Sacraments are symbols used by God to connect with us in a unique way to reassure us of His forgiveness and love.
These symbols/sacraments are known as ‘signs’ and ‘seals’. Signs in that they are physical symbols of a spiritual reality, and Seals in that they guarantee that what is symbolized is real.
Sacraments inspire us to remember what Jesus has done for us on the cross, and remind us that Jesus promised to always be present with us. Christ instituted two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Scripture clearly teaches that the sacraments are only for those who can receive them in true faith. To be able to take part in the sacraments, we need to examine ourselves to confirm:
(1) we continue to deplore our sin,
(2) we are trusting in Jesus alone for our salvation,
(3) we are willing to live our life committed to God out of thankfulness and love for what He has done through Jesus Christ.
Scripture references: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5-10
What is Baptism? Do I need it? In Baptism the sign is water – which points to the blood of Christ. The seal is the guarantee that as surely as water washes away dirt, so surely Christ’s blood cleanses us from all our sins. We understand that all who believe in Jesus, and their children, ought to be baptised because they have entered into God’s covenant of Grace, pictured in Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:39; and 1 Peter 2:9 (See also Heidelberg Catechism Q&As 69 – 74 – link to CRCA website)
What is the Lord’s Supper? In the Lord’s Supper the sign of bread and wine point to the body and blood of Christ. The seal in the Lord’s Supper is the guarantee that as we share in the bread and wine we are reminded that his sacrifice paid the price for us to be in renewed relationship with our Creator God, represented in Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 6:26-29; John 10:11, 26-30; and 1Corinthians 11:24-26 (See also Heidelberg Catechism Q&As 75 – 82 – link to CRCA website)