On the Sacraments and God’s Grace

For just as a building stands and leans on its foundation, and yet is rendered more stable when supported by pillars, so faith leans on the word of God as its proper foundation, and yet when sacraments are added leans more firmly, as if resting on pillars.  Or we may call them mirrors, in which we may contemplate the riches of the grace which God bestows upon us.  For then, as has been said, he manifests himself to us in as far as our dullness can enable us to recognize him, and testifies his love and kindness to us more expressly than by word.”  —John Calvin, Institutes 4.14.6, emphasis added

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3 Responses to On the Sacraments and God’s Grace

  1. David Beirne says:

    For us Baptists, that’s a real good illustration for our non-sacramental view of the ordinances.

    • TC says:

      A good illustration indeed. But the Baptists who framed the Baptist Confession of 1677/89 were not totally non-sacramentalists. While they didn’t adhere to Rome’s view of the sacraments, they certainly were in concert with those of the Reformed faith, believing in the sacraments as conveying sanctifying and sustaining grace:

      Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible Elements in this Ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally, and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified; all the benefits of his death: the Body and Blood of Christ, being then not corporally, or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of Believers, in that Ordinance, as the Elements themselves are to their outward senses. 30.7.

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