While saving faith is granted in Holy Baptism; it is also nurtured through Holy Communion. As Christ shared the Last Supper with the twelve disciples He instituted a memorial meal to feed all His disciples including modern-day Christians. Yet, the Lord’s Supper is much more than a memorial meal, it is also a Sacrament. Again God works mysteriously for us, this time through bread and wine, to forgive sins and strengthen our faith.
God’s Word teaches that, as the bread and wine are received in this Sacrament, Christ’s body and blood are also received, not symbolically or spiritually but really received. To understand this it helps to have a basic knowledge of the New Testament sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as well as the Old Testament’s sacrificial system in ancient Israel, which framed the theology and religion of Jesus’ earliest disciples.
In Holy Baptism, God works for us. It is a special washing with water, either by immersion or sprinkling, as God’s name is invoked/called upon. Christ commanded Holy Baptism so the Holy Spirit might work saving faith within us, bringing people into the Father’s saving grace. Our good works are not enough to earn our way into God’s good graces. Only Jesus’ good works, particularly His perfect keeping of God’s Law and His sacrificial death on the cross, can merit God’s grace and favor for us. Within Holy Baptism the Holy Spirit works mysteriously to give the gift of faith (belief and trust in Jesus’ saving work on our behalf). It is only through that faith that God imparts the merits of Jesus’ good works, bringing us into God’s good graces.