The Sin of Sacramentalism

Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, and Circumcision we have thus shown are not actually the ways in which divine grace is dispensed to us.  The concept that these rituals deliver the grace of God to the partaker is called Sacramentalism.  As has been clearly demonstrated in the previous articles, this concept is unscriptural and bankrupt of divine truth. 

The dispensation of grace is unseen; the Holy Spirit does not come with observation (Lk 17:20).  Furthermore, the dispensation of grace is directional.  What do I mean by that?  The dispensation of grace is from the Kingdom of Heaven to man, as it described clearly in John 14:16 and many other scriptures.  Jesus does not claim that the Spirit will be transferred from man to man!  Our Lord teaches that the Spirit of God descends from the Kingdom of God, as is clearly demonstrated on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17).  Probably the clearest demonstration of this truth is the baptism of Jesus. When Jesus goes to John for baptism at the river Jordan, as Jesus comes up out of the water, immediately John saw that the Spirit descended from the Kingdom of Heaven upon Him (Mk 1:10-11).  The key is that the Spirit did not go from John the Baptist to Jesus, though John himself was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb (Lk 1:15). The concept that anything life-giving can come from a man is wholly unscriptural.   

Consider the scriptures in the tenth chapter of Romans carefully: what do they say about the mechanism of the conference of grace?  Does each one of us need to see Christ lay down on the cross again, die and be raised from the dead to be saved (Rom 10:6)? Does each one of us need to see the risen Christ descend from heaven and perform a ritual to be saved (Rom 10:6)?  Or is believing in the heart of a man–something that cannot be observed! And is it not believing that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead what saves? Wherefore then do you need a Holy Place, a Holy Man, a Holy Vesture, Holy Water, or  a Holy Rite?

THE INVENTION OF THE MIDDLE MAN

Though Sacramentalists may claim that the administration of these “rites” that confer grace in and of themselves cannot be hindered by the personal holiness of the one administering, this is wholly out of touch with the totality of the scriptural witness.  Nothing could be more important than the Holiness of the mediator between man and God. This is why there can be only one mediator between God and man, even Jesus the Christ (1 Tim 2:5).

The Only Mediator therefore is Christ.  He did no sin (1 Pt 2:22), He knew no sin (1 Jn 3:5), and in Him is no sin (1 cor 5:23).  It was this sinlessness, this lack of any blemish whatever, that made Christ the mediator of the New Covenant by reason of the blood He shed for our sins (Heb 9:14-15).  No other mediator can stand in His place at any time. Many have claimed to be the mediator between God and man–that by the rituals they perform they are able to translate a man into heaven; in so doing, they claim to be the Christ, and, thereby, become the false Christs spoken of by Our Lord: “[f]or many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Mt 24:5).  

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