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Unformatted text preview: 24 - LAST November 24, 2008 CH 13 Dr. Warren Smith Thomas’ definition of a sacrament: A holy sign that makes us holy. The sacrament is the instrumental cause that imparts grace in us. Physical creatures – body and soul – who gain info about the world by examining things and drawing conclusions from it. God uses the natural way that we are structured to educate us through the sacraments. Through the physical things we gain knowledge of the invisible God. The incarnation, the Word veiled in flesh. Thomas’ understanding of the 7 sacraments. The fundamental unity of the 7 that parallels the life of a Christian. Christianity in the 12 th and 13 th centuries, you grow up as a Christian from the time you are born until you die, and the 7 sacraments follow you throughout every stage of your life. The basic argument is this: The sacraments structure the whole life of a Christian. 3-fold purpose: 1. Guide the development of a person towards the worship of God. Towards our doxological end of the worship of God. The sacraments are part of our maturation process so that we may fulfill our ultimate end. 2. As a remedy for the effects of sin. They heal the defects in our nature that are the consequence of original sin. 3. They function in the up-building of the church, the body of Christ. Not only the healing and edification of the individual, but also the edification of the body, and the sacraments play a role in each one of these. For each of these three ends, the sacraments parallel those purposes. Page 1 of 7 11/24/08 So, the working of the sacrament: The development of the person for the worship of God. There is an analogy between the physical development of the individual and the spiritual development of the individual. The sacrament that corresponds to the beginning of life is the sacrament of baptism. He refers to it as the “washing of regeneration”. The sacrament has both the outward and visible sign and the hidden holiness which is signified by the outward thing. In the case of Baptism, the outward sign of the washing is the water. But the water itself is not the sacrament. The sacrament is washing WITH Word and Water. In this you see the hidden reality – regeneration. The hidden reality signified in washing with water and the word is regeneration – to be born again. In baptism each person begins life anew. It is to be born of water and the spirit. In other words, we enter into a new life that is characterized by two things: righteousness and enlightenment....
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course CHHIST 13 taught by Professor Warrensmith during the Fall '08 term at Duke.
- Fall '08