Looking for Christian input on baptism, and whether it is neccesary for salvation - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-14-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My family has been going to this church we really thought we could become a part of.  Now, however, we are beginning to see that our salvation is being questioned because of our experiences with baptism. I myself was baptized when I was in high school but went my own direction after that, and have since returned to the Lord. I was questioning, when I first saw their major emphasis on baptism, whether or not I should be baptized again. My husband has not been baptized.

 

I am wondering how many Christians think it is neccesary for salvation to be baptized? Whether you do or do not, can you please tell me why? And include scripture, if possible. Thanks :)

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Old 04-14-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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yes.  However, I also believe that God can save whomever he wants.  Thats His business.  But I wouldn't bank on that.  Especially if you have been instructed in the way of baptism and still refuse it.  That is clearly different than someone who does not know or is unable to be baptized.

 

Of course your church takes a strong stance on baptism. Why wouldn't they.  Christ commanded the disciples to go out and baptize everyone.  Not sing songs with them or pray with them or anything else.  He commanded them to preach the gospel and to those that received it baptize them for the remission of sins.

 

People like to point out the thief on the cross didn't have to go get baptized.  Like I said , God can do whatever he wants.  And the Thief died prior to the resurrection and ascension and therefore prior to Jesus's commandment to be baptized.  he was part of a different crowd.

 

 

Here is a nice summerization of what my church believes

Quote:
Christian Baptism is the mystery of starting anew, of dying to an old way of life and being born again into a new way of life, in Christ. In the Orthodox Church, baptism is "for the remission of sins" (cf. the Nicene Creed) and for entrance into the Church; the person being baptized is cleansed of all sins and is united to Christ; through the waters of baptism he or she is mysteriously crucified and buried with Christ, and is raised with him to newness of life, having "put on" Christ (that is, having been clothed in Christ). The cleansing of sins includes the washing away of the ancestral sin.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Baptism

 

I do not know why anyone would not WANT to be baptized.  Christ commanded it and it seems to me like rebellion  to refuse.  As for being re-baptized I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins and the first time you were baptized was probably good enough.  (my church has a few guideline on what constitutes a real baptism.  They evaluate on a case by case basis but it has to be trinitarian - in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. )


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Old 04-14-2011, 05:21 PM
 
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For me, Separate Baptist is the religion I belong to and no it dosnt mean we are separate from others it is just a name like Missionary or Southern Baptist, being baptized is not a requirement for salvation. It is however necessary to join the church. Most people I know who are saved get baptized within a very short time of being saved then join the church right after. I was never baptized and I obviously dont belong to a church. I havnt been in awhile due to some personal issues. As of right now I have no desire to be baptized. I have personal reasons for not wanting to be that I wont go into at this time. I have been saved since I was in my teens I am now 39.

I think it is a great thing and will/does bring you closer to the Lord but my getting into heaven is not based on whether I have been baptized. The Lord knows my heart and my reasons and that is good enough for me.

The guidelines for being baptized is full water submersion, no sprinkling and no baby/child baptism (it has to be done after the age of accountability) and it is in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.

Rebaptizim can be done if the person wishes it after they have been away from the church for awhile but it is in no way a requirement.

 
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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No, I don't believe baptism is essential for salvation. It is a public declaration of faith and that is a good thing and there really is no reason not to do it that I can think of.  But John 5:24 records the words of Jesus "I am telling you the truth: whoever hears my words and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be judged but has already passed from death to life."

 

I think we can get too hung up on all the things we should do or shouldn't do and we forget that Jesus makes it very simple for us. I think it is reasonable to assume that the robber crucified on the cross next to Jesus wasn't baptised but what did Jesus say to him? "I promise that today you will be in Paradise with me." Luke 23:43. Not "I promise you will be in Paradise with me *if* you can get someone to do a quick baptism first.

 

God isn't trying to catch us out. He won't be there on the day of judgement looking for loopholes to keep people out. Adrian Plass says it well I think "God is nice and He likes me."


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Old 04-14-2011, 09:10 PM
 
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I agree with everything lilyka wrote upthread.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:28 PM
 
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I agree with everything lilyka wrote upthread.

Me too.

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Old 04-14-2011, 11:05 PM
 
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Well I do not believe in the saved mentality or salvation. My church(Roman Catholic) does not teach that baptism is needed for salvation. Baptism forgives us of our sins and brings us the blessings of the Holy Spirit. It makes us more pure and welcomes us into the Church. God and Heaven is open to all people of all faiths. Sins will effect our afterlife, but for the most part, all people will end up in Heaven eventually.

 

ETA: to become part of the Catholic Church you do have to be baptized. A baptism at any point in your life will suffice though, as long as it was done with a trinitarian church. When I joined the Church I didn't have to be baptized again because I was baptized at 12 in a protestant church that believes in the Trinity.


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Old 04-15-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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Due to a mixup when an infant, I was never baptized.  Later as a teen, I researched and studied, decided I wanted to be.  Went to the local Methodist church that I had some familiarity with. They wouldn't baptize me until I spent a year taking bible classes EVEN though I could prove I had read the bible, read a lot of commentary, researched, etc.  So I refused.  I didn't realize baptism had strings.  I am now 46 years old. I have taken none of the sacraments because I don't feel I can take communion or anything else without starting with baptism.

 

I was basically told you have to jump through hoops first. I don't jump  through hoops for my spirituality.

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Old 04-15-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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thumb.gif, well said katelove!
 

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No, I don't believe baptism is essential for salvation. It is a public declaration of faith and that is a good thing and there really is no reason not to do it that I can think of.  But John 5:24 records the words of Jesus "I am telling you the truth: whoever hears my words and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be judged but has already passed from death to life."

 

I think we can get too hung up on all the things we should do or shouldn't do and we forget that Jesus makes it very simple for us. I think it is reasonable to assume that the robber crucified on the cross next to Jesus wasn't baptised but what did Jesus say to him? "I promise that today you will be in Paradise with me." Luke 23:43. Not "I promise you will be in Paradise with me *if* you can get someone to do a quick baptism first.

 

God isn't trying to catch us out. He won't be there on the day of judgement looking for loopholes to keep people out. Adrian Plass says it well I think "God is nice and He likes me."


 

 


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Old 04-15-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Due to a mixup when an infant, I was never baptized.  Later as a teen, I researched and studied, decided I wanted to be.  Went to the local Methodist church that I had some familiarity with. They wouldn't baptize me until I spent a year taking bible classes EVEN though I could prove I had read the bible, read a lot of commentary, researched, etc.  So I refused.  I didn't realize baptism had strings.  I am now 46 years old. I have taken none of the sacraments because I don't feel I can take communion or anything else without starting with baptism.

 

I was basically told you have to jump through hoops first. I don't jump  through hoops for my spirituality.


You can have anyone baptize you. It doesn't need to be a minister or a priest. If you want to, you could ask a Christian friend to do it.

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Old 04-15-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
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Due to a mixup when an infant, I was never baptized.  Later as a teen, I researched and studied, decided I wanted to be.  Went to the local Methodist church that I had some familiarity with. They wouldn't baptize me until I spent a year taking bible classes EVEN though I could prove I had read the bible, read a lot of commentary, researched, etc.  So I refused.  I didn't realize baptism had strings.  I am now 46 years old. I have taken none of the sacraments because I don't feel I can take communion or anything else without starting with baptism.

 

I was basically told you have to jump through hoops first. I don't jump  through hoops for my spirituality.




You can have anyone baptize you. It doesn't need to be a minister or a priest. If you want to, you could ask a Christian friend to do it.



Not according to the Church folks I have spoken with.  They say it doesn't "count". lol

 

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Old 04-15-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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Not according to the Church folks I have spoken with.  They say it doesn't "count". lol

 


What kind of Methodist church is this?  It doesn't sound like the United Methodist Church I attended when I was a teenager.  They even have open communion which I participated in even though I was not baptized. 

 

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Old 04-15-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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"they" say all kinds of things.

 

Jesus gave instructions for baptism.  IIRC, he didn't mention a church building or who specifically has to do the baptism.

 

About the OP:

I think this is a several sided issue.

 

1. No, baptism is not necessary for salvation.  The thief on the cross was not baptized, and yet Jesus was clear about where that guy was going.

 

2. Knowing that Jesus did instruct us to be baptized, and knowing that it was important to him, if he is our Lord, who are we to huff and puff and say "No, I refuse"?  If you cannot, you cannot (like, you get saved on your deathbed or an infant is lost before baptism or there's a freak accident or something.  But to me, essentially saying "I don't feel like it" or anything along those lines just doesn't cut it.

 

3.  Churches that require *their* particular baptism annoy me.  They're the reason my parents both ended up baptized 3 times.  I can see an individual wanting a "believer's baptism" as an adult if they were baptized as infants when they didn't know it's meaning, but IMO a confessed and baptized believer is just that, and shouldn't have to go through the process again and again and again every time they change churches, for whatever reason.

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Old 04-15-2011, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The issue for us is the question "is it neccesary for salvation?". I have never heard of this before. Actually when I first read it in the church's informational booklet I was almost shocked. At this point I am a little confused. I can see how they take 3 or 4 scriptures, put them together and it reads as though it is neccesary to be baptized in order to be saved. However, I can find a lot of scriptures that talk about being saved by grace alone, and how no works add or detract from salvation. Of course works follow salvation, which would seen to lead to the original purpose of what I thought baptism was for; identifying with Christ's dead, burial and ressurection. Basically acting out the death of self and the rise of your new life in Christ. But now it is only after baptism that you're saved?

It seems like the question was asked of Christ "what must I do to be saved?" and that was clearly answered for us. But now we are adding to that the need to ask a preacher or pastor "what must I do to be baptized?"   ?? Doesn't quite make sense to me. And the passage that says we are saved by grace alone, not by works so that no man may boast. Well, if you need to be baptized to be saved couldn't that provoke pride in a heart? That "I" had the courage to get up in front of all those people and profess that I love God!! Or something like that. What about the pastor who performs the baptism. Could he begin to get a big head about it? Thinking he had a hand in people's salvation, since he did after all physically perform the act that gave them salvation. No? Am I wrong? I thought Jesus specifically took all human hand out of the salvation process so that it was fully depending on the Lord's grace?

So, the law doesn't save us. That much is clear clear clear from the gospels. It is grace now that Jesus has given Himself for us. Except, of course, that one act that must be performed. Baptism... this sounds like law to me. Just one law. But still.

 

So, thanks for all the responses!! I really appreciate it and feel like I need to read a lot of opinions and information on this. I like the church we have been going to but if they are going to preach an addition to what Jesus taught, I will not be able to keep bringing my kids there, or giving my family's tithes there.

BTW  I am aware that Jesus said to be baptized, and my husband is going to do so whether we come to agree with this "neccesary" thing or not, but I think it is tremendously important to get clarity on something like this. Don't you guys? If Jesus said to do something symbolic and beautiful and life changing like baptism, we should at least be clear on why first, right? In the end whether I get baptized again or not will be up to what the Lord tells me about it, and WHERE my husband gets baptized will depend on where scripture leads us as to the "neccesity for salvation".

 

Looking forward to reading more discussion on this!

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Old 04-15-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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I think it's clear that Jesus said for us to be baptized.  He also asked John the Baptist to baptize Him, and John did not see himself worthy to do it, but he did so anyway because Jesus asked him to.  I think that says something....we might not understand why, but who are we to say no?

 

ETA:  I also don't think of baptism as just a public declaration of faith or any other personal "work".  The mystery of baptism is something that God does to us.  The work is His, not ours.  Priests in the Orthodox Church begin the baptismal service with a prayer acknowledging that they are, like John, unworthy to perform the work of God. 

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Old 04-15-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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I've noticed that, although the original poster asked for scripture, no one has cited any. OP, you are quite correct that, before one is baptized, one should have clarity on the purpose of baptism. The Bible gives us that purpose: the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).  I would ask you to seriously consider the following:

 

1) Can one be saved without partaking of the benefits of Christ's death? "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" Romans 6:3

2) Can one be saved without being spiritually circumcised? "In [Christ] also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 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. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" (Colossians 2:11-13)

3) Can one be saved without the remission of sins? "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:37-38). Baptism is not because sins have already been remitted: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28), but in order to have sins remitted

4) Can one be saved without putting on Christ? "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27).

5) Can one be saved without being in the body of Christ?"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (I Corinthians 12:13) The body is the church (Colossians 1:18), to which the Lord adds those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). How is one added? (Acts 2:41)

6) Can one be saved without having his sins washed away? "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)

7) Can one be saved without having a new life in Christ? "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4). According to this verse, how can one be a Christian before they are baptized and then still be a Christian after baptism? If one has a new life after baptism, and they were a Christian before baptism, then the Christian life is the old life! One must be born of water as well as spirit in order to be a Christian (John 3:3-5).

8) Can one be saved who cannot wear the name of Christ? "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"
(1 Corinthians 1:12-13). Paul here points out that in order to where someone's name on a religious sense: a) the person must have been crucified for you, and b) the person must have authorized your baptism.

9) Can one be saved without being saved? "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16). There are two statements here. One that tells us what to do to be saved, and one that tells us what to fail to do to be condemned. If one wants to be condemned, all they must do is fail to believe. If one wants to be saved, he must look at the first statement. (See also I Peter 3:20, 21)

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No, I don't believe baptism is essential for salvation. It is a public declaration of faith and that is a good thing and there really is no reason not to do it that I can think of.  But John 5:24 records the words of Jesus "I am telling you the truth: whoever hears my words and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be judged but has already passed from death to life."

 

I think we can get too hung up on all the things we should do or shouldn't do and we forget that Jesus makes it very simple for us. I think it is reasonable to assume that the robber crucified on the cross next to Jesus wasn't baptised but what did Jesus say to him? "I promise that today you will be in Paradise with me." Luke 23:43. Not "I promise you will be in Paradise with me *if* you can get someone to do a quick baptism first.

 

God isn't trying to catch us out. He won't be there on the day of judgement looking for loopholes to keep people out. Adrian Plass says it well I think "God is nice and He likes me."


thumb.gif I totally agree~ good use of Scripture...also I might add that those who require baptism for salvation are requiring a " work" to accomplish what Christ already finished on the cross. I would say that it is erroneous and is contrary to Scripture to state that God requires a work when Ephesians 2:8-9 states " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Anyway, like I said~ I agree with you, and believe you stated it well! yeahthat.gif

 


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Old 04-15-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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I did nod.gif

 

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I've noticed that, although the original poster asked for scripture, no one has cited any.


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Old 04-15-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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Sorry, Kate, I missed yours. smile.gif

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Old 04-15-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:11 PM
 
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Well I do not believe in the saved mentality or salvation. My church(Roman Catholic) does not teach that baptism is needed for salvation. Baptism forgives us of our sins and brings us the blessings of the Holy Spirit. It makes us more pure and welcomes us into the Church. God and Heaven is open to all people of all faiths. Sins will effect our afterlife, but for the most part, all people will end up in Heaven eventually.

 

 

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a1.htm

 

VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

 

and regarding hell

 

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

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From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a1.htm

 

VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

 

and regarding hell

 

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.


Yes, I see it does say it is needed for those Christians who know they need it. I was referencing that it is not the only way to be saved for all humans. It also says that God is not bound by his own sacraments meaning he can save whomever he wants, and all that do not know of the Lord or baptisim, or are actively seeking God(ie other religions and religious beliefs). That is what I was taught it to mean while in RCIA.

And about the Hell, yes, some people do go to Hell for mortal sins which are of a specific difference from venial sins which can be shed in Pugatory.

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thumb.gif I totally agree~ good use of Scripture...also I might add that those who require baptism for salvation are requiring a " work" to accomplish what Christ already finished on the cross. I would say that it is erroneous and is contrary to Scripture to state that God requires a work when Ephesians 2:8-9 states " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Anyway, like I said~ I agree with you, and believe you stated it well! yeahthat.gif

 


James 2:17 says "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." 

James 2:24 says "You see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith only."  (NKJV)

 

What does faith look like that does not show works?  Why would Jesus tell us to be baptized if it didn't matter and we don't really need to do it?  Why would he tell us to do anything at all?  I understand that it is God's grace which saves us with the cooperation of our faith, but to completely eliminate the connection between a living faith and the actions that are inseparable from that faith is, imo, not at all helpful or even possible

 

Yes, God can save whomever he wants with or without baptism.  But anyone can look at a Bible with a concordance and read all the passages on baptism and see that it is plainly written that we are told by Jesus Himself to be baptized, and nowhere does it say that it's just a nice thing to do but is completely optional for believers who have the means to do it.  In Luke 7:30 it says that the Pharisees had "rejected the will of God" by not being baptized by John.  What does that say about anyone who willingly rejects the baptism that Christ has commanded of us?  If He told us to do it, then He must have good reason for it.  I think we should have faith that He knows what He's talking about and do what He says.

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James 2:17 says "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." 

James 2:24 says "You see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith only."  (NKJV)

 

 

 

I think this is talking about living out your faith, which would include applying the Word to your life and becoming more like Christ. Of course baptism is something we are supposed to do as followers of Christ, but does it have any active part in salvation. If one is truly saved then they will apply the Word of God to their lives... that's what I have understood to this point this scripture to mean.

I don't have the reference right now to where the verse is but one that comes to mind is something like ;  ... share the good news and make disciples; baptizing them and teaching them to live according to all my teachings.

So baptism would be on the same level as living according to all His teachings, which would be imposible for all to follow correctly all the time, hence our obvious need for grace.             ?

This is my understanding. Which, obviously I am wondering whether it is correct.

A lot to think about. Thank you for all the responses and scripture. Look forward to studying, thinking, reading more.

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Old 04-16-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Purple sage, when quoting Scripture it is best to stay within the context of the passage. That passage is comparable to this, I have a car and it has a battery ~ just cause the battery has died ( and is not working or active)  does not mean that it doesn't exist... the battery is still there. Just like faith. Just because a believer's faith is not being acted out or visible to the outside world does not mean that it does not exist. Many people get confused on this passage and similar ones. Here is a site that might clarify it for you. I believe the Bible is without error and does not contradict itself, thus I believe the book of James is in complete harmony with Paul in Ephesians ( and elsewhere) concerning what it takes to receive salvation.

 

http://www.clarityministries.org/media/pdfs/faith_without_works.pdf

 

and for other interesting and clarifying reading...

 

http://www.clarityministries.org/trumpet/

 

Also, just as a matter of Biblical record~ and to keep this post on topic~ Abraham was justified by faith alone and was not baptized. I believe he went to heaven~ as he was a " Friend of God" I am pretty sure God didn't send His friend to fry! ( Romans 4:1-25 with the key verse being 3.

On another note ~ I really do not recall any space in Scripture ( unless it is somehow taken out of context and words are twisted ) where Jesus stated that one must be baptized to attain salvation. tiphat.gif


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Thanks, I appreciate the gesture, but I'm already aware of this particular Protestant interpretation of these scriptures, and I do not think they are completely correct for a number of reasons which would be OT to get into on this thread. I'm going to bow out now because it does appear that the OP is looking for answers more in line with Protestant tradition.
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James 2:17 says "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." 

James 2:24 says "You see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith only."  (NKJV)

 

What does faith look like that does not show works?  Why would Jesus tell us to be baptized if it didn't matter and we don't really need to do it?  Why would he tell us to do anything at all?  I understand that it is God's grace which saves us with the cooperation of our faith, but to completely eliminate the connection between a living faith and the actions that are inseparable from that faith is, imo, not at all helpful or even possible

 

Yes, God can save whomever he wants with or without baptism.  But anyone can look at a Bible with a concordance and read all the passages on baptism and see that it is plainly written that we are told by Jesus Himself to be baptized, and nowhere does it say that it's just a nice thing to do but is completely optional for believers who have the means to do it.  In Luke 7:30 it says that the Pharisees had "rejected the will of God" by not being baptized by John.  What does that say about anyone who willingly rejects the baptism that Christ has commanded of us?  If He told us to do it, then He must have good reason for it.  I think we should have faith that He knows what He's talking about and do what He says.

 

I don't question the things God directs me to do. If He tells me to give up this or change that, I don't ask questions. It is IMO ridiculous to question the Word of God or ask "why"? etc. But if someone tells me I have to give up A or change B in order to be saved, I am going to have some questions. It's not an either it's required for salvation or it's simply a nice thing to do. There could be another purpose, similar to communion?

I really don't mean to ask the question and then exclude a group of Christians, I am just confused. (see below).  I am taking this very seriously..... if this is something I have overlooked in my beliefs then I really feel like embracing this would be make a drastic change in the way I see God and read the scriptures. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm questioning your believes, but really I am, just as much as I am questioning my own believes.

 

 

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Thanks, I appreciate the gesture, but I'm already aware of this particular Protestant interpretation of these scriptures, and I do not think they are completely correct for a number of reasons which would be OT to get into on this thread. I'm going to bow out now because it does appear that the OP is looking for answers more in line with Protestant tradition.




In all fairness, I am looking to find what the Bible really says about it. It seems to me like there can really be a case made either way. Up to this point my understanding on the subject has been I guess Protestant, and now I'm wondering if that's right.  Is there a link you have that would give some detail information on why your church (is it orthodox?) feels this way about baptism?

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I haven't read all the posts but I wanted to say that I was led to baptism. I was not baptized as a child and God placed it on my heart to be baptized... whether it's required or not I don't know, it was for me but in a personal way. 

 

 

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Old 04-18-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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I don't question the things God directs me to do. If He tells me to give up this or change that, I don't ask questions. It is IMO ridiculous to question the Word of God or ask "why"? etc. But if someone tells me I have to give up A or change B in order to be saved, I am going to have some questions. It's not an either it's required for salvation or it's simply a nice thing to do. There could be another purpose, similar to communion?

I really don't mean to ask the question and then exclude a group of Christians, I am just confused. (see below).  I am taking this very seriously..... if this is something I have overlooked in my beliefs then I really feel like embracing this would be make a drastic change in the way I see God and read the scriptures. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm questioning your believes, but really I am, just as much as I am questioning my own believes.

 

In all fairness, I am looking to find what the Bible really says about it. It seems to me like there can really be a case made either way. Up to this point my understanding on the subject has been I guess Protestant, and now I'm wondering if that's right.  Is there a link you have that would give some detail information on why your church (is it orthodox?) feels this way about baptism?


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound dismissive or anything.  I'll do my best to explain where I'm coming from, but I'm only a catechumen in the Orthodox Church so I'm not the best spokesperson.  redface.gif  Lilyka posted a link to this article on Baptism upthread that is very helpful.

 

Now, these are just my personal thoughts on the subject...(and obviously, others disagree)

 

First, it isn't really as simple as just finding out what the Bible says about it - and that's because, as you can see, people have different interpretations of what the Bible says.  I can support the Orthodox position on baptism with scripture (read the article linked above and see the scriptural references throughout), but that doesn't mean that Mammajamma's church is going to agree. (Just using her as an example because she gave the links which tell us what that church believes and why.) And that's because both of our churches rely on their own tradition to interpret the scripture.  Well, actually, Mammjamma's church relies on their tradition to interpret the Bible, while the Bible is part of the Orthodox Church's tradition, if that makes sense. 

 

Why I believe the Orthodox Church's position on baptism over any other is because the Orthodox have held the same beliefs about baptism since the very beginning (approximately 2000 years), and that can be seen through study of the history and life of the Church, of which the Bible is a part.  Nothing has changed - Christians from the start have always believed that baptism cleanses us of our sins and mystically unites us to Christ through His death and resurrection.  It is not just symbolic.  The belief that it is only symbolic, or only a public declaration of faith, is an innovation, and a fairly recent one at that.

 

Second, no one on this thread, I don't think, has said that God can't choose to save anyone He wants with or without baptism.  But that doesn't mean that it isn't required of those of us who are able and aware of His command to do it.  There's a difference.  I'll use myself as an example - I'm not baptized yet, but if I were to die today I have hope that God will have mercy on me and not hold it against me that I haven't been baptized yet.  I have every intention of being baptized when my priest decides that it's the right time.  Now, if I decided it didn't really matter if I ever got baptized and felt that I held the correct beliefs (faith alone) and that's all that counts, then that would be a different story.  Then my faith that Jesus meant what He said in John chapter 3 would be meaningless, dead...that's how I feel about it, anyway.  In other words, I have faith in Christ so therefore I will get baptized.....not, 'I have faith in Christ so therefore I do not need to get baptized.'  Big difference.

 

Regarding "works" - what Paul is saying about not being saved by works is that works that are done for the wrong reasons will not save you.  Following the commandments for your own selfish reasons will not merit salvation.  He is not saying that the works which are naturally and inseparably tied to faith in God are unnecessary.  Separating faith and works in that way is another fairly recent - and IMO dangerous - innovation.

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