Heidelberg Catechism & Zacharias Ursinus Q. 72. Is then the external baptism with water, the washing away of sin itself?Answer. Not at all, for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost, cleanse us from all sin. “The same division which we made when speaking of the sacraments in general, is also true… Read More Spiritual vs. Water Baptism: A Reformed Distinction?
William PerkinsReformed Catholic, Works VII, pp. 134-138Of the Efficacy of the Sacraments I. Our Consent Conclusion 1. We teach and believe that the sacraments are signs to represent Christ with His benefits unto us. Conclusion 2. We teach further, that the sacraments are indeed instruments whereby God offers and gives the foresaid benefits unto us.… Read More The Efficacy of the Sacraments | William Perkins
Consensus Tigurinus, or the Consensus of Zürich, was written by John Calvin and Heinrich Bullinger as a response to the renewed opposition that Martin Luther had made to the Reformed understanding of the Sacraments. These 26 articles on Reformed Sacramentology were presented by both of them to Zürich and Geneva as a Reformed consensus, and they were adopted by both churches.… Read More The Consensus of Zürich on the Sacraments
In the Nicene Creed (AD 381), the universal church confesses that we believe in “one baptism for the remission of sins.” This language comes directly from several Scripture texts: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins [εἰς ἄφεσιν… Read More Does Baptism Remit Sins?
Communion wafers are inappropriate for the Lord’s Supper, rather, ordinary bread is the proper element for the sacrament. Herman Witsius wrote, “we can by no means approve of the small round things, made of meal, commonly called hosts or wafers, such as now the Romish church is pleased to make use of.” Similarly, John Willison… Read More Why Wafers are Inappropriate for Communion
The parts of a Sacrament are of two sorts, some outward, open, sensible, earthly, visible, and signifying—some are inward, hidden, spiritual, heavenly, invisible, and signified. The outward is applied to the body, the inward is applied to the soul and conscience. This division and distinction of parts appeareth plainly, “He is not a Jew which is one outward, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one within, and the circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter” (Rom. 2:28-29).… Read More The Nature of a Sacrament: Partly Outward and Partly Inward.
A Sacrament is a visible sign and seal ordained of God, whereby Christ and all his saving graces by certain outward rites are signified, exhibited, and sealed up unto us. There is more in the Sacraments than is seen with the eyes, or felt with the hands: and therefore we must not conceive unreverently of them, nor come negligently unto them, making them mere carnal and outward things: but we must think reverently, speak soberly, receive humbly and penitently these holy mysteries.… Read More What Is A Sacrament?
The Word of God may fitly be resembled to writings and evidences: and the Sacraments to seals, which the Lord alone sets to his own letters. They are as a visible sermon preaching unto us most lively the promises of God: that as the Word we hear doth edify and instruct the mind by the outward ears, so doth the Sacraments by the eyes and other senses… The Word may be without the Sacraments, but the Sacraments cannot be without the Word, as a writing may be without a seal, but not the seal without the writing. Set a seal to a blank, and is it not vain, void, and unprofitable?… Read More Word and Sacrament: Agreements & Differences
There is one party holding opinions on the subject admitting of various modifications, but agreeing in this, that they ascribe a high spiritual efficacy to the Sacraments apart from the faith or spiritual act of the receiver. By this party, the views of the Sacraments already stated are regarded as defective in the way of ascribing to Sacraments a less virtue than really belongs to them.… Read More Defective Views of the Sacraments: Inherent & Independent Virtue
There is one party who deny the grand and characteristic distinction between sacramental and other ordinances already enunciated, and hold that the Sacraments have no virtue except as badges of a Christian profession, and signs of spiritual truth. By this party, the views of the Sacraments already stated by me are held to be erroneous in the way of attributing to them a greater virtue than actually belongs to them.… Read More Defective Views of the Sacraments: Bare Memorialism