Iosif Iacob: The Meaning of Sacraments as “Signs of Faith” – Reciprocity between faith and sacraments
God, through the Church, enters into a personal dialogue with man out of his desire to save him. This dialogue is carried out in different ways and based on certain criteria. One of these is the sacramental reality. The sacraments are a concretization of the divine action that fully realizes the mystery of salvation.
In 2020, a document of the International Theological Commission was published with the title: Reciprocity between faith and sacraments in the sacramental economy. Here it is reaffirmed that the essence of faith is found in the principle of sacramentality. This principle represents the very nature of Christian revelation, namely, the dialogical response of the believer and the Christian community, such that there is no authentic sacramental celebration without faith.
The theological study has always linked the doctrine of the sacraments and their celebration to the gift of faith that the believer receives from God exclusively based on the merits of Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, Christ, giving birth to the sacraments, also gives them the ontological power that works on the inner plane in the human being. This gives the believer a certain spiritual experience that enables him to live and act as a person of faith. It is therefore important to understand the relationship between faith and sacraments, starting from the meaning of the notion of faith.