What are the ordinances of God?
Although there are many meaningful religious services and ceremonies, there are only two practices that clearly rise to the level of ordinances. The true test of the scriptural validity of a Christian ordinance rests in the affirmative answer to three questions:
- Was it commanded by our Lord Jesus as recorded in the four Gospels?
- Was it practiced in the early church as described in the Acts of the Apostles?
- Is its spiritual significance clearly expounded in the Epistles?
Only Water Baptism and Holy Communion clearly meet this threefold requirement.
By submitting to the ordinance of Water Baptism and by regular observance of the Lord’s Supper, the Christian proclaims to the world that he has renounced his former life of living for sin and self and now belongs, body, soul, and spirit, to Christ as the Lord of his life.
Water Baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a God-given illustration of each Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Obedience to this ordinance demonstrates the believer’s public confession of this fact to others.
- All who unite with any local church on profession of faith in Christ should further confess Christ by receiving water baptism, preferably by immersion, as early as possible.
- Baptism shall be administered according to the divine command of our blessed Lord, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Spirit).”
Holy Communion commemorates our redemption by Christ’s death. It points to Calvary and to the return of Jesus, whose blood cleanses us from all sin and prepares us for His blessed return (Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30).
- The bread and the wine should be administered to all Christians (only unfermented wine should be used).
- The Lord’s Table should be open to all who love Him, and all of the Lord’s children should be invited to His Table to commemorate together the death of their common Lord.
- This shall be administered at least once each quarter.
At DHOP we baptize people once per month and take Holy Communion once per month.