Friday, October 5, 2012

Did Zwingli teach that the sacraments are empty signs?

The ninth article of the Marburg Articles are clear that, for Zwingli, the sacraments are more than empty signs:
Zum nündten, das der heylig touffe sye ein sacrament, das zuo soelichem glouben von gott yngesetzt, und diewyl gottes gebott: Ite, baptisate [Matth. 28, 19], und gottes verheyssung drinnen ist: qui crediderit [Mark. 16, 16], so ists nit allein ein ledig zeichen oder losung under den christen, sonder ein zeichen und werck gottes, darinn unser gloube
gefordert, durch welchen wir zum laeben widergeborenn werdend.

Ninth, that holy baptism is a sacrament which has been instituted by God as an aid to such a faith, and because God’s command, “Go baptize” (Matthew 28:19), and by God’s promise, “He who believes” (Mark 16:16), are connected with it, it is therefore not merely an empty sign or watchword among Chgristians but, rather, a sign and work of God by which our faith grows and through which we are regenerated to (eternal) life.

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