Lord's Day 25

Question 65.

Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence doth this faith proceed?

Answer. From the Holy Ghost, who works [a] faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and [b] confirms it by the use of the sacraments.

Question 66.

What are the sacraments?

Answer. The sacraments are holy visible signs and seals, appointed of God for this end, that by the use thereof, he may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the gospel, vis., that he grants us freely the remission of sin, and [c] life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross.

Question 67.

Are both word and sacraments, then, ordained and appointed for this end, that they may direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation?

Answer. Yes, indeed: for the Holy Ghost teaches us in the gospel, and assures us by the sacraments, [d] that the whole of our salvation depends upon that one sacrifice of Christ which he offered for us on the cross.

Question 68.

How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant, or testament?

Answer. [e] Two: namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.

[a]: Eph. 2:8; Eph. 6:23; Phil. 1:29
[b]: Mat. 28:19; Rom. 4:11
[c]: Gen. 17:11; Rom. 4:11; Ex. 12; Lev. 6:25; Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38; Mat. 26:28
[d]: Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27
[e]: 1Cor. 10:2,3,4

Lord's Day 26

Question 69.

How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?

Answer. Thus: That Christ appointed [a] this external washing with water, adding thereto this [b] promise, that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, form all my sins, as I am [c] washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.

Question 70.

What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?

Answer. It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ's blood, which he [d] shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross; and also to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and [e] lead holy and unblamable lives.

Question 71.

Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?

Answer. In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed: [f] "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [g]," "he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned." This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism the [h] washing of regeneration, and the washing [i] away of sins.

[a]: Mat. 28:19; Acts 2:38
[b]: Mark 16:16; Mat. 3:11; Rom. 6:3
[c]: Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3
[d]: Heb. 12:24; 1Pet. 1:2
[e]: John 1:33; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11
[f]: Mat. 28:19
[g]: Mark 16:16
[h]: Tit. 3:5
[i]: Acts 22:16

Lord's Day 27

Question 72.

Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

Answer. Not at all: for the [a] blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost cleanse us from all [b] sin.

Question 73.

Why then doth the Holy Ghost call baptism "the washing of regeneration," and "the washing away of sins"?

Answer. God speaks thus not without great cause, to-wit, not only thereby to teach us, that as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are [c] removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; but especially that by [d] this divine pledge and sign he may assure us, that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really, as we are externally washed with water.

Question 74.

Are infants also to be baptized?

Answer. Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the [e] covenant and [f] church of God; and since [g] redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the [h] Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the christian church; and be distinguished [i] from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old covenant or testament by [j] circumcision, instead of which [k] baptism is instituted in the new covenant.

[a]: Mat. 3:11; 1Pet. 3:11
[b]: 1John 1:7; 1Cor. 6:11
[c]: Rev. 1:5; 1Cor 6:11
[d]: Mark 16:16; Gal. 3:27
[e]: Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39
[f]: 1Cor. 7:14; Joel 2:16
[g]: Mat. 19:14
[h]: Luke 1:14,15; Psa. 22:10; Acts 2:39
[i]: Acts 10:47; 1Cor. 12:13; 1Cor 7:14
[j]: Gen. 17:14
[k]: Col. 2:11,12,13

Lord's Day 28

Question 75.

How are thou admonished and assured in the Lord's Supper, that thou are a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all his benefits?

Answer. Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of this broken bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of him, [a] adding these promises: first, that his body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes, the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.

Question 76.

What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?

Answer. It is only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to [b] obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become more and more [c] united to his sacred body, by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; [d] so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding "Flesh of his flesh, and bone [e] of his bone"; and that we live, [f] and are governed forever by one spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.

Question 77.

Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly feed and nourish believers with his body and blood, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?

Answer. In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed: [g] "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said: eat, this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: this [h] cup is the new testament in my blood; [i] this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says: [j] "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body; because we are all partakers of that one bread."

[a]: Mat. 26:26,27,28; Mark 14:22,23,24; Luke 22:19,20; 1Cor. 10:16,17; 1Cor 11:23,24,25
[b]: John 6:35,40,47,48,50,51,53,54
[c]: John 6:55,56
[d]: Acts 3:21; Acts 1:9,10,11; 1Cor 11:26
[e]: Eph. 5:29,30,31,32; 1Cor. 6:15,17,19; 1John 3:24
[f]: John 6:56,57,58; Eph. 4:15,16
[g]: 1Cor. 11:23; Mat. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19
[h]: Ex. 24:8; Heb. 9:20
[i]: Ex. 13:9; 1Cor. 11:26
[j]: 1Cor. 10:16,17

Lord's Day 29

Question 78.

Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?

Answer. Not at all: [a] but as the water in baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself, being only the sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; so the bread in the Lord's supper is not changed into the very [b] body of Christ; though agreeable to the [c] nature and properties of sacraments, it is called the body of Christ Jesus.

Question 79.

Why then doth Christ call the bread his body, and the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood; and Paul the "communion of the body and blood of Christ"?

Answer. Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are [d] fed to eternal life; but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood (by the operation of the Holy Ghost) as we [e] receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; and that all his sufferings [f] and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.

[a]: 1Cor. 10:1,2,3,4; 1Pet. 3:21; John 6:35,62,63
[b]: 1Cor. 10:16ff; 1Cor. 11:20ff
[c]: Gen. 17:10,11,14; Ex. 12:26,27,43,48; Acts 7:8; Mat. 26:26; Mark 14:24
[d]: John 6:51,55,56
[e]: 1Cor. 10:16,17; 1Cor 11:26,27,28; Eph. 5:30
[f]: Rom. 5:9,18,19; Rom. 8:4

Lord's Day 30

Question 80.

What difference is there between the Lord's supper and the popish mass?

Answer. The Lord's supper testifies to us, that we have a full pardon of all sin [a] by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself has once accomplished on the cross; and, that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted [b] into Christ, who, according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in [c] heaven, at the right hand of God his Father, and will there [d] be worshipped by us: but the mass teaches, that the living and dead have not the pardon of sins though the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is also daily offered for them by the priests; and further, that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshipped in them; so that the mass, as bottom, is nothing else than a [e] denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.

Question 81.

For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?

Answer. For those who are truly sorrowful [g] for their sins, and yet that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities [h] are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly [i] desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and [j] drink judgment to themselves.

Question 82.

Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?

Answer. No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath [k] kindled against the whole congregation; therefore it is the duty of the christian church, according to the appointment of [l] Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.

[a]: Heb. 7:27; Heb. 9:12,26; mat. 26:28; Luke 22:19,20; 2Cor. 5:21
[b]: 1Cor. 6; 1Cor 17; 1Cor 12:13
[c]: Heb. 1:3; Heb 8:1ff
[d]: John 4:21,22,23; Col. 3:1; Phil. 3:20; Luke 24:52,53; Acts 7:55
[e]: Isa. 1:11,14; Mat. 15:9; Col. 2:22,23; Jer. 2:13
[g]: Mat. 5:3,6; Luke 7:37,38; Luke 15:18,19
[h]: Psa. 103:3
[i]: Psa. 116:12,13,14; 1Pet. 2:11,12
[j]: 1Cor. 10:20ff; 1Cor. 11:28ff; Tit. 1:16; Psa. 50:15,16
[k]: 1Cor. 10:21; 1Cor. 11:30,31; Isa. 1:11,13; Jer. 7:21; Psa. 50:16,22
[l]: Mat. 18:17,18