Like I said, how one expresses there repentance and faith can be legion. But if there is water and not repentance and faith in the Gospel, then there can be no "born again."Can you cite where you think that is taught by the Catholic Church?
Interesting responses thank you. I was hoping to hear about other ways on how different denominations become born again. So far I heard through baptismal regeneration or making a formal committment to Christ and from what I have read of the bible I think you have to do both. As Catholic we have this built sacramentally through Baptism and Confirmation.
When it comes to this issue, my favorite Bible verse is Mark 16:16: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
In this verse, Jesus makes it clear that both faith and baptism are necessary for salvation, but faith is the more fundamental (though not fundamentalistic) of the two. Jesus tells us that one must believe and be baptized to be saved. However, without faith, even baptism will do nothing. It is interesting to note that Jesus never tells us what will happen to those people who believe but are not baptized.
Let me clarify myself however. I do not mean to suggest that infant baptism is wrong since infants can’t believe. In fact, if we were going to take this verse in the most literal sense possible, it would be impossible for infants to be saved, since they can’t have faith. After all, it does say that one must believe (which infants can’t do) in order to be saved.
As to that, we must keep in mind the Catholic (and might I add Biblical) concept of one man’s faith supplying for another man’s lack of faith. John, in his first Epistle (1 John 5:16), says that one man’s sins (sins not unto death, whatever that means) can be forgiven by the prayer of another man. Besides it’s obvious connection with confession to a priest, this passage points out that God does not view faith as a strictly person quality. Faith belongs to the Church as a whole.
We also read in both Mark and Luke (2:3-12 and 5:18-26 respectively) that Jesus forgave the sins of and healed a sick man, not because of his personal faith, but because of the faith of those who brought him to Christ.
Furthermore, the various instances of whole households being baptized in the New Testament show this point even more. We must remember a household back then was a lot different than the household of today. The household would not just have included husband, wife and children, but also slaves and servants, and extended family as well. And to be sure, there were infants in these households, since at this time in history the birth rate would have been a lot higher than it is today. None of this two child stuff. Infant mortality was probably quite high in that era, so people would have compensated by having lots of children. I myself have no doubt as to infants being included in these baptisms. But what’s even more important to realized is that in all the cases of household baptisms in the Scriptures, we find that only the head of the household is actually mentioned as believing. The faith of the head of the household is enough for everybody in the household to be baptized. Does that sound like a stretch? Well consider this.
“This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you that you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. Circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the mark of the covenant between you and me. Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised, including houseborn slaves and those acquired with money from any foreigner who is not of your blood. Yes, both the houseborn slaves and those acquired with money must be circumcised. Thus my covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting pact. If a male is uncircumcised, that is, if the flesh of his foreskin has not been cut away, such a one shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” . . . And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. (Gen 17:10-14,23)
I think one can readily see with this example the very patristic (sorry to any feminist out there) concept of the Jewish household at work. Abraham says “OK, you all need to be circumcised because God said so,” and that’s exactly what all the men, and boys 8 days old or older, do.” I imagine things would have been very much the same in Christ’s time. Stephanas walks into his house, gathers everybody together and says “OK everybody, this guy named Paul has just convinced me to become a Christian, so guess what, we’re all going to become Christians. Although Paul doesn’t normally do this, he’s agreed to baptize us all, so put on your swimsuits.”
Maybe that’s not how the conversation really went, but I do think it is clear enough from Scripture to conclude that the concepts of “believer’s baptism” and “personal relationship with Jesus” did not arise with the first generations of Christians. The first Christians were too community oriented for that. These concepts more than likely crept into the Church from the European ideals of individualism which have been going strong ever since the Renaissance. And since America was founded on the concept of liberty, I’m afraid America is where one will find the most disdain for a communal concept of faith.
25 And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?**
**But he said to him: What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead.
31 And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. 32 In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. 33 But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him; and seeing him, was moved with compassion. 34 And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee. **
In summary, you may indeed believe that Jesus is the Son of God. However, he demands us deeds of mercy to show our faith. Jesus also said before his ascension into heaven said to the Apostles.
In Matthew 28:18-20.
And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
This also put into action by the Apostles.
Acts of the Apostle Chapter 2:37-39.
Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren? 38 But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.
Paul in Acts 16:31 said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
So does believing saves you? Then baptism isn’t really necessary. I don’t think so. Many Protestants failed to overlook Jesus own words. “Baptized them In the Name of the Father, And of the Son, and Of the Holy Spirit.” We are to believed what Jesus said, and he told his Apostles that all must be baptized in order to be saved.
You believe indeed. But you believe everything that Jesus taught the Apostles, whom themselves handed their authority to their successors.
You can’t be saved if you pick and choice verses like Protestant pick verses in the Bible like it was from a market, or caferia. Protestantism lacks complete Gospel of Jesus Christ… they are only 50% truth in doctrine. Most of their doctrines are erroneous.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but it seems you are implying that the Church teaches contrary to Christ.
Baptism is a serious matter, and we have the affirmations of the Church below which deal with the matter.
Council of Trent, Canons on Sacrament of Baptism,
Canon 2 - If anyone shall say that** real and natural water** is not necessary for baptism, and on that account those words of our Lord Jesus Christ:“Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit”(Jn. 3:5) are distorted into some sort of metaphor, let him be anathema.
CCC Par. 1239
The essential rite of the sacrament follows: Baptism properly speaking. It signifies and actually brings about death to sinand entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity…
Goes on to say that it’s best expressed by triple immersion, but is acceptably conferred by triple pouring.
CCC # 1257
The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude, this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that tall who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by His sacraments."
I hope that helps some.
God is able to bring people to saving faith and into heaven by His graces apart from Baptism. Just how He does it, or if He does it, the Church admits is a mystery. People discuss it and have many different ideas. But for what we need to know, Baptism is the door.
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did; but Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man.
He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode’mus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicode’mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.
 I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.
And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove;
Oops… I forgot the Old Testament prophsey to start my response with.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
allischalmers is correct. Accepting Christ into your heart, and being sincere, is the way to being Saved which is a personal choice. God knows your heart and if you’re being honest. However, Baptism is the outwardly message to the world that you have chosen Christ as your Savior. Baptism does NOT save you. A pastor of mine once explained something to me about being a child of Christ. Like many people he said, we steer off the path at times. He said it was like being in a boat and Christ is sitting there with you. You’re safe and you’re on the right path. However, heading on the wrong path is like jumping out of the boat, only that if you’re Saved, you have a lift line attached to you. You’ll always be Saved no matter what happens, however, we are still responsible for what we do and we’ll always be accountable whether we’re in that boat or not. He will always be with us, however, when we leave that boat to live life on our own, that distance will cause us pain and unhappiness. I truly believe that when this happens and in His Father’s Glory, sometimes we are called home because of our sins as Christians because we refuse to accept discipline and change to get us on the right path again. We are to be examples at all times representing the Word and if we’re not good examples, how can he use us for his purpose? Being in Iraq, we are told all the time that our actions and our discussions represent the United States and that we are to behave accordingly. The Iraqi’s over here will remember me as either a respectful American or a rude one. Same goes as a Christian and I’ll be responsible to God for my behavior. Just as I am responsible for my behavior if mess up over here and my Commander repremands me for it so God will do the same. Relief of accountability does not disappear merely because we think it does; that’s called arrogance. Regardless of whether we are Christians or not we are all sinners. The benefit to being Saved is that we are cleansed and forgiven with a life line that never goes away. Christ is always in that boat waiting for us to come back to Him.
I’d like to see the Scripture verse that says this, please.
Baptism does NOT save you.
That’s not what my Bible says. John 3:3,5, 22; John 4:1; Acts 8:36; Acts 10:47; Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5-6; Heb. 10:22…
A pastor of mine once explained something to me about being a child of Christ. Like many people he said, we steer off the path at times. He said it was like being in a boat and Christ is sitting there with you. You’re safe and you’re on the right path. However, heading on the wrong path is like jumping out of the boat, only that if you’re Saved, you have a lift line attached to you.
What if you cut the rope?
You’ll always be Saved no matter what happens, however, we are still responsible for what we do and we’ll always be accountable whether we’re in that boat or not. He will always be with us, however, when we leave that boat to live life on our own, that distance will cause us pain and unhappiness.
So we can jump off the boat and still be saved? I don’t think that would have been true for Noah and his family. It was because they were IN the ark that they were saved. If they’d jumped overboard they’d have perished with the rest of the world.
I truly believe that when this happens and in His Father’s Glory, sometimes we are called home because of our sins as Christians because we refuse to accept discipline and change to get us on the right path again. We are to be examples at all times representing the Word and if we’re not good examples, how can he use us for his purpose?
Do you have a Scripture that tells you this or is this something your pastor told you?
Being in Iraq, we are told all the time that our actions and our discussions represent the United States and that we are to behave accordingly. The Iraqi’s over here will remember me as either a respectful American or a rude one. Same goes as a Christian and I’ll be responsible to God for my behavior.
I want to thank you for your service to God and country and I pray that you come home safely. :gopray2:
Just as I am responsible for my behavior if mess up over here and my Commander repremands me for it so God will do the same. Relief of accountability does not disappear merely because we think it does; that’s called arrogance. Regardless of whether we are Christians or not we are all sinners. The benefit to being Saved is that we are cleansed and forgiven with a life line that never goes away. Christ is always in that boat waiting for us to come back to Him.
The Blessed Virgin also bore all of us at the foot of the Cross.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
I am not sure if the Bible states that God will take you, but I have read that he does expect proper behavior and he forgives, but he also expect responsbility for our actions. I need to look in to this because I think it is more of a concept.
As for cutting the rope? I don’t think that is possible. Once saved, we’re always saved because I don’t believe that Jesus would ever do this. But I do think that acting irresponsible will cause us more harm than good. As scripture says, Do not test the Lord God. And although Jesus stated this toward Satan, we can surely see how it applies in our lives. I believe that there are times when God will decide to call us home and that if we are acting in a way that displeases him, He could surely call us home sooner than later.