The Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion

The Great Commission

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28: 19-20

This passage is commonly known as the Great Commission, where Jesus instructs his disciples to baptize believers as part of their mission to spread the Gospel throughout the world. It underscores the significance of baptism as a fundamental practice in the Christian faith.

According to Mark 16:16 – Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” –  baptism is directly linked to salvation. In Acts 2:38: “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” 

The Lord's Supper or Eucharist

“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” Matthew 26: 26-28

This passage describes the institution of the Lord’s Supper by Jesus during the Last Supper with his disciples. It signifies the importance of sharing bread and wine as symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, a sacrament as a way of remembering and proclaiming the sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. The importance of the sacrament is emphasized in another Gospel (John 6: 53-54) and Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). 

Catholics believe in transubstantiation, where the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ. Others believe in consubstantiation, where Christ is spiritually present along with the bread and wine, symbols of Christ’s body and blood.