What do Catholics believe crucifixion accomplished?


#1

Jesus died a terrible death on the cross for our sins–all of our sins…past, present, future. So why does Catholic doctrine require water baptism to cleanse infants of “original sin”? I’m confused. Do you not believe that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins?


#2

Yes - to quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.

The indented section is quoted from Rom 3:21-26.


#3

Yes. Jesus died a terrible death on the cross to pay for all of our sins, past, present, and future. That’s what His death accomplished — our redemption.

Sacraments aren’t any “different” sacrifice nor do they offer “different” forgiveness than that which Jesus won for us on the cross. Sacraments are simply our means to gain access to the redemption which Jesus won for us on the cross.


#4

We do. And we also believe that the superabundant merit Jesus won is sufficient to forgive all sin.

However, we have to ask ourselves, how is this merit applied to the individual? Most of us should agree that there is a point of justification-- a point at which the Christian is set right with God, that is the point where Christ’s merit is applied to the individual.

The traditional belief in Christianity is that baptism is this very point when we are set right with God, forgiven of our sins, and renewed interiorly with the Holy Spirit.

This isn’t in opposition to the Cross. To the contrary, baptism itself is effective only by the merits that Jesus won on the Cross, and only because Jesus is acting mystically through the minister of baptism making the baptism effective.

The Catholic view is that of what Ananias says to Paul. “Why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.” (Acts 22:16). Note: have your sins washed away-- Sacred Scripture links the waters of baptism to the forgiveness of sins.

This is exactly what 1 Peter 3:20-21 is saying about Noah’s Ark…

in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Baptism, “which saves you now.” Baptism is efficacious as to our salvation. Not as a ritual bath which merely removes dirt, but, “as an appeal to God for a clear conscience” through the merits of Jesus Christ. As per Titus, “he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit,whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior,so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life” (3:5-7).

Scripture affirms that we have, “one baptism” (Eph 4:5). Jesus affirms that we must by, “born of water and Spirit.” Since we know our Lord enjoined baptism on believers (as per the end of the Gospel of Matthew), we know that the baptism which He gives us with the Holy Spirit is in fact one, otherwise we would make a mockery of the faith, instituting two baptisms.

So, from Scripture, it is abundantly clear that Christ’s perfect sacrifice is applied first of all to believers through the sacrament of baptism.

-Rob


#5

Addendum: on the law and grace.

One is either under the law or under grace. Those under the law must fulfill the law’s impossible legal obligations in order to be justified-- hence, no one will be justified under the law. For the person under the law to be justified he must cease to be under the law and enter into the covenant of grace in Jesus Christ.

Now, the question is, how is one released from the law?

As Paul says, “the law has jurisdiction over one as long as one lives.” (Romans 7:1). What Paul explains is that one must die to the law to live to Christ.

  	 				But *now we are released from the law, dead to what held us captive, so that we may serve in the newness of the spirit and not under the obsolete letter.*(Rom 7:6)

We are liberated from the law by dying to it, so we can live in the freedom of Jesus Christ.

Paul says point blank:

you also were put to death to the law through the body of Christ, so that you might belong… to the one who was raised from the dead in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Rom 7:4)

As Paul says, “a dead person has been absolved from sin” (Rom 6:7). By being put to death to the law, and sharing in Christ’s death, we are absolved from sin and can then live with Him in newness of life. Verily, “if… we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Rom 6:8).

Paul is very emphatic about this. One of Paul’s most beautiful verses, here, “if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection” (Rom 6:5).

So you must all be wondering… Paul… how do we die to the law with Christ? How do we become the dead person, absolved from sin, and free to rise with Christ in newness of life?

But Paul tells us.

  	 				3 Or are you unaware that **we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death**?

4 We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.(Rom 6:3-4)

This is the controlling idea behind both Romans 6 and 7 which I’ve been quoting.

The imagery is especially baptismal-- buried with Him in death as we go beneath the waters, and as we are raised from the waters, we are raised with Him to new life.

So I must ask you: are you unaware that those who are baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? And all those who were baptized into his death have been put to death to the law-- as a dead person, absolved from sin-- and by growing in union with Him in a death like His, we are united with Him in His resurrection so that we might live in newness of life.

-Rob


#6

''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 the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children.’ ‘’ Acts2 38,39


#7

Jesus obtained for us the possibility of forgiveness for our sins, all our sins! He also gives us the ability and means, the Sacraments of Baptism, and Recinciliation, for applying that which He obtained for us.


#8

And, the scriptural basis for the Church’s belief in the need for baptism is found in:

John 3:5 where Jesus Himself says, “I solemny assure you, no one can enter into God’s kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit”, (NAB)

Matthew 28:18-19 - "Jesus came forward and addressed them, (the 11 remaining Apostles), in these words: ‘Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ ", (NAB)

Acts Chapter 2, where on Pentecost, shortly after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, after being filled by the Holy Spirit, Peter preached his first sermon to the Jews there. After telling them Jesus, whom they killed, was the Messiah, and pointed out to them the prophesies in the OT, they asked Peter what they must do, and he said in verse 38, “You must reform and be baptized”.

There are other scripture verses on the need for baptism, but those were the key ones that came to mind upon seeing your question. So Jesus said do it, and His chief Apostle reaffirmed it, so that’ good enough for me.

God Bless You


#9

We don’t say it’s Catholic doctrine which requires it. We say it is Christ who requires it.

Are all the sins of every person alive forgiven by Christ’s sacrifice? If not, why not? How would you answer a non-Christian who asked “Why does Christian doctrine require faith to gain salvation? Do you not believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was enough to gain salvation for all?”


#10

Some good stuff to chew on, but I disagree that the scriptures only talk of one baptism.

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Matthew 3:11This is repeated in the other 3 gospels.

"For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Jesus speaking in Acts 1:5 and later states

“**…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”**verse 8

Acts 29 makes it very clear that there are distinctly two different baptisms:

**1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?"
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism (water),” they replied.

4Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. **

In Acts 18 we read that Apollos was wrong in thinking there was only one baptism (he only knew of water baptism):

24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[a] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.

Peter said in Acts 2 that we are to repent *before *being baptized: (which Bridget pointed out)

3**8Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” **

It is actually unclear from what Peter says if he means by water or of the Holy Spirit, but when taken in context with the aforementioned passages and many more in the NT, it seems logical that he is talking about the HS variety. Ephesians 4:5 states “one baptism”, yes. But take a look again what Paul said to some disciples in Acts 19 [paraphrased and (notes) mine]

**Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered no…So Paul asked “Then what baptism did you receive?” They replied, “John’s baptism (of water!)”. Paul said, "John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance (symbolic of our decision for Christ)…He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus and on hearing this they were baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ] **

If there was only one baptism, why would they need to be baptized again? Because John’s water baptism was a symbolic death unto Christ (which required the full body dunk but did not require holy water, BTW-but that’s for another thread :slight_smile: ). They needed the “important” baptism that is referred to in Eph 4:5 (one baptism-the ONE that actually saves us-baptism of the Holy Spirit).

I hope I haven’t just hijacked my own thread! I just wanted to put my two cents in on the one vs two baptisms.

Check back on you kids manana! G’nite:yawn:


#11

Couple of points:

  1. Baptism does not require holy water. Holy water is normatively used by Catholics for baptism, but if someone desires baptism in its absence, ordinary water is fine. (See Acts, for the story of Philip & the eunuch for an example).

2.The “baptism” of John was not Christian baptism. Indeed, he was most likely performing mikvahs (Jewish ritual baths).These were symbolic of the forgiveness to come, from the death & resurrection of Christ.
Christian baptism requires the proper Trinitarian form, & the intent to perform Christian baptism. John’s intent was to draw others to a closer observance of Jewish law. He also, most likely, was unaware of God as Trinity. He was a devout Jew, the last of the Jewish prophets who were called to bring Israel to repentence.
Therefore, his baptisms, while worthy efforts, were not done with the proper intent, since he would have not knowed what that intent was.
HTH!!


#12

And that is why the early Church provided the “Sacraments of Initiation”, which were Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist, all done in succession. If you study early Church history you will see that so we are in agreement, remission of sin, including original sin is at Baptism, and the Holy Spirit came with the “laying on of hands” by the Apostles. We agree, but only say it differently.

You believe that Peter mandated that one must personally believe before Baptism, but if you look at the events during that period of time, you will see whole households, including children and slaves being baptized. He was speaking to adults just after Pentecost which is the part you misunderstood. Baptism of infants has been done throughout all of Church history, and it was only because of the Anabaptists, during the so called Reformation that adult only baptism became popular amongst non-catholics. Also as other posters have said, John’s baptism was not Christian, nor Trinitarian, but was a Jewish ritual cleansing, which could be done whenever needed, and repeated as needed. It was not baptism as we know it and should not be confused.

If you look at only Peter’s speech at Pentecost, you might believe it is unclear whether it is by water or the Holy Spirit. If you look at the rest of the NT you will see it is both, not either or. And where do you get it that baptism required full body dunking; that’s not always the way it was done. Do you think the river Jordan was deep enough for that in all places? It wasn’t. Remember, the middle east was and still is a very arid area. Deep enough water was not always nearby, so what were the Apostles and their successors to do? The CC teaches that imersion, and pouring on of the water are both valid. You can look at the writings of the Early Church Fathers and see they used any water that was available, and no it doesn’t have to be “holy water”. Here again, when our separated brethern discarded 1,500 years of Church history they left so much and had to start their own “traditions”, which traditions many of them seem to rail about so often, but follow nonetheless.

May God Bless us all in our search for truth!:thumbsup:


#13

This is easy. :slight_smile:

Only one Christian baptism. John’s baptism was not a Christian baptism… nor was it commanded by Jesus. I’m not talking about John’s baptism of repentance. Jesus’ and John’s baptisms are different.

I’m talking about the baptism Jesus commanded. Jesus said, “go therefore and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus also said that one must be, “born of water and spirit.” Ephesians also tells us that we have, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” My only conclusion is that the baptism of Jesus Christ is one baptism (a baptism which is a sacrament-- the water is a visible sign which confers invisible grace, that is, the Holy Spirit), hence it is not merely, “water baptism” or merely, “Holy Spirit baptism,” the one baptism is both realities. Splitting it into two baptisms which are commanded (one, "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… and another, ‘of the Holy Spirit’) is just ascriptural.

If Ephesians refers to the, “baptism of the Holy Spirit” as you call it, then we are left wondering where Jesus’ baptism in the name of the Triune God has fallen between the cracks.

-Rob

P.S. As for John’s baptism… it was actually symbolic of a return from exodus that the messiah-to-be would accomplish. In the words of N.T. Wright, it was a, “coded dramatization of the Exodus.” They were being baptized in the Jordan and thus symbolically passing into the Promised Land. This symbolized the end of the exodus, the return from exile, which the messiah would accomplish.

Scripture (that is, in the epistle to the Romans), is clear that the baptism of Jesus Christ is the one that baptizes us into His death, not John’s.


#14

Oh, and, we agree. John’s baptism did not confer the Holy Spirit. But Jesus’ does. We believe baptism does confer the Holy Spirit, by the power of Jesus Christ.

“**…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”**verse 8

Acts 29 makes it very clear that there are distinctly two different baptisms:

**1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?"
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism (water),” they replied.

4Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. **

This says they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus… i.e., they received the baptism which Jesus commanded, “baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” And they were baptized with water, because first it says they were baptized, and then it says Paul laid his hands on them (v. 6). And so it works in the pattern which the early Church used, and which Eastern Churches continue to use-- to give baptism and then confirmation (the laying on of hands which confers the Holy Spirit) immediately.

n Acts 18 we read that Apollos was wrong in thinking there was only one baptism (he only knew of water baptism):

24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[a] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.

Indeed, as I noted before, the baptism of John was a ritual bath. The baptism of Jesus is a sacrament.

Peter said in Acts 2 that we are to repent *before *being baptized: (which Bridget pointed out)

3**8Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” **

It is actually unclear from what Peter says if he means by water or of the Holy Spirit, but when taken in context with the aforementioned passages and many more in the NT, it seems logical that he is talking about the HS variety. Ephesians 4:5 states “one baptism”, yes. But take a look again what Paul said to some disciples in Acts 19 [paraphrased and (notes) mine]

It has always been the faith of the Church that adults must believe and repent before they receive Baptism. That’s always been incumbent on those above the age of reason who want to enter the Church. It is another question as to what happens for infants, and Scripture does give evidence that infants are to be accepted for baptism, both by paralleling Baptism to circumcision, which was done on infants, by saying that apostles baptized entire households, and also by the Scripture which you just quoted, which says that, “the promise is for you and for your children.”

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered no…So Paul asked “Then what baptism did you receive?” They replied, “John’s baptism (of water!)”. Paul said, "John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance (symbolic of our decision for Christ)…He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus and on hearing this they were baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ]

I don’t get where you have this idea that John’s baptism is, “symbolic of our decision for Christ.” Honestly. John’s baptism was a ritual bath which was done for repentance so as to, “prepare the way in the desert” for the messiah. So in a sense it was for Jesus… but it’s no more than what I just said. They didn’t explicitly know that it was for Christ until Paul himself taught them. The way Scripture portrays it seems to be, “repent of your sins, and take this baptism, so you may be prepared to accept the messiah when he comes.” And so, naturally, when the disciples of John learn that Jesus is the messiah they immediately want to become disciples of Jesus by being baptized into Jesus.

Basically, you just need to understand that John’s baptism and Christ’s baptism are different. :slight_smile:

-Rob


#15

So do you think that all human beings are automatically saved, regardless of whether they believe or not?

If water baptism as a condition (though it’s not even an absolute necessity in Catholic teaching) violates the sufficiency of Christ’s saving work, why doesn’t faith do so just as much?

In other words, why do you think baptism is less intrinsically tied to Christ’s saving work than faith is? Even if you think the Catholic (and generally traditional Christian) interpretation of Roman 6 is wrong, doesn’t it at least provide a possible rationale for baptism’s connection with Christ’s death and resurrection?

Edwin


#16

Gotta disagree. Sorry. Traditional Jewish baptism was used when a Gentile converted to Judaism as a rite of cleansing (there was no actual forgiveness of sins before Jesus’ death). John “redefined” baptism as a one time symbolic gesture (no this didn’t forgive sins either) when he started preaching of the coming Messiah (John wasn’t just “some guy” remember: Luke 1). This was their symbol for repentance so later they could receive the Holy Spirit. We see this order of things happen throughout the NT (they repented/believed and then were baptized by HS).

When Jesus walked this earth (God in a bod) he was here as our savior, our teacher, and our earthly example. That is why we are to strive to be like Christ. We are to follow His example. Jesus was baptized by John at about age 30 (he obviously wasn’t converting to Judaism so this was not the traditional rite of cleansing style Jewish baptism nor was it to forgive sins since He was sinless). John knew he was Christ. John was a Jew, yes, a “completed” Jew that knew and believed in Christ and therefore would not have been baptizing only by Jewish tradition as you can see in Matthew 3:7-10 when John condemns the Pharisees and Sadducees (Jews on religious steroids) for coming down to the river to baptize in Jewish tradition. John was aware of the prophesies and knew that the Holy Spirit 1.0 was going to be launched soon (as he tells people as he baptizes them).

If Jesus wanted a regular rite of cleansing Jewish baptism he could have gone to the temple and asked for one. But He specifically chose John the Baptist (whose existence on earth was also a miracle) to fulfill God’s plan.

RobNY, you mentioned the passage when Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be born of “water and spirit” but put it into context:

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

**4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
**
**5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (referring to the water in the mother’s womb as Nicodemus had just put it) and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh (this is yet another way of saying “mother’s womb”), but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
**
It can’t be made any more obvious than that.


#17

Thats a first. I have never, ever seen anyone refer to it this way. You seriously think Nicodemus really had in mind the water from birth? I don’t think so. And I’d like to see one commentary from any Christian that ever suggested that.


#18

There is no baptism in Judaism. John the Baptist is the first to have practiced it. He baptized only water, but Jesus will baptized all of us with fire. This baptism which Our Lord Jesus grant us can save us. Peter in his Epistles said in 1 Peter 3 Found 2

21 Where unto baptism being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus walked this earth (God in a bod) he was here as our savior, our teacher, and our earthly example. That is why we are to strive to be like Christ. We are to follow His example. Jesus was baptized by John at about age 30 (he obviously wasn’t converting to Judaism so this was not the traditional rite of cleansing style Jewish baptism nor was it to forgive sins since He was sinless). John knew he was Christ. John was a Jew, yes, a “completed” Jew that knew and believed in Christ and therefore would not have been baptizing only by Jewish tradition as you can see in Matthew 3:7-10 when John condemns the Pharisees and Sadducees (Jews on religious steroids) for coming down to the river to baptize in Jewish tradition. John was aware of the prophesies and knew that the Holy Spirit 1.0 was going to be launched soon (as he tells people as he baptizes them).

John knew about Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, and that from Jesus, he will promise us a the Holy Spirit.

I

f Jesus wanted a regular rite of cleansing Jewish baptism he could have gone to the temple and asked for one. But He specifically chose John the Baptist (whose existence on earth was also a miracle) to fulfill God’s plan.

Well, Jesus choose the 12 Apostle. After his resurrection, he told His Apostles. “Baptized them in the Name of the Father, and Of the Son, and Of the Holy Spirit.” This task was given to the Apostles from Jesus. John, the Baptist himself was already dead beheaded.

RobNY, you mentioned the passage when Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be born of “water and spirit” but put it into context:

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

**4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
**
**5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (referring to the water in the mother’s womb as Nicodemus had just put it) and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh (this is yet another way of saying “mother’s womb”), but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
**
It can’t be made any more obvious than that.

We do believe we are born again. Catholics become born again during baptism, which only a one time event. Any sin that is commit thereafter, can be forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconcilation.

The Crucitixion destroyed sin, Jesus’ resurrection gave us eternal life.


#19

#20

I’m not disagreeing that all baptisms were ritual baths. That’s what makes all the baptisms which come before different from the one Jesus made.

John “redefined” baptism as a one time symbolic gesture (no this didn’t forgive sins either) when he started preaching of the coming Messiah (John wasn’t just “some guy” remember: Luke 1). This was their symbol for repentance so later they could receive the Holy Spirit. We see this order of things happen throughout the NT (they repented/believed and then were baptized by HS).

Where do you get all this about John’s baptism? (And I agree it didn’t forgive sins.) I mean specifically the one time symbolic nature of John’s baptism. And I agree John is rather important as a bridge between the Testaments. But in a general sense, doing anything good or repenting of one’s sins is always a preparation for receiving the Holy Spirit. I still don’t see what the whole point of what you’re saying is.

When Jesus walked this earth (God in a bod) he was here as our savior, our teacher, and our earthly example. That is why we are to strive to be like Christ. We are to follow His example. Jesus was baptized by John at about age 30 (he obviously wasn’t converting to Judaism so this was not the traditional rite of cleansing style Jewish baptism nor was it to forgive sins since He was sinless). John knew he was Christ. John was a Jew, yes, a “completed” Jew that knew and believed in Christ and therefore would not have been baptizing only by Jewish tradition as you can see in Matthew 3:7-10 when John condemns the Pharisees and Sadducees (Jews on religious steroids) for coming down to the river to baptize in Jewish tradition. John was aware of the prophesies and knew that the Holy Spirit 1.0 was going to be launched soon (as he tells people as he baptizes them).

I still don’t get your point here.

If Jesus wanted a regular rite of cleansing Jewish baptism he could have gone to the temple and asked for one. But He specifically chose John the Baptist (whose existence on earth was also a miracle) to fulfill God’s plan.

Because John the Baptist was the forerunner. It had to be from John. I’m not saying that all ritual baths were identical, nor am I saying that Jesus would have just gone for any one of them. So that all righteousness would be fulfilled, Jesus went to John the Baptist.

RobNY, you mentioned the passage when Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be born of “water and spirit” but put it into context:

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!"

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (referring to the water in the mother’s womb as Nicodemus had just put it) and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh (this is yet another way of saying “mother’s womb”), but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

It can’t be made any more obvious than that.

It seems to me that it isn’t this way. It surely is a clever way to interpret Scripture, but it isn’t what Jesus means. Besides, from what I’ve heard water wouldn’t be the right word to be used there. (And flesh gives birth to flesh, etc. is just saying that the natural order generates the natural order, and the spiritual order generates the spiritual order, so we need the Holy Spirit to be born of the spiritual order… it’s a reference to the original statement of, ‘born again,’ not to the mother’s womb.)


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