Scoop’s Catholic Corner: What does it mean to be “born again”?

I ran across this video tonight from professor and Dr. Brant Pitre and I just loved it so much I had to share it.

The focus of Pitre’s remarks is regarding Baptism in the Bible and how it is necessary for salvation. But Pitre also addresses, near the beginning of the video, what Jesus means when he says you must be “born again”.

The short answer isn’t just accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. But rather “born again” means being baptized with water and receiving the Holy Spirit.

Pitre explains it below and I strongly encourage you to listen to the first 6 minutes of the video:



I know many people in the evangelical or protestant world won’t have any issues what much of this video, as they recognize baptism as necessary for salvation.

And even if they don’t, most of the time they do it anyway because Jesus said people should be baptized.

But growing up I remember in my church never being told that baptism was necessary for salvation. Sure, I was baptized when I was near 20 in our church baptismal, but it seemed to me then to be a good thing to do but not completely necessary.

So I post this to ensure that any of my Christian readers, both Catholic and non-Catholics, understand that one must be baptized to inherit the Kingdom of God. It is what Jesus told Nicodemus and this is the passage Pitre explains in the beginning of the video that is well worth your time.

As always, be respectful of those with differing opinions.

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358 thoughts on “Scoop’s Catholic Corner: What does it mean to be “born again”?

  1. As a Catholic my understanding was we baptize our infants to wash away original sin and receive the Holy Spirit so they can enter Heaven if they die.

  2. 1 Corinthians 1:10 King James Version (KJV)

    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    1. You are dead on with doctrine! Try not to drive yourself nuts that hopefully someone that is Catholic will see the true nature of baptism and being born again, they can’t unless the Father graces them with the Holy Spirit and opens there eyes.

      Like in my post above, looking forward to the discussion on purgatory when doctrine really gets twisted.

  3. If Baptism is necessary for salvation than why did Christ, on the cross, say to the thief, “today you will be with me in paradise”. That thief had only shown belief and clearly was not going to have the opportunity to be baptized.

    Baptism is a display publicly of your inward commitment to Christ. Baptism if necessary for salvation is then a work and we are not saved by works but by the blood of Christ alone so that no one can boast. If baptism is necessary than Christ’s death on the cross was “not enough” and we then become our own god by declaring ourselves to have the power that Christ doesn’t in order to be saved.

    It’s all Jesus or nothing.

    1. All Jesus or nothing sums it up!

      The baptism of the Holy Ghost is what counts.

      Being born again means that we’re a new creature in Christ! Nicodemus didn’t understand that Jesus was talking about spiritual things. If he did, he wouldn’t have asked about going back into his mother’s womb.

      Being born again is such an important concept; to know that Adam and Eve, through their transgression, brought sin and death upon the whole human race, and that God knew this when He created them, and yet he created man anyway: because he knew that there would come a day that we could be saved from the curse.

      The problem wasn’t physical…it was a spiritual seed that was in man’s heart. After the flood, and all of the wicked people were wiped out, it didn’t take long before sin began corrupting man again.

      To know that God loved us so much, that He would sacrifice of Himself to give us a new heart and make us a new creature to serve Him is such a wondrously powerful thought.

      Our salvation was bought with such great love!

  4. Romans 10:13 – For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    Baptism is not required, or Paul got it wrong. I’ll go with Paul.

    1. Only the Spirit of God can enable you to rightly call on the Lord in true faith. He is already urging you toward baptism at that point, or you are already baptized. The problem with understanding what you quoted from Rom 10 is that the single passage can never encompass all that the Lord teaches. That, I suppose, is why there are so many pages of scripture. It can not be taken in a way that contradicts other passages. If you do so, you are making God untruthful.
      Context. Let scripture interpret scripture. Take all that the Lord says on a given subject. Theology is quite complex but with these and a few other tools, scripture seldom leaves us scratching our heads in confusion.

  5. If Water saved you , why would God the Son have to come and die for you? I’ll trust His Blood HEB 9:22

    1. Baptism is not simple water only, but it is water used by God’s command and connected with God’s word. It is the word of God that makes baptism a means of grace through which God gives all the blessings earned by Christ — forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.

  6. I agree completely with this article. Being born again occurs when a child or adult is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit. This is good Biblical theology – I am not Catholic, but a Lutheran. There are just too many Scriptures to ignore that explain the meaning of baptism and the significance. It is a gift of God – why people want to deny God’s good gifts is beyond me. I am thankful for his adoption as a child and have faith in his promises given to us in Christ.

  7. When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so, I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Keys were a symbol of authority. Our Lord had all authority on earth (see Matthew 28:18 and Mark 2:10). Authority implies the ability to delegate it; hence, Jesus gave Peter, as the first pope, the power to bind and loose, that is, to make disciplinary rules within the Church.

    Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).
    Jesus gave his church to Peter, the first Pope and all those who succeeded him sat only in “Peter’s Chair”. Other Christian sects were invented by FALLIBLE men when breaking away from the Catholic Church or defying God by putting themselves above Him.

    Catholicism, by virtue of its founder is superior to any other religion in the world, and all other religious sects are false because they are founded by fallible men. And this not only applies to all non-Christian world religions, it also applies to every single Protestant sect: They are all and each heretical to varying degrees.

    The Catholic Church and She alone is the continuation of Christ here on earth; not just His words, or teachings, like Lutheranism is for Martin Luther or John Calvin is for Calvinism — or, for that fact, like Buddha is for Buddhism.

    None of those man-made religious systems has any ongoing intimacy with their founders. Their founders are dead and their philosophies are malleable, as history has proven. The founder of those no longer has any direct, personal contact with them. That died when they died.

    But not so the Catholic Church. Her founder, Jesus Christ, endured death, but rose from that death and is fully alive and present in the Church, just as the Church is present in Christ.

    This is not to talk about the issue of who might be saved, or who might be damned, this is to talk about where the fullness of truth resides, and its lone, singular residence is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded on Blessed Peter — period.

    There is only one Christian church founded by Jesus Christ. Every other was founded by fallible men, now long dead. Even those Christian’s who refuse that the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ admit he is alive and infallible. How they reconcile that with their animosity toward the Church Jesus gave us is beyond comprehension.

    *Along with my beliefs and opinion, parts taken from Regnum Christi, (June 28, 2019) and various commentaries of Michael Voris, Church Militant, The Vortex

    1. ‘”Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).
      Jesus gave his church to Peter, the first Pope and all those who succeeded him sat only in “Peter’s Chair”. Other Christian sects were invented by FALLIBLE men when breaking away from the Catholic Church or defying God by putting themselves above Him.’

      At no point in Scripture is “Peter’s Chair” ever mentioned, and at no point is the Bishop of Rome ever mentioned as having any special authority over the rest of the Church. The office of the Pope is purely an invention of fallible men.

    2. Dr. Michael S. Heiser is real good at explaining the Bible. He has a different reading on this Bible passage then either the Catholic position and the very different majority Protestant position.

      It is an interesting position.

      Michael Heiser – What is the “Rock” in Matthew 16:18?

      https://nakedbiblepodcast.com

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . . .
      Michael S. Heiser is an American biblical Old Testament scholar and Christian[1] author who has criticized ancient alien astronaut theorists. His area of expertise concerns the nature of the spiritual realm in the Bible, namely the Divine council and hierarchy of the spiritual order. He is currently is a scholar-in-residence at Faithlife Corporation. In 2019, Dr. Heiser announced he would be stepping down from his position at Faithlife, to become Executive Director of the School of Ministry at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a Distance learning professor at Liberty University[2][3] and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.[4] He runs his own podcast, The Naked Bible and runs a ministry called Miqlat, dedicated to the production and dissemination of his content. Dr. Heiser appeared in the 2018 documentary film Fragments of Truth.[5] . . .
      Education[edit]
      Heiser was raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He received an MA in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA and PhD in the Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (with a minor in Classical studies).[6] Heiser received his undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University and also attended Bible college for three years.[7]

      Heiser has taught college since 1992 and is the Scholar in Residence for Logos Bible Software.[8]

  8. If baptism is necessary for salvations: “The focus of Pitre’s remarks is regarding Baptism in the Bible and how it is necessary for salvation” How do you explain the thief on the cross that received salvation without baptism?

    It is more scripturally accurate to say that baptism is a fruit of salvation not a requirement.

  9. Many topics Christians can disagree on and they are not really so important because whether one believes it or not it doesn’t affect salvation. This is not one of them. This is a big issue because it directly relates to salvation. Jesus said you must be born again. I believe that although we have many churches with different doctrines being born again is the thing that really matters and that unites Christians from different denominations. I will say this I cannot imagine anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior not wanting to be baptized in water. I couldn’t wait myself and wanted to be baptized as soon as possible. I might be judging but I would really have to wonder about a Christian who wouldn’t want to be water baptized. It was a great honor and privilege for me.

    New American Standard Bible
    Galatians 3:2
    This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

    On a positive note I am very happy the Catholic church has stood strong on pro life and marriage between one man and one woman and I pray they continue to stay strong. Some of the protestant churches sadly have gotten away from clear bible teaching on these issues.

  10. Careful everyone. TRS will block you if you become too critical of his new Catholicism, especially if you use the Word to back it up. Infant baptism is required for salvation according to Catholics (if you were born to a Catholic family). Its not Biblical, but heretical to suggest otherwise. They use one verse (Matthew 18:3) to justify it, yet criticize you when you use an exception like the thief on the cross to justify why baptism isn’t necessary for salvation.

    1. I’m not Catholic but I think I understand them well enough. While infant baptism is what the Lord has called us to do for children (Catholics, Lutherans, Eastern Orth, and other groups agree – so basically a huge percentage of Christians throughout history). But that is not the only way one comes to faith. Obviously adults are led to baptism through instruction and hearing the gospel. This then takes them to the waters of rebirth. Mt. 28:18 ‘Make disciples…baptizing…teaching’ These two things go together. Only it is in a different order to some degree for adult or child.

      1. How can you instruct and teach an infant? They understand nothing. There is no example anywhere within Scripture where someone was baptized prior to understanding and accepting the Word. Why is the order different for an infant? There is no Scripture referring to changing this order specifically for infants. Now if you don’t believe in solo Scriptura, you’re probably ok with man changing the order of things. The Word never changed the order

        1. Jesus said to let the children come to Him. God is doing the work in baptism, not man. Bring your children to Jesus and baptize them – He will never turn them away. God ordained baptism and will work faith in the child by the water and the Word. He will create faith in the child, and the Christian community will continue to raise the child in the faith – growing and sustaining God’s work in the child.

    2. I only tend to block those who are offensive. I don’t block people just because they disagree with Catholicism.

  11. The Catholics believe that the Sacraments, of which Baptism is one, are more than just a physical ceremony. They believe spiritual actions happen during them, like the washing away of Original Sin with Baptism, or receiving the Holy Spirit during Confirmation. This is one of those places that Catholics and many non-Catholic Christians differ in our faiths. For Catholics Sacraments are required.

  12. Matthew 28:18-20
    And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  13. John said I baptise you with water, but one is coming of whom I’m not worthy to even untie his sandal straps, he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and Fire.

  14. Yes, we must be baptized. We must receive the Holy Spirit and live by His Holy Spirit. Those that are born/led of the Spirit are the sons of God. We are re-born from the flesh to His Spirit. I love living by the revelation and relationship to the Holy Spirit. Not all understand this because it is revelatory.

  15. There’s a couple interesting exceptions to the baptism requirement. Unbaptized infants, and those aborted in utero is one of them. For a long time, the idea of limbo was floated about. And Dante posited that the outermost layer of Hell was reserved for the “righteous dead” who existed before Christ (in fact, it’s one of my favorite scenes in Inferno, when he runs into Aristotle, Homer, Caesar, Hippocrates, etc and marvels at the fact that they’re in Hell). But it was the gentlest “Hell” one can imagine, a state of “natural happiness” that is a blissful paradise that only excludes being with God.

    But limbo was basically rejected by the Church about a decade ago, and the common understanding is that unbaptized infants and the righteous dead get a pass to Heaven on account of God’s grace. The argument is that God can choose to forgive the lack of baptism when it was beyond the capacity of those TO be baptized.

    There’s also the Baptism of Desire which one can earn if they’ve truly converted and engaged in both perfect charity and contrition. God will give them a pass too, if they truly did so and just never got a chance to be baptized.

    And then there’s the awesomely named Baptism of Blood, which essentially baptizes you with your own blood if it’s spilled in martyrdom in the service of God before proper baptism could occur.

    As I understand it, the Catechism to this day still accepts all three.

    1. As for stillborns or unbaptized infants, the Bible does not clearly address that. We entrust that child to the hands of our gracious God. We dare not go beyond scripture. There is only one Christian baptism that the Lord gave- Water/Spirit baptism. (Eph 4 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism…”.) It is not helpful in theology to change the meanings of words from their original normal use. If God does it, great. When man does it, be careful.
      Peace.

    2. Personally, I do not believe Jesus came to create a new religion. In fact, Jesus often scoffed at religion for religion’s sake, which is not the same as growing in faith and relationship with God, which is what God wants. Many humans have committed Cardinal sins in the name of their religion. Also, Jesus was, is and always shall be Jewish and I believe that Hebrew is spoken in Heaven, but I guess we shall all see eventually! It is generally understood that all languages have their roots in Hebrew, regardless of what some so-called “scholars” of today tell us. Ultimately, I believe that devout faith in, and relationship with, God, results in a soul of love, light, life and truth that forsakes the things of this Earth and will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Selah!

    3. I’ve heard Madrid refer to limbo, saying we really don’t know what happens. But he’d prefer to believe that God in his mercy gives saving grace to those unborn children so that they can enter into the Beatific Vision.

  16. Baptism is purely symbolic. It’s not necessary. The faith and belief in God and salvation is what matters. Every child born is born with Him already there and all the good that comes with it. It really is that simple. The relying on books written by man is fine and helpful to others beliefs but it’s not necessary. Just try and be a decent person, be fruitful, and improve yourself daily.

    1. There’s the problem man is a sinner by birth and by choice without JESUS no one can reach Heaven. You must be born again by the SPIRIT of GOD

    2. If what you say is true, I find it very weird that Jesus emphasized baptism. Why would he put something completely unnecessary and frankly trivial in the “great commission” as it is called?:

      “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

      Reading this I am inclined to see it as the path/way to entry into the Church, the beginning of being a Christian. Sure reads that way.

  17. Pitre is fantastic. If you haven’t read his book on the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, run, don’t walk to Amazon and get it.

    1. I loved that book. It really is amazing. It was the first book I read as a new Catholic.

  18. Scoop you are misreading John Chapter 3. As you know the whole point of Jesus was making to Nicodemus was beside having a physical birth (born of water), you must have a spiritual birth. Born of water is not a reference to baptism. We all begin life floating in water in the womb. Baptism has nothing to do with John 3. In fact the next sentence Jesus confirms born of water means he’s talking about physical birth by saying that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. The plain reading has nothing to do with baptism.

    1. Your explanation of John 3 does not make sense. It makes no sense for Jesus to tell Nicodemus that one must go through natural birth as part of entering the kingdom of heaven. It makes no sense because then Jesus would be telling Nicodemus something he already knew. Why would Jesus tell Nicodemus that he had to be physically born to enter into the kingdom of God? If that was what Jesus intended, he would simply have said, “Unless a person is born again by the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

      Jesus is telling Nicodemus something Nicodemus does not already know, namely, that this being “born again” takes place by water and the Spirit.

      Also, if Jesus had intended the meaning that you suggest, He would have repeated the preposition – He would have said “by water and by the Spirit.” But as it is, Jesus combines water and the Spirit into one acting agent.

    2. Can any of the Protestants here saying that we Catholics are heretical tell me where in the Bible it says “you must ‘accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior’ and you will be saved”? Those words—not your interpretation of other words in the Bible but those words.

      1. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.”
        — Acts 16:31

      2. Can any Roman (we are all Catholics in the original sense) tell me where in the Bible it says that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church?

      3. Romans 10:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

        9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

        I have heard Catholic priest and professors say exactly as this verse says. (I am not Catholic, but I did go to a private Catholic College. I was raised Baptist/Penticostal.)

        My understanding of Baptism is it is just showing the powers of darkness that you publicly chose a side and it shows whose side you are now on.

      1. Excellent article Scoop yet it disturbs me to read Christians judging other denominations beliefs. I don’t and have been privilege to attend service in non denominational churches as well as Evangelical, Baptist and other Christian houses of worship.

        We all need to remember Jesus’ teachings on judging others.

        Matthew 7:1-5

        1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

        1. Do not judge. Oops. Except Paul queries the Corinthians ‘are we not to judge those within the church?’ Absolutely we are. He himself does. We must judge otherwise we can not discern who should be communed and who denied, whose sins should be forgiven and whose not forgiven. Jn 20:22-23
          How can those clinging to evil ever be ‘cut off’ unless we judge.
          What was at question there is to be judging where you have no authority doing so. Matters of Christian freedom, judgments that differ from the gospel, or judgments that remain in the mind of the Almighty.

      2. It is not commentaries that we should look to, it’s the word of GOD we should look to. The Bible is very clear baptism is something you do after salvation not for salvation.

  19. Water Baptism was replaced by Holy Spirit Baptism (on and after Pentecost) they were two different things. Water was necessary because HS baptism wasn’t available yet.

    1. Why, then, did the Apostle Philip baptize the Ethiopian eunuch in water? That baptism took place after Pentecost. Your statement conflicts with the Bible.

      1. He was baptized after he believed. His baptism was a sign that he had accepted JESUS as his savior. However anyone believes, the main thought is this, without believing in the finished work of JESUS at Calvary no one can be saved.

    2. Right on! John the Baptist said I indeed baptize you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

      John’s baptism was simply a cleansing under the Old Covenant. As a Levite, it was appropriate for him to do this. Now, we’re under the New Covenant.

      In John it says (I believe it’s near the story of the woman at the well) that the disciples baptized but Jesus did not.

      John’s baptism was one of repentance (Acts 19), but Christ’s baptism was of salvation.
      Baptism doesn’t just mean water…it means to be immersed, and when we are saved (read: sanctified), we are fully immersed in the Spirit.

      What did Paul tell those at the Ephesus coast in Acts 19? Paul asked if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed (this indicates a second work of grace). They hadn’t even heard of the Holy Ghost! It then says that they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Ghost came on them.

    3. How then do you explain Jesus’ words to Nicodemus: “Unless a person is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”? (John 3:5)

      1. The water that Jesus speaks of is natural birth…Jesus knew that John’s baptism was not a regenerative work. It was only a work of repentance under the Old Covenant.

        It says right after this that Jesus did not baptize…he came to baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire. Baptize in that sense means to immerse, and when we get the Holy Ghost that immersion is what takes place.

  20. Baptism isn’t a requirement for salvation. I grew up being told that for 18 years.

    If Baptism was required, why did the thief on the cross not get baptized? If you must be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit, why did those Peter preached too receive it before they were baptized?

    God is not a respecter of persons. There’s only, before Jesus came and after.

    This is man trying to add works to get to heaven. Once again.

    And for anyone who quotes a verse saying it is required, what of the many verses that don’t mention it at all for salvation? If it was a heaven or hell issue, it wouldn’t be up for debate. It would be clear.

    1. Sometimes baptism gets spoken of as a requirement and demand of God. I fear many evangelicals see it as a command which I do to satisfy God’s demands. This is legalistic thinking and not the attitude of scripture.
      Bible teaches that in Baptism GOD does the work (thru the hands of the church) to make one an heir, save them, wash sin away, put to death the old adam, raise to new life, be born again. Therefore, it is God’s work to save us – always a gift not an obligation. Anyone who is being led by the Spirit to genuine Christian faith will be led to God’s gift of baptism.
      Peace

  21. I’m done. This is false doctrine that might lead some to believe they’re saved when they really aren’t. It’s like every one of these “Catholic Corner” posts is the exact opposite of what the Bible REALLY means! And I’m not going to post all my reasons why I believe my perspective of the Bible is right and this one is wrong. There are too many “Armchair Theologians” out there who are too entrenched in lies and misinformation – who are also convinced they are “right”. If someone can’t properly interpret scripture through the Holy Spirit, then at best, they will miss out on some of God’s blessing. At worst, they are lost.

    I left the Catholic church because it felt dead and there were significant heresies in it. And for this site to treat those heresies as “gospel” (truth), is more than I can stand.

    Scoop, this is your site and you will post whatever you want to. Great. But this is too much for me and while I could easily NOT read articles like this, I can’t help it. And as a biblically “born-again” Christian, I feel I must call out untruths – which these Catholic Corner posts are full of (biblically speaking).

    Thank you for the many years of excellent articles and insights. I appreciate this site and all the wonderful people who have visited it. You all have been wonderful. But I can’t tolerate this direction the site is taking. It’s incompatible with everything God has shown me to be true. I wish you and your staff well.

    Here’s a decent resource that may be helpful to some: https://lesfeldick.org/lesqa.html

    1. Just a comment on your first line that i’d like to clarify. If you ask a Catholic if he is saved, most of us will answer, “I hope so,” or something along those lines. Catholicism believes in the need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

    2. I hate to see you go Sentinel over a conversation about theology.

      You’re always welcome back at any time.

    3. @sentinel So sorry to hear that. You obviously have a like mindset to the majority of the regulars on this site. This seems to be a “those who hardly ever disagree argue the hardest when they do.” Situation. You also seem to have a past with the Catholic Church that gets you upset. Parishes and its members aren’t perfect and some have even set people on the wrong path.
      Guess I just hate to see you go. Also, who wins when good Christians fight to the point they won’t talk? Satan. Can we share our beliefs and respect that God gave us all a free will to make our own decisions on faith? I enjoy hearing others beliefs. What I don’t like is people shoving their faith down my throat and telling me I’m wrong if I don’t believe like them. I am an imperfect person who, through some research has chosen to be Catholic, BUT I also acknowledge just because I believe something, that doesn’t mean it’s true. That’s because I know I am not God and I don’t know everything. I just do my best.
      Peace and God bless you Sentinel.

    4. I’m wondering how Catholicism reconciles this post with infants being baptized? Can they possibly know anything regarding a decision on eternity? I’m thinking not. No offense to my catholic friends but this is….

      1. You’ve been a good friend and kindred spirit. I’ll miss your posts and insights. Take care my friend!

      2. @ryan-o For Catholics Baptism washes away Original Sin and brings a person into the Church, something a parent does for a child. Confirmation is the adult decision to choose to believe what the Catholic Church teaches and receive the Holy Spirit by the Bishop through yhe laying on of hands.

      3. I’m Lutheran and our position is very similar to Catholicism because the scriptures say these things clearly. It is not heresy to say what scripture says about the Spirit coming to a person in baptism, about the need for the Spirit to properly grasp scripture, and that Paul and Peter can thus attribute their faith and salvation to their baptism. A person is not born again by ‘human decision, or a husband’s will, but born of God’ Jn 1:13 To attribute your faith to yourself (your decision and power of your will) denies scripture and robs the glory due to God alone. If you stick with the biblical language and concepts which the Greek and Hebrew help you to grasp and perceive, you will stop attributing salvation to yourself and will glorify God who saves in the means and ways He provides for salvation.
        Keep at the Word. Consider these posts. God lead us all to a greater wisdom.
        Peace.

    1. How is it heresy when Jesus is the one who said it?

      Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God

      1. Scoop, I have appreciated you posting these. I don’t like the division that always seems to rear its ugly head, but I guess that’s to be expected. I love studying God’s word and the communion I feel is so real that it’s like a friend is very near to me.

        I mean this with a sweet spirit, and something to think about.

        When Jesus told Nicodemus about being born of water, he was referring to natural birth. Jesus knew that John’s baptism was not one of regeneration. John’s baptism was a work of repentance under the Old Covenant. Baptism isn’t mentioned by name in the Old Testament, but it was used to wash the priests.
        John the Baptist was a Levite, so he would have done this under the law.

        However, John said that he baptized with water, but Jesus was mightier and that he would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
        Baptism doesn’t necessarily mean water…I believe the Greek origin means to immerse, and we are immersed in the spirit when we are sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit of God.

        It is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost that quickens us (Ephesians ch. 2) and makes us alive.
        This was the rebirth that the disciples felt on the day of Pentecost. The mighty rushing wind was a form of the breath of God that He used to make Adam / man a living soul. Until God breathed into Adam, he wasn’t fully alive.

        I certainly don’t mean to be controversial, but I wanted to share my thoughts based on my experience with God. If people only knew how real God can be! It isn’t about finding yourself…we can NEVER be in touch with ourselves until we get God’s spirit inside our soul.
        Get in touch with the creator, and everything else will have order.

  22. Is baptism us doing something for God, or God doing something for us? I believe it is the latter. In baptism, God –
    – washes away our sin
    – unites us with Christ in His life, death and resurrection
    – gives us spiritual life and rebirth
    – saves us
    – makes us adopted children of God and part of His family

    Evangelical Christianity believes that Christianity takes place inside the Christian, and that therefore the act of baptism cannot be important because it takes place outside of me. But the Bible ties together the good news of Jesus’ saving work with certain external things, namely, the Word, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. In these external things, God acts to bring sinners to Jesus and save them.

        1. I think Lutherans and Catholics sometimes forget about how much doctrine they agree on.

  23. I’ll take my cue from scripture in Matthew 3:11…Said by John the Baptist “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.” I read that as the baptism of the Holy Spirit is more important than water baptism. Holy Spirit baptism is God living within you.

    1. yes, and it comes by Washing of water with the word. Eph 5:26 This is the way that God promises us to receive his Holy Spirit gift. and without the Spirit no one can understand spiritual things 1 Cor 2:14
      Jesus’ baptism of water and Spirit supersedes the shadows of flood, red sea, jordan river, ceremonial washings, John’s baptism. These were shadows of the things to come, the focus being on the new testament reality and in at least some cases of the even greater eternal fulfillment.

  24. Baptism is the NORMAL outward sign of our ingrafting into Christ. We do it because Christ commanded it. However, we must remember that it’s NOT baptism that saves us (Christ does)– it’s not the water that washes away our sins (Christ’s shed blood does). The ceremony of baptism and the water are only physical things that point to a spiritual reality.

    The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized but he was saved. Jesus recognized the spiritual reality within the thief even while the ceremony of baptism was impossible in that particular case. Under normal circumstances, the thief would have been baptized, not to be saved, but because he was saved and desired to be obedient to his Lord, Jesus Christ.

    1. You can not separate Christ from the means and tools He gives for salvation. Nor can you separate Him from His Word by which His Spirit comes. And never forget that baptism is washing AND Word.
      Nor had the Spirit been given in fullness yet. Not until the Day of Pentecost when the Last Days begin – as I often teach “the time of the New Testament Church”
      Peace

      1. Baptism is a SIGN of the spiritual washing that took place at salvation. Our sins are not washed away by water. If our sins could be washed away in a bath, then Christ would not have had to die on the cross. Is baptism an important sign of salvation? Yes, but we are most assuredly not saved by that outward act.

        Baptism is not a tool of salvation. It does not cause salvation in any way. It does not contribute to our salvation in any way. It is a commanded ceremony that is an outward expression or profession of our becoming a member of the body of Christ.

        The Protest against Roman theology continues. The Reformation is still necessary.

  25. Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.” Mark 15:16. Jesus does not say that one who is not baptized will be condemned. So it is unbelief that damns, not lack of baptism.

  26. Baptism by water is intended to wash away our sins, when we simultaneously accept Messiah Yeshua as our savior, and God the Father, the One and Only god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, King David, and the Lion of Judah (Jesus), which is a daily process and not something to be done one day per week, but rather is a lifetime process.

    There are far too many who were baptized in any variety of “religions,” including Catholicism, who attend church on Sundays then behave like an unsaved person the rest of the week. Daily growth through prayer and reading scripture to learn His teachings and laws is the way to relationship with God. Organized religious groups are not necessarily effective in growing an individual’s faith and relationship with God; in fact, many people are turned away from God through some denomination’s beliefs.

    I converted to Catholicism decades ago when I married my lifelong Roman Catholic husband because that is what was done when you were a Protestant who fell in love with an Italian Catholic. We raised our kids in the Church, and my faith in, and understanding of, God grew significantly through my close personal relationships with the Cardinal, priests and nuns in that church, which was priceless, but when we moved to another state, the Catholic church there did not preach adherence to The Word, through scripture. Non-priests and non-nuns (ordinary parishioners not educated in theology at all) were in charge of teaching, preaching and Bible groups, allegedly overseen by one priest, whom we rarely saw. I found this disturbing.

    It also always bothered me that, though I had done so, I did not/do not believe that Jesus would make people jump through hoops like I did for the sake of a religion, that becoming baptized and growing in faith through His Word is supposed to be easily accessible, as Our Father loves and welcomes fellowship with everyone who repents and follows in His ways.

    While I understand you must have certain understanding of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, forcing someone who recently and enthusiastically realized that Jesus is Messiah, to go through the extensive RCIA process, then confess their sins to a priest (or stand-in layperson), rather than to God, before you are allowed to partake of the Eucharist, is, I believe, more of a requirement of a religious group and not God’s requirement. All who come to Him should be able to freely rejoice in communion and grow through Him.

    Still, years in the Catholic church were part of bringing me to where I am today, so as long as whatever you are doing is helping you grow in faith, do it and may God bless and keep your soul!

    1. @charli Well put. Far too often I have witnessed the laity try to teach in complete ignorance of the faith. What they end up doing is teaching their personal feelings on what they want the Church to be not what it is. It leads many astray.

      1. Then, there was a period of time that many young Catholics, educated in their Catholic schools (my husband included), were smacked about by angry nuns (the jokes, Sister Mary Steel Ruler, Sister Mary Rabbit Punch, Sister Mary Broomstick, etc.) and molested by priests at a time that children never said a word about it, but left the church for a time, and many never to return. Those nuns and priests must know that, because they turned children away from God that they will be judged for that, as it is written throughout all of scripture, especially in one of the scariest books of the Bible, Ezekiel (33:1-20). Fortunately, my husband came back to God and even attended Catholic universities to complete his degrees…by then, the nuns and priests were very different, at least in his experience but his childhood was a challenge, even though he was able to see them differently as an adult. I pray that all former disenchanted, angry Catholics, many of whom became atheists, come back to God and not lose eternal life because of something a human being did to them, as that is not God.

        1. My parents had some similar experiences like your husband in Catholic Schools. Mom had a couple of nasty nuns that had to be put in their place by my grandmother.

          1. Lucky for your Mom that she had her Grandmother to stick up for her; most kids’ parents believed the priests and nuns over their own kids, back in the days that all priests and nuns were considered trustworthy in all things. While most were very good, there also were many who take advantage of the trust given them. Now there is some balance; although, some kids can do no wrong in their parent’s eyes, which is a disservice for the kid and the clergy. I still believe the best education comes from Catholic schools through university level.

            1. My grandparents knew so many religious on a personal level they knew they were just people, so that helped.
              Agree there’s more balance now and the schools are still the best choice.

  27. My pre-teen grandson recently asked me about the confusion between Catholic and other Christian denominations. I gave him simplified versions of things I’ve posted here that have been subject to great debate, but the one thing I told him is that one thing that separates us is our Mass.

    On any given Sunday we Catholics can go anywhere in any corner of the world, while not having even the smallest understanding of the language, we will always understand the mass. We all, worldwide, share the same readings on the same date, the same gospel, the same ceremony with the same words, although, of course, not the homily.

    I’ve been lucky enough to attend Mass in Cologne Cathedral, in a small church in southern Spain and vespers in Notre Dame de Paris. I can watch the Vatican masses on holidays and I ‘know’.

    It’s comforting to know I am part of something, a ‘family’ so much bigger than my wonderful parish in the Seattle area or any of the other 14+ parishes of my life and our vagabond (read: corporate) married life, so much bigger than me, or one priest, that we all worship with one voice no matter the language. And yes, I grew up with the Latin mass (which I prefer to this day), and, 60 years later still have my Communion Missal, with Latin on one side of the page and English on the other.

    I’m no expert but I don’t think any other denomination has that kind of structure or continuity from one parish (do they call them that?) to another.

    Do Catholics speak with one voice? NO, but we worship with one voice.

  28. Why do churches make Christianity so complicated?
    Tickled ears bring in some more money…………….

  29. Why do churches make Christianity so complicated?
    Tickled ears bring in some more money…………….

  30. If Water saved you , why would God the Son have to come and die for you? I’ll trust His Blood HEB 9:22

    1. Baptism is not simple water only, but it is water used by God’s command and connected with God’s word. It is the word of God that makes baptism a means of grace through which God gives all the blessings earned by Christ — forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.

  31. I agree completely with this article. Being born again occurs when a child or adult is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit. This is good Biblical theology – I am not Catholic, but a Lutheran. There are just too many Scriptures to ignore that explain the meaning of baptism and the significance. It is a gift of God – why people want to deny God’s good gifts is beyond me. I am thankful for his adoption as a child and have faith in his promises given to us in Christ.

  32. If baptism is necessary for salvations: “The focus of Pitre’s remarks is regarding Baptism in the Bible and how it is necessary for salvation” How do you explain the thief on the cross that received salvation without baptism?

    It is more scripturally accurate to say that baptism is a fruit of salvation not a requirement.

    1. It would be more accurate to say that holy baptism is a funnel through which God pours out to the sinner all the blessings earned for us by Christ. Baptism is nothing apart from Christ. Baptism unites the sinner with Christ and gives to the sinner all that Christ has earned for him. It is because baptism in the name of the Triune God contains all of these blessings that the Bible says, “Baptism also now saves us.”

  33. And if I may add, at he end of the day the question is, It’s not whether you know Christ, it’s whether Christ knows you!

  34. When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so, I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Keys were a symbol of authority. Our Lord had all authority on earth (see Matthew 28:18 and Mark 2:10). Authority implies the ability to delegate it; hence, Jesus gave Peter, as the first pope, the power to bind and loose, that is, to make disciplinary rules within the Church.

    Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).
    Jesus gave his church to Peter, the first Pope and all those who succeeded him sat only in “Peter’s Chair”. Other Christian sects were invented by FALLIBLE men when breaking away from the Catholic Church or defying God by putting themselves above Him.

    Catholicism, by virtue of its founder is superior to any other religion in the world, and all other religious sects are false because they are founded by fallible men. And this not only applies to all non-Christian world religions, it also applies to every single Protestant sect: They are all and each heretical to varying degrees.

    The Catholic Church and She alone is the continuation of Christ here on earth; not just His words, or teachings, like Lutheranism is for Martin Luther or John Calvin is for Calvinism — or, for that fact, like Buddha is for Buddhism.

    None of those man-made religious systems has any ongoing intimacy with their founders. Their founders are dead and their philosophies are malleable, as history has proven. The founder of those no longer has any direct, personal contact with them. That died when they died.

    But not so the Catholic Church. Her founder, Jesus Christ, endured death, but rose from that death and is fully alive and present in the Church, just as the Church is present in Christ.

    This is not to talk about the issue of who might be saved, or who might be damned, this is to talk about where the fullness of truth resides, and its lone, singular residence is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded on Blessed Peter — period.

    There is only one Christian church founded by Jesus Christ. Every other was founded by fallible men, now long dead. Even those Christian’s who refuse that the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ admit he is alive and infallible. How they reconcile that with their animosity toward the Church Jesus gave us is beyond comprehension.

    *Along with my beliefs and opinion, parts taken from Regnum Christi, (June 28, 2019) and various commentaries of Michael Voris, Church Militant, The Vortex

    1. ‘“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).
      Jesus gave his church to Peter, the first Pope and all those who succeeded him sat only in “Peter’s Chair”. Other Christian sects were invented by FALLIBLE men when breaking away from the Catholic Church or defying God by putting themselves above Him.’

      At no point in Scripture is “Peter’s Chair” ever mentioned, and at no point is the Bishop of Rome ever mentioned as having any special authority over the rest of the Church. The office of the Pope is purely an invention of fallible men.

      1. We will have to agree to disagree. Infallible Jesus created His (only) one church. MEN created the all the others. Jesus gifted His for mankind and their salvation. The others created theirs for their glory.

        I think the logic of an adulteration of ‘Pascal’s wager’ about faith, believing in God, is relevant and applies: Those who believe and are found wrong in eternity have lost nothing from believing. Those who don’t believe and are found wrong in eternity, have lost everything.

        Ditto, The Lord’s one, only, true Church.

        1. “Infallible Jesus created His (only) one church.”

          On that, at least, we agree.

      2. At no point in Scripture is “Peter’s Chair” ever mentioned, and at no point is the Bishop of Rome ever mentioned as having any special authority over the rest of the Church.

        Except where Jesus says:” and so, I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, . Every Pope, every Vicar of Christ, in existence has followed from Peter. Jesus knew Peter was human and would not live forever, hence the succession. AND if your point was valid, why is it no other Christian religion has one titular head, with the ability to “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.“?

        1. “Every Pope, every Vicar of Christ, in existence has followed from Peter.”

          No, they haven’t. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that, and nowhere in the Bible is the Bishop of Rome called the “Vicar of Christ.”

          1. As per John V. McGuire, C.Ss.R:

            “Christ chose Peter as the chief of the Apostles, the minster of unity among them and the principal pastor of all the faithful (lambs and sheep) (Mt 16:18, Lk 22:31-32, Jn 21:15-17)”

            “Christ intended that the teaching power of the Church and the authority of its leaders articulate the Church’s teaching would be passed on through succeeding generation of the faithful and the lawful successors of Peter and other apostles. “

            “As noted above in Mt 28:18-20, he speaks of being with the Church “until the end the end of the age.” This surely implies existence for the Church and exercise of its teaching beyond the generation of his own time.”

            . . . “In the ideal state of Christian unity there would be no difference: all Christians would be Catholics. In the first Christian centuries, this was the actual state of affairs. There was one Christian Church and because it was everywhere it could be called “Catholic” or “universal”. When the Church first began, the first believers were probably called “Nazareans” or followers of Jesus the Nazarene. At Antioch, they began to be called Christians (Acts11:26), possibly because Nazareth had no real significance for converts of non-Jewish origin. St Ignatius of Antioch writing in the first decade of the second century is our first witness to the use of the term “Catholic Church.” He used “Catholic” as a common adjective meaning “universal”, but the adjective soon became a proper adjective since it applied to the then total Christian Church.
            Unfortunately, with the Eastern Schism in 1054 and after with the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, divisions occurred in the Christian Church. “

            *Emphases mine
            *Note the time discrepancies from UNIVERSAL (“Catholic”) Church to the eastern Schism and the Protestant Reformation.

            1. “Christ intended that the teaching power of the Church and the authority of its leaders articulate the Church’s teaching would be passed on through succeeding generation of the faithful”

              Okay, fine.

              “and the lawful successors of Peter and other apostles.“

              Really? In which chapter and verse do you find the phrase “lawful successors of Peter and other apostles”? John V. McGuire may believe what he likes, but he is, as you put it, a fallible man, as is every Bishop of Rome. The Apostolic period ended when the Apostle John died.

              “As noted above in Mt 28:18-20, he speaks of being with the Church “until the end the end of the age.” This surely implies existence for the Church and exercise of its teaching beyond the generation of his own time.”

              Indeed it does. What it does not imply, however, is a continuation of the specific office of Peter’s apostleship, or the notion that heretical new doctrines may be invented whenever the priests in Rome feel like it.

              “Unfortunately, with the Eastern Schism in 1054 and after with the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, divisions occurred in the Christian Church. “

              The Schism of 1054 occurred as a result of the Bishop of Rome attempting to claim a Scriptural mandate for power over the Church for which there was no Scriptural basis.

              The Reformation came in response to the adoption of various heresies by the Roman Church, among them the sale of indulgences, the notion of Papal authority over Purgatory, the withholding of Communion under both kinds, and many others.
              It is next to impossible to lay out a comprehensive list of causes for the Reformation, since there were too many regional variations and leaders, many of whom adopted Roman heresies (e.g. Martin Luther continued to hold to the unscriptural doctrine of the immaculate conception).
              This was, perhaps, inevitable, as every reformer was a fallible man, as was the Pope. However, they recognized that what truly makes one a member of the truly Catholic (as opposed to merely Roman) Church is the belief, not in the Bishop of Rome, but in the one infallible Son of God.

              1. The Schism of 1054 occurred as a result of the Bishop of Rome attempting to claim a Scriptural mandate for power over the Church for which there was no Scriptural basis.

                Except, of course, the FACT that the scriptures were recorded and passed down by the original apostles and their successors. One might even call that the ‘basis’ because they were witness to and successors of the ‘rock’ chosen and instructed by Christ.

    2. Dr. Michael S. Heiser is real good at explaining the Bible. He has a different reading on this Bible passage then either the Catholic position and the very different majority Protestant position.

      It is an interesting position.

      Michael Heiser – What is the “Rock” in Matthew 16:18?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3BrVkmKELo

      https://nakedbiblepodcast.com

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . . .
      Michael S. Heiser is an American biblical Old Testament scholar and Christian[1] author who has criticized ancient alien astronaut theorists. His area of expertise concerns the nature of the spiritual realm in the Bible, namely the Divine council and hierarchy of the spiritual order. He is currently is a scholar-in-residence at Faithlife Corporation. In 2019, Dr. Heiser announced he would be stepping down from his position at Faithlife, to become Executive Director of the School of Ministry at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a Distance learning professor at Liberty University[2][3] and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.[4] He runs his own podcast, The Naked Bible and runs a ministry called Miqlat, dedicated to the production and dissemination of his content. Dr. Heiser appeared in the 2018 documentary film Fragments of Truth.[5] . . .
      Education[edit]
      Heiser was raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He received an MA in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA and PhD in the Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (with a minor in Classical studies).[6] Heiser received his undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University and also attended Bible college for three years.[7]

      Heiser has taught college since 1992 and is the Scholar in Residence for Logos Bible Software.[8]

  35. And if I may add, at he end of the day the question is, It’s not whether you know Christ, it’s whether Christ knows you!

  36. As an ex-Catholic and now a 20 year born again believer in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you can talk to Catholic’s until your blue in the face and they will never shake the doctrine they believe in. Being “born again”, you join a family of believers and the Holy Spirit has indwelt you during your sanctification to know and understand the true meaning of the Word of God. It would like trying to explain Election or pre-destination to a Catholic, they wouldn’t have a clue.

    The next topic I would love to hear explained is the concept of purgatory, that’s when doctrine REALLY gets twisted.

    1. If I am remembering correctly, Paradise is not Heaven, and while the thief was saved it didn’t mean he got to go directly to Heaven. He asked Jesus for forgiveness and acknowledged Jesus at his moment of death, which is what saved him.

      1. The only way you can have a saving knowledge of Jesus and to love Him is by being Blessed by the Father with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is when you come to a true saving knowledge. The thief asked Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins because he had a saving knowledge who Christ is and who can be the one to truly forgiveness of our sins. The moment the thief died, he went straight to Heaven to meet His Lord and Savior.

  37. Please correct me if I’m wrong but the dying thief on the cross with Jesus Christ was never “baptized” and Jesus told him right then and there “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43 NKJV

    Luke 23: 26-39 Tells the story of the dying thief.

    No baptism required just a belief in the heart that Jesus Christ with an confession of sin with the mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and you shall be Born Again, Saved by the spilled blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 10: 5-13

    I believe baptism is a very personal thing between you and Christ. A symbol of putting away the old and bring up out of water the new.

    1. In scripture Baptisms were very public events. A declaration for all to see who was our Lord.

  38. As a Catholic my understanding was we baptize our infants to wash away original sin and receive the Holy Spirit so they can enter Heaven if they die.

  39. As an ex-Catholic and now a 20 year born again believer in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you can talk to Catholic’s until your blue in the face and they will never shake the doctrine they believe in. Being “born again”, you join a family of believers and the Holy Spirit has indwelt you during your sanctification to know and understand the true meaning of the Word of God. It would like trying to explain Election or pre-destination to a Catholic, they wouldn’t have a clue.

    The next topic I would love to hear explained is the concept of purgatory, that’s when doctrine REALLY gets twisted.

    1. If I am remembering correctly, Paradise is not Heaven, and while the thief was saved it didn’t mean he got to go directly to Heaven. He asked Jesus for forgiveness and acknowledged Jesus at his moment of death, which is what saved him.

  40. 1 Corinthians 1:10 King James Version (KJV)

    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    1. You are dead on with doctrine! Try not to drive yourself nuts that hopefully someone that is Catholic will see the true nature of baptism and being born again, they can’t unless the Father graces them with the Holy Spirit and opens there eyes.

      Like in my post above, looking forward to the discussion on purgatory when doctrine really gets twisted.

  41. Many topics Christians can disagree on and they are not really so important because whether one believes it or not it doesn’t affect salvation. This is not one of them. This is a big issue because it directly relates to salvation. Jesus said you must be born again. I believe that although we have many churches with different doctrines being born again is the thing that really matters and that unites Christians from different denominations. I will say this I cannot imagine anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior not wanting to be baptized in water. I couldn’t wait myself and wanted to be baptized as soon as possible. I might be judging but I would really have to wonder about a Christian who wouldn’t want to be water baptized. It was a great honor and privilege for me.

    New American Standard Bible
    Galatians 3:2
    This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

    On a positive note I am very happy the Catholic church has stood strong on pro life and marriage between one man and one woman and I pray they continue to stay strong. Some of the protestant churches sadly have gotten away from clear bible teaching on these issues.

  42. Baptism is an outward expression of a inward possession. It is not necessary for salvation. If it was the thief on the cross would not have been able to go and be with JESUS. Baptism is an example of going into the liquid grave and rising in newness of life. Born again, means, you are a new creation, something that has never existed. 2Corintians 5:17

    1. Your answer coincides my interpretation and belief, TY
      ( works are not needed), however Baptism is a sign of obedience … but not necessary for salvation
      dman: have a great Independence Day

  43. If Baptism is necessary for salvation than why did Christ, on the cross, say to the thief, “today you will be with me in paradise”. That thief had only shown belief and clearly was not going to have the opportunity to be baptized.

    Baptism is a display publicly of your inward commitment to Christ. Baptism if necessary for salvation is then a work and we are not saved by works but by the blood of Christ alone so that no one can boast. If baptism is necessary than Christ’s death on the cross was “not enough” and we then become our own god by declaring ourselves to have the power that Christ doesn’t in order to be saved.

    It’s all Jesus or nothing.

    1. All Jesus or nothing sums it up!

      The baptism of the Holy Ghost is what counts.

      Being born again means that we’re a new creature in Christ! Nicodemus didn’t understand that Jesus was talking about spiritual things. If he did, he wouldn’t have asked about going back into his mother’s womb.

      Being born again is such an important concept; to know that Adam and Eve, through their transgression, brought sin and death upon the whole human race, and that God knew this when He created them, and yet he created man anyway: because he knew that there would come a day that we could be saved from the curse.

      The problem wasn’t physical…it was a spiritual seed that was in man’s heart. After the flood, and all of the wicked people were wiped out, it didn’t take long before sin began corrupting man again.

      To know that God loved us so much, that He would sacrifice of Himself to give us a new heart and make us a new creature to serve Him is such a wondrously powerful thought.

      Our salvation was bought with such great love!

  44. Romans 10:13 – For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    Baptism is not required, or Paul got it wrong. I’ll go with Paul.

    1. Only the Spirit of God can enable you to rightly call on the Lord in true faith. He is already urging you toward baptism at that point, or you are already baptized. The problem with understanding what you quoted from Rom 10 is that the single passage can never encompass all that the Lord teaches. That, I suppose, is why there are so many pages of scripture. It can not be taken in a way that contradicts other passages. If you do so, you are making God untruthful.
      Context. Let scripture interpret scripture. Take all that the Lord says on a given subject. Theology is quite complex but with these and a few other tools, scripture seldom leaves us scratching our heads in confusion.

  45. Please correct me if I’m wrong but the dying thief on the cross with Jesus Christ was never “baptized” and Jesus told him right then and there “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43 NKJV

    Luke 23: 26-39 Tells the story of the dying thief.

    No baptism required just a belief in the heart that Jesus Christ with an confession of sin with the mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and you shall be Born Again, Saved by the spilled blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 10: 5-13

    I believe baptism is a very personal thing between you and Christ. A symbol of putting away the old and bring up out of water the new.

  46. Scoop you are misreading John Chapter 3. As you know the whole point of Jesus was making to Nicodemus was beside having a physical birth (born of water), you must have a spiritual birth. Born of water is not a reference to baptism. We all begin life floating in water in the womb. Baptism has nothing to do with John 3. In fact the next sentence Jesus confirms born of water means he’s talking about physical birth by saying that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. The plain reading has nothing to do with baptism.

      1. It is not commentaries that we should look to, it’s the word of GOD we should look to. The Bible is very clear baptism is something you do after salvation not for salvation.

        1. I’m not looking to commentaires. I’m just pointing out to him that even protestants understand that to refer to baptism.

          Also the Bible is not clear on that at all. Jesus says the very opposite.

      2. Excellent article Scoop yet it disturbs me to read Christians judging other denominations beliefs. I don’t and have been privilege to attend service in non denominational churches as well as Evangelical, Baptist and other Christian houses of worship.

        We all need to remember Jesus’ teachings on judging others.

        Matthew 7:1-5

        1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

        1. Do not judge. Oops. Except Paul queries the Corinthians ‘are we not to judge those within the church?’ Absolutely we are. He himself does. We must judge otherwise we can not discern who should be communed and who denied, whose sins should be forgiven and whose not forgiven. Jn 20:22-23
          How can those clinging to evil ever be ‘cut off’ unless we judge.
          What was at question there is to be judging where you have no authority doing so. Matters of Christian freedom, judgments that differ from the gospel, or judgments that remain in the mind of the Almighty.

            1. Good. Still, Jesus tells us to make these judgments. There is a fine line between judging rightly and wrongly. I don’t know of an easy way to describe it other than the hundreds of times scripture shows us and guides us in these ways.
              Peace.

              1. Believe me, I understand your point completely. Yet I don’t see any good with Christians using words like heretics or heretical when speaking about different denominations.

                We have only one Judge and He will judge all of us. Thus, I will never judge any Christian on their Christianity. It’s above my paygrade.

                1. We guide people by leading them to the passages which instruct on the issues at hand. True that the Lord judges each in the end. However, what a person believes is powerfully influenced by what they hear proclaimed from the church.
                  As for terms like heretic – the church must call a false gospel just that and one who believe the false gospel as deceived. Jesus made some pretty pointed statements himself like this. “I am the way…..no one comes to the Father but by me.” “Unless you believe that ‘I AM’, you will die in your sins.” Other false teachings are addressed in Scripture, for example Galatians was written to restore an erring congregation who believed a gospel different that what was received.
                  For the sake of peoples’ souls, we must call truth truth, error error, and another gospel a false gospel. If others believe differently, we are told to let them be and to keep ourselves away from them. The Apostle John wrote to this issue in his letters.
                  Peace, my friend.
                  btw – this is my paygrade because I do this professionally. Still, God calls all Christians to do this in their context of life.

                2. You just referred to me as a heretic because I am a Catholic like Scoop.

                  That’s my objection. I find it laughable that you want to judge other Christians based on their denominations.

                  Not me thankfully and this is my last reply.

                3. I don’t see where I called you a heretic. There is a difference between doctrinal error and actually embracing a different gospel. I apologize for my words if they were unclear or misleading. It is not my intention to offend but to instruct on what is known through scripture.
                  Have a safe and enjoyable July 4th

                4. By assuming I need an education on a “doctrinal error” and “embracing a different gospel,” you put me into a category of heretical beliefs whether or not you understand it. Especially based on the many comments suggesting there’s a problem with Catholicism.

                  Please don’t reply again. I added my 2 cents and I don’t mind if you disagree.

            2. Jesus spoke only to the Jews except for two small occasions Paul was speaking to both Jew and Gentile so unless you were a Jew living in those days not all of what Jesus said applies to you.

        2. I agree with what you are saying except that cults always add works to salvation taking away the importance that it is a gift from God and yes water baptism would be considered a work.

    1. Can any of the Protestants here saying that we Catholics are heretical tell me where in the Bible it says “you must ‘accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior’ and you will be saved”? Those words—not your interpretation of other words in the Bible but those words.

      1. Romans 10:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

        9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

        I have heard Catholic priest and professors say exactly as this verse says. (I am not Catholic, but I did go to a private Catholic College. I was raised Baptist/Penticostal.)

        My understanding of Baptism is it is just showing the powers of darkness that you publicly chose a side and it shows whose side you are now on.

      2. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.”
        — Acts 16:31

      3. Can any Roman (we are all Catholics in the original sense) tell me where in the Bible it says that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church?

    2. Your explanation of John 3 does not make sense. It makes no sense for Jesus to tell Nicodemus that one must go through natural birth as part of entering the kingdom of heaven. It makes no sense because then Jesus would be telling Nicodemus something he already knew. Why would Jesus tell Nicodemus that he had to be physically born to enter into the kingdom of God? If that was what Jesus intended, he would simply have said, “Unless a person is born again by the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

      Jesus is telling Nicodemus something Nicodemus does not already know, namely, that this being “born again” takes place by water and the Spirit.

      Also, if Jesus had intended the meaning that you suggest, He would have repeated the preposition – He would have said “by water and by the Spirit.” But as it is, Jesus combines water and the Spirit into one acting agent.

  47. Water Baptism was replaced by Holy Spirit Baptism (on and after Pentecost) they were two different things. Water was necessary because HS baptism wasn’t available yet.

    1. Why, then, did the Apostle Philip baptize the Ethiopian eunuch in water? That baptism took place after Pentecost. Your statement conflicts with the Bible.

      1. He was baptized after he believed. His baptism was a sign that he had accepted JESUS as his savior. However anyone believes, the main thought is this, without believing in the finished work of JESUS at Calvary no one can be saved.

      2. It was Philip. Philip didn’t understand…this is why the Spirit of the Lord carried him away.
        He didn’t disobey, he just didn’t understand.

        Acts 8:39, 40 says, “And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.”

        The disciples were still learning. John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire.

        Water was an ordinance for the priests under the Old Covenant. We’re under the New Covenant now, with Jesus as our High Priest.

        1. Of course it was Philip. You are right in that. But you are wrong when you say that Philip did not understand baptism. The Spirit of the Lord led Philip to this eunuch so that Philip could show him Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures and the promised Savior. Once Philip had proclaimed Jesus to the eunuch and baptized him, his work with the eunuch was done. So the Spirit took Philip off to his next task, and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing. There is nothing in the text to suggest that Philip was taken away because he misunderstood anything. That is your own idea that you are imposing on the text to make the text fit your preconceived theological system.

          1. Wow…You sound really judgmental to call me wrong and “my” preconceived theological system.

            The disciples were still learning. Peter was still learning…that’s why God gave him the vision in Acts about calling something unclean. Peter still needed to learn that the law had been fulfilled in Christ.

            Read Acts 19 where Paul passed along the Ephesus coast. They had been baptized in the name of John…they didn’t even know about the Holy Ghost.
            Paul didn’t say, “That’s good enough.” He told them about the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and they didn’t receive it until then.

            Again, water cleansing was an ordinance for the priests under the old covenant.
            John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance, not salvation. If it was, Paul would have had no need to baptize those at the Ephesus coast.

    2. Right on! John the Baptist said I indeed baptize you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

      John’s baptism was simply a cleansing under the Old Covenant. As a Levite, it was appropriate for him to do this. Now, we’re under the New Covenant.

      In John it says (I believe it’s near the story of the woman at the well) that the disciples baptized but Jesus did not.

      John’s baptism was one of repentance (Acts 19), but Christ’s baptism was of salvation.
      Baptism doesn’t just mean water…it means to be immersed, and when we are saved (read: sanctified), we are fully immersed in the Spirit.

      What did Paul tell those at the Ephesus coast in Acts 19? Paul asked if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed (this indicates a second work of grace). They hadn’t even heard of the Holy Ghost! It then says that they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Ghost came on them.

    3. How then do you explain Jesus’ words to Nicodemus: “Unless a person is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”? (John 3:5)

      1. The water that Jesus speaks of is natural birth…Jesus knew that John’s baptism was not a regenerative work. It was only a work of repentance under the Old Covenant.

        It says right after this that Jesus did not baptize…he came to baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire. Baptize in that sense means to immerse, and when we get the Holy Ghost that immersion is what takes place.

  48. Pitre is fantastic. If you haven’t read his book on the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, run, don’t walk to Amazon and get it.

    1. I loved that book. It really is amazing. It was the first book I read as a new Catholic.

  49. Careful everyone. TRS will block you if you become too critical of his new Catholicism, especially if you use the Word to back it up. Infant baptism is required for salvation according to Catholics (if you were born to a Catholic family). Its not Biblical, but heretical to suggest otherwise. They use one verse (Matthew 18:3) to justify it, yet criticize you when you use an exception like the thief on the cross to justify why baptism isn’t necessary for salvation.

    1. I only tend to block those who are offensive. I don’t block people just because they disagree with Catholicism.

    2. I’m not Catholic but I think I understand them well enough. While infant baptism is what the Lord has called us to do for children (Catholics, Lutherans, Eastern Orth, and other groups agree – so basically a huge percentage of Christians throughout history). But that is not the only way one comes to faith. Obviously adults are led to baptism through instruction and hearing the gospel. This then takes them to the waters of rebirth. Mt. 28:18 ‘Make disciples…baptizing…teaching’ These two things go together. Only it is in a different order to some degree for adult or child.

      1. How can you instruct and teach an infant? They understand nothing. There is no example anywhere within Scripture where someone was baptized prior to understanding and accepting the Word. Why is the order different for an infant? There is no Scripture referring to changing this order specifically for infants. Now if you don’t believe in solo Scriptura, you’re probably ok with man changing the order of things. The Word never changed the order

        1. The infant is raised in the faith. As to your question about being baptized prior to understanding/accepting – Baptism was for whole families and for children in Acts (it didn’t say ‘older children’). Babies were welcomed into Jesus’ arms and they have faith. In Luke’s account the term brephos refers to infants/toddlers. Circumcision is compared with baptism by Paul, Baptism being greater but both having the aspect of inclusion in the covenant. Circumcision was done on the eighth day. Explicitly the bible does not command us to baptize babies but from the time of the Apostles, this was the practice in all Christianity. These folks heard it from the Apostles first hand.
          As to the idea that we must understand before we receive grace, please explain Saul’s conversion. Even the Apostles were in confusion when they were not yet in possession of the gift of the Spirit that came on Pentecost. If we define faith as knowledge based, then it falls into the category of good works and we can boast. Grace alone. God can clearly give grace to a baby just as he can uphold faith in a sleeping person.
          Scripture is silent on the order unless you attribute order to Mt. 28 where baptizing comes first. When scripture is silent, we look to other similar situations in scripture and to the earliest traditions of the church to make sense of why the earliest Christians did things this way. Who are we to change things unless we see clear violation of God’s word.
          peace

        2. The question you should be asking yourself is, Can an infant believe in Jesus? And the answer to that question is yes. (For example, consider John the Baptizer leaping in Elizabeth’s womb at the approach of Jesus in Mary’s womb.)

          Also: Can infants receive gifts? Yes. In baptism God Himself is acting through water combined with the word of the Gospel to work faith in the heart of the infant. That faith is a gift of God to that child, just as faith is a gift given by God to an adult who comes to faith.

        3. Jesus said to let the children come to Him. God is doing the work in baptism, not man. Bring your children to Jesus and baptize them – He will never turn them away. God ordained baptism and will work faith in the child by the water and the Word. He will create faith in the child, and the Christian community will continue to raise the child in the faith – growing and sustaining God’s work in the child.

  50. Baptism is purely symbolic. It’s not necessary. The faith and belief in God and salvation is what matters. Every child born is born with Him already there and all the good that comes with it. It really is that simple. The relying on books written by man is fine and helpful to others beliefs but it’s not necessary. Just try and be a decent person, be fruitful, and improve yourself daily.

    1. There’s the problem man is a sinner by birth and by choice without JESUS no one can reach Heaven. You must be born again by the SPIRIT of GOD

    2. If what you say is true, I find it very weird that Jesus emphasized baptism. Why would he put something completely unnecessary and frankly trivial in the “great commission” as it is called?:

      “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

      Reading this I am inclined to see it as the path/way to entry into the Church, the beginning of being a Christian. Sure reads that way.

  51. The Catholics believe that the Sacraments, of which Baptism is one, are more than just a physical ceremony. They believe spiritual actions happen during them, like the washing away of Original Sin with Baptism, or receiving the Holy Spirit during Confirmation. This is one of those places that Catholics and many non-Catholic Christians differ in our faiths. For Catholics Sacraments are required.

  52. Baptism isn’t a requirement for salvation. I grew up being told that for 18 years.

    If Baptism was required, why did the thief on the cross not get baptized? If you must be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit, why did those Peter preached too receive it before they were baptized?

    God is not a respecter of persons. There’s only, before Jesus came and after.

    This is man trying to add works to get to heaven. Once again.

    And for anyone who quotes a verse saying it is required, what of the many verses that don’t mention it at all for salvation? If it was a heaven or hell issue, it wouldn’t be up for debate. It would be clear.

    1. Sometimes baptism gets spoken of as a requirement and demand of God. I fear many evangelicals see it as a command which I do to satisfy God’s demands. This is legalistic thinking and not the attitude of scripture.
      Bible teaches that in Baptism GOD does the work (thru the hands of the church) to make one an heir, save them, wash sin away, put to death the old adam, raise to new life, be born again. Therefore, it is God’s work to save us – always a gift not an obligation. Anyone who is being led by the Spirit to genuine Christian faith will be led to God’s gift of baptism.
      Peace

  53. I do not agree that baptism is a requirement for salvation. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves and there is nothing we can do on this earth to aid in our salvation. The shed blood of Christ, as the old song says, paid it all. All we need to do is to accepted his gift of redemption. The tied on the cross who rebuked the other their for mocking Jesus was told by Jesus; “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.” That individual was not taken off his cross and baptized and then place back up there. So if baptism is necessary, how could he be allowed into paradise? Baptism is a very intimate and special public declaration of your acceptance of the gift God has offered to all of mankind. It states that we accept into our hearts and lives the death (being placed in the water), burial (being down under the water), and resurrection (coming back up out of the water) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a truly special event in the life of the believer, but to say it is a requirement of salvation. Nowhere in John 14 does Jesus mention baptism. He does say, “You believe in God; believe also in me.” Then he tells the reader how he is going to prepare a place for them, the believer.

    1. One is unable to grasp spiritual truth apart from the Spirit. The Spirit works through the Word (that is the only place scripture sends us to that we might know His work upon our lives. And Baptism is water AND word (command to church with promise to recipient). Additionally, faith is something a person can have and then lose just as Jesus said in the parable of the seed on the different soils.
      Peace. Keep reading that Word.

  54. Is baptism us doing something for God, or God doing something for us? I believe it is the latter. In baptism, God –
    – washes away our sin
    – unites us with Christ in His life, death and resurrection
    – gives us spiritual life and rebirth
    – saves us
    – makes us adopted children of God and part of His family

    Evangelical Christianity believes that Christianity takes place inside the Christian, and that therefore the act of baptism cannot be important because it takes place outside of me. But the Bible ties together the good news of Jesus’ saving work with certain external things, namely, the Word, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. In these external things, God acts to bring sinners to Jesus and save them.

        1. I think Lutherans and Catholics sometimes forget about how much doctrine they agree on.

  55. Baptism is the NORMAL outward sign of our ingrafting into Christ. We do it because Christ commanded it. However, we must remember that it’s NOT baptism that saves us (Christ does)– it’s not the water that washes away our sins (Christ’s shed blood does). The ceremony of baptism and the water are only physical things that point to a spiritual reality.

    The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized but he was saved. Jesus recognized the spiritual reality within the thief even while the ceremony of baptism was impossible in that particular case. Under normal circumstances, the thief would have been baptized, not to be saved, but because he was saved and desired to be obedient to his Lord, Jesus Christ.

    1. You can not separate Christ from the means and tools He gives for salvation. Nor can you separate Him from His Word by which His Spirit comes. And never forget that baptism is washing AND Word.
      Nor had the Spirit been given in fullness yet. Not until the Day of Pentecost when the Last Days begin – as I often teach “the time of the New Testament Church”
      Peace

      1. Baptism is a SIGN of the spiritual washing that took place at salvation. Our sins are not washed away by water. If our sins could be washed away in a bath, then Christ would not have had to die on the cross. Is baptism an important sign of salvation? Yes, but we are most assuredly not saved by that outward act.

        Baptism is not a tool of salvation. It does not cause salvation in any way. It does not contribute to our salvation in any way. It is a commanded ceremony that is an outward expression or profession of our becoming a member of the body of Christ.

        The Protest against Roman theology continues. The Reformation is still necessary.

  56. I’ll take my cue from scripture in Matthew 3:11…Said by John the Baptist “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.” I read that as the baptism of the Holy Spirit is more important than water baptism. Holy Spirit baptism is God living within you.

    1. yes, and it comes by Washing of water with the word. Eph 5:26 This is the way that God promises us to receive his Holy Spirit gift. and without the Spirit no one can understand spiritual things 1 Cor 2:14
      Jesus’ baptism of water and Spirit supersedes the shadows of flood, red sea, jordan river, ceremonial washings, John’s baptism. These were shadows of the things to come, the focus being on the new testament reality and in at least some cases of the even greater eternal fulfillment.

  57. I’m done. This is false doctrine that might lead some to believe they’re saved when they really aren’t. It’s like every one of these “Catholic Corner” posts is the exact opposite of what the Bible REALLY means! And I’m not going to post all my reasons why I believe my perspective of the Bible is right and this one is wrong. There are too many “Armchair Theologians” out there who are too entrenched in lies and misinformation – who are also convinced they are “right”. If someone can’t properly interpret scripture through the Holy Spirit, then at best, they will miss out on some of God’s blessing. At worst, they are lost.

    I left the Catholic church because it felt dead and there were significant heresies in it. And for this site to treat those heresies as “gospel” (truth), is more than I can stand.

    Scoop, this is your site and you will post whatever you want to. Great. But this is too much for me and while I could easily NOT read articles like this, I can’t help it. And as a biblically “born-again” Christian, I feel I must call out untruths – which these Catholic Corner posts are full of (biblically speaking).

    Thank you for the many years of excellent articles and insights. I appreciate this site and all the wonderful people who have visited it. You all have been wonderful. But I can’t tolerate this direction the site is taking. It’s incompatible with everything God has shown me to be true. I wish you and your staff well.

    Here’s a decent resource that may be helpful to some: https://lesfeldick.org/lesqa.html

    1. I’m wondering how Catholicism reconciles this post with infants being baptized? Can they possibly know anything regarding a decision on eternity? I’m thinking not. No offense to my catholic friends but this is….

      1. You’ve been a good friend and kindred spirit. I’ll miss your posts and insights. Take care my friend!

      2. @ryan-o For Catholics Baptism washes away Original Sin and brings a person into the Church, something a parent does for a child. Confirmation is the adult decision to choose to believe what the Catholic Church teaches and receive the Holy Spirit by the Bishop through yhe laying on of hands.

      3. I’m Lutheran and our position is very similar to Catholicism because the scriptures say these things clearly. It is not heresy to say what scripture says about the Spirit coming to a person in baptism, about the need for the Spirit to properly grasp scripture, and that Paul and Peter can thus attribute their faith and salvation to their baptism. A person is not born again by ‘human decision, or a husband’s will, but born of God’ Jn 1:13 To attribute your faith to yourself (your decision and power of your will) denies scripture and robs the glory due to God alone. If you stick with the biblical language and concepts which the Greek and Hebrew help you to grasp and perceive, you will stop attributing salvation to yourself and will glorify God who saves in the means and ways He provides for salvation.
        Keep at the Word. Consider these posts. God lead us all to a greater wisdom.
        Peace.

    2. @sentinel So sorry to hear that. You obviously have a like mindset to the majority of the regulars on this site. This seems to be a “those who hardly ever disagree argue the hardest when they do.” Situation. You also seem to have a past with the Catholic Church that gets you upset. Parishes and its members aren’t perfect and some have even set people on the wrong path.
      Guess I just hate to see you go. Also, who wins when good Christians fight to the point they won’t talk? Satan. Can we share our beliefs and respect that God gave us all a free will to make our own decisions on faith? I enjoy hearing others beliefs. What I don’t like is people shoving their faith down my throat and telling me I’m wrong if I don’t believe like them. I am an imperfect person who, through some research has chosen to be Catholic, BUT I also acknowledge just because I believe something, that doesn’t mean it’s true. That’s because I know I am not God and I don’t know everything. I just do my best.
      Peace and God bless you Sentinel.

    3. Just a comment on your first line that i’d like to clarify. If you ask a Catholic if he is saved, most of us will answer, “I hope so,” or something along those lines. Catholicism believes in the need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

    4. I hate to see you go Sentinel over a conversation about theology.

      You’re always welcome back at any time.

  58. Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.” Mark 15:16. Jesus does not say that one who is not baptized will be condemned. So it is unbelief that damns, not lack of baptism.

    1. How is it heresy when Jesus is the one who said it?

      Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God

      1. Scoop, I have appreciated you posting these. I don’t like the division that always seems to rear its ugly head, but I guess that’s to be expected. I love studying God’s word and the communion I feel is so real that it’s like a friend is very near to me.

        I mean this with a sweet spirit, and something to think about.

        When Jesus told Nicodemus about being born of water, he was referring to natural birth. Jesus knew that John’s baptism was not one of regeneration. John’s baptism was a work of repentance under the Old Covenant. Baptism isn’t mentioned by name in the Old Testament, but it was used to wash the priests.
        John the Baptist was a Levite, so he would have done this under the law.

        However, John said that he baptized with water, but Jesus was mightier and that he would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
        Baptism doesn’t necessarily mean water…I believe the Greek origin means to immerse, and we are immersed in the spirit when we are sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit of God.

        It is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost that quickens us (Ephesians ch. 2) and makes us alive.
        This was the rebirth that the disciples felt on the day of Pentecost. The mighty rushing wind was a form of the breath of God that He used to make Adam / man a living soul. Until God breathed into Adam, he wasn’t fully alive.

        I certainly don’t mean to be controversial, but I wanted to share my thoughts based on my experience with God. If people only knew how real God can be! It isn’t about finding yourself…we can NEVER be in touch with ourselves until we get God’s spirit inside our soul.
        Get in touch with the creator, and everything else will have order.

  59. Baptism is an outward expression of a inward possession. It is not necessary for salvation. If it was the thief on the cross would not have been able to go and be with JESUS. Baptism is an example of going into the liquid grave and rising in newness of life. Born again, means, you are a new creation, something that has never existed. 2Corintians 5:17

    1. Your answer coincides my interpretation and belief, TY
      ( works are not needed), however Baptism is a sign of obedience … but not necessary for salvation
      dman: have a great Independence Day

  60. I do not agree that baptism is a requirement for salvation. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves and there is nothing we can do on this earth to aid in our salvation. The shed blood of Christ, as the old song says, paid it all. All we need to do is to accepted his gift of redemption. The tied on the cross who rebuked the other their for mocking Jesus was told by Jesus; “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.” That individual was not taken off his cross and baptized and then place back up there. So if baptism is necessary, how could he be allowed into paradise? Baptism is a very intimate and special public declaration of your acceptance of the gift God has offered to all of mankind. It states that we accept into our hearts and lives the death (being placed in the water), burial (being down under the water), and resurrection (coming back up out of the water) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a truly special event in the life of the believer, but to say it is a requirement of salvation. Nowhere in John 14 does Jesus mention baptism. He does say, “You believe in God; believe also in me.” Then he tells the reader how he is going to prepare a place for them, the believer.

    1. One is unable to grasp spiritual truth apart from the Spirit. The Spirit works through the Word (that is the only place scripture sends us to that we might know His work upon our lives. And Baptism is water AND word (command to church with promise to recipient). Additionally, faith is something a person can have and then lose just as Jesus said in the parable of the seed on the different soils.
      Peace. Keep reading that Word.

  61. Baptism by water is intended to wash away our sins, when we simultaneously accept Messiah Yeshua as our savior, and God the Father, the One and Only god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, King David, and the Lion of Judah (Jesus), which is a daily process and not something to be done one day per week, but rather is a lifetime process.

    There are far too many who were baptized in any variety of “religions,” including Catholicism, who attend church on Sundays then behave like an unsaved person the rest of the week. Daily growth through prayer and reading scripture to learn His teachings and laws is the way to relationship with God. Organized religious groups are not necessarily effective in growing an individual’s faith and relationship with God; in fact, many people are turned away from God through some denomination’s beliefs.

    I converted to Catholicism decades ago when I married my lifelong Roman Catholic husband because that is what was done when you were a Protestant who fell in love with an Italian Catholic. We raised our kids in the Church, and my faith in, and understanding of, God grew significantly through my close personal relationships with the Cardinal, priests and nuns in that church, which was priceless, but when we moved to another state, the Catholic church there did not preach adherence to The Word, through scripture. Non-priests and non-nuns (ordinary parishioners not educated in theology at all) were in charge of teaching, preaching and Bible groups, allegedly overseen by one priest, whom we rarely saw. I found this disturbing.

    It also always bothered me that, though I had done so, I did not/do not believe that Jesus would make people jump through hoops like I did for the sake of a religion, that becoming baptized and growing in faith through His Word is supposed to be easily accessible, as Our Father loves and welcomes fellowship with everyone who repents and follows in His ways.

    While I understand you must have certain understanding of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, forcing someone who recently and enthusiastically realized that Jesus is Messiah, to go through the extensive RCIA process, then confess their sins to a priest (or stand-in layperson), rather than to God, before you are allowed to partake of the Eucharist, is, I believe, more of a requirement of a religious group and not God’s requirement. All who come to Him should be able to freely rejoice in communion and grow through Him.

    Still, years in the Catholic church were part of bringing me to where I am today, so as long as whatever you are doing is helping you grow in faith, do it and may God bless and keep your soul!

    1. @charli Well put. Far too often I have witnessed the laity try to teach in complete ignorance of the faith. What they end up doing is teaching their personal feelings on what they want the Church to be not what it is. It leads many astray.

      1. Then, there was a period of time that many young Catholics, educated in their Catholic schools (my husband included), were smacked about by angry nuns (the jokes, Sister Mary Steel Ruler, Sister Mary Rabbit Punch, Sister Mary Broomstick, etc.) and molested by priests at a time that children never said a word about it, but left the church for a time, and many never to return. Those nuns and priests must know that, because they turned children away from God that they will be judged for that, as it is written throughout all of scripture, especially in one of the scariest books of the Bible, Ezekiel (33:1-20). Fortunately, my husband came back to God and even attended Catholic universities to complete his degrees…by then, the nuns and priests were very different, at least in his experience but his childhood was a challenge, even though he was able to see them differently as an adult. I pray that all former disenchanted, angry Catholics, many of whom became atheists, come back to God and not lose eternal life because of something a human being did to them, as that is not God.

        1. My parents had some similar experiences like your husband in Catholic Schools. Mom had a couple of nasty nuns that had to be put in their place by my grandmother.

          1. Lucky for your Mom that she had her Grandmother to stick up for her; most kids’ parents believed the priests and nuns over their own kids, back in the days that all priests and nuns were considered trustworthy in all things. While most were very good, there also were many who take advantage of the trust given them. Now there is some balance; although, some kids can do no wrong in their parent’s eyes, which is a disservice for the kid and the clergy. I still believe the best education comes from Catholic schools through university level.

            1. My grandparents knew so many religious on a personal level they knew they were just people, so that helped.
              Agree there’s more balance now and the schools are still the best choice.

  62. After about a year studying Catholicism at a local church I met with the head nun and asked her if I could be baptized. She said I was absolutely ready, that it could be arranged the following week, and to speak with the Father. I met with the Father and he said he would absolutely not baptize me.

    Since then I’ve always considered it best to avoid local church discrepancies and take my chances with God.

    1. Yeah I get that. But don’t let potentially one bad priest keep you from the truth. It’s just too important.

      I would encourage you to seek out a different parish and/or priest because honestly, the Catholic church is THE BEST thing that has ever happened to me. Totally not exaggerating.

    2. It sounds like the nun was wise and knowledgeable while the priest was short-sighted and misdirected. Both are only human, after all. I have witnessed the same situations and it angered me tremendously…led me away from organized religion. I know that Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not require anyone to jump through organized, man-made religious hoops to grow in faith and closeness to God, to be baptized, to partake of the body and blood of Messiah and to be included in the catching away. I found that reading the Bible everyday keeps me on the right path and that partaking of the Eucharist through Grace, directly with God, every time I put food or drink into my mouth grows me closer to Him continuously. In fact, there are several scriptural passages in which Jesus shamed those of organized religion, who used religion for personal power, rather than to worship and praise God.

      1. Good point; if you have already been baptized, some denominations will not perform a second baptism; although, when I converted from Presbyterian (baptized and took communion at 15) to Catholicism before marrying the love of my life, I went through the RCIA program, then was baptized in the Catholic church, confessed my sins and took my first communion as a Catholic afterward. Most of us were baptized when we were in our mid-teens, in the church we attended as children, but very often your faith is under-developed as a child or teen and your true growth occurs after you marry, raise children, etc. I have read five different Bibles and have yet to find any scripture that says you cannot be baptized more than once. In fact, I hope to one day go to Israel and be baptized in the Jordan River, just as John the Baptist did with Jesus, after which the Heavens opened and God declared Yeshua His Son! What an awesome prospect!

  63. Just want to also say, I continue to be impressed by your spiritual journey, Scoop, and I have prayed that you will continue on your journey and that your love of scripture and of God will grow and grow with each passing day.

  64. The criminal on the cross next to Jesus was not baptized in water from what we know, and yet he entered paradise that very day with Jesus.

    Taking pieces of denominational dogma and trying to find support for them in the Bible is not the best way to read and understand the Bible. Much better to understand each verse in its historical and linguistic and Biblical context, and just understand what it is saying. If you want a great verse-by-verse contextual teaching of the entire Bible, I recommend the many hundreds of lectures by Steve Gregg on thenarrowpath website.

    1. Water is used over and over to save God’s people. Think of the Ark. Think of the Rock in the desert from which water flowed, which was Christ!

      The thief on the cross doesn’t have to necessarily fit because Jesus can save whomever he chooses. But you’re right to point out that there is plenty that we don’t know about the thief. Maybe he was baptized and then left Jesus and became a thief. We just don’t know.

      I contend that theology shouldn’t be based on exceptions, but rather on what Jesus said to us. If he says baptism is essential to entering the Kingdom of God, then that’s what I’m going to believe. And that is what He told Nicodemus.

      And maybe we’ll learn more about the thief on the cross when we get to Heaven.

      1. Jesus can save whomever he chooses

        Your words, not mine. That is the key point, Scoop. As far as I can tell, Jesus’s hands are not tied. He can save those that He chooses to save.

        If he says baptism is essential to entering the Kingdom of God, then that’s what I’m going to believe.

        Fair enough – I also tell everyone to get baptized, and have been baptized myself, as has all my family.

      2. Scoop, you are right that water was used as the agent in the Old Testament.
        The Red Sea washed away the Egyptians after the Israelites had crossed safely.

        However, that was before Christ came to give us the Holy Ghost.

        Something that I noticed one time while reading the book of John is that there are a few stories in a row to show that Jesus didn’t need water. His first miracle was when he turned water into wine, and the wine was representative of the spirit (get some of the new wine that Peter talked about on the day of Pentecost: “for we are not drunk as ye suppose”). I am the vine…ye are the branches. Think of the Eshcol’s large grapes that were in the promised land…a cluster of grapes was so large it took two men to carry it. This represents how bountiful the Spirit can be in our lives!

        He told the woman at the well if she would drink of the water that he would give, she would never thirst again. He is talking of spiritual water!

        In the next chapter (John 5) the lame man was at the pool of Bethesda, where he had been for years, waiting on the angel to trouble the water. Jesus comes along and simply asks the man if he would be made whole. Jesus didn’t have to put him in the water…he healed him right there!

        Anyway, I hope I don’t come across as argumentative.

        The Holy Ghost has so much power, and Jesus came to give us life, and that we would have it in abundance!

    2. The thief was not able to be baptized with Jesus’ baptism because Jesus had not yet given it. Jesus’ baptism is contrasted with John’s especially in Mt. 3, Lk. 3, Jn 1, and Mk. 1. Also note Acts 19. Jesus’ baptism gives the Holy Spirit and begins with the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
      This is not denominational dogma. This is the scriptural truth in its historical, linguistic, and Biblical context. If you want the teaching of the bible, just go to the bible. Baptism is necessary in these Last Days (since Day of Pentecost) for salvation. It is necessary because without the Spirit, no one can believe. How does one receive the Spirit? By baptism, just as Jesus demonstrated at His own.
      Be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water.
      Keep on walking in the Spirit, instructed by the Word.

      1. I am not a dispensationalist. I have no particular dogma – just try to understand His Word better and better each day.

  65. I believe that baptism is not a salvation issue, it’s more of a confirmation. Romans 10:9 makes it clear “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

  66. I don’t believe water baptism is necessary for salvation although I can’t fathom anyone who is born again not wanting to be baptized. I know I couldn’t wait to be baptized after I was born again.

    1. Why don’t you believe it’s necessary for salvation?

      Jesus is clear when he says “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”

      1. What about someone who makes a death bed confession, are they not saved? And how would you explain the thief on the cross? Jesus said he would be with him in paradise.

        1. Jesus can save whomever he wishes to save. The thief on the cross is an exception and Jesus isn’t bound by the commands he gives us.

          But theology shouldn’t be based on exceptions that we don’t fully understand, but rather on the words Christ spoke to us.

          1. Where in the Bible does it say he was an exception? See, all this adding, putting human intentions on Christ’s words.

        2. If a person is Catholic, and confesses to the priest on his death bed, the priest performs the last rights, crosses your forehead with Holy Water and gives you the Eucharist. Personally, I think a priest should do that regardless of your religious beliefs, regardless of when you come to belief, even on your death bed.

          That said, ALL souls are judged and all must take responsibility for sins, even those who are saved. Nowhere in scripture does it say that you can behave like a demon your entire life, then take no responsibility and not be judged for your actions and words once you pass from this Earth, so if you are thinking everyone gets off Scott-free, I think that is wrong. You just will not go to Hell or be claimed by satan and that is awesome! I would rather be a janitor in Heaven than be a Queen in Hell.

      2. For a long time I wanted to be saved but didn’t know how. I tried doing good works, fasting, praying but that didn’t work. It wasn’t until I learned about salvation by faith in God’s word (Jesus Christ) that my life changed. The Apostle Paul tells us how we become born again in Rom 10:9,10. I was born again first then I was baptized in water as an act of obedience and an outward sign I had made Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. There are different views of what Jesus meant by being born of water and the Spirit but for me I take that as being born of the word (Jesus is called the word) and the Spirit. Here is a link to another take on it:

        https://www.gotquestions.org/born-of-water.html

        1. Is what Paul says greater than that of what Jesus says? Can we just throw out what Jesus says and just use Romans 10:9,10? Why even have any other passages at all?

          Jesus clearly states in what I quoted to you above, that you MUST be born of water and of Spirit. He didn’t say it’s optional or that it’s just an outward sign. He said it is necessary to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

          What Paul says in Romans 10 is also true, but he’s not giving a step-by-step tutorial on how to be saved. He’s pointing out that the new covenant is different than the old covenant with the law, that living by the law won’t get one to Heaven. Rather it’s through Christ.

          Peter says in Acts 2 that our sins are forgiven in baptism. He says in 1 Peter 3:21 that baptism saves us. It’s not just an outward sign. Something happens when we are baptized and that’s why it is necessary.

          1. A good example of someone who was saved before being baptized is Cornelius and his household in Acts 10. We know that they were saved before being baptized because they had received the Holy Spirit, which is the evidence of salvation (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 3:24). The evidence of their salvation was the reason Peter allowed them to be baptized. Countless passages of Scripture clearly teach that salvation comes when one believes in the gospel, at which time he or she is sealed “in Christ with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13).
            https://www.gotquestions.org/baptism-1Peter-3-21.html

            1. I find it interesting that many non-Catholics like to say “saved” as in past tense, when Jesus and the Apostles used it in the future tense, ie you WILL be saved.

              You don’t run one lap of a four lap race and declare you’ve already won the race. You win when you finish the race.

              And it is this way with Christ. We have the assurance of our salvation through the promises of Jesus. But we attain our salvation when we are in Heaven with God. After all, that is what salvation is, being united with God for eternity as opposed to being separated from him for eternity.

              Jesus even told this to those who would be persecuted, saying that if they endured to the end they would be saved. Again, future tense.

              So when you say that Cornelius and those were ‘saved’, I think you are just looking at it from the wrong perspective. They received the Holy Spirit and were baptized, just as Jesus said. You must be born of water….to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And they were.

              1. I won’t need salvation when I get to heaven. What I mean by that is my going to heaven is based on my salvation that I already have. I need salvation now in this life. Some of the promises in the bible are in the future but not salvation. When we make Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and put our trust in Him we become united with Him now. He is the vine and we are the branches. That is now.

                2 Cor 6:2 – behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

                1. We don’t have the power to make Jesus our Lord. He already is our Lord. We are only given faith in Him. Our part in conversion is passive, only being acted upon by God. Jn 1:13, Jn 6:44, Eph. 2:8-9. Only after salvation can we dedicate, devote, or “choose” Him by walking by the Spirit.
                  Peace.

                2. It’s true that we do become united with Him now. I don’t disagree. But the fullness of your salvation isn’t realized until you die and go to Heaven.

                  I think some call it the Beatific Vision, where we are united forever with God face to face.

                  So in that sense you still await your salvation.

                  “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

                3. Scoop, Ecclesiastes speaks of the silver cord being broken…verse 12:6, I think.

                  I believe that refers to when we die and we no longer have faith or hope, but the undiluted love of God in His full presence! Imagine when our faith is lost in sight!

                  When I read the scripture, and am carried away in the Spirit, that’s powerful…but sooner or later I have to get back to life.

                  The song “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” says that in heaven there will be no drooping or sighing, no wishing for elsewhere to be. To think that we can Praise God forever is something we won’t understand until we get to the other side and are fully in His presence.

                  Right now, we’ve put down the earnest money if we are united with God in the Spirit, but when we pass through this veil, we’ll receive it all!

                  My dad told me one time that he was in the room when my great grandmother died, and right before she died she said, “Can’t you see it?? The room is filled with angels.”
                  I don’t believe that was delirium, I believe it was closeness and comfort that she was about to cross over into the sweet forever.

                4. As Paul writes in Thessalonians, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through Sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth”…”faithful is he who calleth you who also will do it.”

                  Jesus came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly! Salvation is so real, if people only knew how real it is.

                  I agree…we won’t need salvation in heaven…we’ll be in the very presence of God!

              2. “Saved” is used in both tenses. Past salvation would refer to coming to faith (Being washed, justified, sanctified). There is still a sense where a Christian endures trials, continues in the truth (Parable of the seed on different soils speaks of some believing but then falling away). One who remains in the faith unto death receives the crown of eternal life after overcoming temptations by the Spirit’s power in us.
                So the completion of our salvation (perseverance of the saints) would be spoken of in future sense for the living.
                Peace.

            2. Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit go together. Baptism without the Spirit is found as a problem which is fixed/completed by giving the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:14-15. The exact opposite happens in Acts 10 with Cornelius where the Holy Spirit is given through Christian preaching, demonstrating the credentials of the apostolic word, but Peter then says, “they have received the Spirit, what prevents them from being baptized”. So they baptized with water. vs. 47-48
              (born of water and the Spirit)

          2. Scoop, the other day you were putting what Paul said over Jesus’s words that I quoted regarding “Once saved, always saved”. Now, you’ve switched back?

            1. I don’t know to what you are referring, but I think you are probably mistaken.

        2. The way I grasp these things is that the Spirit urges us through the word. One is urged to faith in this manner so there may be the possibility of salvation for one who dies unbaptized. Yet, St. Paul’s sins were not washed away after seeing/knowing/believing Jesus is Lord until Ananias says, “Now, what are you waiting for? Be baptized and wash your sins away.” Acts 22:16 Note also that the new life comes by baptism as Paul describes in Romans 6:1-11. As for Rom 10, your heart believes and tongue confesses only what God reveals by the Spirit. See also 1 Cor 2:14.
          So being born again is being made a new person by the gift of the Holy Spirit who is given in Christian baptism. That is why we become heirs through baptism (and consequent faith). That is how the Paul can say that our Savior saved us by washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit Titus 3:5.
          Also Peter says, “baptism … now saves you” 1 Pet. 3:21
          Blessings in your study of God’s Word. Don’t let other peoples’ ideas misfeed you twisted teaching. God’s peace.

        3. The best thing o ever did was take a class in old Greek language. It clears all this up because I felt there were inconsistencies in the Bible regarding salvation. After understanding the Greek language, no inconsistency any longer.

  67. John said I baptise you with water, but one is coming of whom I’m not worthy to even untie his sandal straps, he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and Fire.

  68. Matthew 28:18-20
    And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  69. There’s a couple interesting exceptions to the baptism requirement. Unbaptized infants, and those aborted in utero is one of them. For a long time, the idea of limbo was floated about. And Dante posited that the outermost layer of Hell was reserved for the “righteous dead” who existed before Christ (in fact, it’s one of my favorite scenes in Inferno, when he runs into Aristotle, Homer, Caesar, Hippocrates, etc and marvels at the fact that they’re in Hell). But it was the gentlest “Hell” one can imagine, a state of “natural happiness” that is a blissful paradise that only excludes being with God.

    But limbo was basically rejected by the Church about a decade ago, and the common understanding is that unbaptized infants and the righteous dead get a pass to Heaven on account of God’s grace. The argument is that God can choose to forgive the lack of baptism when it was beyond the capacity of those TO be baptized.

    There’s also the Baptism of Desire which one can earn if they’ve truly converted and engaged in both perfect charity and contrition. God will give them a pass too, if they truly did so and just never got a chance to be baptized.

    And then there’s the awesomely named Baptism of Blood, which essentially baptizes you with your own blood if it’s spilled in martyrdom in the service of God before proper baptism could occur.

    As I understand it, the Catechism to this day still accepts all three.

    1. I’ve heard Madrid refer to limbo, saying we really don’t know what happens. But he’d prefer to believe that God in his mercy gives saving grace to those unborn children so that they can enter into the Beatific Vision.

      1. I always thought the righteous dead was an interesting category as well. I had never considered it before reading Dante. I had a really great theological discussion afterwards with the priest who confirmed me (our bishop had been hospitalized at the time), that contemplated whether that extended to people who are born after Christ, but never had opportunity to learn of Him in any way.

        I argued the case of the Amazons and the Aborigines who lived life entirely secluded from the world; a world in which they never had any knowledge of Christianity. Could one really be damned to Hell (or limbo) if they’d never been presented with the knowledge that God exists or that Jesus died for their sins? Would it be fair to punish someone who had never been given the Bible to learn what they need to do in order to be saved?

        I argued no.

            1. Thank you for answering. I didn’t think when I asked that it’s a personal question (and none of my business). I am Catholic as well (although not the best representative.)

              1. Yea, I’m what one might call a crappy Catholic.

                As you can tell, I curse like a sailor, drink like a fish, and have a pretty dim view of humanity (believing them generally “bad” by nature rather than “good”).

                I also struggle greatly with faith itself, as I consider it anti-knowledge; a replacement we use for a lack of knowledge. But I do believe in God and the Catholic moral tenets by choice. I do believe it’s the “one true religion” and that all other denominations of Christianity are not the “one true holy Catholic and apostolic Church” which was founded by Jesus Himself. But I also have some views about Heaven and Hell that don’t 100% comport with doctrine.

                I’ve spent a lot of time in theology and philosophy with various priests in my life, so it’s not just whimsical believing what I want to believe. I’ve put a lot of thought into my positions, and my own relationship with God.

                And my favorite apostle is Thomas. 🙂

    2. As for stillborns or unbaptized infants, the Bible does not clearly address that. We entrust that child to the hands of our gracious God. We dare not go beyond scripture. There is only one Christian baptism that the Lord gave- Water/Spirit baptism. (Eph 4 “One Lord, one faith, one baptism…”.) It is not helpful in theology to change the meanings of words from their original normal use. If God does it, great. When man does it, be careful.
      Peace.

    3. Personally, I do not believe Jesus came to create a new religion. In fact, Jesus often scoffed at religion for religion’s sake, which is not the same as growing in faith and relationship with God, which is what God wants. Many humans have committed Cardinal sins in the name of their religion. Also, Jesus was, is and always shall be Jewish and I believe that Hebrew is spoken in Heaven, but I guess we shall all see eventually! It is generally understood that all languages have their roots in Hebrew, regardless of what some so-called “scholars” of today tell us. Ultimately, I believe that devout faith in, and relationship with, God, results in a soul of love, light, life and truth that forsakes the things of this Earth and will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Selah!

  70. Baptism: Catholic churches and some protestant denominations baptize with sprinkling water on the head.
    How was Jesus baptized? By immersion. This is the Biblical way and should be done that way.
    Baptizing babies/small children is not Biblical correct either.
    Baptism should take place after a person turns to Christ, ask for forgiveness of sins and promise to follow Him, called being born again.

    1. Actually it’s not sprinkling. Not in the least.

      In the Catholic church, water is poured over the head three times, as the priest pronounces “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

      But the Catholic church recognizes that immersion is fine as well. After all, it said as much in the 1st century document, the Didache, that was the teaching of the 12 apostles.

      Also, in the book of Acts we see the Apostles baptising entire families. Peter even said…

      “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 to you and to your children…”

      This is why they baptized entire families and it was never stated in the Bible that they excluded the children of these families. Because they weren’t.

      1. Babies and children do not understand and don’t know what is going on.
        As they grow up and become born again according to their free will, then it makes sense to be baptized. Babies and small children that even don’t know what sin is, are saved anyway.

        1. I agree that small children don’t understand.

          But then why would Peter say this and why would the Apostles baptize entire families, that must’ve included children?

          Note that in Acts 16, when Paul and Silas were dealing with the jailer, they said to the question of “Men, what must I do to be saved?”…

          And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

          Then they went and preached to the family and baptized them all. Now we don’t know how small this man’s children were, but I think it’s safe to assume that even if they were infants they were baptized.

          They tell the soldier that his belief would save his entire household. Now that’s something to think about and perhaps this is telling us that the Father’s salvation would save his infant baby or small child through baptism.

        2. Babies and children know about as much as the disciples until they themselves were baptized. “Will you now restore the Kingdom to Israel?”
          See 1 Cor. 2:14. The man with out the Spirit…

    2. Please show me where the bible says Jesus was immersed. You can’t. “He came up out of the water” can be equally or better understood to mean ‘he/they climbed up onto the bank’ (see Acts 8:38-39)
      Baptidzo in greek means ‘wash’. It is not specific in the method. If a particular method were given, then we would have direction. What is commanded is to use water and Jesus’ Word.
      Peace.

  71. Thanks for sharing your journey.
    @therightscoop

    3 types
    Water
    Desire (like the thief on the cross)
    Blood. (Martyrdom)

  72. Yes, we must be baptized. We must receive the Holy Spirit and live by His Holy Spirit. Those that are born/led of the Spirit are the sons of God. We are re-born from the flesh to His Spirit. I love living by the revelation and relationship to the Holy Spirit. Not all understand this because it is revelatory.

  73. The thief on the cross was not physically Baptized with water but he was saved- as Jesus told him that this day he would be with him in paradise. Baptism is a symbol of what needs to happen internally. The internal working is being born again by the Spirit. Jesus does not tell Nicodemus that he needed to be water baptized, he spoke with him about being born again. It’s literally the oldest trick in the book to attempt to remove our focus from the tree of life(Jesus) and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil-to rely on our own works to save us.

    1. I wouldn’t base my theology on the exception of the thief on the cross. I would base it on what Jesus said.

      And yes, if you read the text, Jesus not only told Nicodemus that he must be baptized…

      “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”

      But then Jesus went immediately and began baptizing people…

      After this, Jesus and his followers went into the area of Judea. There he stayed with his followers and baptized people.

      Also remember Jesus told the disciples to go into all nations, baptizing people…

      “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

      And lastly, the passage in Acts 2, Peter makes clear that if they repent and are baptized, they will receive the Holy Spirit.

      1. The “exception” is important and it is there so that we will not elevate our works above faith in the one who saves. Yes, Jesus did say to be baptized. And physical baptism is important (but because of the “Exception” we know that he is speaking of something else, something internal) It is a symbol of what MUST happen internally- that is what being born of water and the Spirit is. When Jesus was pierced in his side- blood and water flowed out and the church was birthed from his body, just as Eve was made from Adam’s side. One flesh – speaks of Christ and the church Eph5:32.

        Peter explains this about baptism
        1Pe 3:21-22 KJV 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

        1. What the thief on the cross tells us is that Jesus can save who he wants to save, that he isn’t bound by the commands he gives us.

          That said, Peter says explicitly in the verse you quoted that Baptism saves us. That’s the perfect verse to showcase that baptism is essential for salvation. And we know from what Peter says in Acts 2 that God forgives our sin through baptism. So Baptism isn’t just a symbol because God is doing something in us when we are baptized.

          But this isn’t about works. Catholics don’t believe that you are saved by your works. No, we believe that eternal life is a gift from God that cannot be earned.

          Now if you want to call ‘baptism’ a work, then I have no issue with that. But then you also have to acknowledge that ‘belief’ in God is a work as well, because it is something that we do. It comes from us.

          1. Let me first Commend your belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior and your Conservative values that we all appreciate here on the right scoop! 🙂

            Second, Thanks for dialoging back and forth on such an important subject.

            One of the first thing that I wanted to do when I was saved was to get water Baptized :).

            Yes, Jesus can save who he wants to save but he also uses his commandments, and we know that he is not a liar- so when Jesus says- “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” I would take him for his word. If Jesus meant a physical baptism in that statement- than there was a contradiction with the thief that was saved on the cross.
            I believe the answer to that seeming contradiction is spelled out in the old Testament:
            Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
            The children of Israel were Circumcised according to God’s commandments but the real circumcision was the Lords doing in the heart. Remember they also left Egypt but in their Hearts they turned back (Acts 7:29)

            Col 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.
            Paul Says that he “Dies Daily” This is his daily baptism (but we know that he is speaking of taking up his Cross and dying to the old Nature-every day).


            Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
            Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
            Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

            We are freed from sin in our inner man,

            Finally, Peter says that Baptism saves us “1Pe 3:21…by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

            Because there is only One Baptism that counts: Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
            Not many Lords, many Faiths, or Many Baptisms. We enter into His by Faith

            It’s still His work and our faith in Him that saves us and it works harmoniously with His laws and word because it is HIS Baptism that Saves us.

            Interesting discussion, I could talk to you for Hours.

            1. First of all, how do you know it’s a contradiction. Just how much do you know about this thief? Just because he was a thief and was being put to death by the Romans, does that mean he was never baptized by John or by the disciples?

              Maybe it was because was baptized that he recognized Jesus as the Messiah and said what he said on the cross.

              My point is that you don’t know what you don’t know, which is another reason not to use the thief on the cross as a basis for theology. We have the words of Christ, which are explicit.

              Also, Peter did say that our baptism saves us, and yes it is because of the death and resurrection of Christ. That doesn’t nullify that baptism through water is necessary for salvation, as Christ commanded, and that we receive forgiveness of sins through baptism, as Peter said.

              Again, I tell you it’s not about works. It’s about accepting the work of Christ in our hearts via baptism, and of course the Holy Spirit.

            2. Christian baptism was not commanded until after the resurrection in Mt. 28. Nor was it given until the Day of Pentecost as the baptism of Spirit and fire was given and they received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Though written in what we call the New Testament, the Old was giving way to the New testament and when Jesus said this, atonement was not yet completed. You might understand the thief’s ‘salvation’ as almost an OT manner – awaiting the Savior, but also a NT manner since he was watching the very thing we now look back to. The thief could not have yet received Christian baptism therefore we do not build our theology on a unique circumstance. It is a good principal of biblical interpretation.
              Peace.

        2. Do not go beyond scripture. Nowhere are we told that baptism is merely symbolic of an internal thing. In the 1 Pet. 3 passage, baptism is the thing represented by the lesser thing or the shadow of the greater (baptism).

    2. Baptism is more than a symbol. It is a means – a tool – that God chose to use to bring His Spirit, mark us as His own, make us an heir, and much more. It is not a trick in the book to fully tell what things Jesus and His Spirit led Apostles taught regarding baptism. Jesus defines ‘born again’ in the very next verse as ‘being born of WATER and the SPIRIT’ so it really is focusing on Jesus to listen to His word.
      Peace.

  74. After about a year studying Catholicism at a local church I met with the head nun and asked her if I could be baptized. She said I was absolutely ready, that it could be arranged the following week, and to speak with the Father. I met with the Father and he said he would absolutely not baptize me.

    Since then I’ve always considered it best to avoid local church discrepancies and take my chances with God.

    1. Yeah I get that. But don’t let potentially one bad priest keep you from the truth. It’s just too important.

      I would encourage you to seek out a different parish and/or priest because honestly, the Catholic church is THE BEST thing that has ever happened to me. Totally not exaggerating.

    2. It sounds like the nun was wise and knowledgeable while the priest was short-sighted and misdirected. Both are only human, after all. I have witnessed the same situations and it angered me tremendously…led me away from organized religion. I know that Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not require anyone to jump through organized, man-made religious hoops to grow in faith and closeness to God, to be baptized, to partake of the body and blood of Messiah and to be included in the catching away. I found that reading the Bible everyday keeps me on the right path and that partaking of the Eucharist through Grace, directly with God, every time I put food or drink into my mouth grows me closer to Him continuously. In fact, there are several scriptural passages in which Jesus shamed those of organized religion, who used religion for personal power, rather than to worship and praise God.

      1. Good point; if you have already been baptized, some denominations will not perform a second baptism; although, when I converted from Presbyterian (baptized and took communion at 15) to Catholicism before marrying the love of my life, I went through the RCIA program, then was baptized in the Catholic church, confessed my sins and took my first communion as a Catholic afterward. Most of us were baptized when we were in our mid-teens, in the church we attended as children, but very often your faith is under-developed as a child or teen and your true growth occurs after you marry, raise children, etc. I have read five different Bibles and have yet to find any scripture that says you cannot be baptized more than once. In fact, I hope to one day go to Israel and be baptized in the Jordan River, just as John the Baptist did with Jesus, after which the Heavens opened and God declared Yeshua His Son! What an awesome prospect!

  75. Just want to also say, I continue to be impressed by your spiritual journey, Scoop, and I have prayed that you will continue on your journey and that your love of scripture and of God will grow and grow with each passing day.

  76. The criminal on the cross next to Jesus was not baptized in water from what we know, and yet he entered paradise that very day with Jesus.

    Taking pieces of denominational dogma and trying to find support for them in the Bible is not the best way to read and understand the Bible. Much better to understand each verse in its historical and linguistic and Biblical context, and just understand what it is saying. If you want a great verse-by-verse contextual teaching of the entire Bible, I recommend the many hundreds of lectures by Steve Gregg on thenarrowpath website.

    1. Water is used over and over to save God’s people. Think of the Ark. Think of the Rock in the desert from which water flowed, which was Christ!

      The thief on the cross doesn’t have to necessarily fit because Jesus can save whomever he chooses. But you’re right to point out that there is plenty that we don’t know about the thief. Maybe he was baptized and then left Jesus and became a thief. We just don’t know.

      I contend that theology shouldn’t be based on exceptions, but rather on what Jesus said to us. If he says baptism is essential to entering the Kingdom of God, then that’s what I’m going to believe. And that is what He told Nicodemus.

      And maybe we’ll learn more about the thief on the cross when we get to Heaven.

      1. Scoop, you are right that water was used as the agent in the Old Testament.
        The Red Sea washed away the Egyptians after the Israelites had crossed safely.

        However, that was before Christ came to give us the Holy Ghost.

        Something that I noticed one time while reading the book of John is that there are a few stories in a row to show that Jesus didn’t need water. His first miracle was when he turned water into wine, and the wine was representative of the spirit (get some of the new wine that Peter talked about on the day of Pentecost: “for we are not drunk as ye suppose”). I am the vine…ye are the branches. Think of the Eshcol’s large grapes that were in the promised land…a cluster of grapes was so large it took two men to carry it. This represents how bountiful the Spirit can be in our lives!

        He told the woman at the well if she would drink of the water that he would give, she would never thirst again. He is talking of spiritual water!

        In the next chapter (John 5) the lame man was at the pool of Bethesda, where he had been for years, waiting on the angel to trouble the water. Jesus comes along and simply asks the man if he would be made whole. Jesus didn’t have to put him in the water…he healed him right there!

        Anyway, I hope I don’t come across as argumentative.

        The Holy Ghost has so much power, and Jesus came to give us life, and that we would have it in abundance!

      2. Jesus can save whomever he chooses

        Your words, not mine. That is the key point, Scoop. As far as I can tell, Jesus’s hands are not tied. He can save those that He chooses to save.

        If he says baptism is essential to entering the Kingdom of God, then that’s what I’m going to believe.

        Fair enough – I also tell everyone to get baptized, and have been baptized myself, as has all my family.

    2. The thief was not able to be baptized with Jesus’ baptism because Jesus had not yet given it. Jesus’ baptism is contrasted with John’s especially in Mt. 3, Lk. 3, Jn 1, and Mk. 1. Also note Acts 19. Jesus’ baptism gives the Holy Spirit and begins with the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
      This is not denominational dogma. This is the scriptural truth in its historical, linguistic, and Biblical context. If you want the teaching of the bible, just go to the bible. Baptism is necessary in these Last Days (since Day of Pentecost) for salvation. It is necessary because without the Spirit, no one can believe. How does one receive the Spirit? By baptism, just as Jesus demonstrated at His own.
      Be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water.
      Keep on walking in the Spirit, instructed by the Word.

  77. I believe that baptism is not a salvation issue, it’s more of a confirmation. Romans 10:9 makes it clear “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

  78. I don’t believe water baptism is necessary for salvation although I can’t fathom anyone who is born again not wanting to be baptized. I know I couldn’t wait to be baptized after I was born again.

    1. Why don’t you believe it’s necessary for salvation?

      Jesus is clear when he says “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”

      1. What about someone who makes a death bed confession, are they not saved? And how would you explain the thief on the cross? Jesus said he would be with him in paradise.

        1. If a person is Catholic, and confesses to the priest on his death bed, the priest performs the last rights, crosses your forehead with Holy Water and gives you the Eucharist. Personally, I think a priest should do that regardless of your religious beliefs, regardless of when you come to belief, even on your death bed.

          That said, ALL souls are judged and all must take responsibility for sins, even those who are saved. Nowhere in scripture does it say that you can behave like a demon your entire life, then take no responsibility and not be judged for your actions and words once you pass from this Earth, so if you are thinking everyone gets off Scott-free, I think that is wrong. You just will not go to Hell or be claimed by satan and that is awesome! I would rather be a janitor in Heaven than be a Queen in Hell.

        2. Jesus can save whomever he wishes to save. The thief on the cross is an exception and Jesus isn’t bound by the commands he gives us.

          But theology shouldn’t be based on exceptions that we don’t fully understand, but rather on the words Christ spoke to us.

          1. Where in the Bible does it say he was an exception? See, all this adding, putting human intentions on Christ’s words.

      2. For a long time I wanted to be saved but didn’t know how. I tried doing good works, fasting, praying but that didn’t work. It wasn’t until I learned about salvation by faith in God’s word (Jesus Christ) that my life changed. The Apostle Paul tells us how we become born again in Rom 10:9,10. I was born again first then I was baptized in water as an act of obedience and an outward sign I had made Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. There are different views of what Jesus meant by being born of water and the Spirit but for me I take that as being born of the word (Jesus is called the word) and the Spirit. Here is a link to another take on it:

        https://www.gotquestions.org/born-of-water.html

        1. Is what Paul says greater than that of what Jesus says? Can we just throw out what Jesus says and just use Romans 10:9,10? Why even have any other passages at all?

          Jesus clearly states in what I quoted to you above, that you MUST be born of water and of Spirit. He didn’t say it’s optional or that it’s just an outward sign. He said it is necessary to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

          What Paul says in Romans 10 is also true, but he’s not giving a step-by-step tutorial on how to be saved. He’s pointing out that the new covenant is different than the old covenant with the law, that living by the law won’t get one to Heaven. Rather it’s through Christ.

          Peter says in Acts 2 that our sins are forgiven in baptism. He says in 1 Peter 3:21 that baptism saves us. It’s not just an outward sign. Something happens when we are baptized and that’s why it is necessary.

          1. Scoop, the other day you were putting what Paul said over Jesus’s words that I quoted regarding “Once saved, always saved”. Now, you’ve switched back?

          2. A good example of someone who was saved before being baptized is Cornelius and his household in Acts 10. We know that they were saved before being baptized because they had received the Holy Spirit, which is the evidence of salvation (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 3:24). The evidence of their salvation was the reason Peter allowed them to be baptized. Countless passages of Scripture clearly teach that salvation comes when one believes in the gospel, at which time he or she is sealed “in Christ with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13).
            https://www.gotquestions.org/baptism-1Peter-3-21.html

            1. Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit go together. Baptism without the Spirit is found as a problem which is fixed/completed by giving the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:14-15. The exact opposite happens in Acts 10 with Cornelius where the Holy Spirit is given through Christian preaching, demonstrating the credentials of the apostolic word, but Peter then says, “they have received the Spirit, what prevents them from being baptized”. So they baptized with water. vs. 47-48
              (born of water and the Spirit)

            2. I find it interesting that many non-Catholics like to say “saved” as in past tense, when Jesus and the Apostles used it in the future tense, ie you WILL be saved.

              You don’t run one lap of a four lap race and declare you’ve already won the race. You win when you finish the race.

              And it is this way with Christ. We have the assurance of our salvation through the promises of Jesus. But we attain our salvation when we are in Heaven with God. After all, that is what salvation is, being united with God for eternity as opposed to being separated from him for eternity.

              Jesus even told this to those who would be persecuted, saying that if they endured to the end they would be saved. Again, future tense.

              So when you say that Cornelius and those were ‘saved’, I think you are just looking at it from the wrong perspective. They received the Holy Spirit and were baptized, just as Jesus said. You must be born of water….to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And they were.

        2. The way I grasp these things is that the Spirit urges us through the word. One is urged to faith in this manner so there may be the possibility of salvation for one who dies unbaptized. Yet, St. Paul’s sins were not washed away after seeing/knowing/believing Jesus is Lord until Ananias says, “Now, what are you waiting for? Be baptized and wash your sins away.” Acts 22:16 Note also that the new life comes by baptism as Paul describes in Romans 6:1-11. As for Rom 10, your heart believes and tongue confesses only what God reveals by the Spirit. See also 1 Cor 2:14.
          So being born again is being made a new person by the gift of the Holy Spirit who is given in Christian baptism. That is why we become heirs through baptism (and consequent faith). That is how the Paul can say that our Savior saved us by washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit Titus 3:5.
          Also Peter says, “baptism … now saves you” 1 Pet. 3:21
          Blessings in your study of God’s Word. Don’t let other peoples’ ideas misfeed you twisted teaching. God’s peace.

        3. The best thing o ever did was take a class in old Greek language. It clears all this up because I felt there were inconsistencies in the Bible regarding salvation. After understanding the Greek language, no inconsistency any longer.

  79. Baptism: Catholic churches and some protestant denominations baptize with sprinkling water on the head.
    How was Jesus baptized? By immersion. This is the Biblical way and should be done that way.
    Baptizing babies/small children is not Biblical correct either.
    Baptism should take place after a person turns to Christ, ask for forgiveness of sins and promise to follow Him, called being born again.

    1. Actually it’s not sprinkling. Not in the least.

      In the Catholic church, water is poured over the head three times, as the priest pronounces “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

      But the Catholic church recognizes that immersion is fine as well. After all, it said as much in the 1st century document, the Didache, that was the teaching of the 12 apostles.

      Also, in the book of Acts we see the Apostles baptising entire families. Peter even said…

      “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 to you and to your children…”

      This is why they baptized entire families and it was never stated in the Bible that they excluded the children of these families. Because they weren’t.

      1. Babies and children do not understand and don’t know what is going on.
        As they grow up and become born again according to their free will, then it makes sense to be baptized. Babies and small children that even don’t know what sin is, are saved anyway.

        1. Babies and children know about as much as the disciples until they themselves were baptized. “Will you now restore the Kingdom to Israel?”
          See 1 Cor. 2:14. The man with out the Spirit…

        2. I agree that small children don’t understand.

          But then why would Peter say this and why would the Apostles baptize entire families, that must’ve included children?

          Note that in Acts 16, when Paul and Silas were dealing with the jailer, they said to the question of “Men, what must I do to be saved?”…

          And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

          Then they went and preached to the family and baptized them all. Now we don’t know how small this man’s children were, but I think it’s safe to assume that even if they were infants they were baptized.

          They tell the soldier that his belief would save his entire household. Now that’s something to think about and perhaps this is telling us that the Father’s salvation would save his infant baby or small child through baptism.

    2. Please show me where the bible says Jesus was immersed. You can’t. “He came up out of the water” can be equally or better understood to mean ‘he/they climbed up onto the bank’ (see Acts 8:38-39)
      Baptidzo in greek means ‘wash’. It is not specific in the method. If a particular method were given, then we would have direction. What is commanded is to use water and Jesus’ Word.
      Peace.

  80. Thanks for sharing your journey.
    @therightscoop

    3 types
    Water
    Desire (like the thief on the cross)
    Blood. (Martyrdom)

  81. The thief on the cross was not physically Baptized with water but he was saved- as Jesus told him that this day he would be with him in paradise. Baptism is a symbol of what needs to happen internally. The internal working is being born again by the Spirit. Jesus does not tell Nicodemus that he needed to be water baptized, he spoke with him about being born again. It’s literally the oldest trick in the book to attempt to remove our focus from the tree of life(Jesus) and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil-to rely on our own works to save us.

    1. I wouldn’t base my theology on the exception of the thief on the cross. I would base it on what Jesus said.

      And yes, if you read the text, Jesus not only told Nicodemus that he must be baptized…

      “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”

      But then Jesus went immediately and began baptizing people…

      After this, Jesus and his followers went into the area of Judea. There he stayed with his followers and baptized people.

      Also remember Jesus told the disciples to go into all nations, baptizing people…

      “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

      And lastly, the passage in Acts 2, Peter makes clear that if they repent and are baptized, they will receive the Holy Spirit.

      1. The “exception” is important and it is there so that we will not elevate our works above faith in the one who saves. Yes, Jesus did say to be baptized. And physical baptism is important (but because of the “Exception” we know that he is speaking of something else, something internal) It is a symbol of what MUST happen internally- that is what being born of water and the Spirit is. When Jesus was pierced in his side- blood and water flowed out and the church was birthed from his body, just as Eve was made from Adam’s side. One flesh – speaks of Christ and the church Eph5:32.

        Peter explains this about baptism
        1Pe 3:21-22 KJV 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

        1. Do not go beyond scripture. Nowhere are we told that baptism is merely symbolic of an internal thing. In the 1 Pet. 3 passage, baptism is the thing represented by the lesser thing or the shadow of the greater (baptism).

        2. What the thief on the cross tells us is that Jesus can save who he wants to save, that he isn’t bound by the commands he gives us.

          That said, Peter says explicitly in the verse you quoted that Baptism saves us. That’s the perfect verse to showcase that baptism is essential for salvation. And we know from what Peter says in Acts 2 that God forgives our sin through baptism. So Baptism isn’t just a symbol because God is doing something in us when we are baptized.

          But this isn’t about works. Catholics don’t believe that you are saved by your works. No, we believe that eternal life is a gift from God that cannot be earned.

          Now if you want to call ‘baptism’ a work, then I have no issue with that. But then you also have to acknowledge that ‘belief’ in God is a work as well, because it is something that we do. It comes from us.

          1. Let me first Commend your belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior and your Conservative values that we all appreciate here on the right scoop! 🙂

            Second, Thanks for dialoging back and forth on such an important subject.

            One of the first thing that I wanted to do when I was saved was to get water Baptized :).

            Yes, Jesus can save who he wants to save but he also uses his commandments, and we know that he is not a liar- so when Jesus says- “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” I would take him for his word. If Jesus meant a physical baptism in that statement- than there was a contradiction with the thief that was saved on the cross.
            I believe the answer to that seeming contradiction is spelled out in the old Testament:
            Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
            The children of Israel were Circumcised according to God’s commandments but the real circumcision was the Lords doing in the heart. Remember they also left Egypt but in their Hearts they turned back (Acts 7:29)

            Col 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.
            Paul Says that he “Dies Daily” This is his daily baptism (but we know that he is speaking of taking up his Cross and dying to the old Nature-every day).


            Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
            Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
            Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

            We are freed from sin in our inner man,

            Finally, Peter says that Baptism saves us “1Pe 3:21…by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

            Because there is only One Baptism that counts: Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
            Not many Lords, many Faiths, or Many Baptisms. We enter into His by Faith

            It’s still His work and our faith in Him that saves us and it works harmoniously with His laws and word because it is HIS Baptism that Saves us.

            Interesting discussion, I could talk to you for Hours.

            1. Christian baptism was not commanded until after the resurrection in Mt. 28. Nor was it given until the Day of Pentecost as the baptism of Spirit and fire was given and they received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Though written in what we call the New Testament, the Old was giving way to the New testament and when Jesus said this, atonement was not yet completed. You might understand the thief’s ‘salvation’ as almost an OT manner – awaiting the Savior, but also a NT manner since he was watching the very thing we now look back to. The thief could not have yet received Christian baptism therefore we do not build our theology on a unique circumstance. It is a good principal of biblical interpretation.
              Peace.

            2. First of all, how do you know it’s a contradiction. Just how much do you know about this thief? Just because he was a thief and was being put to death by the Romans, does that mean he was never baptized by John or by the disciples?

              Maybe it was because was baptized that he recognized Jesus as the Messiah and said what he said on the cross.

              My point is that you don’t know what you don’t know, which is another reason not to use the thief on the cross as a basis for theology. We have the words of Christ, which are explicit.

              Also, Peter did say that our baptism saves us, and yes it is because of the death and resurrection of Christ. That doesn’t nullify that baptism through water is necessary for salvation, as Christ commanded, and that we receive forgiveness of sins through baptism, as Peter said.

              Again, I tell you it’s not about works. It’s about accepting the work of Christ in our hearts via baptism, and of course the Holy Spirit.

    2. Baptism is more than a symbol. It is a means – a tool – that God chose to use to bring His Spirit, mark us as His own, make us an heir, and much more. It is not a trick in the book to fully tell what things Jesus and His Spirit led Apostles taught regarding baptism. Jesus defines ‘born again’ in the very next verse as ‘being born of WATER and the SPIRIT’ so it really is focusing on Jesus to listen to His word.
      Peace.

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