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Essential Elements of Public Worship: The Ordinances

The last of Ryl’s essential parts of public worship is the regular use of the New Testament ordinances.


By baptism new members should be continually added to the congregation, and publicly enrolled in the list of professing Christians. By the Lord’s Supper believers should be continually offered an opportunity of confessing their Master, and continually strengthened and refreshed, and put in remembrance of his sacrifice on the cross. I believe . . . that no one who neglected these two sacraments would have been regarded as a Christian by St Paul and St Peter, St James and St John. No doubt, like every other good thing, they may be painfully misused and profaned by some, and superstitiously idolized by others. But after all there is no getting over the fact that baptism and the Lord’s Supper were ordained by Christ himself as means of grace, and we cannot doubt he meant them to be reverently and duly used. A man who preferred to worship God for many years without ever receiving the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, is a man, I am firmly persuaded, that would not have been thought in a right state in the days of the Apostles.

—J. C. Ryle, Knots Untied (Banner of Truth, 2016), 323–324.

Posted 2017·06·27 by David Kjos
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