The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us (CCC 1131). Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify. They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptises, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies (CCC 1127).
A sacrament is often defined as “an outward sign of an inward grace”. This is because each of the sacraments rests upon an outward material sign that was designated by Christ as a way to gain an outpouring of God’s own divine life.
Jesus answered, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit.'
- John 3:5
And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation….
- 2 Corinthian 5:18
Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.’
- John 6:53
They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
- Mark 6:13
Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood.
- Acts 20:28