Sacraments: an outward sign combined with a prescribed form of words and regarded as conferring some specific grace upon those who receive it.The following are the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church:
- Holy Eucharist
- Penance (Confession)
- Anointing of the Sick
- Holy Orders
- Matrimony (Marriage)
There is a lot of talk these days about defending the sacrament of marriage. I am a little surprised to discover that for the protestant tradition, marriage or matrimony has not been considered a sacrament.
Most protestant traditions have held onto only 2 of the 7 sacraments of the RCC:
- Eucharist (Lords Supper or communion)
I just did a post on some Lords Supper Thoughts. I do see Jesus commanding His followers to remember His body and blood covenant by celebrating this meal together. However I am concerned that what we traditionally call the Lords Supper, or communion is quite different than what Jesus was referring to. If we feel this is a sacrament, I'd love to see believers following the example of Jesus and the early church on this.
I've recently put together some baptism summary thoughts. I concluded that immersion by water is a great symbol of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. The command for us in Matt 28:18 - 20 is likely referring to baptism or immersion with the Holy Spirit (and Father, Son). I suspect God is most interested in the matters of the heart. The early church, and most Christians throughout history have made an outward expression of this with immersion in water. But I don't think I would conclude that the outward immersion by water should be on a top two list of the things God expects of us.
What do you think? Are these two items special sacraments? Are we OK with the definition of sacraments in that these actions confer some specific grace upon those who receive it?
Or should other outward actions be added to this list?
What about loving one another?
Isn't love the outward sign that should identify those who belong to Christ? Shouldn't that be considered a sacrament?
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:33-35 NIV)
If you think we need a list of sacraments, what do you think should be on the list?
Did Jesus make such a list for us? If not, should we hold onto the list of the RCC? Or should we hold onto the shorter list of the reformers?