Ash Wednesday and Lent are becoming more popular within the church these days. Whether it’s the cool thing to do, another attempt of the church trying to be “relevant”, or a lack of understanding church history – I’m not exactly clear. I am clear, however, that these are two made up observances that need not bind the conscience of those who belong to Christ. There are two sacraments given to the church by Christ, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Anything other than these two sacraments is an unnecessary burden on the believer and should not be instituted by any leader within the church.
The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture. WCF 21.1
Now, above are my thought’s on the church’s observance of Lent. If a believer wants to observe during his/her time away from the corporate gathering of the saints, I really don’t have an opinion other than to say – be careful. Sanctification is not a part-time gig. Those who are in Christ die to sin daily, not seasonally. Besides, boasting about one’s attempt at “religious resolutions” is not exactly edifying for you or for those whom you are a witness.
I encourage those in Christ to rejoice in the two sacraments (ordinances for those of a baptist tradition) instituted by Christ and not entertain the ridiculous thought of extra credit. May we rejoice in knowing we are justified not by works – but by faith. May we rejoice in knowing the Lord will sanctify us daily to better serve Him.
1. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
2. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
3. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail; yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so, the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. WCF 13