Southern Baptists and Grace

Can someone explain to me the difference of how the Southern Baptists view grace and how we view grace? I know we have the sacraments which gives grace but I know that they don’t believe in the sacraments. Can someone help?

There really is not an authority in any version of the Baptists that I am aware of that defines theologically the sorts of things Catholics ponder.

However, Baptism is a good example of the difference.

We believe that the Sacrament imparts grace when water flows on the head of the recipient and the baptizer invokes the Holy Trinity with the intention of doing what the Church does.

The Baptist believes that grace infuses the person when he embraces belief in Jesus Christ as his Savior, and that immersion is a sign of that personal belief.

In common with the Churches of Christ, Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and Mennonites, they do not call Baptism a “sacrament” because they believe the ritual is an outward expression of faith rather than the impartation of God’s grace.

They commonly use the term “ordinance” (meaning “obedience to a command that Christ has given us”).


Catholics believe grace (sanctifying grace necessary for salvation) is a share in the supernatural life of God. This grace/life is infused in our soul through the Holy Spirit. It is a free gift from God given to us initially in the sacrament of Baptism.
CCC 1997, 1999

My understanding concerning Baptist teaching is that grace is a free gift from God that consists of a decision on God’s part not to condemn us for our sins as long as one accepts and professes faith in Jesus as his God and Saviour.

So, very briefly:
**Catholics believe **saving grace is **God’s divine life **infused into our souls.
(It’s “something” infused into us.)
**Baptists believe **saving grace is God’s decision not to punish or condemn those who accept Jesus as their Saviour.
(Nothing infused or changed in our soul.)

Oh great, can you give some passages that show that our view more accurately describes grace? Thank you

There are so very many passages that support the Catholic view that saving/sanctifying grace is a gift infused into us, a gift with the power to effect changes in our souls, …
What I’ve put together here is certainly not complete, but it’s already so long I may have to split it into 2 posts!!! I split it into a few categories, but some of the passages are appropriate to more than one category,

Essence of:
(share in Divine life/nature imparted into our soul thru the working of the Holy Spirit)

2 Peter 1:4 …by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.

1 John 3:9 No one born of God commits; for God’s nature abides in him …

Grace has effects in/on our soul
(God’s grace is not something exterior, just imputed. It truly is something that has effects within us, in our soul. It cleanses us from sin, sanctifies us, regenerates us, gives new life …)

1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Eph 2:1, 5, 8 And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins … even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved ….For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God –

Eph 4:22-24 Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Eph 5:8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light

2 Cor 1:21-22 But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.

Gal 6:15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

Col 2:11-13 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Grace strengthens our soul; a source of power in us:
John 1:12 …He gave power to become children of God;

Eph 1:17-19 …God…may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation…that you may know….,and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might

Need of Baptism to receive saving grace:
John 3: 1-8 , Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. …

Acts 2:37-38 …”Brethren, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive…Holy Spirit.

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,
(“washing of regeneration”=Baptism)

1 Peter 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 clear conscience.

I just wanted to add to my above post that Catholics don’t deny the necessity of faith in the one receiving Baptism - a faith commensurate with the age of the recipient. In the case of babies, the faith of the parents substitutes, so to speak.

It is faith in Jesus and His teaching that makes one seek Baptism. Without that faith one wouldn’t even desire it.

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