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“The ordinances are called the ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, because the Lord hath not wholly limited and bound up himself unto his ordinances; for he can in an extraordinary way bring some out of a state of nature into a state of grace; as Paul, who was converted by a light and a voice from heaven; but the ordinances are the most usual way and means of conversion and salvation, without the use of which we cannot, upon good ground, expect that any benefit of redemption should be communicated to us . . . the chief ordinances of the Lord’s appointment are the Word, sacraments, and prayer . . . the ordinances are made effectual for salvation to the elect only” (Thomas Vincent, The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture, Banner of Truth Trust, p. 234).

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