“This then is what it is to be born again of water and of the Spirit, the being made dead being effected in the water, while our life is wrought in us through the Spirit. “And in what way are we saved? The reply is that belief and profession of faith are necessary, but the whole witness of the New Testament shows us that baptism is necessary as well. But this topic must be reserved for later treatment.” Ambrose, On the Death of his brother Satyrus, II:6 (A.D. 380).
This sacrament therefore makes us reborn in Christ, with the Holy Spirit coming down into us, living in our body, his temple (1 Corinthians 3:16).
But from what, if not from death, and the vices, and guilt, and thraldom, and darkness of sin? When Nicodemus comes to visit Jesus by night, Jesus says that a person cannot enter the kingdom of God without being born again. This is consistent with the Church’s practice of instructing catechumens before baptism. This sin affects all people, men and women, babies and adults. Despise not, therefore, the Divine laver, nor think lightly of it, as a common thing, on account of the use of water. Rom. 10:2 – Paul says that the Israelites were baptized (“baptizo”) in the cloud and in the sea. Titus 3:6 – the “washing of regeneration” (baptism) is “poured out” upon us. ", Mark 1:9-11: In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Matt. The thief couldn’t be baptized, but Jesus says, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). “Believest thou this?…When a newborn child is brought forward to receive the anointing of initiation, or rather of consummation through holy baptism.” Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John, 7 (A.D. 428). The first verse is Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” After establishing that you are a sinner, in Romans 6:23 St. Paul reminds you that “the wages of sin is death.” The second part of that verse gives the promise that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:8 tells us that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 10:13 says that “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” and Romans 10:9 says that “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved.”, My visitors took me through the Romans Road and were a little nonplussed when I agreed with them on every point. On his account, then, all are sinners, because we are all from him. “Everyone in the world falls prostrate under sin. The horrors of our world testify to the reality of original sin. The jailer cries out, “What must I do to be saved?” and Paul and Silas reply, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved—you and your household” (Acts 16:31). In Adam, all die. There is no hot tub or swimming pool for immersion. “But if any one were to think that the earthy image is the flesh itself, but the heavenly image some other spiritual body besides the flesh; let him first consider that Christ, the heavenly man, when He appeared, bore the same form of limbs and the same image of flesh as ours, through which also He, who was not man, became man, that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ For if He bore flesh for any other reason than that of setting the flesh free, and raising it up, why did He bear flesh superfluously, as He purposed neither to save it, nor to raise it up? There are some exceptions to the rule because God is not bound by His sacraments. '” Augustine, City of God, 13:7 (A.D. 419). For the power that operates is mighty, and wonderful are the things that are wrought thereby.” Gregory of Nyssa, On the Baptism of Christ (ante A.D. 394). “That Lord, I say, who in His simple and immaterial Deity, entered our nature, and of the virgin’s womb became ineffably incarnate; that Lord, who was partaker of nothing else save the lump of Adam, who was by the serpent tripped up.” Methodius, Oration concerning Simeon and Anna, 13 (ante A.D. 300). Acts 22:16 – Ananias tells Paul, “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins,” even though Paul was converted directly by Jesus Christ.
Nicodemus asks how a man might enter again into his mother’s womb and Jesus corrects him, saying, “No one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:3-5). The fact that even before the Law all died: for ‘death reigned’ he says, ‘from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned.’ How did it reign? Eph. “Adam sinned and earned all sorrows;–likewise the world after His example, all guilt.–And instead of considering how it should be restored,–considered how its fall should be pleasant for it.–Glory to Him Who came and restored it!” Ephraem, Hymns on the Epiphany, 10:1 (A.D. 350). 28:19-20 – Jesus commands the apostles to baptize all people “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Many Protestant churches are now teaching that baptism is only a symbolic ritual, and not what actually cleanses us from original sin.
But they could not have been immersed because Exodus 14:22 and 15:9 say that they went dry shod.
Acts 16:33 – the baptism of the jailer and his household appears to be in the house, so immersion is not possible.
The “washing” of baptism gives birth to sanctification and justification, which proves baptism is not just symbolic. “[T]he birth by water and the Spirit, Himself led the way in this birth, drawing down upon the water, by His own baptism, the Holy Spirit; so that in all things He became the first-born of those who are spiritually born again, and gave the name of brethren to those who partook in a birth like to His own by water and the Spirit.” Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, 2:8 (A.D. 382). But there is nothing in the Scriptures about a requirement for ALL baptism candidates to profess their own belief in Christ (because the Church has baptized babies for 2,000 years). Baptism is Salvific, Not Just Symbolic, IV. They indeed deserve our wailing, they deserve our groans; they are outside the Palace, with the culprits, with the condemned: for, ‘Verily I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.’ Mourn for those who have died in wealth, and did not from their wealth think of any solace for their soul, who had power to wash away their sins and would not.” John Chrysostom, Homily on Philippians, 3:24 (A.D. 404). Infant baptism is not a recent practice of the Catholic Church. “The blessed Cyprian, indeed, said, in order to correct those who thought that an infant should not be baptized before the eighth day, that it was not the body but the soul which behoved to be saved from perdition — in which statement he was not inventing any new doctrine, but preserving the firmly established faith of the Church; and he, along with some of his colleagues in the episcopal office, held that a child may be properly baptized immediately after its birth.” Augustine, Epistle 166:8:23 (A.D. 412). What about people who do not have the opportunity to be baptized? The Scriptures never refer to baptism as symbolic. No righteous deeds done before baptism could save us. “And in the Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ spoke with His divine voice, saying, “Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” This is the Spirit which from the beginning was borne over the waters; for neither can the Spirit operate without the water, nor the water without the Spirit…Unless therefore they receive saving baptism in the Catholic Church, which is one, they cannot be saved, but will be condemned with the carnal in the judgment of the Lord Christ.” Council of Carthage VII (A.D. 258). Many scholars believe the phrase “not as a removal of dirt from the body” is in reference to the Jewish ceremony of circumcision (but, at a minimum, shows that baptism is not about the exterior, but interior life). We attended an independent Bible church with an essentially Baptist theology, and the irony about this Baptist theology is that it actually de-emphasized baptism. The sacraments are not done by us for God, but by God for us. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 61 (A.D. 110-165). And so much does Christ show us in this very passage; for when asked, How could such things be? “And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God [baptism]; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who as passed through the world without sins.” Aristides, Apology, 15 (A.D. 140). Fearest thou the Seal on account of the weakness of nature?” Gregory Nazianzen, Oration on Holy Baptism, 40:17 (A.D. 381).
“For death is alike to all, without difference for the poor, without exception for the rich. The sacrament of baptism is required. This disproves the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized.
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