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Chapter 27: Of the Sacraments

The 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith

1. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace,a immediately instituted by God,b to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him:c as also to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world;d and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his Word.e

a. Gen 17:7, 10; Rom 4:11. • b. Mat 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23. • c. 1 Cor 10:16; 11:25-26; Gal 3:27. • d. Gen 34:14; Exod 12:48; Rom 15:8. • e. Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 10:16, 21.

2. 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 the effects of the one are attributed to the other.a

a. Gen 17:10; Mat 26:27-28; Titus 3:5.

3. 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,a but upon the work of the Spirit,b and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.c

a. Rom 2:28-29; 1 Pet 3:21. • b. Mat 3:11; 1 Cor 12:13. • c. Mat 26:27-28.

4. 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.a

a. Mat 28:19-20, 19; 1 Cor 4:1; 11:20, 23; Heb 5:4.

5. 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.a

a. 1 Cor 10:1-4.


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