Definition: Along with Baptism and the Eucharist, Confirmation is a sacrament of initiation into the Church. The sacrament more perfectly binds a person (usually in early adolescence) to the Catholic Church by imparting special strength for ministry. The bishop anoints each confirmand on the forehead, and calls down the Holy Spirit upon them with the words: “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” In order for the sacrament to be effective, the confirmand needs to be in a state of grace. This is accomplished by confession to a priest and through intense prayer. The confirmand also seeks the spiritual help of their sponsor, which if often one of the baptismal godparents.
Discussion: In Catholicism, Confirmation is a misnomer, since the Church teaches that no one can be certain that they are going to heaven. For the Catholic, justification is a lifelong process – actually even longer, since most Catholics usually end up in purgatory. In reality, justification is an event (Rom. 5:1) whereby through faith a person trusts in Jesus alone for salvation. At that moment, they not only receive forgiveness of sin, but also the perfect righteousness of Jesus credited to their account (Rom. 4:1-8). There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion that confirms a sinner’s entrance into heaven, not the magical Catholic sacraments provided by bishops and priests.
Articles & Viewpoints:
- Article by David Stewart – Confirmation is of the Devil