About the Holy Sacraments

 

 

  1. What is a sacrament?

A sacrament is a ceremony established by Christ that shows us the meaning of the New Covenant.

  • Christ established the sacraments to signify the New Covenant (1 Corinthians 11:23)
  • Explain to the child that God uses sacraments as a visual symbol to teach us about the meaning of the Christian Faith.

 

  1. What are the sacraments of the New Covenant?

The sacraments of the New Covenant are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

  • The New Covenant sacraments are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19, 1 Corinthians 11:20 and 26)
  • Have you ever seen someone baptized?
  • What was most interesting about watching someone be baptized?

 

  1. How does baptism represent our union with Christ and our commitment to Him?

In baptism a person is immersed in water showing that he has been buried with Christ and has died to sin, and then he comes up out of the water showing that He has been risen with Christ to live a new and holy life for God.

  • Baptism signifies dying with Christ to sin and living with Christ to God (Romans 6:3-4)
  • Tell the child about when and why you chose to be baptized.

 

  1. Who can be baptized?

Baptism is only for those who have repented of their sins and trusted in Christ for salvation.

  • One must repent and believe to be baptized (Acts 2:38 and 8:37)
  • Talk with the child about their salvation. Discuss their sin and the judgment of God. Tell them that Jesus died for them and rose again to give them a new life. And tell them that they must turn from their sins and trust in what Christ has done.

 

  1. How does the Lord’s Supper show the sacrificial death of Christ?

In the Lord’s Supper the bread is broken representing the body of Christ that was broken for us on the cross, and the wine represents the blood of Christ that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins.

  • The bread and wine signify the broken body of Christ and the poured out blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)
  • Have you ever seen people eat the Lord’s Supper?
  • What was most interesting about watching people eat the Lord’s Supper?

 

  1. What does the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine in the Lord’s Supper represent?

When people share in the Lord’s Supper they show that they trust in the sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and commit to take up their cross and follow Him.

  • When people eat the bread and drink the wine they are declaring their faith in, and commitment to, Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)
  • Tell the child why the Lord’s Supper is important to you. And explain how you prepare your heart before eating.

 

  1. Who can partake of the Lord’s Supper?

Only those who have repented, believed and been baptized can share in the Lord’s Supper.

  • Only those who have been baptized can share the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42)
  • Once again share with the child the need to be born again. Describe how Jesus’ body was broken during His crucifixion. Explain that since He died for them, they should live for Him.

6 Responses to “About the Holy Sacraments”

  1. Jack Hanley

    You say,

    Let’s assume that synergism is true for a moment. If synergism is true, then the logic of monergism, if believed, could cause much destruction. If synergism is true, then monergism would be a dangerous error.

    I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. However you go on to state,

    Now let’s imagine that monergism is true. If this is the case, then the teaching of synergism cannot harm anyone.

    I certainly beg to differ with you here. You seem to assume, the only important thing is salvation. In other words, as long as people are saved, then that’s all that matters. Please allow me to give just a couple of quotes form Charles Finney.

    “There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else. When mankind becomes truly religious, they are not enabled to put forth exertions which they were unable before to put forth. They only exert powers which they had before, in a different way, and use them for the glory of God.” From this he concludes,

    “A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means—as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means.”

    Now I wholeheartedly disagree with this as I hope you do as well. I will agree with Finney, that nothing in (religion), is beyond ordinary means, however we are not talking religion here, rather we are talking about the Christian Faith. Hopefully, we agree that the Christian Faith, is beyond ordinary means.

    My point here is, Finney’s theology has had a tremendous adverse effect on the church at large. The emphasis, is on us and what we do, as opposed to what God has done, and continues to do. I believe this causes many churches to focus the preaching,and teaching on us, and what we should be doing for God, rather than the focus being on what God has done and continues to do for us. This, I believe, causes us to preach morality, as opposed to the gospel. We as believers, (i.e. the elect) need to continue to hear the gospel, even after the new birth, I believe the gospel is what sustains us. If we only preach morality, we may be successful, in having good moral people in hell, such as the Pharisees. The church will then be filled with Pharisees, that we allow to infiltrate the church. The believers (i.e. elect) will then, only hear what they need to be doing for God, as opposed to what God has done for them, and even though they may be elect, they may starve to death spiritually.

    This has been my experience, here in the south (the so called bible belt), where the emphasis is on what I need to do. So then, when I am weak and heavy laden, I am told what I need to do, instead of leaning on Christ, and what He has done, so that I may have rest for my weary soul. So then when you say,

    If this is the case, then the teaching of synergism cannot harm anyone.

    If you are only talking about salvation, then I would agree, however, what of those of us who are elect, who are starving to death spiritually, on a continual diet of what we need to do? Could synergism, be causing us harm? I believe it can and has in my case.

    With the mind set of Finney the overwhelming majority, of churches in my area, preach the gospel of, you can do it if you try, if you do the right thing, if you live right, if you stay away from sin, if you love God with all your heart. The question I have is, what happens when I realize, that I am not doing the right thing? What happens when I realize that I am not living right? What happens when I realize that I am not a sinner, because I sin, rather I sin because, I am a sinner. Am I just to try to do better? Am I to trust in my ability to keep my promise? Or am I to depend on the, One and, Only true Promise Keeper? In other words. do I depend on my promise to God, (which I have demonstrated over and over that, I am not a promise keeper), or do I depend on God which is the Only Promise Keeper?

    Over the past 15 years I have searched for a church in my area that was God centered as opposed to man centered. I have failed in doing so, until about three weeks ago. It is a long story, but thanks be to God, I believe I have found one within walking distance, in my own neighborhood. As I said it is a long story, but there are people driving over an hour to this church that I can now walk to. The reason they drive this far, is because of the fact, otherwise they would have to hear the gospel of self.

    Just look at the many churches today, that are filled with Finney theology.

    Reply
    • Christopher C. Chapman

      “If this is the case, then the teaching of synergism cannot harm anyone.

      If you are only talking about salvation, then I would agree…”

      Yes, I mean the teaching of synergism has never caused one soul to go to hell, nor ever will, if monergism is true.

      Gbu!

      Sent from my iPod

      Reply
  2. Blog post: Relax, Synergism Cant Hurt Anyone. - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums

    […] Relax, Synergism Can’t Hurt AnyoneFebruary 5, 2013 Recently I have been thinking about a strange phenomenon I have noticed the last year as I have studied, and engaged in discussions about, Calvinism. My goal in this post is not to point fingers at anyone, especially those who are not guilty of what I will present here. But it is inevitable that the errors I point out will apply to some people reading this blog, and I would like them to feel the rebuke and correction. Not so that I can be right and they wrong, but so that they can be more consistent in their beliefs and more Christian in their behavior. Monergism: Those that believe in monergism believe that before someone is regenerated (born again) they can by no means believe in the Gospel or repent of their sins. And once one is regenerated they can by no means resist believing or repenting. Nothing that men do can bring about regeneration. It is the work of God alone. He doesn’t regenerate someone because they meet any conditions (e.g. repentance, faith) but because of his sovereign choice alone. This doctrine is very closely related to the Reformed doctrine of unconditional election, and even more closely related to the doctrine of irresistible grace. Monergism means that God alone brings about regeneration, and man is completely passive. Man does not actively receive the Gospel until he has already been born again. After that the individual will irresistibly receive the message of truth. Synergism: Those who hold to synergism also believe that regeneration (new birth) is the work of God alone. Only God can give his Spirit, and only the Spirit can apply the resurrection life of Jesus Christ to an individual. There is nothing a person can do to force God’s hand or obligate him to regenerate his soul. But they do believe that God has decreed certain conditions that must be met before God will give him the new life that is found in Christ. Those conditions are faith and repentance (Mark 1:15). God has promised that those who meet those relational conditions will be received by his grace and given new life in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. So though a person cannot give himself the new birth, he does have a role to play. Christ has purchased salvation for Adam’s race, and he has sent his Church and his Spirit to invite everyone to this feast of salvation, but he demands people receive this message in faith and with repentance. If one refuses to repent and believe God will refuse to allow him entrance into the kingdom of God. I’m sure theologically minded readers from both camps (monergist and synergist) can find something wrong with my summary of their position. Theologically minded people seem to be some of the most difficult people in the world to satisfy But for better or for worse, I have done my best to accurately present their views. Those of you that have read some of my other posts should be aware that I fall firmly in the synergist camp. But my goal today is not to prove which one is biblically correct. After all people from both camps agree that the Bible is absolutely clear about which one is the correct view. Instead I want to point out the practical ramifications of each position. Particularly I want to address a condescending zeal that I have seen too often manifest to remain silent about. Not all monergists are overly agressive; and for sure, not all of us synergists are as meek as we should be. But there is a trend among some Calvinists that I would like to challenge by appealing to the monergist position. Hypothetical Situation #1 Let’s assume that synergism is true for a moment. I understand this is painful for some of you, but just go with me on this. If synergism is true, then the logic of monergism, if believed, could cause much destruction. If synergism is true, then monergism would be a dangerous error. It would imply that a non-elect soul does not have the ability to repent and believe even when the Gospel is preached and the Holy Spirit is present to convict and persuade souls to faith and repentance. Some people would assume they are not elect and would thus conclude that there is no use trying to repent and believe. They could (and many have) conclude that if God has chosen them he will convert them without their involvement. Though this would represent the hyper-Calvinist position more than the moderate Calvinist view, we are not talking about what the proponents of monergism believe. We are talking about the way that unsaved people could perceive monergism and be led astray. And though some would say that monergism is not preached to sinners, just the message of the Cross and the command to repent, nevertheless, the secret is sure to get out one way or another. Also, though one says this is a misunderstanding of the moderate Calvinist position, one who is honest must admit that it is a valid and logical conclusion of their position. After all, don’t monergists believe that if one is not elect they cannot repent or believe, and if they are elect, they cannot help but believe and repent once God regenerates their heart? So let’s not quibble about philosophical distinctions. Let’s stick with the basic facts. IF (I understand that is a big “if” for some of us) synergism is true, then monergism would be a dangerous error that would lead many to feel that there salvation in no sense depends on their choices. Because of this line of thought, those who sincerely hold that synergism is true believe monergism is a dangerous teaching in the Body of Christ. It makes sense (if one is willing to see it from their perspective) why they would denounce monergism and do all they can to convince people it is erroneous. If they love people they could do nothing else. To stay silent about such a (remember we are speaking hypothetically for those that cannot receive it in any other way) dangerous and deceptive error would be to let deadly poison spread through the Body of Christ and lead to many souls being lost for eternity. I hope my monergist brethren (and sistern can see why synergists cannot stay silent. This does not mean synergists are to be given a license to be belligerent and rude, but it does mean that if they are loving they must speak out. Hypothetical Situation #2 Now let’s imagine that monergism is true. I hear the synergists groaning and the monergists saying emphatically, “It IS true!” If monergism is true then every soul that God has destined to be saved will indeed be saved. Nothing can stop his sovereign power. If he wants them to be saved they will be. And if he has chosen to pass people by, there is nothing that anyone can do to change his mind. Jacob will be saved and Esau will be lost, and that is that. If this is the case, then the teaching of synergism cannot harm anyone. If someone is to be saved, and God will certainly bring it to pass, then the error of a person playing any role in his eternal destiny is not only absurd it is also harmless. If monergism is true not one elect soul has ever been, or ever will be, lost because of the erroneous teaching of synergism. If monergism is true, synergism might be error, but it is by no means dangerous. The monergist must admit that synergism never hurt anyone. The last couple months on Twitter I have watched a group of Calvinists aggressively hound non-Calvinists. By no means am I referring to all or even most Calvinists on Twitter. I am referring to isolated individuals who have forgotten to be humble and gracious with their brothers and sisters in Christ; individuals who by no means represent their theological camp as a whole. The thing is I cannot understand their zeal. They say that they are defending the truth. That is all well and good, but their defense of the truth often becomes overly aggressive. And every discussion becomes a debate in which triumph is seemingly the main goal. I can only conclude this happens because they are defending truth, but not doing so in love. Of course that makes sense. Love for people can play no part in their zeal since their doctrine is that not one elect soul can be lost by any form of error. I know they can respond with “God ordaining means as well as ends” and all of that philosophical stuff, but I’m just simply too dumb to understand all of that. They profess to know that people cannot be lost no matter what they defend or allow to be propagated in the Body of Christ; so in my simple-mindedness I cannot believe that they are being so belligerent out of their love for people. Out of love for the truth, this I can imagine. But out of love for people, I just don’t see how. Some would argue and say, “People cannot be harmed by error, but error diminishes the glory of God. So such zeal manifests a love for the glory of God.” Hold your horses there good buddy! God’s glory is eternal and nothing can diminish it. The clouds might hide the sun for a brief moment, but the sun’s radiance is not diminished one bit. “Yes, but I mean that people won’t be able to see his glory. Error hides God’s glory just as the clouds hide the sun’s rays.” But according to my theology every knee will eventually confess and give glory to God, so his glory is only hidden for a season from the eyes of men, but not diminished. Furthermore, from my theological perspective God will cause all things ultimately, both good and evil, to work out for his glory. He will turn what was meant for evil into good. But forget my theology for a moment, according to divine determinism (compatibilism) God was the one who put the clouds (i.e. theological error) in their place. And this was done ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD! So in my perspective God’s glory cannot be diminished one iota, but from a Calvinist perspective the case is even stronger. God doesn’t need any crusaders to go around defending his honor; he is more than capable of protecting his good name. One need only consider the glory he received from Pharaoh to see my point. I can understand passionate zeal that arises out of compassion and seeks to protect the flock of God. Sometimes whips need to be made, tables need to be turned and the temple needs to be cleared out! But I cannot condone a condescending & overly aggressive zeal for the sake of truth alone. On one hand, smugness has no place among God’s people. On the other, truth without love is worthless to those who proclaim it, even if it benefits those who hear it. For if I understand and can proclaim all mysteries, have zeal enough to give my body to the flames, and yet have not love, I am useless! Conclusion So what is my point? The first is that Christians should always be loving, even when, especially when, fighting for the truth. Jesus turned over tables because he was upset with the injustice done to the God-fearing Gentiles who had no place to pray in the house of prayer for all nations. His zeal came out of his love for God who desired all nations to come to him and out of his love for those nations who needed God. Jesus called the Pharisees white-washed tombs, hypocrites and snakes, for the purpose of converting them to eternal life (Matthew 23, John 5:34). Not only did he speak so violently against them in love, but he even prayed for them to be forgiven while he was hanging on the Cross. Jesus was not zealous for truth alone, he was zealous for truth because he loved people and desired them to be saved. He was zealous for the truth because he loved the God who loves all men and desires them to come to the knowledge of truth. He turned over tables because he loved! Secondly, if my reader counts himself/herself as a believer in monergism, please recognize that the “error” of synergism can’t hurt any of the elect, and it certainly cannot hurt the One who elected them! Take comfort in the fact that everything has been sovereignly decided. If you believe God has commanded you to speak the truth and confront error in spite of the fact that it makes no eternal difference, do so with the peace of one who knows God will cause his perfect plan to take place no matter what. Don’t be overwhelmed with burden as though losing a theological debate will cause God’s kingdom to fall apart. This anxiety can only lead to frustration that manifests itself in a condescending attitude and unnecessarily aggressive behavior. And if you believe that God is the one that opens people’s eyes to “the doctrines of grace” there is no need to be frustrated with other Christians who are still blinded to these truths. Remember, if they haven’t seen the glories of Reformed theology that is God’s will. There is no reason to berate them because they haven’t received the insight you have. Instead deal with them gently, lovingly, and yes, even humbly, knowing that those who are given much, from them much will be required. James 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. Lovingly, Chris A Disciple's TheologyChristopher C. Chapman's Practical Theology TULIP is a Flower! Reply With Quote […]

    Reply
  3. Michael

    Amen! I do believe you got it right bro! It’s all summed up in the two greatest commandments and this topic is reflective of that. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Emmitt

    Oh so true, and well stated by you, that synergism nor any other false doctrine can interfere with God’s *causing* His elect to come to the truth and being saved (John 6:37). God will indeed flawlessly and successfully turn His elect away from thinking that they have “a role to play” in their salvation and *cause* them to depend and trust in His role alone. However, just because the error of synergism won’t stop God’s process in saving His elect from that error doesn’t mean the Gospel shouldn’t be given. As you said, God has decreed the means. Synergism is a false teamwork gospel of works that destroys faith and grace; and that is dangerous and deadly indeed (Rom 4:4-5; 11:6). Pointing out error, especially when concerning the Gospel, isn’t un-loving, simply because it hurts to see and deal with one’s self-righteousness. Synergism and Monergism are an eternity apart. Heaven and Hell to be exact. My repentance and my faith are His doing. That’s why I can only boast in Him (1 Cor 1:29-30). If I had “a role to play” then I could boast at least in my role, no matter how small. http://3qgames.com/titus35/wrws.htm

    Reply

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