Sacraments are fundamental acts of God’s grace. They are holy acts that are performed upon a soul in order to allow him or her to attain salvation, be adopted into the fellowship of life with God, and be preserved in it. Receiving the sacraments opens up the possibility for being united with the Lord at the return of Christ.
The New Apostolic Church recognises three sacraments: Holy Baptism with water, Holy Sealing, and Holy Communion.
Holy Baptism with water is the first and fundamental act of grace of the triune God upon a person who believes in Christ. It is indispensable for partaking in salvation. The baptised individual vows to avoid sin and lead a life of following Christ. This vow can also be given by parents on behalf of their children. Through Holy Baptism, individuals enter into their first close relationship with God and become a Christian. They are also incorporated into the church and into the fellowship of those who believe in Jesus Christ and profess Him as their Lord. Baptisms dispensed in other Christian denominations are recognised as valid as long as they are performed in the name of the triune God and with water.
Holy Sealing is the sacrament in which the believer, through the authority of a living Apostle, receives the gift of the Holy Spirit and becomes a child of God. Through Holy Sealing, the baptised believer is filled with the Holy Spirit and power from God. A believer’s surrender to Christ, which began with Holy Baptism, is completed in Holy Sealing. The believers thereby receive that spiritual revival which will lead them into fellowship with the returning Lord; consequently they now belong to that group within the church of Christ which Christ prepares – through Apostles – for His return.
Holy Communion is a celebration of joy and thanksgiving. It is also known as the “Eucharist” (giving thanks), the “Lord’s Supper”, and the “breaking of bread”.
The worthy partaking of Holy Communion establishes our fellowship with Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is celebrated with unleavened bread and wine; both must be consecrated and dispensed by a minister who is authorised by an Apostle. The New Apostolic Church offers this in the form of a wafer which is infused with three drops of wine.
Holy Communion is characterised as:
- a meal of remembrance: it commemorates the death of Jesus Christ as a unique event that is valid for all time
- an acknowledgement of the death, resurrection, and ultimate return of Jesus Christ. This recognition is required of all who wish to partake of it. Those who regularly partake in Holy Communion in the New Apostolic Church should be aware that they are also professing belief in the Apostles of Jesus who are active today
- a moment when Jesus Christ joins in fellowship, first with His Apostles, and then with the believers
- being closely associated with the marriage feast in heaven. Until the ultimate reunion of the bride and bridegroom, the congregation experiences its most intimate fellowship with Him in Holy Communion