Following is another in a series of columns on the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.
Southern Baptists refer to baptism and the Lord’s Supper as ordinances, meaning the Lord commands believers to carry out these symbolic activities, which picture the finished work of Christ and prepare us for his imminent return.
Article VII of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads:
“Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.
“The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.”
Southern Baptists refer to baptism and the Lord’s Supper as ordinances. That means the Lord commands believers to carry out these symbolic activities, which picture the finished work of Christ and prepare us for his imminent return.
Ordinances have no saving value, for a person receives everlasting life only by faith in Jesus. Even so, baptism and the Lord’s Supper are important acts of obedience.
Some, like Roman Catholics, refer to baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments, meaning they are necessary for salvation.
Others, like Presbyterians, also call baptism and the Lord’s Supper sacraments, but that doesn’t mean they are necessary for salvation. Rather, they are “means of God’s grace” – special ways that God speaks to our hearts, gives us a visible way of establishing the difference between believers and unbelievers, and prepares us to serve him.Continue reading →