Original Sin and Baptism - Biblical?

Does the Church teach that the act of baptism removes the stain of original sin? Is original sin as the Church teaches it Biblical?

It is no doubt we are all born sinners stated in Romans 3:23, and we see it in our lives and world constantly.

“Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (ACTS 2:38).

This states baptism is for the forgiveness of “our” sins - not anyone else’s.

If baptism removes original sin - why do we still sin?

Baptism completely wipes away original sin. What is left is concupiscence, which is a tendency toward sin found in us because we are in the fallen state. We have free will, and concupiscence, and we are influenced by other sinners, so we sin despite having had original sin wiped away entirely.

The chief aspect of OS-what it consists of in us-is a negative, a rift or separation between man and God, created and Creator. This is also known as the “death of the soul”. We’re “born dead”, so to speak, in need of being born again or born from above. This takes place as we regain the “knowledge of God” which all humanity lacks now at birth, this knowledge having been lost at the Fall, so that we may commune with Him again, His life reestablished in us as was always meant to be. Jesus came to bring about this reconciliation and reunion, this rebirth. Baptism is our response, our first public, formal act of faith, in accepting God’s offer and professing our belief in it, whereupon our sins are taken away, forgiven and forgotten, being made new creations in Christ as we’re raised to new life with Him. We have a fresh start-and with a difference-God, ‘apart from Whom we can do nothing’, is no longer apart from us.

But this in no way removes our freedom of choice. In a sense it only places us back to where Adam & Eve were before the Fall, lacking only certain preternatural gifts that they had been given but in full possession of the sanctifying grace they started with. The choice, between good and evil, sin or no sin, life and death, God or no God remains, and we must continue to struggle with that choice in order to be refined and perfected. We’re here to gain, with the help of revelation and grace, the wisdom to willfully remain in Christ, to enter into and maintain communion with God, IOW to come to love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. This defines *justice *for man.

Concupiscence is nothing more than the openness to look elsewhere, apart from and outside of God, for our fulfillment and happiness. The draw, the possibility, of finding ‘more life’ yet, on our own, remains as an open wound almost, posing a question to our wills that must eventually be completely resolved in order for us to know the total peace and happiness God has planned for us. The “struggle with sin” is a matter of the *will *in the end-always has been, beginning with Adam .

[INDENT]. . . :coffeeread: . . .

Section Two
The Seven Sacraments of the Church


II. Baptism in the Economy of Salvation**

According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through Baptism into communion with Christ’s death, is buried with him, and rises with him:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into **Christ Jesus **were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.29

The baptized have** “put on Christ.”**30 Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.31

VI. The Necessity of Baptism

The** Lord **himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 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.62 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.

[INDENT]60 :bible1: Jesus answered: Amen, amen **I **say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5

61 :bible1: 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. Matthew 28:19-20

62 :bible1: He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. Mark 16:16

The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the** fruits of Baptism **without being a sacrament.

For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

"Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the **Holy Spirit **offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the **Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God **in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have **desired Baptism **explicitly if they had known its necessity.

As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy :heart: of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy :heart: of God who desires that all men should be saved, and ***Jesus’ ***tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

The quoted :bible1: Scripture texts are the footnoted texts in the Catechism . . . below is the link for the Catechism on-line . . .

:compcoff: Link: usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2.shtml#art1[/INDENT]

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Precious Lord+
. . .our **God **and our Saviour+
. . . our All+[/RIGHT]


All undeniable, but doesn’t answer OP’s question.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
405 Although it is proper to each individual,295 original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called “concupiscence”. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

Again, quite correct, but doesn’t answer the question of the OP…the answer might be that, as many Church teachings are, it is not biblical (nor does it need to me)… If it is, I anxiously wait to see what CAF members come up with, because I’m stymied.

It’s Biblical.

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

See John 3:3 through 3:7.


Is Original Sin as taught by the Church biblical? Yes. Does the Bible have a chapter and verse in which this can be looked up verbatim, like a dictionary or a bingo game? No. Scripture must be read in context. The Magisterium of the Church teaches. Holy Scripture sits in the witness stand. The Bible didn’t create the Church; the Church compiled the Bible. Extra-biblical does not equate to anti-biblical.

Jesus promised his followers, “I am come that you might have life, and have it to the full” (in other words, we didn’t have it). He spoke to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well about living water, a fountain of life springing up from within (a prototype of baptism). He gave the command to baptize at His Ascension. This reality in the life of the Church was reflected by the time Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Cor 1:13-17). See also Romans 6:1-11 (yes, read the whole chapter, please!) in which baptism is referred to as a “death” to the old self. Why would Jesus do this? To infuse grace and the Holy Spirit into the soul of an individual by an outward and visible sign.

“Baptism is not an enacted metaphor based on the cross; baptism is the power of the cross made actual among those who believe.” (Aidan Kavanagh, The Shape of Baptism: The Rite of Christian Initiation – great book, by the way, suggest everyone read it).

Markie Boy, I suspect you may be struggling more than you realize with the concept of Sacred Tradition–that Jesus taught His followers, and that those followers passed this deposit of faith on to others, right down to the present day. Remember what John said, that Jesus taught many things not recorded in the Bible, but that these had been recorded that you might believe. The Fathers of the Church took care of the “writing down” part in the first few centuries of the Church’s life. Catholicism stands on these two roots, Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition, for her teaching. I wish you love and prayers in your faith journey.

“Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.”

Matthew 3:13


Psalm 51:5 “For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me”

Romans 5
12 Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. 13 For until the law sin was in the world; but sin was not imputed, when the law was not. 14 But death reigned from Adam unto Moses, even over them also who have not sinned after the similitude of the transgression of Adam, who is a figure of him who was to come.

Romans 8:10: “The body, indeed, is dead because of sin, but the spirit liveth because of justification.”

I may be wrong about this.

Original sin comes from the knowledge that ‘Jews ate manna but still died’, and, Jesus’ statement that all who are baptized will live in spirit. When you put the two of these together, it’s apparent that an apostolic baptism, in Jesus’ name, does something. That something was given the name original sin. Baptism removes it, and clears the way for the cross.

God will never take our free will away. If He did, we wouldn’t be worthy of having an eternal soul. Therefore, we still sin.

Yes - I see a lot of CCC references, and I have no issues with the Biblical references to baptism.

I just don’t see much biblical support for the idea of original sin, and the ceremony of baptism washing it away. We are all still sinners after baptism. So the “what is original sin exactly” question lingers.

If it’s teaching that’s outside of scripture, it should have some really solid foundation.

Genesis 3:1-24, Adam and Eve knew that because of their sin they would have to work for a living, be at war with nature, suffer pain and sickness, and eventually die.

St. Paul explains original sin in Romans 5:12-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.

It does:






My post was concerned only with the first and last questions asked in the OP, namely, “Does the Church teach that the act of baptism removes the stain of original sin?” and “If baptism removes original sin - why do we still sin?” As the quote from the Catechism I provided indicates, among the many consequences of the original sin, human beings as a group lost their original holiness and justice and human nature itself was weaken and inclined to evil. Baptism, among other things, restores our original holiness and justice, as St Paul says, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified …” (1 Cor 6:11), but baptism does not ameliorate our weakened human nature which remains inclined to evil. St Paul seems to have written about our weakened human nature which was still inclined to evil, when, in Romans 7:13-25, he wrote about his own continuing inner struggle against sin.

Thanks Vico - the Romans 5:12-19 passage is pretty clear on original sin. Thank you - you have been helpful on a lot of my challenging questions.:thumbsup:

The letter to the Hebrews, referenced below, articulates how sin entered the world and impacted all of mankind. Adam was charged with the care of the garden (Gen 2:15) and he was the spiritual head of the household (Eph 5:23, 1 Cor 11:3). Therefore, sin entered the world through him. Adam and Eve had been created with original holiness and justice, they were in the image of God- Gen 1:27. They had the Holy Spirit from the beginning-- God “breathed” life into them (Gen 2:7). That wasn’t just physical life, but spiritual life (The word from which we get Holy Spirit is Ruah which is breath of God). When Adam sinned against God, He decided that their offspring would not be given the gift they had been given. All generations afterward would not be given the *original *holiness and justice that Adam and Eve had.

In the Father’s mercy He made a plan to restore mankind to holiness through His Son. Jesus’ Sacrifice won for us forgiveness of our sins in His Name AND the return of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We first receive the Holy Spirit at our baptism and it is through His purification and power that we are able to be holy-- we have Divine Life in us and through the Eucharist we continue to partake of the Divine Nature (2 Pet 1:4) which also makes us holy. However, although we are restored to holiness, we are not restored to original holiness. We still have concupiscence and we still have to die a physical death. So even with the grace that Jesus merited for us on the cross we will have to endure some of the effects of original sin. However, we do not have to endure spiritual death if we die in a state of grace (only through Jesus can this be accomplished)

One simple point, if original sin does not exist, then the need for Jesus to save **all **mankind does not exist. Why? Because if God only counted against us our actual sin, then there would be many who never sinned (mostly babies who died to young to commit sin, but also those who do not have the mental faculties to commit sin).

Good Scriptures to know on this topic

Rom 5:12-16 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, 13 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14* Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15* But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16* And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.

Rom 5:19* For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Ps 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Col 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Rom 8:10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit gives you life because of righteousness.

Titus 3:5 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the* washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,*

1 Pet 3:21 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 good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

If baptism completely wiped out Adam and Eve’s original sin, then wouldn’t baptized people be living in Eden free from all of the consequences from Genesis 3:16-19? It really confuses me when people say that original sin can be removed.

I have learned that many Christians believe there is a sin (or just a stain) caused by being conceived that causes the person to be guilty in God’s eyes until he or she has this guilt removed by another person who chooses to baptize this person. If they are over 7 years old then they have to believe in Christ in addition to being baptized to have this sin removed. This stain is what some believe to be removed by baptism. Is this the part that you mean is wiped away? Is there biblical support for this type of sin being present in infants? (Judaism does not have this concept.) Is there biblical support for baptism removing this original sin?

The consequences of Adam and Eve’s original sin continue after this. We all agree that after baptism we still live in a fallen world with the presence of good and evil and temptation to sin. This sin often leads to pain and heartache for ourselves and the innocent people around us. Sometimes suffering can occur in our fallen world even when not directly caused by sin. These consequences are permanent for man’s duration of time on Earth. These are the effects of Adam and Eve’s original sin and it isn’t removed by baptism.

But there is no evidence that the concepts in the Doctrine of Original Sin were understood before the time of Augustine. I have seen some hints to hereditary sin and ancestral sin in writings of Origen and Ambrose. Their writings express a concept very different from Augustine’s doctrine. Ambrose even teaches that original sin is removed by washing the feet of a baptized man. Many prior to this time taught that babies were innocent. If the Apostles taught that baptism removed a stain that all babies are born with, wouldn’t everyone have agreed on the concept prior to Augustine’s doctrine?

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