Is Baptism necessary for Salvation?

I think that,yes, it is possible to be saved (as, go to Heaven), without being baptized. But I also think that we are commanded to be baptized,& that if we can be, & refuse, that that is a serious sin of rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ.
I mean, considering what He did for me, I feel like the least I should do is to try to follow His teachings to the best of my poor abilities. And that includes baptism.
I should point out that as a Methodist, we don’t have the teaching of baptism of desire, or baptism by blood…We have the concept. Just not the name…We also believe–unlike some other protestants–that real actual grace is imparted by the waters of baptism.(All the more reason to be baptized!!).

Baptism IS necessary for ALL to be saved. As I said before, there are three forms of batism. Water, desire and of blood. Those who have not recieved batptism of water but believe and are killed in the name of Christ recieve a baptism of blood. Those who desire to be baptized but were somehow not able to recieve baptism of water are baptized by their desire.

Abraham did not recieve baptism of water, yet we know he is with God. Christ upon his death decended into the Sheol (the place of the dead) and preached to them who never knew him as well. Christ’s sacrifice is infinite and is not bound by time (anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t Christian). And ANYTHING is possible with God, He is all merciful and just. Those who through His grace come to a desire of Him WILL BE SAVED. That includes the unborn and those who never heard of Christ.

The Catholic Church has always taught that people can be saved without Baptism. This is not some post-Vatican 2 invention, or the raving of a “modern” Pope, namely Pope John Paul 11. That kind of critical language can only come from someone in schism. Jesus Himself told the Pharisees that the prostiutes would be entering heaven before them. How did they get baptised, or even think of it?
This type of “Baptism or hell” teaching is essentally Protestant. it would exclude trillions of good people from salvation.

Catholics believe that baptism is when we are born again. Scripture is clear, we must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven.

But although God set up the sacraments for salvation He is not bound by them. Whether there are other means besides water, blood or desire, I certainly do not know, but as the Catholic Church teaches in regards to unbaptized babies, we can but put our trust and hope in God.

God Bless,
Maria

Catechism of the Catholic Church, bold type added.

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. 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 all 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.

[quote=azcelt]wasn,t the thief on the cross saved by his faith in jesus,as far as i know he wasn,t baptized.
[/quote]

As far as you know he wasn’t baptized.

There is a wonderful story about the Good Thief which I don’t remember exactly, but apparently he was the same age as Jesus and was born a sickly child. On their way to Egypt, Mary and Joseph and the Child Jesus encountered a caravan. The woman of the caravan, the Good Thief’s mother noticed the holiness of the Child Jesus and when Mary had bathed her Baby, she asked to use the same water to wash her own son. He was immediately cured.

In addition, the story of the Good Thief brings to mind some other Church teachings which have to do with salvation:

  1. Expiation of sin. The Good Thief hung on the cross and suffered with Jesus in one of the most excruciating forms of torture ever devised by man. Then, his legs were broken in order to hasten his death. Therefore, if the Good Thief skipped Purgatory it is because suffering is redemptive.
    **1 Peter 4 1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
    **

  2. Jesus came to give us a model that we should follow in His footsteps. Who modeled Jesus any closer than the Good Thief who literally hung on the Cross beside Jesus?

  3. Faith and Works. The Good Thief professed his faith in Jesus and his words were memorialized in Scripture destined to move the hearts of men for generations to come. How many people have been converted by the power of the Good Thief’s words. This was a work of gold if ever there was one.

That’s my two cents.

Sincerely,

De Maria

The thief WAS baptized. He recieved a baptism of desire.

The Catholic Church teaches 3 forms of baptism:

1- Water (the norm)
2- Desire (no possible way for baptism of water but the desire for sanctification in Christ)
3- Blood (suffering death in Jesus name)

How many times do I have to say it?
Read the Catechism, paragraphs 1213-1284
Specifically 1257-1261 on the necessity of baptism.

I to am in an ongoing discussion with a protestant. He asked how do Catholics get into heaven? I answered him through faith and grace, it is a gift that cannot be earned.

So then he pulls out our CCC and shows me that Catholics believe that sacraments are necessary for salvation. And He thinks that is the equivalent to “works”.
I think I am participating and being obedient to the Chuch’s teaching.
Is the definition of grace differant for protestants and Catholics?

[quote=Jimmy B]Steven Merten,

I fully surrender to Jesus Christ and his church, the Catholic Church. I agree fully with the teachings of the Vicar of Christ, our holy father. I also follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church, so if you are looking for my answer, you will find it there.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: I second that motion!

Phil

[quote=JackmanUSC]There are exceptions for those who never had a chance ie babies who die at birth or are killed by abortion.
[/quote]

AMEN! The God I know would not condemn the innocents to hell for something that they had no say in.

Karen Anne

in normal situations, yes, baptism is necessary.

AJaneI to am in an ongoing discussion with a protestant. He asked how do Catholics get into heaven? I answered him through faith and grace, it is a gift that cannot be earned.

So then he pulls out our CCC and shows me that Catholics believe that sacraments are necessary for salvation. And He thinks that is the equivalent to “works”.
I think I am participating and being obedient to the Chuch’s teaching.
Is the definition of grace differant for protestants and Catholics?

Eph 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift-- 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His making, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

Interesting, isn’t it, that in the words of Paul, we are created for good works! That is why the Catholic concept of salvation is grace working in love.

Gal 5:6 - For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.

1 Cor 13:2 - If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead

Scripture is quite clear, you have to do something with your faith, or it is dead (as James points out). While Catholics would never teach that you can “work” your way to heaven, neither can you get to heaven without good works. Scripture is clear (and these are only a few verses) that faith + works are both needed. So how can good works not be part of the equation?
MBS1

Anyone who has received the teaching of the Lord, requires baptism; although I beleive that if something happens and you die before you are baptized; God will know your desire and then judge you as if you had been baptized. If you are not baptized, and know that Jesus taught that we were to be born of water and of the spirit, and you are not and reject this teaching, then I believe God will judge accordingly.
Someone who has not received the Word of God, I doubt God would condemn them for something which is not their fault; however, like everyone else, their deeds will run before them, and they will be judged for those things, according to their beliefs. i.e. if you come from a culture with certain rules and beliefs, and you do as you are told, and believe what you are taught, then God will possibly judge you to be faithful; but if you are not faithful to the customs of your culture, then you will be judged accordingly.
Of course, no one can judge a persons heart at the time of death / judgement, so only God knows and can judge these things. It may be that someone who had knowledge of God and His teachings, who rejected baptism, etc; may at the time of death / judgement, have a contrite heart and beg for forgiveness…the fate of this person, like the rest of us; is in Gods hands.
I hope my meaning on this, is clear; if not, I apologise.
These of course are purely my own thoughts, and may not concur fully with Church teaching…as I am still learning, I apologise if my views are not those of the Church.

Peace be with you all and those whom you love. :slight_smile:

Ah shoot, I voted on the poll, then read the post. Change one no to yes (but only in this situation). If a well-informed person consciously and purposely rejects baptism, I don’t see how they can be saved.

Eamon

** posted by AJane**
I to am in an ongoing discussion with a protestant. He asked how do Catholics get into heaven? I answered him through faith and grace, it is a gift that cannot be earned.

So then he pulls out our CCC and shows me that Catholics believe that sacraments are necessary for salvation. And He thinks that is the equivalent to “works”.
I think I am participating and being obedient to the Chuch’s teaching.
Is the definition of grace differant for protestants and Catholics?

The problem is not a different definiton of grace, but the persons misunderstanding of what a sacrament is. Many protestants see even baptism not as a miracle from God, but as something a person does to proclaim their faith. Just a symbol.

So in their mind the sacraments are simply “things” a person does. You need to constantly emphasize that the sacraments are not things we do, but things in which God manifests His glory to us. Miracles from God, not just something that we do.

God Bless,
Maria

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