Questions about when people get "saved"


Theoretically this is true. BUt since both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture have the same Source, there is NEVER a contradiction.

There is only a contradiciton with interpretation. Protestants are separated from the Apostolic succession, and generally interpret through a Calvanistic lens. It is understandible that Calvin would need to digress from the Catholic Church’s notions of Apostolic Authority. In his view, these needed to be replaced by another authority (he saw those authorities as corrupt) so he was keen to use Luther’s sola scriptura concept.


I think we are in agreement that this refers to a work of the Holy Spirit, and is Spiritual.

I am not sure where you extract this definition, but I am thinking that Catholics may be able to agree with you. We consider Baptism (the circumcision made without hands by the Holy Spirit) to be part of His covenant.

“I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name… will show the holiness of my great name” Ezek. 36

It is not the human part of the equation that makes the Sacred Tradition infallible, but the divine.

Yes, this is very Catholic! Baptism washes away all sins, original and personal. But the Baptism the Apostles describe is both physical, and spiritual. Calvin had issues with the physical, and wanted to transfer all that the CC taught as “physical” into the spiritual realm. Oddly, he continued the practice of infant baptism???

But yes, we will agree that Baptism functions to put the “old man” to death, and frees us to follow Jesus. We continue to struggle with the “old man” until death, but the cleansing of the Spirit gives us power over slavery to sin.


It is important for Reformed Christians to cling to this interpretation so that they can make a distinction between water baptism, and baptism of the HS. Whereas, the Apostles never separated the two. For the Apostles, baptism was both “physical” (dunking in water) and “spiritual”.

‘After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.’ John 3

This is the context of the passage about Nicodemus’ discussion with Jesus about “entering again into mothers womb”. Jesus is clear that Baptism is connect to WATER!



No, tgG it is not “literally impossible” . John, Jesus, and His Apostles baptized with WATER. Water was never separated from the circumcision made without hands. When a person goes down under the water, one is ‘buried’ and when one rises from the WATER they are raised to newness of life. This is why submersion is considered the most appropriate expression of the sacrament.

It is only missing for you, tgG, because you have been indoctrinated with Calvanistic theology, that denies the regenerative nature of the Sacrament. But this is what the Church has believed for 2000 years.

The NT was never intended to be a full compendium of the faith, tgG. Paul assumed that those to whom he wrote would understand about water baptism, as they had all received it. Baptism was never separated from the water until 1500 years after the Apostles.

This is what your non-Sacramental theology must maintain, but this is not what the Apostles taught. They taught that baptism (in water) is literal.

Yes. But somehow you are separating 'literal" from “spiritual”. This is a mistake that emanates from Calvin, who was a lawyer who was very much into logic. Look, angels have no physical bodies, but they are “literal” in the sense that they are still “real”. Just because something is not tangible does not make it untrue. You have been taught that “literal” equates to “not true” but this is not the case.

The disciples "literally"were immersed in Baptism, going under the water (cf. the Didache), and this was a symbol of death, and when they arose from the water, a symbol of the newness of life into which they were raised

Again you seem to make the mistake that the CC extracts doctrines from Scripture. We recieve our doctrines from the Aposltes. We also accept the Apostolic testimony that Scripture is not a complete compendium of the faith.


If we cannot “literally” put on Christ, then the Apostles have led us astray. You seem to equate “physical” with “literal”. This is a Calvanistic error that has been passed to all Reformed Christians.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3;12

If you think these things are not visible, tangible, and literal, you have missed the Gospel message. I agree that they are spiritual realities, but they also manifest themselves in temporal reality.

Yes. Jesus used the mundane, such as mud, water, soil, and other elements to teach us about spiritual truths. But these elements are not “mere reflections”. On the contrary, they are the conduits thru. which He dispenses grace.

Do you think there was any “power” in the mud or spittle Jesus used to heal the blind? Or were these physical elements through which He effected spiritual realities? Why teach the Apostles to baptize with water, if this was without purpose? Do you think that Jesus did anything without purpose?

Why was Naaman told to dip himself into the Jordan 7 times to be healed? Are we not in agreement that leprosy is a type and shadow of Sin?


This is not as much a "contrast’ as a shadow, as you have identified other OT shadows or types. It does not mean that baptism from Christ did not include water. Jesus added the HS to the water when He was baptized.

'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." Ezek. 36.

The “water” is literal, physical water.

This is a perfect example, thank you tgG. Jesus went to great lengths to convince Peter that the Gentiles needed to be included in the Church. He showed Peter a vision 3 x to pursuade him that “nothing is unclean”. Then He sent messengers to Peter from Cornelius, told him to go, and demonstrated that the HS was to fall upon the Gentiles as wells as the Jews. He showed this in no uncertain terms by the Gifts of the HS.

Now, Peter already understood that Baptism with water was regenerative, and that the gifts of the HS were conferred upon reception as evidence of that work. Immediately he understood that the water was not to be separated from the work of the HS


Why is it so hard for you to see that what you are actually saying here is…

If the Catholic Church says X and I read the verses She points out and I SAY THAT the scripture says Y and Z. Then MY INFALLIBLE INTERPRETATION trumps the Catholic Church. ALWAYS.

You keep falling back to this contradiction nonsense. Why won’t you show us an actual teaching of the Catholic Church, that outright contradicts scripture, and isn’t just based on your opposing interpretation of scripture. Unless you are claiming to be infallible you have to honestly admit that your interpretation might be wrong.

God Bless


I fear that @tgGodsway has been so steeped in this hostile anti-Catholicism that he is unable to avoid projecting it. We can look at the same Scripture passage, and it is as if a state of spiritual astygmatism exises, or scotoma such that a Catholic understanding is not possible.

It seems like a lack of objectivity, because it seems that one would be able to at least see the other point of view, even if one disagrees with it. For example, the passage “All Scripture is inspired by God for…” is often used to support the SS approach. When I read it I can see why people accept it as “proof” of the formal sufficiency of Scripture. I disagree with SS, but I can see the perspective from whence it comes.

On the other hand, @tgGodsway just keeps repeating certain denials, as if repeating them will make the Sacred Tradition disappear.

There is nothing man made that has existed for 2000 years like the Church founded by Christ. If it were a man made tradition, it would have died out long ago.


All that you are saying here is that the Catholic Church has their interpretation and protestant Churches all have their interpretation. The only difference here is that you insist that the Catholic interpretation is infallible, while the others are not.

I suppose there are denominations out there who feel the same way about their interpretation of X, too. So what! All it means is that the entire body of Christ has an interpretation that do not necessarily agree on what X is suppose to mean.

I’ve already done this before but it falls on disagreement.

The catholic Church teaches that Mary was born sinless, lived sinless and taken to heaven sinless… all by a special miracle. I suppose this position wasn’t necessarily an interpretation of scripture, but more of an extra revelation that came from “oral tradition.”

The N.T. teaches no such thing. “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23… when Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said ALL, the word ALL, means, guess what, ALL! All people are sinners… all have turned aside… NONE is righteous, no… not one. Ro. 3:10

These truths found in Romans can only validate and confirm the clear intentions of passages where Mary for instance, prayed (in Luke’s gospel) calling God her savior. Also, the fact that her husband, Joseph, and her, were shown to be keepers of the Law, as demonstrated when they offered a sin offering in Jerusalem. Thirdly, the fact that no founding Father of the faith inside the scope of the N.T. taught Mary’s so called sinless state. NOT ONE. You would think that at least two witnesses would sum it up as a divine truth. But only the opposite is taught from scripture.

But I’ve pointed these things out before, MT and you manage to explain the obvious all away into a special miracle.

And the irony of it all is, that I do not claim, as you do, the infallibility of my interpretation.


Ahhh… yes I agree with this. I never said that water was not present in those passages, only that water was not emphasized. The water becomes only the reflection of a greater truth. Water is natural, yet we are spiritual. Therefore the spiritual truth takes precedence. Water is not a condition for spiritual baptism but surely may compliment it.

I can be baptized into Christ Jesus without water, but a better way to demonstrate to others would be by using water if it is available.


Of course I do. It’s either that or become an aethist. The only reason I believe the Bible is because I know historically the Catholic Church was founded by Christ. He gave the Church the infallible authority to canonize and interprete the Bible. If someone can prove to me that Christ did not found a visibly authoritative Catholic Church that He kept strong and has stood the test of time. Then they just proved that Christ is powerless, which would mean there is no reason for me to believe in him.

So what??? If it’s no big deal why do you keep bringing it up?

Yeah that’s my point. Unless you are going to claim and prove infallibility then don’t keep claiming a contradiction, unless it’s out right contradicted in scripture.

Yes and no.

Yes it does come from oral tradition, but my point still stands, even if it does it would have to be contradicted in scripture and it isn’t.

No not just oral tradition also from scripture showing that Mary is the new Eve and the fulfillment as the Ark of the New Covenant in Jesus. You might not agree but it’s in there.

I guess this would include those already saved babies you keep telling us about? I mean all means all right?

It makes no common sense why anyone would want to trust their salvation to a maybe?


Baptism was never meant to be a “demonstration to others”. This novel approach seems to be a way to find a purpose for the “ordinance” while denying the sacramental value of it. On the contrary, the Church had to go into hiding almost immediately, so baptisms were done largely in secret, sometimes underground, until Constantine decriminalized Christianity.


MT, you and others do a good job of driving home this point of infallibility, but it isn’t a New Testament truth. When you say the Catholic Church was founded by Christ, you say a half truth. The word Catholic means a universal Church, a Church that is functioning around the world.
The 120 membered Church founded in Acts 2, in the upper room were all Jewish converts with the call to take the gospel around the world beginning in Jerusalem and then to Judea and Samaria but ultimately to the ends of the earth."
But by no means had the Church yet become Catholic at this point. Secondly, for Peter to be the Bishop in Rome by 42 a.d. ruling as a pope over all Churches locally and globally is not even hinted in the divine record of scripture.
It is laughable to conceive this notion not to mention the zero record of Peter’s so-called authority over the other Apostles. Here’s what happened: It was all conceived by this thing you call, “oral tradition” yet it flies right in the face of holy scripture. The CC made the same mistake the Pharisees did by using oral tradition as an authoritarian rule.

You say Christ gave the “Church” the infallible authority to collect, canonize and interpret the bible. Which Church was that? Was it the Church at Philippi? was it the church at Corinth?.. was it the Church at Ephesus? or maybe it was the Church at Rome? You say the Church collected the writings and canonized them. Okay I can accept that, even though the canonization process was over a span of time. But on what bases was the canonization process infallible? …

And… on what divine bases did these “Church” members become infallible? You speak about these things in an authoritarian way, but what you say does not line up with the only infallible record we have, the N.T.

You haven’t proved (scripturally) that the Apostle Peter was actually functioning as a Bishop in Rome. The divine record has him commissioned as an Apostle SENT to the Jews. This is what the holy Spirit wanted us to know. I am not saying that Peter never went to Rome. But as a Bishop by 42 a.d. ruling the Church around the world is unconvincing.

Actually all of it is too unconvincing.


This is exactly the problem, though, isn’t it? The Apostles wanted us to be of one mind, one faith, one heart. No divisions, no heterodoxy. There for the entire Body would be in perfect unity, as He desired.

You make a good point here, tgG. Sacred Tradition cannot contradict Scripture, because they both come from the same Source. However, no Sacred Tradition is “extra” in the sense that it did not come from the Apostles. We believe that public revelation was closed at the death of the last Apostle. No doctrine can be added after that point. The once for all deposit of faith is protected infallibly in the Church by the Holy Spirit. We cannot add to it, or subtract from it.

First of all, the context of this polemic is to show that both Jews and Gentiles are sinners, and the Jews are not somehow better off because they are Jews.

Second, of course Mary was saved from sin, otherwise she would not have rejoiced in “God my savior”.

Third, “ALL” does not necessarily mean “all”. "All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” Luke 4;36

We know that not “all” were amazed, as some were jealous and disbelieving. Some mocked, and some scoffed.

Of course. You keep forgetting that the NT was written by, for, and about Catholics! There is nothing in it that contradicts Catholic faith.


Of course they were obedient to the Law. So was Jesus. Or are you saying that Jesus was not sinless? This offering is for purification. It is a ritual uncleanness, prescribed for the blood shed during childbirth. Ritual uncleanness is not some kind of personal sin. Unless you think that the shedding of blood during childbirth somehow violates the moral law of God?

Luke 2: 22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”

I think that what you are saying is that, since you don’t find the immaculate state of Mary specifically described in the NT then it is not valid?

Well, we read it differently, don’t we?

What is “obvious” to you is different than what is “obvious” to us. This is why private interpretation of Scripture is so divisive. There are as many different perceptions as there are belly buttons!

It is God that chose Mary to be His mother. He spent more time with her on earth than any other person, and she had Him all to herself for 30 years. None of us may ever understand the special relationship they have, but clearly, in the book of Revelation Mary is depicted as the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mother of her son’s disciples.

Have you ever considered asking Jesus what kind of relationship he wants you to have with His mother?


I agree, this was their perspective. But let’s face the facts here. The CC has absolutely no respect for any quote, non-C church thinker. To you, we are all heretics. This kind of approach shuts down any logical and reasonable discussion automatically. If one group postures themselves as superior over another, all based on pet doctrines such as a Bishop succession of infallibility, then the discussion is over before it begins.

If the Catholic Church had responded to Luther’s doctrinal concerns as if Luther was an actual equal thinker, and if they would have considered his arguments with the understanding that they too could be wrong, (and not just him) the entire issue may have smoothed out without any reform.

But because their dogma was already set in stone, and the infallibility of the Church had already been preached to many generations, how could those leaders turn on a dime and consider Luther’s logic. The prophet Isaiah spoke God’s word to say, “Come let us reason together…” But in Luther’s case, there was no reasoning, just a demand to recant.


I could see how those who extract their faith from the text, rather than receiving it as it was deposited would have trouble seeing this truth. But for us, when Jesus promised that the HS would reveal to the Church all that she needed to know, and would lead her into"all Truth", a promise of infallibility was made.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that the Church throughout all is united in doctrine and practice. Jesus intended for His Gospel to reach the whole world, but obviously this did not happen at once. Yet, the Church was Catholic at once.

Certainly not by your personal definition. But again, this is a good example of how private interpretation is divisive. There are as many interpretations as there are belly buttons. You have created a new and different definition of what “catholic” means, so that you can accuse us of not meeting that definition. It is a strawman argument.

The Church throughout all, first Yreferenced in Acts 9:41 was alive and well when St. Ignatius wrote about it in 107 AD. The adjective used by Luke (catholic) had, in that short amount of time, become a proper noun. Your effort to debunk the reality by redefining the word does not erase history.

I agree. Peter never saw himself as 'ruler" of anything. He was a very humble man, to whom was committed the duty to feed and care for the flock. There were no geographical boundaries around Christ’s instructions here. In the same way, the successor of Peter is just as responsible to feed and care for you, as part of the flock. Your refusal to accept Christ’s commission to him changes nothing… He still prays for you daily, and labors for the unity of the faith.


Really?.. please tell me how that works. So if Paul declares that all people born into the world who originated from Adam, are sinners, and then the C Church comes along centuries later in a papal decree or a council decree saying, Mary, by a special grace or miracle never sinned in the course of her life, and was born sinless, how is that not adding to, or altering what already is?


Peter was a very humble man, and saw himself as a servant leader. He did not lord his authority over others. The primacy of Peter is more suited to a different thread, as this one is already far off track.

You have given a good example of what “catholic” really means. The Church throughout all is the same Church in all these places. There is unity in doctrine. One Faith.

God does not make mistakes.

" It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." Isa. 55;11

The Church, as the Body of Christ, has two natures, one divine, one human. It is the divine aspects of the Church that make her infallible, not the human

Members of the Church are not infallible. The gift of infallibility operates through the church members. The best example of this is the writing of the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit worked infallibly through the writers to produce an inerrant result. This is also how the process of canonization operated.


No… I’m sure that I could gather up 10 or so Catholics who all have various opinions about certain scriptures, yet because they have no choice but to submit to what has been decided for them, they yield. People in general think so differently from each other by design.

But to separate one group who hears from God, from another group who it is said, cannot hear from God, and therefore needs the first group, is a huge blunder in so many Churches.
1st. John 2:27 tells us that the “anointing will teach us all things.” There was no selective partisan mentality in John’s statement. The holy Spirit can and does impart spiritual insight to the least likely person who is hungry for God’s word, and He usually does it that way. But the qualifying perfume God wants to smell, is the perfume of humility and the love of God.

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” 2nd. Chron. 16:9.

God is not impressed with one’s “position” in the Church. He is not impressed with the office of Bishop or Pastor or Apostle. He will manifest himself to those who love him. Jn.14:21.

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