Along with faithful preaching of the Scriptures, the sacraments of Christ’s Church are key elements in the corporate worship of God’s covenant people. In Old Testament times, the chosen people of God were given a set of ordinances to keep as signs and seals to distinguish them as belonging to the Lord. These ordinances included circumcision and the Passover celebration. We believe these two Old Testament ordinances provide the New Testament Church a context for understanding the sacraments Christ gave us to observe.
The English and Scottish framers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism were keenly interested in expressing what the Bible had to say about the sacraments and to provide these timeless truths to young persons learning the faith. This is how they answered question number 92, “What is a sacrament?”
A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ; wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.
Based upon their careful searching of the Scriptures, they also determined that the Lord gave His Church two sacraments to observe. They wrote question number 93, “Which are the sacraments of the New Testament?” And their answer was, “The sacraments of the New Testament are, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.”
At Hope, a consistent element in our Lord’s Day services is the celebration of these ‘visible words,’ the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper instituted by our King and Saviour Jesus Christ. For more information concerning our beliefs about baptism or the Lord’s Supper, please click on these links: