Baptism and removing sin

I can find enough scriptural reference on baptism replacing circumcision, and don’t have an issue with infant baptism.

But I have yet to find something that shows baptism is for removing any sin. Does anyone have any good scripture or references for this?

Acts 2:38
"Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.

I see this as part of conversion, and forgiveness for your sins - not any other sin. Open to thoughts here…

So I am going to ask THE fundamental question:

Why do you need to?

Scripture and Tradition BOTH form Divine Revelation.

1 Peter 3:21
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Titus 3:5
He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Gal 3:27
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

John 3:5
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit."

Heb 10:22

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Baptism is a Sacrament which is an outward sign of an inward grace. The “sign” is the water, it is a physical thing that signifies the inward grace that is happening in the soul. You may want to read the Catechism section on this as well. It is full of Scriptural references as well and that may help you to see the context of the Scriptures. If it helps your understanding, please know that it is at our baptism were we receive the Holy Spirit, Who brings us the purifying grace that Jesus merited for us on the cross. This is why Jesus said we must be born again through water and Spirit.

There is the baptism of desire and we see that with the thief on the cross. But the typical means has always been water baptism for forgiveness of sin. The Church has always understood baptism to be the real deal, meaning regenerational.

Why is Jesus getting baptized and why did the Spirit descend upon Him? Clear to me that this is a demonstration of what occurs when we get baptized. We receive grace and officially enter into the Body of Christ, sin free!

The Catechism is your friend:
**
For the forgiveness of sins . . **.

1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, “the tinder for sin” (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ."67 Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."68
**
“A new creature”**

1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,” an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature,"69 member of Christ and co-heir with him,70 and a temple of the Holy Spirit.71

1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification:

  • enabling them to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological virtues;
  • giving them the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit;
  • allowing them to grow in goodness through the moral virtues.
    Thus the whole organism of the Christian’s supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name. (Acts 22:16)

Hi, Markie!
…I think that your problem lies with understanding Scriptures… St. John the Baptist was Jesus’ precursor; he came to announce the Coming of the Kingdom of God; he expressly stated that he was not the One Who was to Come, that he had been sent to prepare the Way and that the Messiah, Who was to Come, would Baptize in the Holy Spirit and in Fire:

4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:4-6)

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (St. Matthew 3:11)

Christ Instituted the Sacrament of Baptism and, as at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is made manifest through Baptism in Jesus Christ; it is the reason why Jesus Commanded the Eleven to go out into the world, teach, and Baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. St. Peter adamantly states that Baptism saves; not only that but in his exegesis he brings to the foreground those who were dead (Sheol) as coinheritors since they had received a similar Baptism (though it would only take full effect after Christ’s Resurrection)–he makes a full connection between our existence in a sinful state and our Salvation through Baptism in Christ:

21 and this water symbolizes [size=]baptism that now saves you also[/size]—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers** in submission to him**. (1 St. Peter 3:21-22)

I’ve searched for some additional info; I’ve highlighted the portion that I find most supportive of the Church’s understanding of the Power of Baptism in the forgiveness of sin (though, we can surmised that even back them people were seeking guarantees into Salvation):

The earliest extra-biblical directions for baptism,[8] which occur in the Didache (c. 100),[9] are taken to be about baptism of adults, since they require fasting by the person to be baptised.[10] However, inscriptions dating back to the 2nd century which refer to young children as “children of God” may indicate that Christians customarily baptised infants too.[11] The earliest reference to infant baptism was by Irenaeus (c. 130–202) in his work Against Heresies.[12] Due to its reference to Eleutherus as the current bishop of Rome, the work is usually dated c. 180.[13] Irenaeus speaks of children and infants being “born again to God.”[14][15] This reference has been described as “obscure.”[12] Three passages by Origen (185–c. 254)[16] mention infant baptism as traditional and customary.[17] While Tertullian writing c. 198-203 advises the postponement of baptism of little children and the unmarried, he mentions that it was customary to baptise infants, with sponsors speaking on their behalf.[18] The Apostolic Tradition, sometimes attributed to Hippolytus of Rome (died 235), describes how to perform the ceremony of baptism; it states that children were baptised first, and if any of them could not answer for themselves, their parents or someone else from their family was to answer for them.[19]

From at least the 3rd century onward Christians baptised infants as standard practice, although some preferred to postpone baptism until late in life, so as to ensure forgiveness for all their preceding sins.[20] (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_baptism)

Maran atha!

Angel

:thumbsup: Can’t believe I forgot to post that one! :blush:

A good passage - and closer to what I was looking for. The only thing is it is again clear to be baptized to wash away Your sins - not other sin or original sin??

I don’t claim that Ephesians 5 is exclusively about baptism, but this passage does allude to and make use of that sign in speaking of the Church as a collective body (and which all its members have gone through):

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Perhaps Romans 6, in part:

2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For he who has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. 9 For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

It’s not proof-texting, but there’s an underlying theology of regeneration and renewal in baptism that is throughout the gospels. Putting on Christ, dying to sin, freedom from sin, salvation through (the sign) of water. Living water from Christ and the Temple.

Baptism washes away all sin- both personal and original sin.

From the Catechism . .

1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, “the tinder for sin” (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ."67 Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."68

Also, here is the section of the catechism that talks about original sin.

Hi, Markie!
…not to beat a dead horse… the erroneous practice of the Church (holding off Baptism till a latter day) suggest that it was understood that Baptism cleanses us from both Original Sin (Adam’s inheritance) and personal sin (that which is willfully committed by the individual/s). The error arose when some (again in error) began to teach that after the cleansing of Baptism there was no second change at remission of sins or that there was but only one more chance (so people began to put off Baptism till “x” age [basically playing Russian Roulette with their final destination])–a theology based on erroneous interpretation of Scriptures as discussions on Faith and Doctrine gave way to “innovation” and “personal interpretation.”

Maran atha!

Angel

Water has to do with washing away sin, death and rebirth.
Jonah is sacrificed to save the crew; thrown overboard he lies in the cold deep, the belly of the fish until he is brought back to the land of the living, on the third day, to bring salvation to his enemies (sinners).
The Flood covers a corrupt earth and recedes with the sign of a dove, a new beginning.
Jesus enters the water to be baptized by John the Baptist. Being sinless, He begins His journey to the cross, consenting to join all humanity in order to take on our sin, to be immersed in death and to emerge. Heaven opens and the Holy Spirit descends like a dove, a voice is heard, “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Though baptism our lives are committed to the Lamb of God, Christ through whose sacrifice and resurrection we are saved.
There would appear to be no reason to be baptized later in life; we need only look to Jesus.

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