My Protestant friend says that the Church just invented the sacraments. Aren’t they mentioned in the Bible?
June 7, 2020, 12:00 PM
The sacraments are not the inventions of man; they are gifts from Jesus Christ to His Church. Since He gave them to us, all seven sacraments can be found throughout the Bible. Here are just a few examples.
One of the many places we see baptism is in Matthew 28:19-20:
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
The apostles (the first bishops) were confirming the baptized from the very beginning of the Church. Thus, we can see confirmation in Acts 8:14-17:
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gave His apostles the authority to forgive sins in John 20:21-23:
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father who sent me, even so I send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
The anointing of the sick is very explicitly described in James 5:14-15:
Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
The grace-filled sacrament of marriage is beautifully described by St. Paul in Ephesians 5:25; 32:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ love the Church… This is a great mystery (sacramentum), but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
Acts 1:21-26 describes how Matthias was chosen and ordained to be an apostle – a bishop set apart to serve the Church by his sacramental ministry. This is one of the passages in which we see the sacrament of holy orders conferred.
To see where the Eucharist (and the Mass) is in the Bible, refer to previous questions.
Again, these are just a few examples of evidence for the sacraments in the New Testament.