The Sacraments: An Ordination Exam Study Guide for Use in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC)


Following are questions and answers concerning the sacraments taken from the Westminster Confession and the EPC Book of Worship that I used in preparing for ordination exams in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

I. WESTMINSTER CONFESSION

  1. What is a sacrament? 27.1

HOLY SIGNS AND SEALS OF THE COV OF GRACE

  1. What four things do they signify? 27.1

1)      TO REPRESENT CHRIST AND HIS BENEFITS

2)      TO CONFIRM OUR POSITION WITH AND IN HIM

3)      TO DEMONSTRATE A VISIBLE DIFF BT THOSE WHO BELONG TO THE CHURCH AND THE REST OF THE WORLD

4)      TO ENGAGE BELIEVERS IN THE SERVICE OF GOD

  1. What is the relationship between the sacrament and that which is signified? 27.2

SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP OR SACRAMENTAL UNION BT THEM; SO THE NAMES AND EFFECTS OF THE ONE ARE ATTRIBUTED TO THE OTHER

  1. Do the sacraments have power in and of themselves? 27.3

NO

  1. Does the person administering the sacrament empower it to be effective? 27.3

NO

  1. Upon what does the power and effectiveness of the sacrament depend? 27.3

THE SPIRIT

  1. How many sacraments are there? 27.4

TWO

  1. What are they? 27.4

BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER

  1. What is baptism? 28.1

A NT SACRAMENT ORDAINED BY CHRIST WHICH ADMITS ONE INTO THE VISIBLE CHURCH

  1. Baptism is a sign and seal of admission into what? 28.1

THE CHURCH

  1. What five things does baptism signify and seal? 28.1

1)      THE COVENANT OF GRACE

2)      INGRAFTING INTO CHRIST

3)      REBIRTH

4)      REMISSION OF SINS

5)      BELIEVER’S YIELDING TO GOD THRU JESUS TO WALK IN NEW LIFE

  1. How is baptism to be administered? 28.2

BY WATER

  1. What mode of baptism may be used? 28.3

SPRINKLING, POURING, IMMERSION

  1. Who are to be baptized? 28.4

THOSE WHO PROFESS FAITH AND OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST, AND INFANTS OF ONE OR BOTH BELIEVING PARENTS

  1. Is baptism necessary for salvation? 28.5

NO

  1. Is everyone who is baptized saved? 28.5

NO

  1. How and when is the sacrament of baptism made effective? 28.6

NOT TIED TO THE MOMENT IN TIME ADMINISTERED; CONFERRED IN GOD’S APPOINTED TIME

  1. How many times is a person to be baptized? 28.7

ONCE

  1. What is the Lord’s Supper? 29.1

A PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE OF CHRIST’S SACRIFICIAL DEATH AND AS SEAL OF ALL BENEFITS OF SACRIFICE TO BELIEVERS

  1. What things does the Lord’s Supper signify? 29.1

SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT AND GROWTH OF BELIEVERS; A BOND AND PLEDGE OF BELIEVERS’ COMMUNION WITH JESUS

  1. To what does it testify regarding our relationship with other Christians? 29.1

A BOND AND PLEDGE OF BELIEVERS’ COMMUNION WITH EACH OTHER

  1. Is the Lord’s Supper a sacrifice for sins? 29.2

NO

  1. What does the Lord’s Supper commemorate? 29.2

THE SACRIFICIAL DEATH OF CHRIST

  1. How is the Lord’s Supper to be administered? 29.3

THE PASTOR DECLARES WORDS OF INST, PRAYS, BLESSES BREAD AND WINE TO SET APART FOR HOLY USE; HIS MINISTERS BREAK BREAD AND TAKE CUP, GIVE TO COMMUNICANTS AND TO THEMSELVES BUT NOT TO ANYONE NOT PRESENT

  1. How do worthy recipients receive Christ in this sacrament? 29.7

PHYSICALLY PARTAKING ELEMENTS; BY FAITH SPIRITUALLY RECEIVE AND FEED ON CHRIST CRUCIFIED AND ALL BENEFITS OF HIS DEATH

  1. What is the relationship between the bread and wine and the actual presence of Christ? 29.7

THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST IS NOT PHYSICALLY IN OR ON OR WITH OR UNDER THE ELEMENTS BUT ARE ACTUALLY SPIRITUALLY PRESENT TO THE FAITH OF THE BELIEVERS, JUST AS THE ELEMENTS ARE PHYSICALLY PRESENT

  1. Should anyone be allowed to partake of the Lord’s Supper? 29.8

IGNORANT OR UNWORTHY MAY NOT PARTAKE

II. BOOK OF WORSHIP

  1. Who may administer the sacraments? 3.1

ORDAINED MINISTER

  1. Who may be baptized? 3.2A

THOSE PROFESSED FAITH AND OBEDIENCE AND THEIR CHILDREN

  1.    What happens when baptism is neglected? 3.2C

THE BLESSINGS OF GOD PROMISED IN THE SACRAMENT ARE LOST

  1. Where should baptism be administered? 3.2E

IN CORPORATE WORSHIP

  1. In the event the baptism takes place at a location other than public worship, who should be present to represent the congregation? 3.2E

AT LEAST ONE RULING ELDER

  1. Who should be baptized as an adult? 3.2F

ONE NOT BAPTIZED AS INFANT WHO PROFESSES FAITH IN CHRIST

  1. What should be given to the adult being baptized? 3.2F1

INSTRUCTION ON THE MEANING OF THE SACRAMENT, OBLIGATIONS OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP, THE NEED TO LIVE BY FAITH, WALK IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS, TO LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS

  1. Who is to authorize the baptism? 3.2F1

SESSION

  1. What is necessary for the Session to authorize baptism? 3.2F1

SATISFACTION TO PERSON’S FULL INTENTION TO BE OBEDIENT TO CHRIST AND PROFESSION OF FAITH

  1. What does baptism of a child require? 3.2G

TWO-FOLD AFFIRMATION, ONE BY PARENTS AND ONE BY CONGREG TO PROVIDE NURTURE, SUPPORT, GODLY EXAMPLE, DISCIPLINE

  1. Who may present the child for baptism? 3.2G1, 3.2A

ACTIVE MEMBERS – ONE OR BOTH BELIEVING PARENTS OR A BELIEVER WHO EXERCISES AUTHORITY OF A PARENT

  1. Who else may the Session authorize to be baptized? 3.2G1

THOSE ON THE INACTIVE ROLL

  1. What is the Session to do when a child of believers who are members of another church is to be baptized? 3.2G1

NOTIFY GOVERNING BODY OF CHURCH OF BAPTISM

  1. Where are all baptisms to be recorded? 3.2G1

PERMANENT RECORD OF SESSION

  1. Do the EPC recognize Godparents? 3.2G3

NO

  1. What is the continuing obligation of the Session to the baptized child? 3.2G8

WATCH OVER, PROVIDE FOR SPIRTUAL NURTURE NECESSARY TO GROW IN GRACE, PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES, SUCH AS COMMUNICANTS’ CLASS WHERE THEY MAY PROFESS FAITH AND BE PREPARED TO BECOME FULL MEMBERS AND PARTICIPANTS IN LIFE OF CHURCH

  1. In what way is Christ present in the Lord’s Supper? 3.3B

SPIRITUALLY

  1. How often should the Lord’s Supper be observed? 3.3E

AT LEAST QUARTERLY

  1. What should always be done in conjunction with the Lord’s Supper? 3.3F

PREACH THE WORD

  1. When can baptized children be admitted to the Lord’s Table? 3.3I

AFTER THEY APPEAR BEFORE THE SESSION AND PROFESS FAITH IN ACCEPTABLE MANNER

  1. Who may distribute the elements? 3.3L

RULING ELDERS OR OTHERS APPOINTED BY THEM

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