The inward and spiritual grace is death to sin and new birth to righteousness, through union with Christ in his death and resurrection. I am born a sinner by nature, separated from God. But in Baptism, through faith in Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, I am made a member of Christ’s Body and adopted as God’s child and heir.
he outward and visible sign is water, in which candidates are baptized “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
They were not ordained by Christ as necessary to salvation, but arose from the practices of the apostles and the Early Church, or were blessed by God in Scripture. God clearly uses them as means of grace.
Other rites and institutions commonly called sacraments include confirmation (2 Timothy 1:6–7; Hebrews 6:1–2), ordination (Numbers 8:9–14; 27:18–23; 1 Timothy 4:14), marriage (Genesis 2:18–24; Matthew 19:4–6; John 2:1–11), absolution ( John 20:21–23; Acts 2:37– 41), and the anointing of the sick ( James 5:14). These are sometimes called “sacraments of the Church.”
The two sacraments ordained by Christ that are “generally necessary to salvation” (1662 Catechism) are Baptism and Holy Communion (also called the Lord’s Supper or the Holy Eucharist). These are sometimes called “sacraments of the Gospel.”
I should receive the sacraments by faith in Christ, with repentance and thanksgiving. Faith in Christ is necessary to receive the grace of the sacraments, and obedience to Christ is necessary for the benefits of the sacraments to bear fruit in my life.