Born into a church where I was ‘dedicated’ rather than baptised, I have nevertheless known the Lord pretty much my entire life. Now as an adult I certainly intend to get baptised, but as my title suggests I am also considering Catholicism which is slightly postponing things.
Anyway, I’d like to know more about the Catholic Church’s view of unbaptised Christians, especially those who have known and worshipped Jesus for many years.
Are unbaptised Christians considered Christians by the Church? Are unbaptised believers somehow still mystically connected to the Body of Christ, or is water baptism absolutely necessary? (Possibility of a baptism of desire while alive prior to water baptism?)
All those years that I have confessed my sins to God, did it mean nothing? Do I have no forgiveness without water baptism? Is there no point in me confessing sin to God? Can I even have a proper relationship with God? Do baptised Christians have an easier time of living holy lives than unbaptised Christians?
Are unbaptised believers somewhat lacking in spiritual gifts and graces than baptised believers? Can unbaptised believers be filled with the Holy Spirit, and if not, to what degree can they feel the Holy Spirit, can they receive spiritual gifts? Is it possible to be filled prior to water baptism, from a baptism of desire perhaps?