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The Larger Catechism Ė Questions 161-170



Q. 161. How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?

A. The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not by any power in themselves, or any virtue derived from the piety or intention of him by whom they are administered, but only by the working of the Holy Ghost, and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituteda.


a 1 Pet.3:21; Acts 8:13 compared with verse 23; 1 Cor.3:6,7; 1 Cor.12:13



Q. 162. What is a sacrament?

A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his churcha, to signify, seal, and exhibitb unto those that are within the covenant of gracec, the benefits of his mediationd; to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other gracese; to oblige them to obediencef; to testify and cherish their love and communion one with anotherg; and to distinguish them from those that are withouth.


a Gen.17:7,10; Exod.12; Matt.28:19; Matt.26:26-28 b Rom.4:11; 1 Cor.11:24,25 c Rom.15:8; Exod.12:48 d Acts 2:38; 1 Cor.10:16 e Rom.4:11; Gal.3:27 f Rom.6:3,4; 1 Cor.10:21 g Eph.4:2-5; 1 Cor.12:13 h Eph.2:11,12; Gen.34:14



Q. 163. What are the parts of a sacrament?

A. The parts of a sacrament are two; the one an outward and sensible sign, used according to Christ's own appointment; the other an inward and spiritual grace thereby signifieda.


a Matt.3:11; 1 Pet.3:21; Rom.2:28,29



Q. 164. How many sacraments hath Christ instituted in his church under the New Testament?

A. Under the New Testament Christ hath instituted in his church only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's suppera.


a Matt.28:19; 1 Cor.11:20,23; Matt.26:26-28



Q. 165. What is Baptism?

A. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghosta, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himselfb, of remission of sins by his bloodc, and regeneration by his Spiritd; of adoptione, and resurrection unto everlasting lifef; and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible churchg, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord'sh.


a Matt.28:19 b Gal.3:27 c Mark.1:4; Rev.1:5 d Tit.3:5; Eph.5:26 e Gal.3:26,27 f 1 Cor.15:29; Rom.6:5 g 1 Cor.12:13 h Rom.6:4



Q. 166. Unto whom is baptism to be administered?

A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, and so strangers from the covenant of promise, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to hima, but infants descending from parents, either both, or but one of them, professing faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are in that respect within the covenant, and to be baptizedb.


a Acts 8:36,37; Acts 2:38 b Gen.17:7,9 compared with Gal.3:9,14 and with Col.2:11,12 and with Acts 2:38 ,39 and with Rom.4:11,12; 1 Cor.7:14; Matt.28:19; Luke 18:15,16; Rom.11:16



Q. 167. How is our baptism to be improved by us ?

A. The needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it to othersa; by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it, and of the ends for which Christ instituted it, the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby, and our solemn vow made thereinb; by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagementsc; by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacramentd; by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of gracee; and by endeavouring to live by faithf, to have our conversation in holiness and righteousnessg, as those that have therein given up their names to Christh; and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one bodyi.


a Col.2:11,12; Rom.6:4,6,11 b Rom.6:3-5 c 1 Cor.1:11-13; Rom.6:2,3 d Rom.4:11,12; 1 Pet.3:21 e Rom.6:3-5 f Gal.3:26,27 g Rom.6:22 h Acts 2:38 i 1 Cor.12:13,25-27



Q. 168. What is the Lord's supper?

A. The Lord's supper is a sacrament of the New Testamenta, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, his death is shewed forth; and they that worthily communicate feed upon his body and blood, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in graceb; have their union and communion with him confirmedc; testify and renew their thankfulnessd, and engagement to Gode, and their mutual love and fellowship each with other, as members of the same mystical bodyf.


a Luke 22:20 b Matt.26:26-28; 1 Cor.11:23-26 c 1 Cor.10:16 d 1 Cor.11:24 e 1 Cor.10:14-16,21 f 1 Cor.10:17



Q. 169. How hath Christ appointed bread and wine to be given and received in the sacrament of the Lord's supper?

A. Christ hath appointed the ministers of his word, in the administration of this sacrament of the Lord's supper, to set apart the bread and wine from common use, by the word of institution, thanksgiving, and prayer; to take and break the bread, and to give both the bread and the wine to the communicants: who are, by the same appointment, to take and eat the bread, and to drink the wine, in thankful remembrance that the body of Christ was broken and given, and his blood shed, for thema.


a 1 Cor.11:23,24; Matt.26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19,20



Q. 170. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord's supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?

A. As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord's suppera, and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward sensesb; so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a spiritual manner; yet truly and reallyc, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his deathd.


a Acts 3:21 b Matt.26:26,28 c 1 Cor.11:24-29 d 1 Cor.10:16



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