In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we begin our discussion on the sacraments (namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper). These questions give us the definition of a sacrament and discuss how the sacraments function as a means of grace for the believer. These particular questions below are not found in the Keach Catechism or The Baptist Catechism, but they will help to address and further clarify our discussion later on the baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The additional questions below are based on questions 161-164 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the questions below.
Q. 149: What is a sacrament?
A: A sacrament is a holy ordinance established by Christ in His church1 as a sign, seal, and outward display2 to those within the covenant of grace3 of the benefits they have from Christ’s mediation.4 It serves to strengthen and increase their faith and other graces in them.5 It obliges them to obey God6 and to witness to and cherish their love and fellowship with each other.7 Moreover, it distinguishes them from those outside the covenant.8
Q. 150: How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
A: The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not by any power in them or by any inherent potency coming from the devoutness or the intention of whoever administers them, but rather by the working of the Holy Spirit and the blessing of Christ, who established them.1
Q. 151: How many sacraments has Christ established in His Church under the New Testament?
A: Under the New Testament, Christ has established in the Church only two sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.1