What is "Confirmation" and does every believer need it?
Confirmation is a common ceremony in a few denominations, such as Catholicism. It is explained as a sacrament in which the Holy Spirit is given to already baptized Catholics in order to make them strong and perfect Christians. The idea that of sealing the Christian, and making sure of his or her salvation.
The Catholic Encyclopedia claims that Confirmation imparts:
- an increase of sanctifying grace, which makes the recipient a "perfect Christian";
- a special sacramental grace consisting of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost--notably in the strength and courage to confess boldly the name of Christ;
- an indelible character by reason of which the sacrament cannot be received again by the same person.
It goes on to say that while Confirmation is not an absolute necessity for salvation, it is an obligation to God and to the church.
Now, what does the Bible say?
- 1 Corinthians 6:11: "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God."
- Romans 2:23-24: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
- Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition
and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
I cannot tell you what the Bible says about Confirmation because neither the word nor the practice is presented anywhere in the Bible. It is a tradition brought about by man and it is in conflict with the principles of the Bible that say we are cleansed only through the grace of Jesus Christ and nothing we can do on the outside will make our salvation more secure. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the
gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).