THE SACRAMENTS

In the sacraments, Christ is present to us in a special way. In baptism, he is present and we are able to look back to this event for confirmation that we are united to him. At the table, his presence is there in a unique way. These two are means of grace, and therefore we are strengthened in our most holy faith as we partake of the bread and wine. Sacraments are defined as holy ordinances instituted by Christ Jesus which function as signs and seals of the New Covenant, and, thus, they are given for the benefit of God's people to strengthen us. They signify spiritual realities while also confirming participation in what they represent.

There are two sacraments in Scripture: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is a rite of initiation which replaces circumcision (Col. 2:11-12), a sign of the Old Covenant with Israel, as the unique mark placed upon God's people and their children (Acts 2:39). Baptism is a sign and seal of the New Covenant given in Christ Jesus and also of entrance into the visible church. The Lord’s Supper, on the other hand, is a rite of fellowship.  The Jewish Passover, as an Old Covenant meal, corresponds to the Lord’s Supper, as is made clear in the Gospel accounts of its institution (Matt. 26Mark 14; Luke 22).  Bread and wine represent the body and blood of Jesus. Worthy receivers of this meal are those who profess faith in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 11:26-30). By faith in Christ alone, believers spiritually feed on Christ, show forth His death, and receive nourishment as they partake of the elements (John 6:35, 53; 1 Cor. 11:26).