What we call The Lord's Supper is often referred to as an "ordinance" or a "sacrament." Jesus gave the church two ordinances/sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper. Both terms are acceptable though baptists more commonly use "ordinance." It might be easiest to think of the terms as generally interchangeable with different emphases: to call the Lord's Supper an "ordinance" emphasizes its formal and important place in the life of a church. To call it a "sacrament" emphasizes its divine origin--it is therefore sacred. The term sacrament is typically used by those who believe baptism and the Lord's Supper are a means of grace. We use both terms at Redeemer Fellowship when talking about this sacred tradition.
Is the Lord's Supper a means of grace? Absolutely! But not in the way some religious groups present it. The bread and the wine themselves are not a means of grace. Simply drinking the cup and eating the bread brings God's blessing to no one. Rather, grace is conveyed through the gospel message presented by and with the elements when received by faith.
When we properly receive the Lord's Supper we are trusting the promises given to us in Jesus, drawing near to him by faith, and are blessed as we enter into a special fellowship with him. As the Apostle Paul says, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16 emphasis mine) On this text Richard Barcellos argues,
In this way we are sanctified through the sacrament. James. P. Boyce, founder of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary explained that the Lord's Supper conveys grace as it communicates the truth of the gospel and is received by faith (Abstract of Systematic Theology, Ch. 37 - Sanctification). The grace we receive is presently experienced through our present fellowship with the Lord.
While the Lord's Supper is certainly a memorial, it is also a spiritual participation or fellowship with Jesus. God is at work in the sacrament. He brings discipline or judgment upon those who take it unworthily (1 Cor. 11:30), and blessing to those who take it in faith.
When we come to the Lord's Table we are to come humble and happy, for in it we know that God waits to bless us as we commune with his Son Jesus Christ.