<<symbolic Christian ceremony>>
These are an outward, visible sign of an inward, spiritual experience of God’s grace. Two of these symbolic visual aids, water baptism and communion (the Lord’s Supper), were introduced by Christ to be observed with other believers, taught by the apostles and practiced by the early church.
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…” (Mt 28:19,20). To keep fresh in our minds the high cost of our salvation He said, “…do this in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19). These outward activities indicate an inner response to God with resulting spiritual blessing; baptism takes place early in a Christian’s life while having communion continues throughout (Act 2:38; 1 Cor 11:25,26).
There is no power or value in the sacraments themselves. Neither are requirements for salvation which is purely a gift from God. However, they are visual reminders of our position in Christ, and remind us of our obligations to ‘walk worthy of our calling’.
Note that the Roman Catholic teaching has seven sacraments or ceremonies of sacred significance including these two.