Reconciling Romans 2:13 with the rest of New Testament

Yes, it is. In Catholic Teaching, one is “justified” in the Sacrament of Baptism. Rom 2:13 is about who is justified. Baptism is only imparted upon those who keep the Commamdments.

Yes, Baptism is the Sacrament of faith as Mark 16:16 says: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” I just started a new thread to address Sacramental theology, in case people want to move this chat over there.

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Lol! How is it that the Sacraments could have developed in the middle ages, when they can be explicitly traced to the New Testament Scriptures? I know you won’t deny that Jesus Christ established Baptism? Will you?

If you had asked Paul about the seven sacraments he wouldn’t have had any idea what you are talking about.

On the contrary, he’s the one we’ve discussing. He wrote Romans 2:13. He wrote Romans 6:4 and Titus 3:5.

Peter Lombard changed the definition of a Sacrament from Augustine’s “An outward sign of an inner grace” to mean not only a sign of grace but a cause of Grace in The Sentences. Lombard also set the number of Sacraments at seven. (Augustine identified over 300 Sacraments).

Hm? You mean when the word “Sacrament” was coined. But before the word Sacrament was coined, the Sacraments were already being practiced.

When sacraments first started being discussed as “Divine Mysteries” pretty much anything “Set apart as holy” was considered a sacrament. Even the earth itself was described as a sacrament as it showed the Glory and majesty of God’s creation.

It still is. We still speak of the Church as the Sacrament of union. There are many Sacraments and sacramentals. But these seven Sacraments are the mysteries through which God works to pour grace out on our souls, directly.

1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

It took a thousand years for the sacraments, as defined by the Catholic church, to be defined as we know them today.

That is what is called the “development” of Doctrine. It is addressed by Jesus when He says:

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

And the church actually changed the definition of a Sacrament when the scholastic Theologians all got on board with Peter Lombard’s opinions.

Neh. The Church came to a deeper understanding of Christ’s truth.

So unless Paul could see 1000 years into the future and agreed with Peter Lombard then there is no way he was referring the sacraments when he is talking about faith.

St. Paul would agree with the Catholic Church. Because St. Paul would submit to the Catholic Church. He would know that the Catholic Church is the vehicle which Jesus Christ established to bring His Truth to the world. And, he would also know that the Teaching of the Catholic Church today, is a deeper understanding of what he said in Apostolic times.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Not today. Because there are no apostles alive with the special apostolic gift.

Well, in the early Church, a person isn’t going to get all the Papal encyclicals, the condemnations of heresies, the catechisms, or things like a completely worked-out doctrine of Christology, Trinity matters, or how the Sacraments work. In fact, we see throughout the History of the Church that a doctrine was not formally defined by the bishops in union with the Pope, in many regards, unless it had come under many and severe attacks by various heretical sects and leaders. Take Arianism, Nestorianism, Montanism, or Docetism for example. However, we believe that each and every one of the seven Sacraments was instituted by Our Lord. You cannot have a Sacrament unless it was instituted by Christ.

In regards to Augustine and Lombard, they are not actually in contradiction to one another regarding the nature of the 7 Sacraments. The idea that Augustine didn’t believe in Sacramental realism is absurd given his clear writing as we see in works like ‘On Baptism’, ‘On Holy Virginity’, his many sermons which all explain the realities of the Eucharist, and many more of his works which defend the Sacramental realities. Like @De_Maria said before, we must make sure that we don’t misunderstand the difference between Sacraments (of which there are 7 and only 7) and the many, many sacramentals which serve to strengthen faith and make us grow in communion with God.

Here are some quotes from Augustine for you to ponder over:

I [will] explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. (Sermon 227: A.D. 411)

Baptism washes away all, absolutely all our sins, whether of deed, word, or thought, whether sins original or added, whether knowingly or unknowingly contracted. ( Against Two Letters of the Pelagians , A.D. 420)

Let us not listen to those who deny that the Church of God has power to forgive all sins . ( De agon. Christ ., iii)

Undoubtedly the substance of the sacrament is of this bond, so that when man and woman have been joined in marriage they must continue inseparably as long as they live, . . . there is no divorce, no separation forever. . . . The sacramental bond, which they lose neither through separation nor through adultery, this the spouses should guard chastely and harmoniously. ( Marriage and Concupiscence, A.D. 419; 1:10:11 and 1:17:19)

And by this ointment you wish the sacrament of chrism to be understood, which is indeed holy as among the class of visible signs, like baptism itself. ( Against Petilian the Donatist , A.D. 403; 2,104:239; in NPNF 1, IV:592)

In like manner as if there take place an ordination of clergy in order to form a congregation of people, although the congregation of people follow not, yet there remains in the ordained persons the Sacrament of Ordination; and if, for any fault, any be removed from his office, he will not be without the Sacrament of the Lord once for all set upon him, albeit continuing unto condemnation. ( On the Good of Marriage , A.D. 401; 24:32; in NPNF1, III:412)

In St. Augustine’s Speculum de Scripturâ (an. 427); in P.L., XXXIV, 887-1040), which is . . . intended as a handy manual of Christian piety, doctrinal and practical, the injunction of St. James regarding the prayer-unction of the sick is quoted. This shows that the rite was a commonplace in the Christian practice of that age; and we are told by Possidius, in his Life of Augustine (c. xxvii, in P.L., XXXII, 56), that the saint himself “followed the rule laid down by the Apostle that he should visit only orphans and widows in their tribulation (James 1:27), and that if he happened to be asked by the sick to pray to the Lord for them and impose hands on them , he did so without delay”. ( The Catholic Encyclopedia , 1913; “Extreme Unction”).

In regards to Paul’s Sacramental theology, I’ll make a few points here.

First, let’s check out his views on Baptism. In regards to being born again by regeneration, Our Lord famously said in John 3:5, “Unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” In fact, when commenting on this verse, the Fathers of the Church said unanimously that it refers to the Sacrament of Baptism. Anyway, Paul says in Titus 3:5, “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.” Following the pattern Christ laid in John 3:5, it is evident that Paul is making reference to Baptism in this verse. He also writes, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

In another place, Paul says, “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” (Romans 6:3–4).

It is evident from both the teachings of Our Lord and from Paul and from the testimony of the practice of the Church as seen in Acts (Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16) that being born again is not merely saying the Jesus Prayer but is part and parcel of the Sacrament of Baptism “which now saves you” as Peter says in 1st Peter 3:21.

Even Luther believed in Baptismal Regeneration, writing that Baptism “works the forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and grants eternal life to all who believe" in his Small Catechism. Indeed, many Protestant denominations hold to this view to this day.

I see. So, you don’t belive that this gift was passed down through the Church. Ok. We do. We believe that Jesus Christ passed down all His gifts through the Church.

1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

Well, as promised, I will now answer the rest of your questions.


If that is the case then whey did the Holy Spirit wait until Paul laid hands on them for the Holy Spirit to come upon them?

I don’t know. But compare to the situation with St. Cornelius. He and his crew received the Holy Spirit BEFORE he was baptized.

So, what does that do to the Protestant teaching that one receives the Holy Spirit when one comes to faith. St. Cornelius was faithful long before St. Peter came around. So was this group. St. Peter did not lay hands on St. Cornelius. St. Paul did lay hands on this crew.

Wouldn’t that have already happened in Baptism according to Catholic doctrine?

The Indwelling? Yes. But what you are observing is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues.

The Indwelling, the rebirth, the washing of regeneration, occurs in Baptism.

After reading a little about confirmation I’ve found that these are the effects of confirmation:

  • An increased portion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, right judgment, understanding, courage, piety, and fear of the Lord
  • A deepening and strengthening of the grace received at Baptism, which is considered the presence of God in the soul
  • A more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ
  • A closer bond with the Catholic Church
  • The ability to take a greater, more mature role in the Church’s mission of living the Christian faith daily and witnessing to Christ everywhere
  • A special mark, or character, on the soul that can never be erased

Basically, if I were using Video Game terms, Confirmation is a “power up” of the Holy Spirit and not the actual imparting of the Holy Spirit.

I like that term. A power up of the Holy Spirit. I think you’re right.


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The Acts 19 passage can’t be confirmation because it is clear that that the laying of hands was the moment the Holy Spirit came upon the 12 men who were disciple of John.

It is clear that it is the moment in which they received a gift of the Holy Spirit as evidence that it had happened. Yes.

As far as 1 Timothy 4:13-14 it is clear that gift that was given the they laying on of hands was the gift of exhortation and teaching. Does everyone who goes through confirmation get the gift of exhortation and teaching?

I believe so, since we become Soldiers of Christ in Confirmation. But 1 Tim describes the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

I also understand the God gave the Apostles special Spiritual gifts for the purpose of displaying the power of God to the 1 Century Church.

Yes, that’s why so many had visible effects like speaking in tongues. But miracles are still given today and many reject them. Catholic Saints have continued to grace this world since the time of Jesus Christ:

John 14:12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Laying on of hands to give the Holy Spirit or impart Spiritual Gifts was one of those special gifts that ceased at the death of the last apostle and probably actually ceased over the course of life of the apostles as they were no longer needed to establish the authenticity of the gospel message.

We don’t believe they ceased. They are not imparted as often, but they continue to this day. All you have to do is read the lives of the Saints and you’ll see the evidence of them. And, there are also books documenting the miracles which God has done for us throughout the ages.


So in the very instant that person sins after having been baptized, (s)he is no longer sinless?

Yes, that is true.

I don’t believe the gifts have ceased. I believe the office of apostle has ceased and the special gifts given to the apostles only, have cease. After the apostles gift ceased, either at death or some point in their life when it was no longer necessary, then all the gifts of the Spirit come from a direct relationship with God and are not transferred by men.

You’re right about the office of the Apostles, but you’re not right about the gifts. After all didn’t Ananias lay hands on Paul and didn’t he receive the Holy Spirit?

Do you want to rephrase?

We don’t believe the Apostles received any exclusive gifts except the opportunity to be the individuals selected by Jesus Christ, personally, to lead His Church.

Which gifts do you believe were exclusive to the Apostles?

Ananias was a disciple who the Lord had a direct conversation with concerning Saul/Paul. I would say that qualifies as someone chosen by God. He wasn’t one of the 12 but he was chosen by God to do a specific work.

Here is a good John Piper article about “laying on of hands” in the Bible.

Signs, wonders, and mighty works 2 Cor 12:12. God gave the early Apostles (those called to do a specific task) the ability to do signs, wonders, and mighty works that identified them as true apostles.

I’m not sure what all of those signs, wonders, and might works are but we see a few in scripture. I would say that the Holy Spirit being given by the laying on the hands was one of those signs.

I would also say that the Holy Spirit gave several early church leaders the ability to create “God-Breathed” writings. And that ability has passed as well.

Then, since you don’t know what they are, you can’t be sure that those signs, wonders and mighty works aren’t the same ones Jesus is talking about here:

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

but we see a few in scripture. I would say that the Holy Spirit being given by the laying on the hands was one of those signs.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Was Ananias an Apostle?

I would also say that the Holy Spirit gave several early church leaders the ability to create “God-Breathed” writings. And that ability has passed as well.

But they weren’t all Apostles. And, does the Scripture say that God no longer inspires people? Any people? To write or to speak?

Agreed… Only Purity / Pure Spirits can be in God’s Kingdom.

We should seek Total Re-PENTance / Re-THINKING / Re-BEING
Allowing our will to become Congruent w/God’s Will
Having a Temper of Mind such as our Eldest Brother High Priest of God JESUS has!

No, why? Because this brings us back to the more substantial issue: if baptism does not make us sinless, at least any further than until the first sin committed after baptism, it follows that Christians can not make a claim to be without sin. Yet, we believe that we are justified through faith by the blood of Christ. Hence, simul justus et peccator is an adequate and factual description of our state of being. We are being covered by the righteousness of Christ, rather than being inherently righteous.

Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. (Eccl. 7:20)

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