What Are The Sacraments?

  • While on earth, Jesus instituted two sacred acts that provide and assure us of God’s forgiveness. Through God’s Word in connection with earthly elements, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (or Holy Communion) confer to us the blessings of forgiveness, salvation, and the strength to lead God-pleasing lives.

    What does the word ‘baptize’ mean?

    To apply water in a ceremonial manner.

    Where did Jesus command baptism?

    Matthew 28:19-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

    What does it mean to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

    To become a member of God’s family and an heir of salvation.

    What blessings does baptism offer?

    Forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation.

    What gives baptism the power to bestow these blessings?

    The Word of God.


    Related Bible Passages

    • Galatians 3:26-27 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
    • Ephesians 4:3-6 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called–one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
    • Acts 2:38 Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away.
    • Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.
    • Ephesians 5:25-26 …just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.
  • While on earth, Jesus instituted two sacred acts that provide and assure us of God’s forgiveness. Through God’s Word in connection with earthly elements, the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper (or Holy Communion) and baptism confer to us the blessings of forgiveness, salvation, and the strength to lead God-pleasing lives.

    Where did Jesus command the Lord’s Supper?

    Matthew 26:26-28 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take and eat; this is my body. Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

    What earthly elements are involved in the Lord’s Supper?

    Bread and wine.

    What communion (common union) takes place in the Lord’s Supper?

    With the earthly elements, Christ gives us his body and blood. His body (given into death) is present with the bread. His blood (which was shed for us) is present with the wine.

    What blessing is bestowed through this sacrament?

    The forgiveness of sins

    What is required of a person who partakes of the Lord’s Supper?

    Faith in the promise that Christ’s body and blood were shed for the forgiveness of their sins (because the power of the sacrament lies in those words). Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body and blood of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Therefore, those who receive the Lord’s Supper ought to examine themselves to determine if they have a believing heart. The important questions are:

      • Do I believe I am a sinner and feel truly sorry for my sins?
      • Do I believe in Jesus as the Savior from my sins?

    What makes the Lord’s Supper more than a mere memorial to Christ’s death?

    Jesus made clear that this was the establishment of a “new covenant” between God and humankind, whereby Christ’s sacrifice paid in full the debt of humanity’s sins. As such, it assures us of God’s forgiveness and our salvation, independent of any merit on our part.


    Related Bible Passages

    • Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16
    • In him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Ephesians 1:7
    • In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:25-29