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Ordinances — Not Sacraments

I was asked recently why I use the word “ordinance” instead of “sacrament,” when referring to Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. I responded, “Because Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances (commands) of Christ given to his Church, by which we both confess faith in him and remember him, not sacraments by which we receive grace from him.” The word “sacrament” is a papist term commonly retained by Protestants still drinking the wine of Babylon. A sacrament is thought to be a means by which grace is conferred upon, brought to, and received by the one who receives it, an outward sign of inward grace.

We do not practice sacramental, works religion! We who worship God in Spirit and in Truth observe the blessed ordinance of Believer’s Baptism, by which we confess our faith in Christ and our consecration to him, being buried in the watery grave and rising to walk in newness of life. We eat the bread and wine of the Lord’s Table in remembrance of him who loved us and gave himself for us, standing upon the tiptoe of faith, watching for his return.




Don Fortner








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