Wild CardCalvin believed sacraments are God’s gracious gifts given by Jesus Christ to the church to establish and nurture faith. A sacrament must have been instituted by Jesus and open and available to all. God uses sacraments to convey the grace of God to us. In the sacraments we see the gospel of Jesus Christ right before our eyes.
The elements of the sacraments are signs of God’s love, grace and desire to bring us into a deeper relationship with Him. When we participate in the sacraments, we are saying to all: We belong to Christ. As we participate in the sacraments, we receive through these actions the power and authority of God in our lives. When we believe in the gospel, the benefits of the gospel are sealed within our hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit. Our faith is nourished and strengthened by receiving the benefits of Christ.
Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize and extend baptism to others. The sign of this sacrament is water. Believers are brought into and incorporated into the church as the community of faith. Jesus commanded his followers to eat and drink together in a commemorative meal for his sacrificial death. The sign of this sacrament is the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper. The community celebrates the Lord’s Supper, through which faith is nourished and sustained.