My sister-in-law attends a non-denominational Christian church. We had a conversation yesterday about baptism. She claims that baptism does not wash away the stain of original sin. She said that Jesus did that for us when he died on the cross and that we are not born with original sin. I was always taught that we are all born with original sin and that baptism wipes that away. Who is right? Does anyone know of any scripture references regarding this?
Jesus answered Truly truly unless one is baptized by water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Acts Chapter 2
38: And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39: For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40: And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41: So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls
Acts Chapter 22
16: And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name
1 Peter Chapter 3
18: For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19: in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20: who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 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 clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
God Bless you but I am afraid this will not convince her.
The doctrine of Original Sin was actually developed by the early Church in part to explain why we baptize children. If Original Sin were completely removed from all humanity at the Crucifixion, there would have been no purpose to develop the doctrine at all. :hypno:
I have heard doublespeak that Original Sin is somehow not counted against a person until there is actual sin (essentially, this was an excuse to why a particular denomination did not conduct infant baptisms). Perhaps this is closer to what your SIL meant?
Every person in the world is a member of the Body of Christ, however each person must come to understand who Jesus Christ is and then work toward what Christ wants of them: “Be holy as your Father in heaven is Holy.”
The Rite of Baptism is a spoken denial of attachment to Evil.
Parents, Godparents and the parish community acknowledge during the Rite their rejection of Evil and then together they acknowledge God’s new creation as he/she enters into a new life as a member of Christ.
Jesus came to remove the sin that we request Him to remove from us.
Does Sacred Scripture ever quote Jesus as saying that sin no longer exists on Earth?
We clearly can see that sin against God and against humanity continues to hold sway in the world today.
Psalm 51 verse 7 is pretty clear…
I know that this was written before Christ but it shows that humans are born with sin. No where in Scripture does it state that Christ’s death on the Cross removes this condition. It is through the Cross that baptism can wash away all sin. Your sister in law may understand it like this: A person who sins needs to repent of their sin for the forgiveness by Christ. Without repentance there can be no forgiveness since it is being refused by the sinner. It is not an automatic event that occurred with the Crucifixion. Each individual must seek Christ and accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior. (Their theology) So for Catholics we just see it being done by the parents who are given stewardship oover their children since we believe that baptism does remove sin as is plainly mentioned in the passages given above.
I cannot recall any biblical quotes at this time. However, please be assured: the Catholic Church teaches we are all born with original sin and baptism washes away this original sin. It is worth adding, if someone is baptised at an age when they can commit sin, e.g. an adult, it washes away all sin not just original.
Acts 2:38-41 gives us a full account of the reason of baptism
And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation."So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand soul
Give these scriptures to your sister in law.
I particularly like Titus 3:5 which says
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the holy Spirit,
Notice how it says He saved us “through” the bath of rebirth. This is a reference to how Christ has chosen to apply the merits of His work on the cross. Yes, faith is necessary to receive His grace (cf Eph 2:8) but He chooses to also use the Sacraments to impart grace. Of particular importance is baptism which is where we become “clothed in Christ” (cf Gal 3:27) and were buried with Him and raised up (Col 2:12). Your sister in law believes rightly that Christ merited this grace on the cross, but she is at least partially blind on how the grace is applied to us. The emphasis on the importance of baptism is quite clearly written in the scriptures.
Regarding original sin, one of the primary scriptures is Romans 5:12-14:
Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world,h and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned --for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come.
Let’s think about this logically-- if sin comes to us through one man (Adam) it must be passed down in some way. In other words, when Adam sinned, it affected all of humanity. One of the biggest affects was the loss of original holiness (CCC 404) which in a nutshell means the grace of God through the Holy Spirit. Without holiness we are subject to eternal death. Baptism brings the Holy Spirit back to the individual and the Holy Spirit cleanses their soul from the sin that Adam brought to it as well as all personal sin.
A lot of sacramental stuff happens by the power of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. (And in this case, also by Jesus’ Baptism by John and the Holy Spirit consecrating the waters of Baptism for us, and Jesus’ words and command of institution giving the power of Baptism to the Church.) But that doesn’t mean that sacramental power is going to be applied to us, unless we actually consent to it, and follow Jesus’ commands and teaching.
Jesus fed the five thousand by multiplying loaves and fishes. But He didn’t sit there stuffing bread down people’s gullets or chewing up their food for them or teleporting it into their tummies. The apostles had to get everybody to sit down and pass stuff out; the people had to pick up the bread and fish and take their own bites and then chew and swallow; and then there were leftovers that had to be collected and saved for later use. If somebody there had refused to eat the normal way, he would have gone hungry despite the miracle, unless Jesus had been merciful and done something special. But it would have been kinda ungrateful, to refuse to follow Jesus’ own instructions and to refuse to eat His gift.
(Psalm 51 in your Bible)
It should be quite obvious that original sin exists… humans die. Death entered into the world as the result of sin. It is because we are subject to the consequences of sin (even after baptism) that we eventually must pass on. In other words, if people were conceived without sin, then they would not die, and only Our Lady has that distinction.