For people just interested in Baptism ONLY, skip this and go to the next post.
For those interested in a more solid foundation to discuss Baptism with Bible Christians who tend to be Anabaptist this may be of help.
Knowing some rudimentary aspects of justification is necessary.
Justification ALWAYS seems to come up in those conversations about Baptism.
God gives us grace BEFORE the moment of justification.
God gives us justifying grace that we need at the moment of justification (Baptism).
God gives us a deeper share of justifying grace that we also need during our ongoing lifelong process of justification.
Let me repeat that.
God gives us grace BEFORE the moment of justification. This is called God drawing us to Him or “God’s prevenient grace”.
God gives us justifying grace that we need at the moment of justification (via Baptism).
Baptism is where we get the Trinitarian Life poured into us . . . . and WE get put INTO Jesus too (and we get put into fellow Christians—The Church as well).
We cannot “bypass” this. (God can)
1257 a, c The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 . . . . God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
If God chooses to work outside of the “ordinary means” like He did for all the Old Covenant people who eventually went to Heaven, this is called a “Baptism of Desire”.
Baptism of “desire” is a possibility for those who through NO FAULT of their own do not know Christ and thus cannot be Baptized.
CCC 847a This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, . . . .
After Baptism, God gives us a deeper share of justifying grace that we also need during our ongoing lifelong process of justification. With God living in us in this special way, we are expected to do something by COOPERATING with the grace given (make interest on the “talents”). “Let him who is justified, be justified further still” or “He that is just, let him be justified still” (Revelation 22:11 and Trent Session VI)
One quick build on Baptism.
When we get Baptized, we receive the Trinitarian life poured within us.
Bear with me for a moment.
If we have a December 27th birthday, before Christmas rolls around, Aunt Harriet may stop by with “presents” on Christmas day.
Let’s say you get several presents. But you can only open up two presents on Christmas (you have to wait to open the other three till your birthday two days from now).
You have ALL the presents under the tree but you can only open up two of them.
When your birthday comes you can open up the other three.
Now think of Confirmation.
When you are Baptized you get God in you! You get all the Baptismal gifts in a sense.
But your Baptism doesn’t get “completed” until you can open ALL the “presents”.
So yes you get gifts when you receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism.
Then in your “completion” of your ONE Baptism you get other “presents” opened when you receive the Holy Spirit again.
“Presents” like Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Courage (or “fortitude”), Understanding, Piety (Sometimes called “love,” “godliness,” or “delighting in fear of the Lord”), and Fear of the Lord.
Confirmation is the “completion of Baptism”.
CCC 1288 "From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s will,
imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism.
For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews the doctrine concerning Baptism and
the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction.
The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of
the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church."9
CCC 1304 Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the “character,” which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.
One more concept. Prefigurement leading up to fulfillment.
Prefigurement is but a shadow.
Fulfillment is the “real deal”.
Fulfillments are always greater than “types” or “prefigurements”.
Jesus used this prefigurement-fulfillment motif on the Road To Emmaus.
LUKE 24:27 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Adam was a “type” of Jesus! St. Paul explicitly says so.
ROMANS 5:14 a, c 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses . . . who was a type of the one who was to come.
OK. Back to Baptism proper (tomorrow).