Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Biblical Evidence For the Sacrament of Confirmation

Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin presenting his godson Colin to Bishop James Sartain of Little Rock, for Confirmation

[ source ]

Some of the passages below were drawn from "Where Is Confirmation in the Bible?" -- in the bestselling New Catholic Answer Bible, by Dr. Paul Thigpen. I've added many more, presently. I'm co-author of the "apologetic inserts" in that Bible, but Paul wrote this particular one. I had compiled a number of Bible passages in the original Catholic Answer Bible (I was sole author of those inserts). The latter is now available for as low as $2.34, used, at amazon. The newer version is bit more! The first version, alas, never mentioned my name as author: talk about humility . . . All passages are RSV.

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[the 62 passages previously listed here are now available only in chapter eight of my book, Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths]

The Holy Spirit's Descent Upon Persons / "Received" / "Poured Out"

Baptism With the Holy Spirit

Being "Filled" With the Holy Spirit

Laying on of Hands Associated with the Coming of the Holy Spirit

"Sealed" With the Holy Spirit

Anointing With Oil For a Sacred Purpose or to Receive the Holy Spirit

(See 170 more passages with "anoint" or "anointed": Part One / Part Two)

Holy Spirit Received Through the Channel of Authoritative Persons

The bishops are the successors of the apostles, by apostolic succession.

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Thus, we see that all essential elements of the Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation, are present in Holy Scripture, and quite explicitly so:
1) The Holy Spirit can "descend" upon persons.

2) The Holy Spirit can be "given" as a "gift" to persons by God the Father.

3) The Holy Spirit can be "received" by persons.

4) The Holy Spirit can be "poured out" to persons.

5) The Holy Spirit can "fall on" persons.

6) A person can be "baptized" with the Holy Spirit.

7) A person can be "filled" by the Holy Spirit.

8) A person can "receive" or be "filled with" the Holy Spirit by means of the human
instrumentality of laying on of hands.

9) A person can be "sealed for the day of redemption" by the Holy Spirit, as a "guarantee of our inheritance."

10) A person can be anointed with oil in order to be commissioned or set apart or consecrated.

11) A person can be anointed with oil in order for the "Spirit of the Lord" to come "mightily upon" them.

12) Authoritative persons (popes, apostles, prophets) preside over this giving and receiving of the Holy Spirit.

13) And these authoritative persons in the Church do this by the laying on of hands (Peter, John, Paul).

14) And they do this by anointing with oil (Samuel and David).

15) We know from other evidences in Scripture that bishops are the successors of the apostles.
For the related notion of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, see many passages compiled in my paper, Orthodox Catholic Christology: A Theological Primer (middle section).

See also, Catechism of the Catholic Church: # 698, 900, 941, 1121, 1285-1321, 1546, 2472.

See also the related paper: Martin Luther's Opinion of (the Catholic Sacrament of) Confirmation.

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