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Fri, May. 19th, 2006, 11:22 am
guided_by_grace: Westminster Confession

I have an honest question to address to those well versed in this work so that I can better understand all this. Can you point me to scriptural support for the following highlighted passages, whether they be direct or applied? I understand that there might be reasons for purposes of avoiding apostasy, but I'm asking for a little more than that.
CHAPTER XXV - Of the Church.
II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children; and is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ; the house and family of God, through which men are ordinarily saved and union with which is essential to their best growth and service.


CHAPTER XXVII - Of the Sacraments.
III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments, rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it, but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution, which conatins, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.
IV. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the gospels, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord: neither or which may be dispensed by any but a minister of the Word, lawfully ordained.


CHAPTER XXVIII - Of Baptism.
II. The outward element to be used in the sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel, lawfully called thereunto.
III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person.
IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one or both believing parents are to be baptized.
V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it, or that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.
VI. The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinancy the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will, in his appointed time.


CHAPTER XXIX - Of the Lord's Supper.
III. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation.


x-posted

Fri, May. 19th, 2006 10:23 am (UTC)
kenotic

There's a WCF with scriptural proofs here . . .

http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/index.html

Fri, May. 19th, 2006 11:25 am (UTC)
guided_by_grace: *blinks* Now I'm more confused than ever!

Chapter XXV.II - out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. comes from ACT 2:47 (Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.)? How is that verse saying there is no ordinary possibility of salvation outside of the Church?


Chapter XXVII.III & IV - How do we get and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers & but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained. from MAT 28:19-20? Especially since the Great Commission is said to be for all believers, not just for a select group within the Church? And using Heb 5:4?! That was referring to Christ not any NT minister?

Chapter XXVIII.III - I guess I can see where they might get Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person from those passages in Hebrews. But it really seems like a stretch to me. During the baptisms in the Gospels and Acts which were performed in bodies of water it seems far more likely that they were submersions given the meaning of the word. And we certainly don't sprinkle the contents of the communion cup to receive the benefits of Christ's blood shed for us.

Chapter XXVIII.IV - Acts 2:38 seem to work more against infant baptism than for it since they are told to repent before being baptized. Infants aren't capable of repenting are they? And the passage in Luke that uses the word "infant" (brephos) was a passage dealing with humility, not baptism. The other thing I see is that the circumcision of Abraham was one that came after he displayed faith, not one from His infancy. His offspring after him were to be circumcized as infants, yes. But they are not our example, Abraham is. So again, I don't see the command to be for infant baptism.

Chapter XXIX.III - I still don't see how Christ giving thanks for bread and the wine shows that He appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use. In 1 Cor 11, Paul is telling the Corinthians what Christ did. No where does he claim that he himself nor any other minister blessed the bread for them and therefore made it holy, and neither do we see Christ instructing even the disciples to preform such blessings.

Fri, May. 19th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
davidould: Re: *blinks* Now I'm more confused than ever!

Chapter XXIX.III - I still don't see how Christ giving thanks for bread and the wine shows that He appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use. In 1 Cor 11, Paul is telling the Corinthians what Christ did. No where does he claim that he himself nor any other minister blessed the bread for them and therefore made it holy, and neither do we see Christ instructing even the disciples to preform such blessings.

The principal out here agrees with you. The main argument in favour of the WC position is Christ saying "do this in remembrance of me". The mainstream view has been that this is the ordinance. Others disagree.

Personally, I reckon the fact that the Corinthian church are clearly carrying on the act (albeit obviously different in a number of ways to the manner that most of us would) is good supporting evidence .

Tue, May. 23rd, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
etruth: Re: *blinks* Now I'm more confused than ever!

I've been told the phrase "do this in rememberance of me" can also be translated "do this to make me present." Is there any solid reasoning for this?

Tue, May. 23rd, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
davidould: Re: *blinks* Now I'm more confused than ever!

none that I can see. Sounds like an RC argument, the sort of thing they lift from another context and import into the words here.

Fri, May. 19th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
calvin777luther: XXV

In Chapter 25 when it says:

and is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ; the house and family of God, through which men are ordinarily saved and union with which is essential to their best growth and service.

The house and family of God is of the Kingdom of God and it is only through that kingdom that one can be saved. If you are outside of this kingdom you cannot be saved. I believe that this is all that is saying. I think that is very clearly stated through out scripture that it is only through Christ that one can be saved. Agree?

I will post on the others when time is available to do so.

Thu, Jun. 1st, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
charis_channah: Re: XXV

i agree; this is probably what the WCF means to say here. it seems to me that it IS through the church that men are ordinarily saved, as the visible church is the primary message-carrier by which the gospel is spread in communities where it can be found..... right?

Thu, Jun. 1st, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
charis_channah

as to baptism "not necessarily by immersion" but by sprinkling/pouring, i think the reference means to imply that in the old testament one was purified by sprinkling, so there is unity between the testaments in this symbol. (of course this understands baptism to represent the washing away of sin; whereas some people say it only represents the death and resurrection of Christ and our sharing in it; and some say it's both.)

the infant baptism argument is generally that when it says (usually in Acts) that somebody believed, like the philippian jailer for example, their whole household was baptized. are we to believe that the whole household believed because of the testimony of their family member? some say yes. others say probably not; that it was merely a sign, like circumcision, of a commitment to bringing up the household in the faith. do we see baptism as the visible promise of God's people to be "set apart" and their children, or as something a bit different - a believer's public testimony of faith? OT circumcision was kind of both, as jewish converts were circumcised after believing, yet 8-day-old babies were also circumcised. again it depends where you want to go with it.

as to the lord's supper/minister deal, i really don't know where they get that. haha. i read a c.s. lewis essay once in which he addressed the importance of the clergy as God's representative to man and man's representative to God. while i was sort of shocked at first (how very old testament/roman catholic!), it also kind of made sense the way he put it....... so while i don't agree with him on that point, i'm not sure it's totally heretical or denying priesthood of all believers.