Today I worked on a video that will be shown at Redemption Hill Church this coming Sunday. The video highlights some of the recent baptisms and, as I was editing the footage, I was reminded of what a amazing means of grace God has given us in the sacraments. So much more than empty rituals, they are active agents of God’s merciful kindness towards us. As I was thinking about this, I stumbled across this bit from Spurgeon and my soul was lifted up to God all the more:
Other means, however, are made use of to bless men’s souls. For instance, the two ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are both made a rich means of grace. But let me ask you, is there any thing in baptism that can possibly bless any body? Can immersion in water have the slightest tendency to be blessed to the soul? And then with regard to the eating of bread and the drinking of wine at the Lord’s Supper, can it by any means be conceived by any rational man that there is any thing in the mere piece of bread that we eat, or in the wine that we drink? And yet, doubtless, the grace of God does go with both ordinances for the confirming of the faith of those who receive them, and even for the conversion of those who look upon the ceremony. There must be something, then, beyond the outward ceremony; there must, in fact, be the Spirit of God, witnessing through the water, witnessing through the wine, witnessing through the bread, or otherwise none of these things could be means of grace to our souls. They could not edify; they could not help us to commune with Christ; they could not tend to the conviction of sinners, or to the establishment of saints. There must, then, from these facts, be a higher, unseen, mysterious influence — the influence of the divine Spirit of God.
Charles H. Spurgeon, vol. 5, Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 5, electronic ed., Logos Library System; Spurgeon’s Sermons (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998).