A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. The Gospel of Jesus was a mystery to the Old Testament Jews.
Jesus came from heaven to save us. God’s salvation planned includes non-Jews and this salvation is available as a gift received by faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 16: 25, 26 – Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith. (NIV)
The sacraments further celebrate the mystery and symbolize faith and obedience to Christ by His Body, the Church.
Ephesians 3: 3-13 – This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus…through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms…his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
- The gospel (good news): Gentiles are heirs with Jews
- The Body of Christ made possible in Christ
- The Church reveals this mystery
- Rulers & authorities in heavenly realms** (are amazed and watch God at work in and through the church)
- The eternal purpose: approach God with freedom & confidence
Col 1:24-27– 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles are: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Some church traditions also refer to marriage, child dedication, Tithes and offering, observing the Lord’s Day as ordinances. Two ordinances that are usually referenced are believer’s baptism and holy communion.
We believe that Baptism “is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus” .
Mt. 28:19 – “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
Acts 2: 37-41 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
We also believe that the Holy Communion is an act of remembrance and a celebration of this mystery revealed in Christ.
Mt. 26:26-28 – 26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the [b]new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Christ invites us…
- Baptism – an individual declaration of Christ, an invitation into the Body of Christ
- The Lord’s Supper – a community declaration of Christ, a re-alignment into the Body of Christ and a renewal of the purpose of God through the Church
Christ is revealed through…
- Our death to self, suffering and denial of self
- Our resurrected life, its authority and power and hope
If you have more questions about participating in this sacraments, please let us know.
God bless you!