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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 40

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 40

Q & A 161
Q How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
A The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not by any power in themselves, or any virtue derived from the piety or intention of him by whom they are administered, but only by the working of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituted.

Q & A 162
Q What is a sacrament?
A A sacrament is a 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.

Q & A 163
Q What are the parts of a sacrament?
A The parts of a sacrament are two; the one an outward and sensible sign, used according to Christ’s own appointment; the other an inward and spiritual grace thereby signified.

Q & A 164
Q How many sacraments has Christ instituted in his church under the New Testament?
A Under the New Testament Christ has instituted in his church only two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Q & A 176
Q Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper agree?
A The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper agree, in that the author of both is God; the spiritual part of both is Christ and his benefits; both are seals of the same covenant, are to be dispensed by ministers of the gospel, and by none other; and to be continued in the church of Christ until his second coming.

Q & A 177
Q Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper differ?
A The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper differ, in that Baptism is to be administered but once, with water, to be a sign and seal of our regeneration and ingrafting into Christ, and that even to infants; whereas the Lord’s Supper is to be administered often, in the elements of bread and wine, to represent and exhibit Christ as spiritual nourishment to the soul, and to confirm our continuance and growth in him, and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves.


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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 42

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 42

Q & A 96
Q What is the Lord’s Supper?
A The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth;1 and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.2

Q & A 97
Q What is required for the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
A It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.*3

*1 Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
*2 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.
*3 1 Corinthians 11:27-32.


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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 41

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 41

Q & A 94
Q What is baptism?
A Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,1 does signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.2

Q & A 95
Q To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him;3 but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.4

*1 Matthew 28:19.
*2 Acts 2:38-42; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27; 1 Peter 3:21.
*3 Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12, 36, 38; Acts 18:8.
*4 Genesis 17:7; Genesis 17:9-11; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 16:32-33; Colossians 2:11-12.


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Kevin DeYoung’s Brief Defense Of Christian Baptism

A winsome and succinct summary of why some professing Christians apply the covenant sign of baptism to their children from Kevin DeYoung.
His conclusion:

…we come to administer the sacrament of baptism to this child today with the weight of church history to encourage us and the example of redemptive history to confirm our practice. We baptize in obedience to Christ’s command. The sacrament we are about to administer is a sign of inclusion in the covenant community as circumcision was, and the water we are about to sprinkle is a sign of cleansing from sin as the sprinkled blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament was. We pray that this little one will take advantage of all his covenant privileges, acknowledge his Lord all the days of his life, and by faith make these promises his own.
Read the whole piece here.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 27

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 27

72.
Q. Does merely the outward washing with water itself wash away?
A. No; for only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins.

73.
Q. Then why does the Holy Spirit call baptism the water of rebirth and the washing away of sins?
A. God does not speak in this way except for a strong reason. Not only does he teach us by Baptism that just as the dirt of the body is taken away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Christ; but more important still, by the divine pledge and sign he wishes to assure us that we are just as truly washed from our sins spiritually as our bodies are washed with water.

74.
Q. Are infants also to be baptized?
A. Yes, because they, as well as their parents, are included in the covenant and belong to the people of God. Since both redemption from sin through the blood of Christ and the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit are promised to these children no less than to their parents, infants are also by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, to be incorporated into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers. This was done in the Old Covenant by circumcision. In the New Covenant baptism has been instituted to take its place.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 26

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 26

69.
Q. How does holy Baptism remind and assure you that the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross avails for you?
A. In this way: Christ instituted this external washing with water and by it has promised that I am as certainly washed with his blood and Spirit from the uncleanness of my soul and from all my sins, as I am washed externally with water which is used to remove the dirt from my body.

70.
Q. What does it mean to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
A. It means to have the forgiveness of sins from God, through grace, for the sake of Christ’s blood which he shed for us in his sacrifice of the cross, and also to be renewed by the Holy Spirit and sanctified as members of Christ, so that we may more and more die unto sin and live in a consecrated and blameless way.

71.
Q. Where has Christ promised that we are as certainly washed with his blood and Spirit as with the water of baptism?
A. In the institution of Baptism which runs thus: “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.” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned.” This promise is also repeated where the Scriptures call baptism “the water of rebirth” and the washing away of sins.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 25

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 25

65.
Q. Since, then, faith alone makes us share in Christ and all his benefits, where does such faith originate?
A. The Holy Spirit creates it in our hearts by the preaching of the holy gospel, and confirms it by the use of the holy Sacraments.

66.
Q. What are the Sacraments?
A. They are visible, holy signs and seals instituted by God in order that by their use he may the more fully disclose and seal to us the promise of the gospel, namely, that because of the one sacrifice of Christ accomplished on the cross he graciously grants us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

67.
Q. Are both the Word and the Sacraments designed to direct our faith to the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?
A. Yes, indeed, for the Holy Spirit teaches in the gospel and confirms by the holy Sacraments that our whole salvation is rooted in the one sacrifice of Christ offered for us on the cross.

68.
Q. How many Sacrament has Christ instituted in the New Testament?
A. Two, holy baptism and the holy Supper.