New City Catechism Question 43
What are the ordinances?
The ordinances given by God and instituted by Christ, namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are visible signs and seals that we are bound together as a community of faith by his death and resurrection. By our use of them the Holy Spirit more fully declares and seals the promises of the gospel to us.
Charles Spurgeon declared:
"We have no respect whatever for the ordinances of men in religion. Anything that is only invented by churches, or councils, is nothing whatever to us. We know of two ordinances instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ—the Baptism of Believers and the Lord's Supper. And we utterly abhor and reject all pretended "sacraments" of every kind. And because we observe these two ordinances, and these two, only, we are the more concerned that they should be properly used and duly understood, and that they should minister to the edification of those who participate in them. We would have those who are baptized understand what is meant by that expressive rite—that they, being dead with Christ, should also be buried with Him and rise with Him into newness of life. And when we observe the Lord's Supper, we feel a deep and earnest desire that none should come to the Table in ignorance of the significance of the observance—or that, at least, ignorance may not be an occasion of eating unworthily—but that we may comprehend what we are doing and understand the spiritual meaning of this pictorial instruction by which the Lord Jesus Christ would, even until the end of the age, remind His Church of His great Sacrifice upon the Cross."
---From Sermon 2638, "The Right Observance of the Lord's Supper"