[quote=Sandtigress]I’m talking about the Sacraments with a Protestant friend. I discussed how we believe that the Sacraments are physical signs of invisible grace, and this comment came back.
“Water baptism symbolizes a pledge to Jesus. And it’s not the water that saves, but Jesus if we pledge our lives to Him.”
My question is - what is our exact view of the part that the water plays in baptism? Its not just a symbol, but neither is it the actual grace either. I was just curious about the wording I should use. Thanks in advance!
Start by directing your friend to Jesus’ discourse with Nicodemus in John chapter 3, especially verse 5 where Jesus says “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, one cannot see the kingdom of God.” This is a clear reference to water baptism. It is especially highlighted by the fact that just prior to this (John 2) Jesus is baptised (in water), and right after this (John 3:22-23) Jesus’ disciples are baptizing others (again, in water).
There are several other examples you could use to show that baptism is regenerative and not just an empty ritual for public show. Start here:
Are Catholics Born Again?