Friday, October 14, 2016

"Are Presbyterians Being Short-changed?"

Since the fifteenth century, Roman Catholics have celebrated seven sacraments in their tradition. Aligned with many other Protestant churches, Presbyterians celebrate only two sacraments, Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

Are Presbyterians being short-changed?

Presbyterians believe that Jesus gave Baptism and The Lord’s Supper as gifts to the Church for the enhancement of the faith. Access to the sacraments should be without any hindrance. For us in the Protestant tradition, that means a sacrament must have been introduced by Jesus and must be available to all.

The Great Commission of Matthew 28 includes Baptism in the Trinitarian formula; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Matthew 26 and 1 Corinthians 10 and 11 urge the followers of Jesus to eat and drink a commemorative meal for Christ’s death.

In Baptism, believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are brought into the community of faith. In The Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion), the faith community is nourished. It is also a powerful reminder that we all live under the shadow of the cross.

These two sacraments are for all believers as Jesus taught. Presbyterians regularly participate in these two sacraments. We do so with a sense of thanksgiving. Why?  Because we believe the Son of God invites us through them to identify with the Savior. What a privilege!


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