Baptism and the LORD's Supper

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Matthew 28:18-20; I Corinthians 11:23-32 (see below)

“We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (Acts 8:36-39), into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:44,45); to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:4); that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation (Acts 2:41,42); and to the LORD’S Supper; in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ (I Corinthians 11:26); preceded always by a solemn self-examination (I Corinthians 11:28).”

There are two ORDINANCES belonging to the LORD’S church.  They are BAPTISM with water, and the LORD’S SUPPER.  These are not man-made OR­DINANCES.  They did not originate with the Apostolic group after the ascension of our LORD.  Both came directly from the earth life of our LORD (John 1:33; Matthew 26:26-28).  The New Testament Epistles teach us how we are to keep these ORDINANCES.

­Both BAPTISM and THE LORD’S SUPPER picture the Gospel of Christ when they are observed in obedience to the New Testament.  We may notice that the word “sacrament” is not appropriate, because BAPTISM and THE LORD’S SUPPER do not have the power to make alive, or even to sustain life in Christ.  It is the Holy Spirit who gives life, and who sustains that life (John 7:37-39).  All of the Christian’s life, from here to eternity, is by grace through faith, not of works (Ephesians 2:5-l0).  BAPTISM and THE LORD’S SUPPER are memorials of our LORD, and pictures of the facts of the Gospel, and of our salvation in Christ Jesus.

WATER BAPTISM is commanded by our LORD and immediately practiced by the church in (Acts 2:38; 8:38; 9:18; etc).  A study of this prac­tice will show that only believers were BAPTIZED.  Baptism does not save.  It is neither a condition of salvation, nor of the remission of sins.  BAPTISM does not convey grace.  BAPTISM does picture salvation, and is the answer of a good conscience toward God. (I Peter 3:21).

Our LORD instituted His MEMORIAL SUPPER (Luke 22:19,20).  The teaching of Scripture as to meaning and observance is found in I Corinthians 11:17-34.  The “Passover lamb” in the Old Testament looked forward to “Christ our passover” (I Corinthians 5:7).  The LORD’S SUPPER looks back, in remembrance, to our Savior’s atoning death.  We celebrate THE SUPPER to “show forth the LORD’S death until He come” (I Corinthians 11:26).

The Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), is proclaimed to all nations for “the obedience of faith” (Romans 16:26).  The ORDINANCES -BAPTISM and THE LORD’ S SUPPER- are practiced to remember, and to picture the facts of the Gospel. BAPTISM testifies to the believer’s identification with Christ.  The CHURCH  “shows forth the LORD’S death” in gathering together around the MEMORIAL SUPPER OF TIE LORD.

- - - - The Scriptures below are referenced in the doctrinal statement - - - -

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1 Corinthians 11:23-32  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Acts 8:36-39  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (38) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. (39) And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Acts 10:44-45  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (45) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Acts 2:41-42  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

1 Corinthians 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

1 Corinthians 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

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