The Sacraments



The Lord’s Supper



How the Sacraments Work

Rutherford, Samuel – The Efficacy of the Sacraments  1644, 5 pages, being pp. 211-215 of his Due Right of Presbyteries

This is perhaps the best concise explanation of how the Sacraments work.  Rutherford gives the standard, widely prevalent, vanilla reformed view of the Reformation.  The Sacraments work:

(1) as signs
(2) as seals
(3) are instruments by which faith works
(4) they are means of grace to be used in obedience to Christ’s command

What is noteworthy about these distinctions is that one could not fully explain the sacraments without all four distinctions (the distinctions are necessary).  Nor does one need more distinctions than these four in order to explain the Biblical material (these distinctions are sufficient to account for all of the Biblical data).  Thus, one may rest assured that here is the Biblical view of how the Sacraments are means of grace.  May it stir us up to greater faith in our Savior as we see Him represented and sealed to us in baptism and the Lord’s Supper!




Berkhof, Louis – The Sacraments in General, 1950, 12 paragraphs, from his Systematic Theology 

Binnie, William – The Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, p. 68, 14 pages, from his The Church

Buchanan, James – The Sacramentalism of the Tractarian Movement, 1843, p. 61, 13 pages, in the context of the Oxford Tractarian Movement of the mid-1800’s, from his On the “Tracts for the Times”

Cunningham, William – Sacramentalism, 1863, p. 121, 11 pages, from his Historical Theology, vol. 2

Cunningham, William – Zwingli and the Doctrine of the Sacraments, 1862, p. 212, 79 pages, from his Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation