A Sacrament is defined as a sacred act 1.) instituted by God; 2.) in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to the visible element; 3.) and by which He offers, gives and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ.
"Means of Grace"
It is important for a Christian to remember that when Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, God pardoned us of all sin. As Scripture puts it, "in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them...." (2 Cor. 5:19).
We have already been forgiven of our sins, those that we have done in the past and those that we will do in the future. This is what makes the work of Christ such good news! The means of grace are the channels through which we come to know and believe this good news, and the means through which the forgiveness of Christ is continually made known and given to us.
In Christ, God has forgiven all our sins and the means in which that forgiveness is offered is through God's Holy Word and the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.
Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew:
“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.”
Holy 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.
Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark:
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
We believe and confess that Christ’s Body and Blood are truly present in and with the bread and wine. We receive by faith, through our eating and drinking, actual forgiveness of sins and the blessing of spiritual strength.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when 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.”