Saturday, March 20, 2004
Diametrically opposed to the doctrine of those who deny that the sacraments are Divine seals is the heresy of the Romish church that teaches that the sacraments of the New Testament communicate grace. They say that the gifts of God's grace are entrusted to the church, and she gives them to men. In the sacrament, according to the Romish doctrine, there is an act of the church by which it communicates grace, and that in such a manner that each sacrament gives a special grace, even when the recipient of the sacrament does not believe.
Luther could not free himself entirely from this unscriptural Romish doctrine, and called the sacraments wagons, vessels, channels, and actual causes by which grace is communicated.
Based upon the Word of God and following the path of Calvin, the Reformed, on the other hand, denied that the sacraments had any ability to communicate grace.