Ordinances of the Church

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Ordinances of the Church

Topics: Baptism; Communion

Main Texts: Romans 6:3-4;

1 Cor. 11:23-32

I.Introduction – Part I - Baptism

A.   Drink Ye All of It

A preacher was conducting his first baptismal service. In his nervousness, he got his Scriptures confused concerning baptism and the Lord’s Supper: I now baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. As he lowered the convert into the water, he added, And now drink ye all of it.[1]

B.   Today we will talk a little about the doctrine of Church Ordinances – Baptism and The Lord’s Supper, or Communion.

1.     Part 1 - Baptism

a)    What Baptism is NOT

b)    What Baptism IS

c)     Who Should be Baptized and How      

2.     Part 2 – Communion

a)    Celebration of the New Covenant Matt. 26:26-28

b)    The Proclamation of Redemption

c)     A Declaration of Dependence

d)    Is a Self-Examination

e)     The reception of Provision

II. Baptism: Water Baptism is NOT salvation

A.   There are those that believe that if you are baptized (either as a child or adult) then you will automatically become part of the church.

1.     There is only one way into the Church, and that is through the repentance and faith in Christ

a)    …I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

III. Baptism: Water Baptism Is an act of faith

A.   Romans 6:3-4  

1.     vs. 4 – Buried with Christ – to bury someone along with someone else.

2.     Col. 2:12 – Raised with Christ through Faith in the work of God

3.     How was Jesus Raised From the Dead?

a)    Rom 6:4b …by the Glory of the Father

b)    Why? So that we will no longer be slaves to sin Rom 6:4-6

IV. Baptism: Who should be baptized? And How?

A.   The only ones who are eligible for baptism are believers.

1.     Noah believed God before going through the flood (which is a type of baptism) 1 Pet. 3:20-21; Heb. 11:7

2.     In Matt 28:19 Jesus said for us to first make disciples, then baptize in the name (title) of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost

3.     Mark 16:16 : The believing comes before the baptizing.

4.     Acts 8:12: Philip, peaching in Samaria…they were baptized after they believed.

5.     Acts 16:31: In preaching to the Philipian jailer, Paul baptized them after they believed (vs 34)

B.   Baptism is for the believer; those who have been buried with Christ through repentance from sin and raised from the dead by the glory of God, through Faith in God’s resurrection power in Christ.

C.   How should we be baptized? The greek word for ‘Baptism’ is baptízō and means to to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge, as you would wash vessels or dishes.

V. Introduction Part 2– Communion

A.   In partaking of the blood of the New Covenant, it is important that we understand the full scope of communion in our lives. I want to talk about five great principles of communion.

1.     Celebration of the New Covenant Matt. 26:26-28

2.     The Proclamation of Redemption

3.     A Declaration of Dependence

4.     Is a Self-Examination

5.     The reception of Provision

VI. Principal 1: The Celebration of the New Covenant

A.   In Revelation 12:10, 11, we read:

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

1.     Christ won the victory over the Devil for us.

2.     The spirit of communion is a triumphant and victorious one, where we are to be reminded that Jesus Christ conquered the power of the enemy!

3.     Jesus Christ told us to drink of the cup of the blood of the New Covenant and to “do this in remembrance of Me.”

a)    We are to remember that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God whose blood redeemed us from the power of sin, death, and Satan.

B.   The Lord’s Supper—communion or “Eucharist”—comes from the Greek word eucharisteo, which means to give thanks.     

1.    Given thanks, eucharisteo. From eu, “well,” and charizomai, “to give freely.” To be grateful, to express gratitude, to be thankful. Eleven of the thirty-nine appearances of the word in the New Testament refer to partaking of the Lord’s Supper, while twenty-eight occurrences describe praise words given to the Godhead. During the second century, Eucharist became the generic term for the Lord’s Supper.1

2.     The purpose of communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is to “give thanks.” Communion is to be a celebration of victory.

VII.Principal 2: Communion is the Proclamation of Redemption

A.   First Corinthians 11:26 reads, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

1.     When we take communion, we are to take it as a “proclamation of redemption.”

2.     The only way God could redeem humankind was through the blood of Jesus Christ. Humankind was in need of a Redeemer and “redeeming costs something.”

3.     Every time we come to the Lord’s Table, we are saying, “Jesus died for us; Jesus is my victory, and a price was paid.”

4.     When we come to the Lord’s Supper, we are to be reminded of specific things that God has done for us through His redemption. Communion means a “sharing in common.” Together, as the body of Christ, we share what Jesus Christ has done for us.

VIII.Principal 3: Communion is a Declaration of Dependence

A.   In John 6:53 Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”

1.     When we take communion, we are declaring our total dependence upon Jesus Christ and His power

2.     As we surrender to His lordship and depend upon Him for our strength, the vibrant and living force (dynamic) of the Holy Spirit is released in us when we partake of His body and blood.

3.     The New Covenant releases supernatural energy into our lives through the blood of Jesus Christ.

IX.Principal 4: Communion Is an Examination of Self

A.   Communion is not to be a gloomy and dull (morose) ritual, but it is a time when we are to search our own hearts in the presence of God and ask to be cleansed from our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ.

B.   In 1 Corinthians 11:28, 29, we read, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

1.     The purpose of this scripture is to teach us to become true disciples who accept the discipline that discipleship brings. Thus we examine ourselves in the light of the Holy Spirit, allowing God’s Spirit to point out in our lives areas in which we are “missing the mark.”

2.     It is here that we take advantage of the blessing that the New Covenant brings. It is the complete forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. We must realize that all of us will sin as we walk with Christ in this life.

3.     Wrong attitudes, living in fear instead of faith, anger, jealousy, and deliberate sins must all be confessed before the Lord, so that we can receive healing, cleansing, and deliverance.

4.     Wrong attitudes and sins, like fear, can bring bondage into our lives and can actually prevent the full release of God’s possibilities in our lives.

C.   In understanding that one of the principles the Bible teaches regarding communion is an examination of self, how can we be sure that we do not turn a healthy examination of self into a morose and self-depreciating ritual? (1 Cor. 11:28)

1.     What is the purpose of self-examination? (1 Cor. 11:29)

2.     In practical terms, what should be the spiritual result of allowing God to fill our inner beings more completely? Can we rightfully expect to experience greater joy and victory in this process? (Eph. 3:16–21)

3.     The power of the blood is that Jesus Christ sets us free to be all that we are created to be, and restores us to right relationship with God and man; the condition of righteousness.

4.     Self-examination, although momentarily difficult, should always lead to personal resurrection and a greater infilling of the Spirit of God.

X.Principal Five - Communion Is a Reception of Provision


A.   To partake of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner means that we do not allow the full power and provision of this cup of the New Covenant to be manifest in our lives (1 Cor. 11:29–32). In other words, we limit the full worth of the price He paid for our complete healing and deliverance.

B.   The purpose of the blood of the New Covenant is that Jesus Christ paid not only for our sins, but for the full provision for every need in our lives. To take the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner is to limit, by our unbelief, the full provision of what God has done.

1.     The New Covenant was made available to us by the price of Christ’s blood and His death on the Cross.

2.     The New Covenant provides healing, financial provision, peace of mind, deliverance, freedom from fear, and spiritual power and purpose.

C.   Communion should symbolize for us that the blood of the Covenant, the blood of Jesus, made it possible for us to receive the full worth of God’s unlimited provision in every area of our lives!

D.   The awesome reality of this total provision, made possible by the blood of the covenant, should revolutionize our understanding of how good God is and how this goodness can be manifest in every area of our life


In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said:

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.[2] Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”" (Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV)

As we consider the ordinances of the church, we should understand that we are buried WITH Christ; raised WITH Christ by the Glory of God; and made part of the communion (fellowship, participation koinonia) of the body of Christ.

Let’s keep our hearts centered on the true meaning of baptism and communion of the Lord – The blood of a new and everlasting Covenant; the blood of Jesus is a celebration of victory over the devil, power over sin, and peace in our hearts.


[1]Robert J. Morgan, Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 44.

1 Spirit-Filled Life Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), 1583, “Word Wealth: 6:11 given thanks.”

[2]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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