What is the brief history of confirmation?


Confirmation is defined as a sacrament, a ritual or a service performed by man. In some traditions, generally Catholic and Anglican, the sacrament of confirmation is the ritual by which a young person becomes an official member of the Church. This sometimes includes the bestowal of a “confirmation name,” generally the name of a saint, which is often used as a second middle name. Those who practice confirmation believe it signals the initiation of the baptized into full church membership and a personal, mature acceptance of the faith. Catholics and Anglicans recognize confirmation as one of seven sacraments.

The Bible, however, is silent on the matter of such a ritual. In fact, the idea that a person can “confirm” to another that he/she is in the faith, is denied in Scripture. Each individual must determine the state of his/her soul based on several criteria. First, we are confirmed by the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Romans 8:16

When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts and gives us assurance that He is present and that we belong to Him, and He also teaches and explains spiritual things to us (1 Corinthians 2:13-14), thereby confirming that we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).


We are also confirmed in the faith by the evidence of our salvation. The evidence of our salvation is manifested in our lives: we are conscientious of our words, we care about lies and work not too, we confess our sins.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:5-10

The evidence of faith is the works we do (James 2). We are not saved by our works, but our works are the evidence of the saving faith in us.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20


The spiritual fruit produced in us by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is the confirmation that He lives within us. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5


“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10-11

The final “confirmation” of our salvation is in the future. “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-8

We are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14

This, then, is the true meaning of confirmation—salvation was purchased by the blood of Christ in whom we have faith, it is evidenced by our walk with Him, and it is confirmed to us by the Holy Spirit within us.

Why Christians Believe What They Believe 

© Tony - W.A.M