The Means of Grace are central for historic Christianity. The Instruments of Grace were perverted in the Middle Ages, but no one denied them or turned them into ordinances (empty symbols to be obeyed, as a witness to others) until the 16th century.
To baptize babies and commune the faithful, for 16 centuries, is quite an argument against the Zwinglians - who are so admired by the Church and Changers in WELS, the UsFirst zanies in the LCMS.
If someone's concept of justification is wrong, the Means of Grace will mean little or confuse people instead of providing hope and comfort.
The Means of Grace are properly described as the Visible Word. The Means convey Christ and His grace to us, the Holy Spirit at work in the Word. As Luther observed, not only do we meet Christ but Christ also meets us through the Means of Grace. We are changed by this meeting with the King of Kings.
If people claim they are already forgiven, without faith, what is the purpose of the Means of Grace? No wonder the first move of the Changers is to get rid of Holy Communion, to hide it away, lest the anti-Sacrament Zwinglians be offended. Instead of reaching out with the Gospel, as the Changers claim, these sniveling cowards of the cloth hide it away. Their glittering vices are so much more appealing and entertaining than the Means of Grace.
Oh my, infant baptism is so time consuming during a service. Why bother people with something so ordinary. The Changers move it off-stage, the original meaning of obscene in Greek, when murders and other unsavory things were moved away from the drama. Or they do Happy Idiot baptisms, where the baby is paraded around for the ooze and aahs of the congregation.
As Kurt Marquart protested, Christians are missing out in their own miracle services. The Sacraments are miracles. The Word consecrates ordinary elements so that the faithful receive the Body and Blood of Christ with the bread and wine. Holy Baptism converts a baby with the Gospel Word.
How can Christ give His body and blood to so many people over the centuries? Human wisdom stumbles at this great mystery, revealed by the Holy Spirit. Then it stumbles at the Two Natures of Christ. Next the Trinity. And soon the Bible is just a handy book for coaching people in how to be successful in life.
For those who believe in the Word, the Feeding of the 5,000 illustrates how the divine and efficacious power of the Word can consecrate and multiply beyond all human comprehension.
6. Human reason, though it ponder,
Cannot fathom this great wonder
That Christ's body e'er remaineth
Though it countless souls sustaineth,
And that He His blood is giving
With the wine we are receiving.
These great mysteries unsounded
Are by God alone expounded.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Rev. 19: 8
Author: Johann Franck, 1649
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1858, alt.
Titled: "Schmuecke dich, o liebe Seele"
Composer: Johann Crueger, 1649
Tune: "Schmuecke dich"