Westminster Confession, week 44

November 1, 2014

Chapter 27: Of the Sacraments

1: Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace,[510]immediately instituted by God,[511] to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him:[512] as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world;[513] and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word.[514]

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 effects of the one are attributed to the other.[515]

3: The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither does the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that does administer it:[516] but upon the work of the Spirit,[517] and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.[518]

4: There are 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.[519]

5: The sacraments of the Old Testament in regard to the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new.[520]

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