The Ordinances of the Church
We may define an ordinance as an outward rite appointed by Christ to be administered in the Church as a visible sign of the saving truth of the Christian faith. – Henry Thiessen in Lectures in Systematic Theology
The New Testament prescribes two ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Definition: baptisma (N), baptizo (V)
AV - baptism 22; 22
1) immersion, submersion
1c) of Christian baptism; a rite of immersion in water as commanded by Christ, by which one after confessing his sinsand professing his faith in Christ, having been born again by the Holy Spirit unto a new life, identifies publicly with the fellowship of Christ and the church.
Transliterated from the Greek, not translated.
Four Essentials of Proper Baptism
Candidate for Baptism must be saved.
Scripture Acts 8:35-38, Acts 2:41
Infant baptism is not Biblically valid. It began as a heresy that said since baptism was necessary for salvation, then babies must be baptized or they could not be saved if they died young.
Proper Mode or Method
Candidate must be immersed only
It fits the definition: To immerse
It fits the symbolism: Baptism represents the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Scripture Romans 6:4, Acts 8:38, Matthew 3:6, 3:16
Candidate must have the proper reason
Baptism is to show the gospel of Jesus Christ 1 Cor 15:3-4
To show our own death, burial and resurrection in Jesus Christ Rom 6:4
To show our identification with Jesus Christ Rom 6:5
To follow Christ example Matt 3:15
To obey Christ Matt 28:19-20
For Salvation Acts 16:30-32, Luke 23:39-43, 1 Cor. 1:17
To wash away sin(s) 1 Peter 3:21
Candidate must be baptized by the proper authority
Great Commision was to the local church Matt 28:19-20
Paul baptized by the authority of a local church Acts 13:2-3
Phillip commissioned by local church Acts 6:5-6
Four Essentials of the Lord's Supper
A candidate for the Lord’s supper must be a member of the local church, under the authority of that local church
Scripture 1Cor 5:11, 11:20-22, 33
Proper Mode or Method
Grape juice (fruit of the vine) and unleavened bread.
Scripture: Luke 22:17-18, Exodus 12:15
A symbolic memorial, there is no saving merit imparted.
The local church in assembly
Scripture 1Corinthians 11:20-33
The nation of Israel had 7 feasts which would remind them of their history, the heritage and their God. Jesus left the church two ordinances for the same purpose.
Each time we see a baptism it reminds us of our own death, burial and resurrection and of the gospel of Jesus is pictured for all to see.
At the Lord’s Table we memorialize the day Jesus shed His blood and His body was broken for us.
In these ordinances we see our history, heritage and Savior. They define us and hold us to the truths that make us the Lord’s Church.