The Means of Grace
- What is to be understood by the means of grace?
Means which the Holy Spirit employs to apply to us the salvation which God has prepared in Christ.
- Which are the means of grace?
The preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments.
- How is the preaching of the word a means of grace?
By means of the preaching, the elect are called to faith and spiritually nourished so that they grow in the grace of God. Romans 10:17; I Peter 2:2.
- What are the sacraments?
They are visible signs and seals of the covenant of grace instituted by God for the church, by which the faith of the elect is strengthened. Genesis 17:7; Colossians 2:11-12.
- How are the sacraments means of grace?
They signify and seal the righteousness which is in Christ.
- How many sacraments did God institute for the church of the New Dispensation?
Two: Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
- How is Holy Baptism a sign?
The sprinkling of the water signifies the washing away of our sins through the blood of our Savior. I Peter 3:21.
- How is the Lord's Supper a sign?
The broken bread and the wine poured out signify the broken body and shed blood of Christ by which we are spiritually nourished and fed. I Corinthians 11:26.
- What do the sacraments seal?
That the believer by faith is righteous before God in Christ.
- Are the sacraments grace for all who receive them?
No, but only for such as receive them by a true and living faith.
- Read the doctrinal section of our Baptism Form and answer the following questions:
- What according to the Form does Baptism signify?
- What is our "part" of the covenant?
- Read the Form for the Administration of the Lord's Supper. What does the true examination of ourselves consist in?
- What were the two typical sacraments in the Old Testament?
- Look up I Corinthians 5:7 and Colossians 2:11-12 and explain how the sacraments in the New Testament took the place of those in the Old.
- How many sacraments do the Roman Catholics have?