Baptism


#1

Hi. I want a good defense for my brother regarding baptism. We both have become more practiced in our faith, however this led me closer to the Catholic faith that we were raised in and led him to a protestant church. I am very encouraging to him however something he wrote this weekend shocked me. He was quoting Luke, where the thief next to Jesus was ‘saved’. He said that that passage helped him feel better about leaving the catholic church. He said that 'you don’t have to be baptised, you don’t have to go to church every Sunday, and you don’t have to not eat meat on Fridays. All you have to do is be sorry for your sins and ask Jesus into your life.

The topic I would like to discuss with him is the topic of baptism. If anyone can give me any good sources to study, I’d bemuch apreciative.

May the risen Christ be with you!


#2

But with the thief next to Jesus, he didn’t have the opportunity to follow Jesus for his entire life since Jesus had a relatively short ministry. However, the thief realized that Jesus was the Son of God and followed Him as best he could in his last hours of life. Granted, God will forgive you for being sorry for your sins, but we are still called to follow His teachings and the teachings of Jesus. We have opportunities that the theif didn’t have, and with that comes a high expectation.

As well, you could also remind him that the Jesus finally saw God upon being baptized. What could be better than a Gospel example of why baptism is important? It helps us be open to God. Give that one a try and see what your brother says.

Eamon


#3

Born Again in Water Baptism

John 1:32 - when Jesus was baptized, He was baptized in the water and the Spirit, which descended upon Him in the form of a dove. The Holy Spirit and water are required for baptism. Also, Jesus’ baptism was not the Christian baptism He later instituted. Jesus’ baptism was instead a royal anointing of the Son of David (Jesus) conferred by a Levite (John the Baptist) to reveal Christ to Israel, as it was foreshadowed in 1 Kings 1:39 when the Son of David (Solomon) was anointed by the Levitical priest Zadok. See John 1:31; cf. Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21.

John 3:3,5 - Jesus says, “Truly, truly, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When Jesus said “water and the Spirit,” He was referring to baptism (which requires the use of water, and the work of the Spirit).

John 3:22 - after teaching on baptism, John says Jesus and the disciples did what? They went into Judea where the disciples baptized. Jesus’ teaching about being reborn by water and the Spirit is in the context of baptism.

John 4:1 - here is another reference to baptism which naturally flows from Jesus’ baptismal teaching in John 3:3-5.

Acts 8:36 – the eunuch recognizes the necessity of water for his baptism. Water and baptism are never separated in the Scriptures.

Acts 10:47 - Peter says “can anyone forbid water for baptizing these people…?” The Bible always links water and baptism.

Acts 22:16 – Ananias tells Saul, “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins.” The “washing away” refers to water baptism. Titus 3:5-6 – Paul writes about the “washing of regeneration,” which is “poured out on us” in reference to water baptism. “Washing” (loutron) generally refers to a ritual washing with water. :slight_smile:


#4

I had to chop out from Scriptural quotations cuz this post was too long, but I left the verse numbers in so you can look them up : )

1 Peter 3:18-22

Up to this point in the chapter, Peter is essentially giving some nice thoughts, and then introduces this clause by the conjunction ‘oti (because). The context of the clause is established at its beginning: “Because Christ also died once for our sins…” Then we fastforward a bit: “Whereunto baptism being of the like form, now saveth you also…” The “saveth” is taken to be in regard to “sins” due to the context of “Christ died for our sins”, and also it follows with: “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” We have a good conscience when we are cleansed from sin; Peter specifically negates the idea of some kind of physical “saving”, or “cleansing”.

The “saving” which appears in conjunction with Noah’s Ark is “diasozo”; the preposition “dia” turning the meaning of the word into something akin to: to bring safely through. The “saving” of which Peter speaks of baptism doing is merely “sozo”, to save. Among other places “sozo” appears in reference to Christ’s salvation of us is Acts 4:12, Mark 16:16 (coincidentally another verse teaching baptismal regeneration), 1 Cor 15:2, Matt 10:22, Mark 13:13, among many others.

Similarly, if Peter had meant to say that baptism was an act of obedience to God which proclaims that we are a Christian, would it not be odd for him to use the word “sozei”, an inflection of the word “to save”? Would he not rather say something to the effect of, “baptism, which is now the proclamation of your faith in Christ”?

John 3:5

The construction of this verse in Greek is something like: “if not who begotten of water and the spirit not he is able to enter into the kingdom of God”. Not he is able. Why “not he is able”? Because original sin is still upon him, and “nothing unclean shall enter it [Heaven]”. The concept of the Spirit coming through baptism is testified in Matthew 3:16-17.

Acts 2:38

Baptism is connected with the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost. This is made abundantly clearer in Acts 22:16, where repentance is not even brought into the discussion as a possible confusion.

In Galatians 3:27, Paul teaches that we clothe ourselves with Christ upon baptism; he does not say we do upon belief. In Titus 3:5, he makes a definitive statement: “Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost;”

Coincidentally, “he saved” is from an inflection of (you guessed it!): sozo. What did early Christians believe about baptism?

“Regarding [baptism], we have the evidence of Scripture that Israel would refuse to accept the washing which confers the remission of sins and would set up a substitution of their own instead [Ps. 1:3–6]. Observe there how he describes both the water and the cross in the same figure. His meaning is, ‘Blessed are those who go down into the water with their hopes set on the cross.’ Here he is saying that after we have stepped down into the water, burdened with sin and defilement, we come up out of it bearing fruit, with reverence in our hearts and the hope of Jesus in our souls” (Letter of Barnabas 11:1–10 [A.D. 74]).

Hermas wrote: “‘I have heard, sir,’ said I, ‘from some teacher, that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.’ He said to me, ‘You have heard rightly, for so it is’” (The Shepherd 4:3:1–2 [A.D. 80]).

Theophilus of Antioch: “Moreover, those things which were created from the waters were blessed by God, so that this might also be a sign that men would at a future time receive repentance and remission of sins through water and the bath of regeneration—all who proceed to the truth and are born again and receive a blessing from God” (*To Autolycus *12:16 [A.D. 181]).

Clement of Alexandria:“When we are baptized, we are enlightened. Being enlightened, we are adopted as sons. Adopted as sons, we are made perfect. Made perfect, we become immortal . . . ‘and sons of the Most High’ [Ps. 82:6]. This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, and washing. It is a washing by which we are cleansed of sins, a gift of grace by which the punishments due our sins are remitted, an illumination by which we behold that holy light of salvation” (*The Instructor of Children *1:6:26:1 [A.D. 191]).

To name a few.


#5

[quote=piscotikus]Hi. I want a good defense for my brother regarding baptism. We both have become more practiced in our faith, however this led me closer to the Catholic faith that we were raised in and led him to a protestant church. I am very encouraging to him however something he wrote this weekend shocked me. He was quoting Luke, where the thief next to Jesus was ‘saved’. He said that that passage helped him feel better about leaving the catholic church. He said that 'you don’t have to be baptised, you don’t have to go to church every Sunday, and you don’t have to not eat meat on Fridays. All you have to do is be sorry for your sins and ask Jesus into your life.

The topic I would like to discuss with him is the topic of baptism. If anyone can give me any good sources to study, I’d bemuch apreciative.

May the risen Christ be with you!
[/quote]

Hi Piscotikus,
Matthew 3:14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying I need to be baptized by You , and are You coming to me?
3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now , for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” Then he allowed Him."
Surely if Christ demands it for the sake of fulfilling all righteousness then who are we to argue.
Personally I believe that in baptism we are fulfilling our part of the covenant. It was circumcision, now it is baptism in water. Our religion is believe and then action on that belief. Belief in Christ then the action, baptism.
walk in love
edwinG


#6

The Catholic Church has defined what happened to the thief on the cross. It is called Baptism by desire. If the thief had the chance, he would have obeyed God and been Baptized. But he desired in his heart to follow Christ because of that he actually was baptized by desire.

You did not say which denomination your brother went to. It would be helpful to know since when it comes to baptism, not all denom are equal.

God Bless,
Maria


#7

He goes to Calvary Chapel now, but I don’t believe that to be of importance because it’s not what CC says about baptism that he questioned. We both grew up and were baptised Catholic. He thinks now that it’s ok not to go through all the rituals that we go through, all you have to do is accept Christ.

Thank you all for all of your input!!


#8

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