Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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This writer has often been taken to task for his alleged inconsistency in “eliminating” water baptism from God’s program for today, while holding to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

This criticism is based upon the unscriptural assumption that baptism and the Lord’s Supper belong together in Scripture, and in God’s program for the present dispensation.

Well do we remember how a startling misquotation of Colossians 2:14 first led us to a study of this subject. A Bible teacher of some note had “quoted” the passage thus: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances, that was against us, leaving two, baptism and the Lord’s Supper”!

This is pure—and unscriptural—tradition, for the fact is that the two are never linked together in the Scriptures, and certainly not as ordinances for the Body of Christ. True Bereans will search the Scriptures as to these facts, and be forever done with the notion that baptism and the Lord’s Supper belong together in the program of God.

Moreover, there are definite distinctions and even contrasts between the two.

Water baptism was an Old Testament ordinance.
The Lord’s Supper is a New Testament celebration.

Water baptism, like all ordinances, was “imposed.”
The Lord’s Supper never was imposed.

Water baptism was required for salvation.
The Lord’s Supper, never.

Water baptism was associated with our Lord’s manifestation to Israel.
The Lord’s Supper is associated with our Lord’s rejection and absence.

Water baptism denotes an unfinished work.
The Lord’s Supper speaks of the finished work of Christ.

Water baptism was a single act.
The Lord’s Supper is celebrated again and again.

Water baptism was not included in Paul’s special commission.
The Lord’s Supper was included in Paul’s special commission.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

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