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Summary: What are the similarities and differences between the Passover and the Last Supper, Circumcision and Baptism? What are the differences and similarities between the rituals of the Old Testament and the sacraments of the New Testament?

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Luke 22:14-20

1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (These will be read later in the sermon)

This morning we will be remembering the Lord’s Supper also known as Communion.

Augustine, in the 5th century described a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace.”

A sacrament is a visible manifestation of the word. The bread and cup in the Lord's Supper are considered sacraments in that they are visible manifestations of the covenant promise of our Lord: "In the same way, after the supper [Jesus] took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you,'" (Luke 22:20).

This morning we will take a look at the differences between Old Testament rituals such as circumcision and the Passover feast and the New Testament sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper or Communion.

In the OT there are two rituals of utmost importance, the first is circumcision and the second is the Passover.

Why circumcision? - This ritual indicated that a man was a son of Abraham, an Israelite. This was a physical sign of a spiritual condition. A Hebrew male child would be circumcised on the eighth day of life. Yet, the child might grow up to reject the God of Israel or he might grow up to be faithful to the Lord, not turning to the left or the right. On the other hand if the parents failed to have a male child circumcised and he later came to know the Laws of God and faithfully followed the Lord he would naturally submit to circumcision out the an obedient heart.

For the infant who was circumcised according to the law he was neither an obedient or disobedient child based upon being circumcised but upon his choice to follow the Laws of God or reject them.

For the uncircumcised adult male who came to follow the Lord, when he became circumcised it did not save him but only indicated his faithfulness to follow the Lord.

In the NT the sacrament of baptism replaced the ritual of circumcision.

Baptism is an outward sign of an inward spiritual transformation which has taken place.

Baptism is a testimony to the radical change that takes place in the life of someone who comes to know Jesus as their Savior. The old spiritual self is put to death and a new spirit is born from above - we are a new creation in Christ.

In the NT we do not see any examples of children being baptized. In the 16th chapter of Acts we see where two households believed and were baptized but there is nothing to indicate if there were any infants or children younger than the age of accountability in either home.

In almost every instance of baptism in the NT we see that the people believed and then were baptized.

Baptism is an outward sign of an inward spiritual transformation which has taken place.

Can you be baptized and live a life that rejects Christ? Of course you can.

Baptism cannot save you. But baptism is a testimony of a saved life.

So what about the OT ritual of the Passover celebration?

In the OT the ritual of the Passover celebration was a reminder of deliverance from Egypt by the mighty hand of God. You can read in Exodus 12 the ritual of the Passover and when and how it is to be observed each year.


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