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New City Catechism - Question 43
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Posted by Ed Fedor, Associate Pastor


New City Catechism - Question 43


Q40: What are the sacraments or ordinances?

A: The sacraments or ordinances given by God and instituted by Christ, namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are visible signs and seals that we are bound together as a community of faith by his death and resurrection. By our use of them the Holy Spirit more fully declares and seals the promises of the gospel to us.


Kids' Answer: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.



Romans 6:4

"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." 


Additional Scriptures to Read:

Matthew 26:17-29 and 28:18-20



Our Lord, Jesus Christ, gave his disciples (and us), two very important practices that should be observed by every believer. One ordinance, baptism, is to be done once in the believer’s life, and the other, the Lord’s Supper, should be done regularly.


These two practices are called ordinances because they were ordained or commanded by Jesus to be practiced, not only in Jesus’ day, but until Jesus’ returns. Some religious traditions include these two practices in a list of so-called “sacraments.” They call them sacraments because they believe they are a special means of sustaining and empowering grace in the believer’s life. For much of the Protestant community, we prefer not to call them sacraments, because they are principally symbolic pictures of powerful spiritual realities. These ordinances are a great blessing to the believer, for sure, and they should be observed by every born-again follower of Christ.


BAPTISM: In Matthew 28:19, known as the Great Commission, Jesus told his disciples, “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.” It is clear from this verse that baptism is an ordinance to be observed only by those who are disciples. Disciples are those who have trusted in Christ for their salvation and are therefore now followers of Christ. Baptism by immersion in the presence of witnesses publically testifies and symbolizes our union with Christ in his death and resurrection. Baptism is not to be done for infants; according to this verse and others (Acts 2:38, 8:12, 9:17-18), baptism always follows belief.


THE LORD’S SUPPER: Before Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, he celebrated the annual Passover meal with his disciples in the upper room (Matt. 26:17-29). At this meal, Jesus repurposed this supper. Rather than remembering God’s deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt, he told his disciples that, from now on, the breaking of bread and drinking of the cup was to symbolize the body and blood of Jesus that was sacrificed “for the forgiveness of sins” (v. 28) – to deliver believers from the bondage and penalty of sin. And they should share in the bread and the cup regularly to soberly, but joyfully, remember Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection for their salvation.




We believe that the Lord's Supper and Water Baptism by immersion are ordinances to be observed by the church during this present age.  They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.  (Mt. 28:191 Cor. 11:23-26)


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