Romans 4:9-12: The Purpose of the Sacraments

by Dale Partridge

What’s the purpose of the sacraments if they can not secure salvation? What does the Bible teach about these signs and seals? How should this cause Christians to think about baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Paul offers us a comprehensive view of the gospel in the book of Romans, giving us better gospel fluency. So far, the book of Romans has shown us the universal condemnation of the law, and that all men are condemned by the law, and are only justified by faith in Christ alone.

This blessing of salvation in Christ is something that occurs before any sacraments are performed. Just as Abraham was justified before he was circumcised, so too we are justified through faith which leads to obedience. We obey, not so that we will be saved, we obey because we have already been saved. We must remember that our obedience is a sign of what God is doing in and through us because He has saved us in Christ.

In this episode of Real Christianity, pastor Dale Partridge walks us through how we should look at the sacraments and how this understanding should shape how we see baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

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Scripture References

  • Romans 4:9-12

    ‘Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. ‘

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After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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