WCOF on the Sacraments, the Lord’s Supper and Baptism

Chapter XXVII – Of the Sacraments.

  1. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace,(1) immediately instituted by God,(2) to represent Christ, and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him:(3) as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church, and the rest of the world;(4) and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word.(5)
  • Ro 4:11; Ge 17:7,10; see the refs. for section 2 below.
  • Mt 28:19; 1Co 11:23
  • 1Co 10:16; 1Co 11:25,26; Gal 3:27; Gal 3:17
  • Ro 15:8; Ex 12:48; Ge 34:14
  • Ro 6:3,4; 1Co 10:16
  1. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.(1)
    • Ge 17:10; Mt 26:27,28; Tit 3:5
  • The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it:(1) but upon the work of the Spirit,(2) and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.(3)
    • Ro 2:28,29; 1Pe 3:21
    • Mt 3:11; 1Co 12:13
    • Mt 26:27,28; Mt 28:19,20
  1. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.(1)
    • Mt 28:19; 1Co 11:20,23; 1Co 4:1; Heb 5:4
  1. The sacraments of the old testament, in regard of the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new.(1)
    • 1Co 10:1-4

Chapter XXVIII – Of Baptism.

  1. Baptism is a sacrament of the new testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,(1) not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church;(2) but also, to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,(3) of his ingrafting into Christ,(4) of regeneration,(5) of remission of sins,(6) and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life.(7) Which sacrament is, by Christ’s own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.(8)
  • Mt 28:19
  • 1Co 12:13
  • Ro 4:11 with Col 2:11,12
  • Gal 3:27; Ro 6:5
  • Tit 3:5
  • Mk 1:4
  • Ro 6:3,4
  • Mt 28:19,20
  1. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto.(1)
    • Mt 3:11; Jn 1:33; Mt 28:19,20
  • Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.(1)
    • Heb 9:10,19,20,21,22; Ac 2:41; Ac 16:33; Mk 7:4
  1. Not only those that do actually profess faith in the obedience unto Christ,(1) but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.(2)
    • Mk 16:15,16; Ac 8:37,38
    • Ge 17:7,9 with Gal 3:9,14 and Col 2:11,12; and Ac 2:38,39; and Ro 4:11,12; 1Co 7:14; Mt 28:19; Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15
  1. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,(1) yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated or saved, without it;(2) or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.(3)
    • Lk 7:30 with Ex 4:24-26
    • Ro 4:11; Ac 10:2,4,22,31,45,47
    • Ac 8:13,23
  1. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;(1) yet, not withstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time.(2)
    • Jn 3:5,8
    • Gal 3:27; Tit 3:5; Eph 5:25,26; Ac 2:38,41
  • The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.(1)
    • Tit 3:5

Chapter XXIX – Of the Lord’s Supper.

  1. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of His body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in His Church, unto the end of the world for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death, the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other, as members of His mystical body.(1)
  • 1Co 11:23-26; 1Co 10:16,17,21; 1Co 12:13
  1. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; not any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead;(1) but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same,(2) so that the popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect.(3)
  • Heb 9:22,25,26,28
  • 1Co 11:24,25,26; Mt 26:26,27
  • Heb 7:23,24,27; Heb 10:11,12,14,18
  • The Lord Jesus hath, in his ordinance, appointed His ministers to declare His word of institution to the people; to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break bread, to take the cup and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants;(1) but to none who are not then present in the congregation.(2)
    • Mt 26:26,27,28 and Mk 14:22-24 and Lk 22:19,20 with 1Co 11:23-26
    • Ac 20:7; 1Co 11:20
  1. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other, alone,(1) as likewise, the denial of the cup to the people,(2) worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about, for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.(3)
  • 1Co 10:6
  • Mk 14:23; 1Co 11:25-29
  • Mt 15:9
  1. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to Him crucified, as that, truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ;(1) albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.(2)
    • Mt 26:26-28
    • 1Co 11:26,27,28; Mt 26:29
  1. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense, and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions; yea, of gross idolatries.(1)
  • Ac 3:21 with 1Co 11:24-26; Lk 24:6
  • Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements, in this sacrament,(1) do then also, inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally but spiritually, receive, and feed upon, Christ crucified, and all benefits of His death: the body and blood of Christ being then, not corporally or carnally, in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.(2)
    • 1Co 11:28
    • 1Co 10:16
  • Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament; yet, they receive not the thing signified thereby; but, by their unworthy coming thereunto, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore, all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Him, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries,(1) or be admitted thereunto.(2)
    • 1Co 11:27,28,29; 2Co 6:14-16
    • 1Co 5:6,7,13; 2Th 3:6,14,15; Mt 7:6
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One Response to WCOF on the Sacraments, the Lord’s Supper and Baptism

  1. θ says:

    Foot Washing was rejected by the Reformed Christian because it is of the Jewish rite of purification (Exod 40:31) that makes the cross wasted in vain, beside it has nothing to do with Jesus’ death or blood, but just the water and action.
    Jn 13
    10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

    Foot Washing is an obligation that shows the irony in the Reformed Movement. It bluntly shows the Sola Scriptura forced them to contradict the Sola Fide, even worse to confirm the works-based forgiveness per 1 Tim 5:10.
    1Tim 5:10
    Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the Saints’ Feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

    Foot Washing is “rediscovered” or “restored” by Protestants in revivals of the work-based purification in which the participants tried to re-create the supremacy of the works over the Faith and the renewal of practices of the Apostolic Era which they had abandoned or lost.

    Certainly the rite of Foot Washing was rejected by both Martin Luther and John Calvin.
    Luther showed his hostility to the rite because it resembled a Papal ceremony and his hatred of the lower classes in the Peasant Wars of 1525,
    Cyclopedia, vol. III, p. 616
    We have nothing to do with feet-washing with water, otherwise it is not only the feet of the twelve, but those of everybody we should wash. People would be much more benefited if a general bath were at once ordered, and the whole body washed. If you wish to wash your neighbor’s feet, see that your heart is really humble, and help every one in becoming better.

    Calvin also loathed the Foot Washing because for him it is a symbol of the worse mockery of the eleven disciples of Jesus, even as a display of buffoonery.
    John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospel According to John, vol. ii
    But what is far worse: after having washed the feet of twelve men, they subject every member of Christ to cruel torture, and thus spit in Christ’s face. This display of buffoonery, therefore, is nothing else than a shameful mockery of Christ. At all events, Christ does not here enjoin an annual ceremony, but bids us be ready, throughout our whole life, to wash the feet of our brethren and neighbors.

    Many Reformed Christians belittled the rite of Foot Washing to be just personal gesture of the Semitic hospitality of the day of old rather than the serious act of purification. In fact, it is a commandment:
    John 13
    14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

    – Jesus washed the disciples’ feet after having the meal, not upon an entrance (as in hospitality tradition).
    – Jesus washed them as their teacher, not by another household servant as in Semitic tradition. A host would provide the water and one servant to wash the feet of the guests.
    – Jesus participates of washing himself by laying aside his garment and girding, per John 13:4. In the Semitic customs, the host or the servant doesn’t do that.
    – Jesus obviously says in John 13:10 the washing of the feet truly *cleans* every whit of the eleven disciples, so not simply as the teacher’s humility. Hence, the rite actually has nothing to do with hospitality of Jesus. It really functions to clean every whit.

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