The Holy Sacraments

 What is a sacrament?

We believe that a sacrament is a sacred act instituted by God, in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to a visible element, and by which He offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ.  We believe there are two sacraments: Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper.


 


Holy Baptism

 Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God's command and combined with God's Word:"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.  Matt. 28:19


Baptism works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare:  "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."  Mark 16:16


With the word of God, Baptism is a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit: "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ, our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:5-8




Lord's Supper-Holy Communion

The Sacrament of the Altar is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christian to eat and to drink.  "Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you.  This do in remembrance of Me.'  In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying; 'Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'"  Matthew 26


The chief blessing of the sacrament is the forgiveness of sins which Christ's body and blood have won for us on the cross.  God's promise, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: "forgiveness of sins."


The person who is truly worthy and has faith in these words should participate in the Lord's Supper.  "Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."

I Cor.  11:26


 Information from Luther's Small Catechism, 1986