Ordinances of the Church
An ordinance of the Church would be some practice that Jesus himself told His followers to continue. Here are Jesus’ instructions:
And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." - Luke 22:19
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20
And we see that in the book of Acts the early Church followed this pattern:
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. - Acts 2:41-42
There is another institution which Christ demonstrated to the disciples, and told them to carry forward, but the church as a rule does not practice this with the same regularity, though it is a beautiful picture of what it means to be in Christ.
You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. - John 13:13-15
Both baptism and communion are clear pictures of Christ’s death.
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:3-4
Communion demonstrates our partaking in His body and blood, becoming one with Him, as he prayed in John 17.
I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. - John 17:20-21
Foot washing demonstrates that as Christ laid down His life for us, we are to lay down our lives, our rights and privilege for the body of Christ.
Walk in light today!