28 August 2008

Election Issues

I don’t normally delve into political issues on this blog but I would like to pass along a link to Al Mohler’s blog where you can listen to a recent broadcast of his radio show where he addresses some issues about our two presedential candidates. I’m disappointed in both & endorse neither but it is clear that Obama has dug himself a hole which theologically will be difficult to lever himself out of. Thoughtful, obedient Christians should be working through these issues that Mohler points out. Since we should all have a list of “must haves” and “must not haves” for whomever we vote for, I encourage you to have a listen to Mohler’s show dated August 18th that can be found here.

27 August 2008

Westminster Wednesday #95

Another week has past and here we are again. Let's dig in...

Ques. To whom is baptism to be administered? Ans. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible Church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible Church are to be baptized.

Q. 1. Is baptism to be administered unto all? A. Baptism is not to be administered unto all, nor to any that are out of the visible Church, because they, being out of the covenant, have no right unto the seals of the covenant. "At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."— Eph. 2:12.

Q. 2. May not heathens and infidels be baptized? A. Heathens and infidels, who are without the Church whilst they continue infidels, ought not to be baptized; but if, upon the preaching of the gospel unto them, they repent and believe, and make profession of their faith and resolution of obedience, they are thereby virtually within the Church, and then have a right to this ordinance of baptism, and it ought not to be denied unto them. "And he said, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved," &c.— Mark 16:15, 16.

Q. 3. May not infants be baptized? A. 1. No infants of heathens aud infidels, whilst such, may be baptized, because both parents and children are out of the covenant. 2. The infants of Christians or believing parents, being visible Church members, may and ought to be baptized.

Q. 4. How do you prove that the infants of such as are visible Church members, may and ought to be baptized? A. That the infants of such as are visible Church members may and ought to be baptized may be proved, because they are in covenant; and the promise of the covenant belonging unto them, this seal of the covenant doth belong to them also. "The promise is to you and to your children."— Acts 2:39. It is upon account of the promise of the covenant that any have the seal; hence it was that not only Abraham, but all his seed, whilst in their infancy received the seal of circumcision, because the promise of the covenant was made to both and by the same reason, not only believing parents, but also their infants, are to receive the seal of baptism, the promise being made to both. "I will establisb my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee; to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man-child among you shall be circumcised."— Gen. 17:7, 10.

Q. 5. How do you prove that because the infants of the Jews, under the law, had the promise and seal of the covenant of grace, namely, circumcision, whereby they were admitted to be visible Church members; therefore, that the infants of Christians, under the gospel, have the promise of the covenant of grace, and ought to have the seal of haptism, to admit them to be visible Church members also? A. 1. That the infants of Christians have the promise of the covenant of grace made with Abraham is evident., because that covenant was an everlasting covenant. "I will establish my covenant for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee" (Gen. 17:7); which covenant Christ is the Mediator of; and it is renewed in the New Testament with all believers, and that as fully as under the law: and, therefore, if the infants under the law were included, the infants under the gospel are included too. 2. That the privilege of infants (being made Church members) under the law, doth belong to the infants of Christians under the gospel, besides the parity of reason for it, and equality of right unto it, is evident, because this privilege was never repealed and taken away under the gospel.
Q. 6. How do you prove that the privilege of infants being made visible Church members under the gospel was never taken away? A. That the privilege of infants being made visible Church members was never taken away under the gospel is evident— 1. Because, if this privilege were repealed, we would have some notice of its repeal in the Scripture; but we have no notice or signification of God's will to repeat this privilege throughout the whole book of God. 2. Because Chnst did not come to take away or straiten the privileges of the Church, but to enlarge them; and who can, upon Scnpturo grounds, imagine that it was the will of Christ that the infants of the Jewish Church should be Church members, but the infants of the Christian Church should be shut out like heathens and infidels? 3. Because the Scripture is express, that the infants of Christians are holy. " I'lse were vour children unclean, but now they are holy."— 1 Cor. 7:14. As the Jews are called in Scripture a holy nation, because by circumcision they were made visible Clinrch members; so the infants of Christians, as well as themselves, are called holy; that is, federally holy, as they are by baptism made visible Church members.

Q. 7. How doth it appear that baptism doth make members of the visible Church? A. That baptism doth make members of the visible Qliurch under the gospel is evident, because it is the sacrament of initiation and admission into the Church, by which our Saviour gave his disciples commission to admit persons into his Church. "Go and teach all nations, baptizing them," &c. (Matt. 28:19); or, make and admit disciples, as the Greek word signifleth disciple them.

Q. 8. But doth not Christ first require that people should be taught and believe, at least make a profession of their faith, before they be baptized; and therefore, all infants being incapable of being taught, and making profession of their faith, are they not hereby excluded from the privilege of baptism? A. 1. That which our Saviour required of teaching, and an actual profession of faith, before baptism, is to be understood of the heathen nations, unto whom he sent his apostles to preach, who, without this, were not to be baptized; but there is not the same reason concerning the infants of such as are themselves members of the visible Church. 2. The infants of Church members being incapable of being taught and making an actual profession of faith, doth no more exclude them the privilege of baptism than their being incapable of working doth exclude them the liberty of eating, when the command is express, "If any work not, neither shall he eat."— 2 Thess. 3:10. Notwithstanding which command, infants being incapable of working, yet they may eat; and so infants, being incapable of professing their faith, may be baptized. 3. Infants, though they are incapable of being taught by men, and making an actual profession of their faith, yet they are capable of the grace of the covenant, by the secret work of the Spirit; "for of such is the kingdom of heaven." And who will say that all infants, dying in their infancy, are damned, as they must be, if they are incapable of the grace of the covenant? and if they be capable of the grace of the covenant, they are capable of this seal of baptism.

Q. 9. How caii infants have right to baptism, when we do not find, throughout the whole New Testament, either precept or example for their baptism? A. 1. The ordinance of baptism, as to the substance of it, is expressly appointed by our Saviour in the New Testament; but it is not needful that the circumstance of the time of its administration should be appointed too, when the time mav be so clearly deduced by Scripture consequence. 2. We do not find, in the Scripture, any precept or example in the very words, that women shall partake of the Lord's supper; yet we believe that they did partake of the Lord's supper in Scripture time; and, they being Church members, and believers capable of the aettial exercise of grace, have an undoubted right unto that sacrament. 3. We have proved from Scripture that Christian infants have a right to be Church members, and therefore they have a right to baptism, which admits them thereunto, and that there is no Scripture repeal of this privilege. 4. We have no precept or example concerning the infants of such as were baptized themselves, that they should be, or that any of them were, kept unbaptized from their infancy, until they were grown up unto years of maturity, and did make an actual profession of their faith, and then did receive the ordinance of baptism; and why, then, will any do this which they have no Scripture precept nor example for? 5. There is great probability that the infants of be]ievers, in some recorded cases of Scripture, were baptized in their infancy. Where whole households were baptized together, it is not said that the infants in such houses were excluded; and why, then, should we exclude infants from the ordinance, whom God bath nowhere excluded?
- Thomas Vincent

25 August 2008

Christianity Explored at SGC Cleveland

Sovereign Grace Church in Cleveland will be hosting Christianity Explored sessions starting Tuesday, September 23rd at 7 pm. If you have questions about Christianity please join us to learn what the Christian faith is all about. Just what is CE? Check it out here.

Sovereign Grace Church
30135 Lorain Rd.
North Olmsted, Ohio 44070


24 August 2008

On Prayer...

What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new orginizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use - men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. - E. M. Bounds

20 August 2008

Westminster Wednesday #94

Once again...

Ques. What is baptism?
Ans. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's.

Q. 1. What is the outward sign or element in baptism?
A. The outward sign or element in baptism is water, and that pure water; so that the addition thereunto of oil, salt, and spittle, by the Papists in baptism, is an abominable profanation of the ordinance. "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized ?"— Acts 10:47. "Our bodies washed with pure water."— Heb 10:22.

Q. 2. What is the thing signified by water in baptism?
A. The thing signified by water in baptism, is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Q. 3. What is the outward action in baptism?
A. The outward action in baptism, is washing of the body with water; which is all that the word baptism doth signify, and which may be fitly done by pouring water upon the face, to represent Christ's blood poured out for us; or by sprinkling water upon the face to represent the blood of spnnkling, with which the heart is sprinkled. having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."— Heb. 10:22.

Q. 4. Is it not necessary to dip or plunge the body in the water in baptism, when the Scripture telleth us of several that went down into the water when they were baptized; and we are to be buried with Christ in baptism, arid therefore plunged and covered with water in baptism, as Christ was covered with earth in the grave?
A. It is not necessary that the body should be dipped or plunged all over in baptism: For— 1. When we read of some that went down into the water when they were baptized, we do not read that they were dipped or plunged over head and ears; they might be baptized by pouring or sprinkling the water upon their faces; yea, in some places where, the Scripture telleth us, persons were baptized, travellers tell us they were but ankle-deep, in which it was impossible they could be plunged all over; and Aenon, where it is said there was much water, the original words do not signify deep waters, but many streams, which are known to be shallow, and not fit to plunge the body into. 2. Though some went down in to the water when they were baptized, yet the Scripture doth not say that all did so but most probably water was brought into the house, when the jailer and all his household were baptized in the night; and not that he suffered the apostles (then prisoners) to go forth, and that he with them should go out with all his household, and leave all the other prisoners alone, to seek some river to be baptized and plunged into. 3. The burying with Christ by baptism, doth signify the buryinmg of sin in the soul, by the baptism of the Spirit; and not the burying of the body, and covering it all over in the baptism of water. There is a baptizing or washing, as was said, in pouring or sprinkling water on the body; and as our Saviotir told Peter, when he would have been washed all over by him, that the washing of the feet was sufficient, so the washing of the face is sufficient, especially for infants, who, in our colder climates, cannot be plunged in a river without manifest hazard of their lives, which none can prove by Scripture to be necessary.

Q. 5. What doth the washing of the body with water represent and signify?
A. The washing of the body with water in baptism doh represent and signify the washing of the soul from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. "That loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."— Rev. 1:5.

Q. 6. In whose name are persons to be baptized?
A. Persons are to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."— Matt. 28:19.

Q. 7. What is to be understood by the baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?
A. By baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost is to be understood, not only a naming of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but a baptizing in the authority, and into the faith, profession, and obedience of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Q. 8. What are signified, sealed, and engaged on God's part, by our being baptized in his name? A. There are signified, and sealed, and engaged on God's part, by our being baptized in his name— 1. His ingrafting us into Christ. 2. His making us partakers of the benefits of the new covenant. "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?"— Rom. 6:3.

Q. 9. What is meant by our ingrafting in to Christ?
A. By our ingrafting into Christ, is meant our being cut off from our old stock of nature, and being joined unto Jesus Christ, whereby we come to draw virtue from him as our root, that we may grow up in him, and bring forth fruit unto him. "I am the vine, ye are the branches."— John 15:5. "Thou being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree."— Rom. 11:17.

Q. 10. What are the benefits of the covenant of grace, which by baptism we are made partakers of?
A. The benefits of the covenant of grace, which by baptism we are made partakers of, are— 1. Admission into the visible Church. "Go, teach all natious, baptizing them," &c. Matt. 28:19. 2. Remission of sins by Christ's blood. "Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins."— Acts 2:38. 3. Regeneration and sanctification by Christ's Spirit. "According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." — Titus 3:5. 4. Adoption, together with our union unto Christ. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus: for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."— Gal. 3:26, 27. 5. Resurrection to ever-lasting life. " If the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for the dead?"— 1 Cor. 15:29. "We are buried with him by baptism into death," &c. "If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."— Rom. 6:4, 5.

Q. 11. What is sealed and engaged on our part, by being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
A. By our being baptized in the name of the Father Son, aud Holy Ghost, is sealed and engaged on our part, that we will be the Lord's: and that—1, Wholly; soul and body, with all our powers, faculties, and members, are to be employed by him as instruments of righteousness and new obedience. And, 2. Only the Lord's; and therefore we engage to renounce the service of the devil, and the flesh, and the world, and to fight under Christ's banner against these enemies of the Lord and of our souls. "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. Reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God. Let not sin, therefore, reign, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof: neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead; and your members as iristruments of righteousness unto God." — Rom. 6:4, 11-13. -
Thomas Vincent

16 August 2008

Psalm 130

As you go about your activities today, contemplate the following in preparation for worship tomorrow...

Psalm 130
A Song of degrees.
1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

15 August 2008

Trueman & Witherington on Rock

Sometimes you think some of these theologian types are immune to the pleasures of rock music but, oh no, not true. Check out Carl Trueman's admission here and Ben Witherington's top rock guitarist list here. He really displays his knowledge of the rock world and rock guitarists in particular. I love to read this stuff because I come from a background where the guitar was the devil's instrument and if you liked rock music you better keep that to yourself. So, it's great to read dudes like this that let us in on their rock-n-roll secrets; it kinda says I'm ok and I'm not some rock lovin' sinner, know what I mean? Obviously, I'm not in that world any longer and I enjoy rock music and many other genres as well (with the notable exceptions of opera and rap). My son & I both play guitar, he shreds his heavy metal and I pick my blues. I could play slow blues numbers all day given the chance.

Ben's list of top guitarists is very comprehensive but there are so many top-notch guitarists out there it can become mind boggling to start to rate them. Let me give you my top three in no particular order:

Eric Clapton
Stevie Ray Vaughn

I think you probably noted that all three play at least some blues if not only blues. Well, that's my predisposition. Whose the top rock group? That'd be another massive undertaking to rate the top group or groups of all time so let me give you mine - Alice Cooper. He is now a Christian and from what I can ascertain doing some pretty good works in the world today. He is by far the finest lyricist ever. Like him or not that can't be taken away from him. At his concerts he no longer sings the more gruesome stuff he once did, nor by his own admission will he ever sing worship songs. He views himself more as the harbinger of what is to come should we not change.

There you have it. I'm in the ranks of many fine guys who love rock and blues. Hhhmm, time to pick up the guitar and settle in to some blues....

13 August 2008

On Leisure Time

One of the significant measures of a person's spiritual commitment is what he does with his discretionary or leisure time. - Jerry White

Westminster Wednesday #93

We've hit number 93. Let's get to it....

Q. 93. Which are the sacraments of the New Testament? A. The sacraments of the New Testament are, baptism and the Lord's supper.

Q. 1. How many sacraments hath Christ appointed in the New Testament? A. Christ hath appointed two, and no more: these being sufficient for our initiation and confirmation.
Q 2. How many have the Papists added to them? A. They have added five more; viz. Confirmation, penance, ordination, marriage, and extreme unction.
Q. 3. What is their sacrament of confirmation? A. It is the anointing of the baptised with chrism in the forehead, with this form of words; I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Q. 4. What is their ground for this practice? A. The abuse of that Scripture, Hebrews 6:2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and laying on of hands, &c. which, by a figurative speech, expresseth the whole standing ministry in the church, by laying on of hands.
Q. 5. What is their sacrament of penance? A. It is repentance manifested by outward signs, to which the word of absolution coming, makes it a sacrament misgrounded on John 20:23. Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Q. 6. What is their sacrament of orders, or ordination? A. It is the laying on of hands in ordination of ministers, by which they conceive spiritual grace is given; by mistake of 2 Timothy 1:6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee, by the putting on of my hands.
Q. 7. What is their fourth superadded sacrament? A. It is marriage, grounded upon those words of the apostle, Ephesians 5:32. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Which only shews a similitude of our union with Christ, not an instituted sign to that end.
Q. 8. What is their fifth superadded sacrament? A. Extreme unction, or anointing the sick, near death, with consecrated oil, grounded on Mark 6:13. And anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. And James 5:14. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. Which are neither sacramental rites, nor of ordinary standing use in the church, but extraordinary and temporary for that age.
Q. 9. What learn we hence? A. Hence we learn, how apt men are to corrupt God’s ordinances, by their superstitious additions; Matthew 15:9. Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Q. 10. What is the second instruction hence? A. How just and necessary our separation from Rome is, who have grossly corrupted God’s ordinances, and left men no other remedy; Revelation 13:6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme him name and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Q. 11. What is the third instruction? A. That the reformation of religion is an invaluable mercy, a great deliverance from spiritual bondage; Revelation 11:19. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction? A. That Rome shall certainly fall, and all her adherents, for the horrid injury done by them to Christ, and the souls of men; Revelation 18:20-21. Rejoice over her thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great milstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. -
John Flavel

12 August 2008

Don't Waste Your Blog

I read and consume numerous blogs daily and even more weekly. I’ve come to the conclusion that many folks do have something valuable to say and share. Much of it is original. Much of it is simply sharing a quote. Much of it is sharing your personal life with us to some degree. Much of it is a mix of all of the above and more. Much of it is worth your time. Much of it is not. For example, sometimes I simply quote a Puritan as the quote has had an impact at some level in my life and even if no one else reads it, I can refer back to it myself and be reminded of its value. But if I all I do is quote others I’m wasting my blog as there are plenty of quote sites and other bloggers doing the same thing. I was recently quoted by someone who does nothing else on her blog but quote other bloggers. What is the point? Be original, be dynamic, and be insightful whenever you can. So, don’t waste your blog this way.

I often come across blogs or blog posts that are full of mis-spellings and various other errors. When we as bloggers do this it is clear that we are not adept at what we are doing and we then will not come across to others, especially unbelievers, as intelligent, thoughtful Christians. Don’t waste your blog this way.

I’ve seen and I’m sure you have as well, many critical blogs. Critical of other Christians. I’m not referring to the academic negative book review for example, but rather the overall critical nature that puts down others to build up oneself. Don’t waste your blog this way.

There are those who blog and often quite insightfully but don’t share with us who you are or where you’re coming from. I ignore these blogs as there is something wrong with one who wants you to read his blog but not share his background. Tell us who you are. I can’t take someone seriously if he won’t tell me something about himself. Don’t waste your blog this way.

Stop blog-dumping or I believe it is more commonly called blogorrhea. You've seen these blogs, there are five posts a day and only one of the posts is worth reading. Don’t waste your blog this way.

Respond to those who have taken the time to leave a comment. Yeah, we all forget from time to time but don’t be a blogsnob. Don’t waste your blog this way.

Be sure that at least some of your posts are sharing the gospel and/or edifying the body. That’s what we’re here for. I find numerous blogs that are “Christian” and although it may be interesting, I find very little that is truly, biblically edifying. Don’t waste your blog this way.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col. 3:17

So, don’t waste your blog.

08 August 2008

The Right to Take Off His Pants

This article from the Associated Press is certainly worth a read. In part the article states, A 6-foot-tall, 250-pound letter carrier is campaigning for the right to take off his pants. Dean Peterson wants the U.S. Postal Service to add kilts as a uniform option for men. The idea was soundly defeated in July at a convention of his union, the 220,000-member National Letter Carriers' Association, so Peterson knows convincing management will be an uphill struggle, but at least he'll be comfortable in his kilt, or Male Unbifurcated Garment. "In one word, it's comfort," he said. …"Unbifurcated Garments are far more comfortable and suitable to male anatomy than trousers or shorts because they don't confine the legs or cramp the male genitals the way that trousers or shorts do," he wrote. "Please open your hearts — and inseams — for an option in mail carrier comfort!” I’m in full agreement with this wannabe kilted latter carrier. Kilts are much more comfortable. Bifurcated clothing for men is a relatively new trend. I was just thinking about this the other night when I came across the movie “Troy” on the tube. You find some really tough “he-man” type guys fighting in skirts. Why the change? I’m sure there is a reason should one want to do some historical research on male clothing trends but I wish we could reverse it. So, c'mon guys, take off those pants and don those kilts.

07 August 2008

It Is Not Death To Die

From the Come Weary Saints album, the lyrics of this song are worth some contemplation…

It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high
Who’ve found their home with God
It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne
Delivered from our fears

O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

Original Words by Henri Malan (1787-1864). Translated by George Bethune (1847).
Music, Chorus, and Alternate Words by Bob Kauflin

06 August 2008

Westminster Wednesday #92

Here we go...

92. Ques. What is a sacrament? Ans. A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied unto believers.

Q. 1. What is the proper signification of the word sacrament? A. The proper signification of the word sacrament, as it was of old used, is a military oath, whereby the general did oblige himself to be faithful unto his soldiers, and the soldiers did engage themselves to be faithful unto their general.
Q. 2. Why are any of Christ's ordinances called sacraments, when we do not find the word sacrament used in any place of the Holy Scriptures? A. Although the word sacrament be not used in the Scripture, any more than the word Trinity, yet, because the things signified by Sacrament and Trinity, and other words, are in the Scriptures, therefore we may lawfully make use of such words.
Q. 3. What is the thing signified by the word sacrament? A. The thing signified by the word sacrament is a seal of the covenant of grace, whereby as the Lord doth oblige himself to fulfil the promise of the covenant unto us; so, by our receiving this seal, we oblige ourselves to be the Lord's, and to be true and faithful unto him.
Q. 4. Whose ordinance is the sacrament which we are to make use of? A. The sacrament which we are to make use of is an ordinance, not of man's institution and appointment, but a holy ordinance of Christ's institution and appointment, who, being the only King of the Church, hath alone authority to appoint holy ordinances and sacraments.
Q. 5. How many parts are there in a sacrament? A. There are two parts in a sacrament— l. The outward sensible signs. 2. The things signified by the signs.
Q. 6. How do the sensible signs and the things signified, in a sacrament, differ? A The sensible signs and the things signified, in a sacrament, do differ, as the sensible signs are an object of the understanding and faith, being represented by the outward signs.
Q. 7. What kind of signs are the sensible signs in a sacrament? A. 1. The sensible signs in a sacrament are not natural signs, as the dawn of the morning is a sign of the approaching day, or as smoke is a sign of fire; but they are arbitrary signs, and by the appointment, not of men, but of Jesus Christ. 2. They are not bare signifying or representing signs, but withal exhibiting, conveying, and applying signs; as a stral unto a bond, or last will and testament, doth both signify the will of him whose bond or last will and testament it is, and doth also exhibit and convey, confirm and apply, a right unto the things promised and engaged therein. When the minister doth give forth the signs or outward elements, in the sacramental actions, the Lord doth give forth and convey the things signified unto the worthy receivers.
Q. 8. What are the things signified by the outward sensible signs in a sacrament? A. The things signified by the outward sensible signs in a sacrament, are Christ and the benefits of the new covenant.
Q. 9. What is the use of a sacrament, in reference unto Christ and the benefits of the new covenant? A. The use of a sacrament, in reference unto Christ., and the benefits of the new covenant, is— 1. To represent Christ and tile benefits of the new covenant. "This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you, and your seed after you: Every man.child among you shall be circumcised."— Gen. 17:10. 2. To seal and apply Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant. "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had being yet uncircumcised."— Rom. 4:11.
Q. 10. To whom doth a sacrament represent, seal, and apply Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant? A. A sacrament doth represent, seal, and apply Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, not unto all that partake thereof, but unto believers only; faith being the eye of the soul, to discern the things represented, and the hand of the soul, to receive the things sealed and exhibited in the sacrament. -
Thomas Vincent