Religious rites signifying the special bestowal of divine grace upon those who participate in them. In common with most Protestants, Seventh-day Adventists recognize baptism and the Lord’s Supper as sacraments. Seventh-day Adventists believe these sacred rites to be outward signs of the inward operation of God’s saving grace upon the heart. They do not believe that these rites, in and of themselves, confer grace, but that they accompany the work of grace, and that by participating in them the recipient testifies to his or her faith in, and acceptance of, grace. For this reason SDA s prefer not to use the word “sacrament,” which in a technical theological sense is often understood as implying that the rite itself confers grace. In A.D. 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council fixed the numbe...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.