a spiritual kingdom, which is His Church, whom He hath purchased and redeemed to Himself as a peculiar inheritance; which Church is a company of visible saints, called and separated from the world by the word and Spirit of God, to the visible profession of faith of the gospel, being baptized into that faith, and joined to the Lord, and each other, by mutual agreement in the practical enjoyment of the ordinances commanded by Christ their head and king.Matt.11:11; 2 Thess.1:1; 1 Cor.1:2; Eph.1:1; Rom.1:7; Acts 19:8,9,26:18; 2 Cor.6:17; Rev.18:4; Acts 2:37,10:37; Rom.10:10; Matt.18:19.20; Acts 2:42, 9:26;1 Pet.2:5.”

Article 39 is also on baptism: “BAPTlSM is an ordinance of the New Testament, given by Christ, to be dispensed upon persons professing faith, or that are made disciples; who upon profession of faith, ought to be baptized, and after to partake of the Lord's Supper.Matt.28:18,19; John 4:1; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:37.38, 8:36,37,etc.

Article 40 marks the shift to believer’s baptism by immersion: “THAT the way and manner of dispensing this ordinance, is dipping or plunging the body under water; it being a sign, must answer the things signified, which is, that interest the saints have in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ: And that as certainly as the body is buried under water, and risen again, so certainly shall the bodies of the saints be raised by the power of Christ, in the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ.Matt.3:16; Mark 15:9 reads (into Jordan) in Greek; John 3:23; Acts 8:38; Rev.1:5, 7:14; Heb.10:22; Rom.6:3,4,5.6; 1 Cor.15:28.29. The word baptizo signifies to dip or plunge (yet so as convenient garments be both upon the administrator and subject with all modesty).”


Baptist distinctives and diversities and differences of emphasis among baptists 1964 on baptism

Baptist Distinctives and Diversities and Differences of Emphasis Among Baptists, 1964 – On Baptism:

“Baptism by Immersion The ordinance of baptism is the act of entry into fellowship of the local church. Their study of the New Testament led Baptists to conclude that only immersion has Scriptural authority as a mode of baptism. The meaning of the originally-used Greek words, the contexts of Scriptural descriptions of the act, and the historic evidence of early church practice support this contention. The symbolism of baptism revealed in Scripture, which portrays death, burial and resurrection, has confirmed Baptists in their conviction that only immersion speaks clearly of the meaning of the ordinance.

Baptists also baptize none but believers. Since baptism is an outward expression of an inward experience, the former has no meaning apart from the latter. Thus, baptism of infants who are incapable of personal faith, mass baptism of peoples without due regard for their personal relationship to God, and baptism of the unconscious or dead have not been practiced.

Baptism is not viewed by Baptists as mediating in any way the saving grace of God to the individual. It is seen rather as one of the significant first acts of obedience to be performed by the individual who has experienced spiritual rebirth. In the waters of baptism, one thus reveals symbolically death to an old life and resurrection by God’s Spirit to a new life in Christ. This act is attended by God’s blessing upon the one who so confesses faith and also upon the community of believers who witness this profession.”


The ordinances of the church

Baptist Distinctives and Diversities and Differences of Emphasis Among Baptists, 1964 – On the Lord’s Supper:

“The Lord’s Supper The second ordinance administered by the church is that of the Lord’s Supper. While Baptists reject doctrines of transubstantiation and consubstantiation, they, nevertheless, find genuine spiritual renewal through the observance of this memorial feast. The memory of Christ’s sufferings and death brings to the believer the wholesome experience of self examination, repentance, a new-found sense of communion with God, a purposeful dedication to the divine will, and a new loyalty to the body of Christ.”


Abgts theological principles

ABGTSTheological Principles

“The church’s two ordinances are the baptism of believers by immersion and the Lord’s Supper.  They are symbolic expressions of the message of salvation.”


The ordinances of the church3

THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

III. Administration of the Ordinances

A. The Congregation

B. Church Officers

C. A Note on Congregational Autonomy and Diversity


Thomas helwys 1611 declaration of faith article 11

Thomas Helwys 1611 Declaration of Faith, Article 11

The congregation “may, and ought, when they are come together, to Pray, Prophecy, break bread, and administer in all the holy ordinances, although as yet they have no Officers, or that their Officers should be in Prison, sick, or by any other means hindered from the Church”


G thomas halbrooks1

G. Thomas Halbrooks

“Anyone who is designated by a body of believers can celebrate Communion. It is the prerogative of a body of believers to call forth one whom they believe to be appropriate to lead them in the celebration. . . . the congregation can celebrate it in any way they choose.”

“We are free to develop our own theological understanding in dialogue with other Baptists.”


The ordinances of the church4

THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

IV. Concluding Thoughts

A. On Baptism

1. Bill J. Leonard

2. R. Wayne Stacey

3. Walter B. Shurden

4. Rebaptism

5. Open or closed membership

B. On the Lord’s Supper

1. Laying on of hands

2. Open or closed communion

3. The presence of Christ in the elements


On baptism bill j leonard

On Baptism:Bill J. Leonard

In the 20thcentury baptism is

a. a biblical act identifying believers with Jesus and the Kingdom of God

b. a conversion act demonstrating the new birth and incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church

c. a churchly act marking the entry into the covenant community of a specific community, a sign of the covenant of grace in the life of the believer and the believing community

d. a dangerous and dissenting act that frees believers to challenge the power and principalities of church and culture

e. essential to Baptist identity so we should regularly examine our baptismal theology and practices


On baptism r wayne stacey

On Baptism:R. Wayne Stacey

“It is, by its very nature, an act of community.”

Further: “The act of being buried beneath the water and being raised from underneath the water is a sign of the very kind of death and life that conversion demands.”

Also, “It’s a powerful rite in which life and death, God and humanity, sin and grace meet in a cold, wet, cleansing bath.”

“In the act of baptizing we should,” says Stacey, “realize that in Christ we die daily and are raised again. Thus baptism is to be seen as the commencement into a life of faith.”


On baptism w alter b shurden

On Baptism:Walter B. Shurden

“Early Baptists found in Acts 8:17 and Hebrews 6:1-1, among other scriptures, biblical justification for laying on of hands on baptized believers. In his 1827 History of the General or Six Principle Baptists, Richard Knight held that ‘this rite’ was ‘of equal authority with baptism.’ Whether all Baptists considered it of equal authority with baptism is highly debatable, but it is not debatable that General Baptists,Calvinistic Baptists, and Separate Baptists at various time practiced ‘this rite,’”


The second london confession 1689

The Second London Confession1689

“We believe that laying on of hands, with prayer, upon baptised believers, as such, is an ordinance of Christ, and ought to be submitted unto by all such persons that are admitted to partake of the Lord's Supper, and that the end of this ordinance is not for the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, but for a farther reception of the Holy Spirit of promise, or for the addition of the graces of the Spirit, and the influences thereof; to confirm, strengthen, and comfort them in Christ Jesus, it being ratified and established by the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit in the primitive times, to abide in the church as meeting together on the first day of the week was, that being the day of worship, or Christian sabbath, under the Gospel, and as preaching the word was, and as baptism was, and prayer was, and singing psalms, etc. was, so this laying on of hands was, for as the whole Gospel was confirmed by signs and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost in general, so was every ordinance in like manner confirmed in particular.”


On baptism bill leonard on rebaptism

On Baptism:Bill Leonard on Rebaptism

Theologically multiple immersions are “highly problematic. Baptism is a sacred event, made especially holy because it is administered in the name of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Like a good Baptist, he leaves this up to the individual congregation, but stresses the necessity of “serious theological reflection” before proceeding.


On baptism open or closed membership

On Baptism:Open or Closed Membership


On the lord s supper laying on of hands

On the Lord’s Supper:Laying on of Hands

The Confession of the Philadelphia Association

1742

The laying on of hands “ought to be submitted unto by all such persons that are admitted to partake of the Lord’s Supper . . . .”


On the lord s supper open or closed communion

On the Lord’s Supper:Open or Closed Communion


On the lord s supper the presence of christ in the elements

On the Lord’s Supper:The Presence of Christ in the Elements

From the Second London Confession

“Worthy receiver, outwardly partaking of the visible Elements of this Ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally, and corporally, but spiritually receive and feed upon Christ crucified & all the benefits of his death: the Body and Blood of Christ, being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of Believers, in that Ordinance, as the Elements themselves are to their outward senses.”


On the lord s supper the presence of christ in the elements1

On the Lord’s Supper:The Presence of Christ in the Elements

From the Orthodox Creed

“The supper of the Lord Jesus, was instituted by him . . . for the perpetual remembrance, and showing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death: and for the confirmation of the faithful believers in all benefits of his death and resurrection, and spiritual nourishment and growth in him . . . The outward elements of bread and wine, after they are set apart by the hand of the minister, from common use, and blessed or consecrated by the word of God and prayer, the bread being broken, and wine poured forth, signify to the faithful, the body and blood of Christ, or holdeth fourth Christ, and him crucified.”


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