Questions: Baptism, New Birth, Regeneration, Saving Repentance, etc


#1

In the Catholic Fiath we are taught that we cannot merit without being in the State of Grace.
We are broght into the State of Grace by being born from Above, which enables saving repentance, meritorious good works, etc., after we are born from above by water and the Holy Spirit, not before.
In Old Testament times, there was no Sacramental Baptism bringing the new birth from above,
and yet people, all the time, performanced Saving Repentance and were declared righteous by God. Even John the Baptist’s parents were righteous before God long before the Birth-from-Above saving grace Baptism was ever brought about by Jesus and the Apostles…
Yet we are told that no one can merit, nor savingly repent, nor even BE in the State of Grace without FIRST having had the Sacrament of Baptism.
Being that the Old Testament is FULL of Old Testament Saints,
my question is, HOW CAN THIS BE?


#2

Ever heard of Baptism of desire?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1260 “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 why known to God, of the Paschal mystery.” 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.


#3

Understand that no one from the Old Testament (except Elijah and Moses who were assumed up) was in heaven.

Before Christ there was no salvation. The righteous were in Hades where the waited in a place called “Abrahams Bosom” they were waiting there for Christ to open heaven. Once Christ opened heaven they were allowed entrance based on their faith in God and his mercy during their lives and their adherence of the Mosaic Law which allowed for sanctification.

See Luke 16:19-31

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

See 1 Peter 3-18-20

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,”


#4

Remember, also, that Eternity is the ever-present NOW to God. Those who had faith in God, who loved Him and desired to do His will, were held in Hades (excepting those few who were assumed into Heaven by God’s Grace), awaiting the Sacrifice of Jesus for their souls and sins, and THEN entered Heaven. So, yes, those who lived prior to Christ could be holy, and friends of God (as Abraham was), and were assured Heaven at the time of their deaths, awaiting only the Lord’s Resurrection to actually enter Heaven. God knew they would have desired the sanctifying graces of Baptism in Christ, had it been available, and judged them by the desire of their hearts toward Him. Many of the Old Testament Prophets and Judges, and Patriarchs were “filled with the Spirit” of God, because of their love and longing for Him. So, the graces of Baptism were granted through their desire and love for God prior to the coming of His Son.

:thumbsup:


#5

It would be a mistake to say that the sacrament of baptism was absolutely necessary for salvation in all times. Even those who think sacramental baptism is absolutely necessary now would not say it was necessary before the sacrament was instituted. St. Thomas teaches that receiving circumcision under the Old Covenant remitted original sin and infused sanctifying grace. Read his explanation.

newadvent.org/summa/4070.htm#article4


#6

=JohnPaulToo1;11365437]In the Catholic Fiath we are taught that we cannot merit without being in the State of Grace.
We are broght into the State of Grace by being born from Above, which enables saving repentance, meritorious good works, etc., after we are born from above by water and the Holy Spirit, not before.
In Old Testament times, there was no Sacramental Baptism bringing the new birth from above,
and yet people, all the time, performanced Saving Repentance and were declared righteous by God. Even John the Baptist’s parents were righteous before God long before the Birth-from-Above saving grace Baptism was ever brought about by Jesus and the Apostles…
Yet we are told that no one can merit, nor savingly repent, nor even BE in the State of Grace without FIRST having had the Sacrament of Baptism.
Being that the Old Testament is FULL of Old Testament Saints,
my question is, HOW CAN THIS BE?

GREAT Question my friend,:slight_smile:

Here’s the Short answer:

ROMANS 6:Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin; but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of justice unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."

here’s what it MEANS:

Differnt times

Differnt people

Different Covenants Heb.8: [8] For he finds fault with them when he says: “The days will come, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel: … [13] In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” [does not voide the old, just replaces it].

Luke.22: 20 "And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

BECAUSE God can be described as “EVERY GOOD THING PERFECTED” God must now make judgment based on the FACT that Christ Redeeming Actions and the FLOW of Grace alter how He MUST pass jugement of mans actions; past and present.

Circumission was roughly the “Equivalent” of our Sacramental Baptism as FAR AS identfying one as a Member of God’s Chosen people. However Baptism ADDS Sacramental GRACE that did not exist in the OT times.

God Bless you!
Patrick


closed #7

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