Baptism: Entering into the Family of God

John 8:44 Jesus says to the unbelievers "The father you spring from is the devil, and willingly you carry out his wishes. He brought death to man from the beginning, and has never based himself on truth. What does this mean? If satan brought death to man from the beginning, how can that be? We are born alive, obviously. But if we really understand what sanctifying grace is, we can clearly see we are born into a spiritual death. We are born without sanctifying grace (God’s life or presence in our souls.) We are born without the grace that we need to enter into Gods Kingdom. Here we see that Jesus recognizes that we are born into sin. Adam brought death to mankind by committing the first sin. And now we are born into that death.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and with sin death, death thus coming to all men inasmuch as all sinned 13 before the law there was sin in the world, even though sin is not imputed where there is no law 14 I say, from Adam to Moses death reigned, even over those who had not sinned by breaking a precept as did Adam, that type of the man to come.

Romans 5:18 To sum up, then: just a a single offense brought condemnation to all men, a single righteous act brought all men aquittal and life. 19 Just as through one man’s disobedience all became sinners, so through one man’s obedience all shall become just.

                                           The Old and the New Covenants

Hebrews 9:7 If that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no place for a second one. But God, finding fault with them says:" Days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah.

Hebrews 8:13 When he says, "a new covenant, " he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing.

Hebrews 9:7 -10 but only the high priest went into the inner one (tabernacle) and that but once a year, with the blood which he offered for himself and for the sins of the people. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing thereby that while the first tabernacle was still standing, the way into the sanctuary had not yet been revealed. 9 This is a symbol of the present time, in which gifts and sacrifices are offered that can never make perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but can only cleanse in matters of food and drink and various ritual washings; regulations concerning the flesh, imposed until the time of the new order.

Hebrews 9:11-12 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things which have come to be, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation. 12 He entered, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, and achieved eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:22 According to the law, almost everything is purified by blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is not forgiveness.

Hebrews10:22 let us draw near in utter sincerity and absolute confidence, our hearts sprinkled clean from the evil which lay on our conscience, and our bodies washed in pure water.

The New Covenant on which Christianity is built is unique and distinctive because the Son of God became the Son of man so that the sons of men could become the sons of God. And Baptism is this new birth.


Matthew 3:13-17 Later Jesus, coming from Galilee, appeared before John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to refuse him with the protest, "I should be baptized by you, yet you come to me!" 15 Jesus answered: "Give in for now. We must do this if we would fulfill all of God’s demands." So John gave in. 16 After Jesus was baptized, he came directly out of the water. Suddenly the sky opened and he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and hover over him. 17 With that, a voice from the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son. My favor rests on him."

Jesus’ last words (Jesus is speaking to the eleven at the top of the mountain to which He had summoned them) Matthew 28:18-20, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptism them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out all that I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world.

When we are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that’s the oath that Christ swears over us.

Mark 16:15-16 Then He told them: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation. The man who believes in it and accepts baptism will be saved; the man who refuses to believe in it will be condemned.

John 3:5 "I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God’s kingdom without being begotten of water and spirit.

John 3:7 Do not be surprised that I tell you you must all be begotten from above.

Remember: God’s Kingdom is on earth (The Church Militant); in purgatory (The Church Suffering)
and in Heaven (The Church Triumphant)

The first requirement to becoming a Catholic is Baptism.

                                Other Scriptural Texts Referring to Baptism

Ephesians 5:25: "Christ loved the Church and delivered himself up for it that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the washing of water in the word." When you study the context of Ephesians 5, it is actually a description of Christ’s marital union with the Church, that that marital union is brought about through Baptism whereby we enter into this family covenant with our God through Christ.

1Peter 3:20 "In the Ark of Noah, eight souls were saved by water where unto Baptism being the like form now saves you also. Not by the putting away of filth of the flesh but by a pledge of a clear conscience towards God."

Acts 2:37-39 When they heard this, they were deeply shaken. They asked Peter ad the other apostles, "What are we to do, brothers?" 38 Peter answered: "You must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven, then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 It was to you and your children that the promise was made, and to all those still far off whom the Lord our God calls.

Romans 6:3-4 Are you not aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Through baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life.

Titus 4-8 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared.  5 he saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life. 8 You can depend on this to be true.

Acts 19:1-5 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior of the country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 to whom he put the question, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They answered, "We have not so much as heard that there is a Holy Spirit." Well, how were you baptized?" he persisted. They replied, "With the baptism of John." Paul then explained, "John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He used to tell
the people about the one who would come after him in whom they were to believe-that is, Jesus.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body; and so it is with Christ. 13 It was in one Spirit that all of us, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, were baptized into one body.


John 3 This is the passage that is famous because it is used by so many Bible believing Christians to explain what you have to do to be saved. (Born again) And that is what Jesus seems to be saying in verse 3 when he says to Nicodemus, " I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is begotten from above." Now that Greek word, begotten, is a deliberate choice. That word can mean two things, either again or from above.

Jesus says, "Unless you are begotten from above." Nicodemus takes it to mean "again." So he asks, "How can a man enter a second time into his mother’s womb?" Jesus realizes that he has misunderstood the word.  Jesus clarifies this in the following verse, John 3:5, "I tell you the truth. Amen, Amen, truly, truly I say to you." When Jesus begins the statement with "Amen, Amen," he is attaching an oath to his words. "No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the
Spirit."

So, if you want to see or enter the kingdom of God, you’ve got to be born from above or again. If we have to be born of water and Spirit to enter into the kingdom of God, what does it mean to be born of water and Spirit? In the first chapter just preceding this section, in John 1, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and what came down "another" from above?
The dove, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. When he received water, he received Spirit and both came from above in his baptism.

John wants the reader to understand this teaching of Jesus, "You must be born again." That is, you must be born of water and
Spirit. That is, you must be baptized for when you are, you are born from above a second time through water and Spirit.

The rest of John 3 backs up this Catholic interpretation of this passage. John 3:22, right after this discourse with Nicodemus,
tells us, "Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside where he spent some time with them and baptized." It’s the only reference in the entire New Testament where Jesus and the disciples are baptizing and it immediately follows Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus about being born again or being born of water and Spirit.


In John 3:25, an argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John the Baptist and said, "Rabbi, that man Jesus, who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, the one you testified about, well, he is baptizing and everyone is going to him." What does John the Baptist say when he hears that Jesus and the disciples are now baptizing? "You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’" What does Christ mean? Christos is the word for "anointed one," the christened one. The bride belongs to the bridegroom, the friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine and is now complete. "He must increase and I must decrease." Old Testament baptisms are now out of the picture because Jesus and the disciples have begun baptizing, introducing a new hope into this hopeless world, the hope of becoming the children of God.

What will you say to a bible believing Christian when they ask you "Are you born again?" And they’ll mean by that something simple as accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior into your heart. So you should say, "Yes, I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but the reason I’m born again is because I’ve receive the sacramental oath, I have been baptized."


                                          The Baptism of Infants

Why do Catholics baptize babies if it’s the sacrament of faith?"

Supernatural rebirth from above comes from God’s grace alone. It’s by grace alone that we have been saved. It is not our works. We do not buy our way or work our way into God’s family. We are freely given sonship and then we are expected to work it out because he has given us the capacity to do so. We are sons and daughters who inherit by grace alone. We are saved by faith working in love but this comes to us by God’s grace and God’s grace alone.

That is why the early Church believed that the baptism of an infant was so appropriate, because what better picture do we have of our own soul, helpless and dependent for new life? And so it was from the very beginning that from the very start the Apostles were not only baptizing individual adults but entire households as well. So, there are good solid reasons from Scripture to baptize babies and to see those children as reborn children of God. Good reasons, and most Protestants
accept those reasons.

The Old Covenant Genesis 17:1-14 1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said: "I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless. 2 Between you and me, I will establish my covenant, and I will multiply you exceedingly." 3 When Abram prostrated himself, God continued to speak to him: 4 "My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. 5 No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I
am making you the father of a host of nations. 6 I will render you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you. 7 I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God. 9 God also said to Abraham; "On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages. 10 This is my
covenant with you and your descendants after you that you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 Circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the mark of the covenant between you and me. 12 Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised, including houseborn slaves and those acquired with money form and foreigner who is not of your blood. 14 If a male is uncircumcised, that is, if the flesh of his foreskin has not
been cut away, such a one shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.

Leviticus 12:1-3 1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Tell the Israelites: When a woman has conceived and gives birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for seven days, with the same uncleanness as at her menstrual period. 3 One the eighth day, the flesh of the boy’s foreskin shall be circumcised.

                                                   The New Covenant

Acts 15:1 (The council of Jerusalem) 1 Some men came down to Antioch from Judea and began to teach the brothers. "Unless you are circumcised according to Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved." 2 This created dissension and much controversy between them and Paul and Barnabus. Finally it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some others should go up to see the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem about this question.

Acts 15:10-12 (Peter, our first Pope said) 10 Why, then, do you put God to the test by trying to place a yoke which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? 11 Our belief is rather that we are saved by the favor of the Lord Jesus and so are they." 12 At that the whole assembly fell silent.

Hebrews 9:7 If that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no place for a second one. But God, finding fault with them says:" Days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah.

Hebrews 8:13 When he says, "a new covenant, " he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing.

Colossians 2:11-15 (Paul to the Colossians) 11 You were also circumcised in him, not with the circumcision administerd by hand but with Christ’s circumcision which strips off the carnal body completely. 12 In baptism you were not only buried with him but also raised to life with him because you believed in the power of God who raised him from the dead. 13 Even when you were dead in sin and your flesh was uncircumcised, God gave you new life in company with Christ. He pardoned all our sins. 14 He canceled the bond that stood against us with all its claims, snatching it up and nailing it to the cross. 15 Thus did God disarm the principalities and powers, He made a public show of them and leading them off captive, triumphed in the person of Christ."


                               Other Scriptural references for Infant Baptism

Luke 18:15-17 15 They even brought babies to be touched by him. When the disciples saw this, they scolded them roundly; 16 but Jesus called for the children, saying: "Let the little children come to me. Do not shut them off. The reign of God belongs to such as these. 17 Trust me when I tell you that whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a child will not enter into it.

Acts2:36-39 (Peter is speaking to a crowd of very devout Jews) 36 "Therefore let the whole house of Israel know beyond any doubt the God has made both Lord and Messiah this Jesus whom you crucified." 37 When they heard this, they were deeply shaken. They asked Peter and the other apostles, "What are we to do brothers?" 38 Peter answered: "you must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 It was to you and your children that the promise was made, and to all those still far off whom the Lord our God calls.

Acts 16:29-34 29 The jailer called for a light, then rushed in and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30 After a brief
interval he led them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" 31 Their answer was, "believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, and all your household." 32 They proceeded to announce the word of God to him and to everyone in his house. 33 At that late hour of the night he took them in and bathed their wounds; then he and his whole household were baptized. 34 He led them up into his house, spread a table before them, and joyfully celebrated with his whole family his newfound faith
in God.

John 3:7 "Do not be surprised that I tell you you must all be begotten from above."

1 Corinthians 1:16 (Paul writing to the Corinthians) 16 Oh, and I baptized the household of Stephanas.

Remember: God’s Kingdom is on earth (The Church Militant); in purgatory (The Church Suffering)
and in Heaven (The Church Triumphant)

The first requirement to becoming a Catholic is Baptism.

                                                  Responsibility of Parents

Parents who baptize their infants obey the Lord’s command, but parents who baptize their infants with little or no commitment to raise the child in the context of the living faith profane a divine institution. They endanger their own souls as parents, and they also deprive their child of all of the benefits and the advantages and graces that normally are associated with Baptism. It’s a lot like having a baby and then letting him starve.

In the early Church Baptism was understood as an exorcism. In the liturgy of Baptism, even to this day, there is a rite of exorcism whereby we not only renounce the works and the pomp’s of Satan, but where Satan is driven out through Baptism. The word exorcism is a compound of two Greek words, "ex orchia". The word "orchia" is the Greek word for oath.

So we were baptized out of the name of the devil, out of the name of Adam and in the name of Christ and the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So the Blessed Trinity becomes the first family of our kingdom and the Church becomes our universal family and we become, not only children of God, but priests and prophets and kings.  Because that really is the ultimate significance of the sacrament of Baptism. Because those were the three offices anointed or baptized in the Old Testament.