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         On The Sacraments:
The Lutheran Orthodox Church Position 





      A Statement on the Sacraments From the Bishops of the Lutheran Orthodox Church   


            From antiquity, the Church has tried to understand and present the central mysteries of the Christian Faith.  These mysteries, as given by God to mankind, speak to us of the nature of God, and His relationship with us.  Because they come from God through His Word, we call them sacred, and hence the term, Sacrament.  While the Church has long been less than uniform in defining what should be recognized as Sacraments, the consensus of the catholic churches for nearly a thousand years, has been to recognize seven.  Our Lutheran Confessions are not hostile to numbering the Sacraments in any particular way (cf. Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIII,) so long as all that Scripture gives us is maintained.  Thus, with freedom and not by compulsion, we join the consensus of the catholic and orthodox churches, numbering the traditional seven Sacraments as such: 

  Holy Baptism           

  The Sacrament of Salvation, given by Christ, with the promise that all who believe and are baptized, will be saved. (Mark 16, Matthew 28, Augustana IX, Small Catechism) 

  Holy Eucharist           

  The Lord’s Supper, given to us by Christ, with the promise that it is indeed His true Body and Blood, given and shed for us, for the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 6, I Corinthians 11, Augustana X, XXII, XIV, Small Catechism)

  Holy Confession and Absolution           

  The power to forgive sins, given to the Church by Christ and exercised by the pastors to whom the Office of the Keys is given, with the promise that whoever repents and believes will hear the Absolution as from the very lips of Christ Himself.  (Matthew 16, John 20, Augustana XI, XII, XXV, Small Catechism) 

  Holy Orders            

 The pastoral Office of the Keys, given to the Church by Christ, for the proclamation of the Word of God in both Law and Gospel, and the administration of the Sacraments according to Christ’s command.  Historically, this office in the Church has been exercised in the specific orders of Deacons, Priests or Presbyters, and Bishops.  (Matthew 28, Mark 16, John 20, Acts 1-6, 1 and 2nd Timothy, Titus, Augustana XIV, XV, XXIII, XXVIII) 

  Holy Matrimony             

Marriage, given to mankind by God in the Garden at Creation, is the lifelong union of one man and one woman, for procreation of, and care for, children.  It is the mystery that God gives which continues the human race, as He exercises His continuing divine power of creation through mothers and fathers.  St. Paul also refers to Christian marriage as a mystery which foreshadows the relationship of Christ and the Church.  (Genesis1-2, Ephesians 5) 

  Holy Confirmation or Chrismation            

 Jesus told His disciples, that if you confess Me before men, I will confess you before My Father in heaven—but if you deny Me before men, I will deny you before My Father in heaven.  The public confession of faith, and confirmation of that faith in the Church, is retained with proper catechesis and instruction in the faith, once for all delivered to the saints.  (Matthew 10, Romans 10) 

  Holy Unction, or Anointing with Oil             

The gift of Christ given to the Church by His Word, that we are to pray for one another, particularly when our brothers or sisters are in distress or need.  St. James tells us that we are to bring the sick to the elders (presbyters) of the Church, that hands may be laid on them, they may be anointed with oil, and that God working through the prayers of the faithful may heal the sick according to His will.  (Acts, James 5) +++