What are Sacraments? (Heidelberg 25)

What are the sacraments and why are they important for Christians? In this session we start to look at the sacraments and how God uses them to help us to understand the gospel.

There are four questions in this session:

  • Q65 – Since faith alone makes us share in Christ and all his benefits, where does this faith come from? (In other words, is even faith itself something which is to our own credit?)
  • Q66 – What are the sacraments?
  • Q67 – Are both the Word and the sacraments then intended to focus our faith on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?
  • Q68 – How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant?

This last question is one where particularly Roman Catholics and protestants will disagree. Protestant churches believe there are only two sacraments. It’s no surprise that the Heidelberg Catechism, being a Reformed / protestant catechism, takes this line.

The sacraments were one of the key battle grounds in the middle ages between Catholic and protestant theology, and it’s important to understand what they are and why they’re important. I hope that the Heidelberg Catechism in looking at the sacraments warms your heart and enlivens your faith as you think through these things.

Want more?

If you enjoy this, you can do the whole series right here on the website, or on the app (see links on the right hand side of the page). Alternatively, I am uploading them regularly to YouTube and Facebook. All sessions on YouTube are available on this playlist.

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