Presbyterians, along with other Protestants, celebrate two sacraments or “outward signs of an inward truth”: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are visible signs, stating and bringing to mind the truth which is taught in Scripture concerning the way of salvation. They are also seals which confirm the truth of God, just like a seal is put on a letter to prove that it is genuine. They also distinguish God’s people from the world and give comfort and strength to the believer.
Baptism is the sign of our entry into God’s family, the church. It does not give us salvation, but is a sign of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. As such, it is rightly applied to the children of believers as members of the family of believers. We also would baptize a person who comes to faith in Christ but has not been previously baptized.
While baptism is only administered once, the Lord’s Supper is available to believers throughout their lives. Think of it as a spiritual meal – as physical food nourishes our bodies, so this spiritual meal nourishes our souls; we share in the death of Christ with all His benefits, not physically but by faith, and become spiritually stronger and grow in grace. In recognition of this truth, our Church celebrates communion several times a year. For more information, see our confession of faith.