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SACRAMENTS. SACRAMENTS: DEFINITION. “Sacrament” is derived from Latin sacramentum Used of a military oath of allegiance

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sacraments definition
SACRAMENTS: DEFINITION
  • “Sacrament” is derived from Latin sacramentum
    • Used of a military oath of allegiance
    • “The word, which was first used by Tertullian, is connected with sacrare or consecrare, and the term means a legally valid and permanent removal of a person or thing from the sphere of human law to that of divine law.” M. Schmaus, Dogma 5, The Church asSacrament, 27.
  • Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, then, are the “military badges and signs of allegiance” to Christ
  • Sacramentum is Latin translation Greek musthrion, mysterion, which we transliterate as “mystery,” a mystery, unknown until revealed.

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SACRAMENTS: DEFINITION
  • Augustine defined sacrament:
    • An “outward sign of an inward (or invisible) grace.”
    • Or, a sacrament is a “visible word.”
  • Donald Bloesch defines sacraments as
    • “the visible Word or the visible form of the Word. Yet . . . there can be no sacrament apart from the proclaimed and read word of Scripture. The sacrament is a supplement to the Word but not a substitute for it. While the sacraments are supremely helpful in the application of the fruits of our salvation, the Word alone is indispensable for salvation. There is no fullness of the Church without the sacrament, but there can be true fellowships of believers apart from the sacraments.” Evangelical Theology, 2:89.

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SACRAMENTS: DEFINITION
  • The Larger Catechism, answering Q. #162, gives the following definition: “A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church, to signify, seal, and exhibit unto those that are within the covenant of grace, the benefits of his mediation; to strengthen and increase their faith and all other graces; to oblige them to obedience; to testify and cherish their love and communion one with another; and to distinguish them from those that are without.”
  • See also WCF 27; S.C. # 92.

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sacraments vs ordinances
SACRAMENTS vs ORDINANCES
  • Not everyone is satisfied with the term “sacrament.”
  • Many evangelicals, particularly those with Baptistic leanings, prefer to use the language of “ordinances.”
    • The Baptist View affirms that there are two ordinances, Baptism and Communion.
    • This term is preferred to sacrament. “Since it (baptism) was ordained by him (Jesus), it is properly understood as an ordinance rather than a sacrament. It does not produce any spiritual change in the one baptized.” M. Erickson, Christian Theology, 1096.

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sacraments roman catholic
SACRAMENTS: ROMAN CATHOLIC
  • Expands the two sacraments of Scripture into a total of seven (7) sacraments
    • Baptism
    • Eucharist
    • Confirmation
    • Penance
    • Matrimony
    • Holy Orders
    • Anointing of the Sick (formerly, Extreme Unction) Denzinger, Enchirdion Symbolorum, 1601.

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SACRAMENTS: ROMAN CATHOLIC
  • In Roman Catholic thinking, the sacraments contain the grace that they signify
    • Traditionally, ex opere operato, “by the work performed”
    • As long as the priest has the correct authority and intention, the sacrament produces its effect
    • Roman Catholic theologian, Michael Schmaus, notes that “sacrament can be understood as the real symbolic manifestation, the historical and social-physical expression, of grace. . . . The sacraments achieve their effect through the act of signifying: Significando efficiunt quod significant.” Dogma 5, 33-34.

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sacraments lutheran
SACRAMENTS: LUTHERAN
  • There are Two Sacraments, Baptism and Lord’s Supper (although the Augsburg Confession allows for confession as a third sacrament).
  • There is an inherent efficacy to the sacraments, although they hold to the necessity of faith in the recipient for grace to accomplish that which is promised.

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sacraments reformed
SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • Sacraments are signs and seals of the covenant of grace,
    • Rom. 4:11, “He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well”
    • Gen. 9:12,13, “And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. ”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • Gen. 17:7, “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. . . .This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • Sacraments are immediately instituted by God to represent Christ and his benefits
    • Matt. 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
    • I Cor. 11:23, “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • Sacraments are immediately instituted by God to to confirm our interest in Christ
    • I Cor. 10:16, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”
    • I Cor. 11:25-6, “In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. ”
    • Gal. 3:27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. ”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • There is no automatic application of Grace; instead, faith on the part of the recipient is required (in the case of adults), S.C. Q. 91
    • Acts 2:38, “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
    • 1 Corinthians 11:28-29, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • There is the promise of benefit to worthy recipients, i. e., not living in deliberate sin
    • Matt. 26:27-8, “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”
    • I Cor. 11: 28, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”
    • John 6:53-4, “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • There is a close spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between symbol and the thing signified
    • Rom. 6:3,4, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.”
    • I Cor. 10:16,21, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? . . . You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. ”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • There is a close spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between symbol and the thing signified
    • Titus 3:5, “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
    • I Peter 3:21, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

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SACRAMENTS: REFORMED
  • There is no virtue in the sacrament itself (ex opere operato): S.C. Q. 91, A- “The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his spirit in them that by faith receive them.”

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