Biblical Support for Sacraments being a vehicle of grace


Good. That is progress.

That is not the question.

It is, actually. If you’ll bear with me a little longer.

  1. You admit that the Sacraments came before Scripture.
  2. That means that someone was instructing the Church to administer the Sacraments without the need of Scripture.
  3. Is it possible that this same entity was also instructing the Church as to the value of the Sacraments?

The question is do the sacraments materially contribute to our salvation/justification and where in Scripture does this belief come from?

The Sacraments didn’t come from Scripture, as you admitted. What makes you think, therefore, that this Doctrine must come from Scripture?

I can show you how it is implied in Scripture, but in order to understand it, you must be well versed in Sacred Tradition. Which, we believe, is the foundation of the New Testament.



Yes, at the time of the Reformation. In my mind it may have been a factor.


I would like one too.


I expected that. No problem.

Well, you’re probably going to hate what I’m going to say next.

Baptism is a work of God. Faith is a response of man to God’s grace. So, no, it isn’t equal to, it is greater than man’s faith.

I believe that faith isn’t a statement of belief or but a change in heart given by God. But only one who’s heart has changed will respond with a statement of faith.

I agree.

1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

But only one who has been given a new heart will make a statement of faith and request baptism and thus become a child of God.

It is that change of heart/trust in Christ by which we are saved. No priest or pastor can change someone’s heart simply by pouring water on them.

It sounds a great deal like that which Naaman said. But yes, God can change someone’s heart by pouring water on them.

Baptism without a change in heart and trusting in Christ just gets someone wet.

Even worse. Mark 16:16

Even 1 Peter 3:21 says Baptism doesn’t save you by the removal of dirt (being cleaned by the water) but by the appeal of a good conscious toward God (what is in your Heart).

That is Catholic Teaching. The water cleansing the dirt from the body represents the action of the Spirit cleansing our souls by grace.


We have no evidence that the Real Presence was ever even questioned in the first 400 years of the Church. All the evidence, and there is a lot of it, goes for established mainstream belief in it. During the Reformation, and possibly even Middle Ages, I would not be surprised to hear of various sects who questioned it. Gnosticism, Arianism, the Church has battled heterodoxy in many many forms, going back to the beginning. I think trying to argue against the Real Presence, as opposed to for it, is the tough one - that is the truly speculative theology. It is not easy to out scholastic a scholastic but there you go. Luther termed this ‘fanaticism.’



They are symbols of the bread and wine. Bread and wine are common foods which are good for the body. The likeness of bread and wine symbolize that the Eucharist does for the soul, what bread and wine do for our body.

The ordinary bread and wine have become the Bread (food) of God.

John 6:32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”…51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Jesus often used symbolism and metaphors in His speaking. Why not here?

He is using them, but they must be understood correctly.

But even if He was speaking literally, does this show that taking of the Lord’s Supper justifies someone before God?

Yes. All the Sacraments justify. All the Sacraments wash us over with grace and remove venial sin.

Only Baptism, Confession and Anointing remove mortal sin.


:rofl: Too funny.


It depends on what he means by present, I guess, because Christ didn’t say that either. He didn’t say,“take, eat, I am in this.”


Luther didn’t like the term or the concept.

Me, too


I would say they become a child of God when they are given a new heart, even before water Baptism.

Then what saves us is the Spirit cleansing our souls and not baptism itself. Baptism is an outward representation of what has happened internally in the heart, it does not cause the heart to change but is a way we show a changed heart.

It sounds like Catholics belief in irresistible grace (at least initial grace) because God works through the waters of baptism to dispense grace.


I am inclined toward the Eastern practice of just accepting the words and the mystery without overhinking it, defining it, coming up with words for it, etc.


This is a view that developped at the Reformation, to deny the salvific nature of Baptism. The Aposltes never separated the water from the work of the Holy Spirit, and nowhere is Baptism described as an “outward sign” until communties and theologians departed from the Apostolic faith.

We believe in prevenient grace, or drawing grace, which leads a person to God. We believe that baptism is a response to this grace. We believe that the circumcision made without hands is a permanent mark upon the soul. But we also believe that a person who has received grace can resist that grace, turn from it, and walk away from their adoption. If this happens, their state is worse than it was before baptism.


A Lewisian approach.


Will this be explained how it is diagrammaticaly? On the true religion, Windows 10?
Does knowledge of the Higgs field change the nature of the True Presence?
I hope the tabernacle remains locked against such implied cynical deep state knowing.


Working this from where you desire to understand, the early church, might benefit from bottoms up-ing all this top down cruising. Thomas applied the constructs of philosophy, rightly, to the understanding that comes from the early church, that is, from the Apostles.
Starting from the unnatural laws of modern theological “bogosity” will never land you in the heart of the understanding on The Eucharist, that heart aside the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There is value in realizing the confusion modern theologians have in knowing the veil and separating His Presence from The Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are too close for us to see a separation. It requires reason to discriminate between these two hearts. Love shows them as one and universal, that is, joined in Catholicity.
But sell the cryptic formula for bread manipulation to Simon. He will pay much to learn the magical spell.


Some people use psalms 138:2 .god honors his word above His name.

And some say the 7sacrements are justified because of “apostolic” power/authority.

Which is why the Eucharist is only possible with apostolic authority.


Well said. Surely there was no need to define something so central and sacred to the Church. To the extent of transubstantiation I mean. I am even open to the charge that this was a source of scandal to the laity - feeding the forces of the Reformation. But that scholastic excess does not justify rejection of communion with Christ in the Eucharist.


Notice that the authority in that statement, is you.

We believe that Jesus Christ gave the Church authority to teach all that He commanded.

True. But Baptism imparts the Spirit.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism is an outward representation of what has happened internally in the heart, it does not cause the heart to change but is a way we show a changed heart.

Not quite.

Baptism is an outward representation of what is effected, or caused, in the heart (i.e. soul) when the water washes the body.

Something happens to the righteous man when the water washes his body. That something is caused by God.

It sounds like Catholics belief in irresistible grace (at least initial grace) because God works through the waters of baptism to dispense grace.

Not quite. Remember what Jesus said in Mark 16:16. He who believes and is baptized will be saved. He who does not believe, will be condemned.

For non-Christians, justification will occur at the Judgment. Much like the Jews had to await justification in Abraham’s bosom (Heb 11).

But for Christians, justification occurs in the Sacraments. When we submit to the Sacraments, beginning with Baptism, we are judged. God looks into our hearts and if He sees righteousness there, He declares us justified and, unlike Abraham, He makes us righteous, by washing us with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

But, if God looks into our hearts and sees that we are not righteous, but feigning belief. If He sees that we are not inclined to do His will, we are committing sacrilege and as the Scripture says about the Eucharist, “many of you are dying and have died” because of this:

1 Corinthians 11:29
For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.

That is why Scripture also says:
1 Peter 4:17
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?


" Now, if you inquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as God took on Himself the flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit… so the bread of the altar and the wine (and water) are mysteriously changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and are not two but one and the same."
-John of Damascus


All the early fathers believed in baptismal regeneration. All Christians did until the Ana-baptists, I believe.

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