WHAT IS A SACRAMENT ??
1.) Sacraments are outward signs which confer the grace they signify.
2.) Sacraments are physically made up of 'matter and form'
3.) The validity of a Sacrament does not depend upon the faith of the minister.
a.) action is of Christ, not the minister
4.) Instituted by Christ or the Apostles
5.) The Fathers knew all seven sacraments!!
a.)no explicit listing
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM !!
1.) Scriptural warrant:
a.) John 3:3
b.) Matt 18:19
c.) Mark 16:16
d.) Acts 2:38
e.) Acts 22:16
2.) Baptism recognized as Sacrament by most mainline Protestant churches.
a.) an ordinance, not required, in other churches.
b.) still others claim it is a waste of time
3.) What occurs during Baptism ??
a.) Romans 6:3-4
b.) Romans 6:7-8
c.) 2 Cor 5:17
d.) Eph 4:22-24
e.) 1 Peter 1:23
f.) 1 John 1:7
4.) Baptism is our Justification before God !
a.) 1 Cor 6:11
b.) 1 Peter 3:21
INFANT BAPTISM ??
1.) Protestants say NO !!
a.) Acts 2:38
b.) Acts 10:47
c.) Mark 16:16 (John 3:18 "He who does not believe is already condemned")
2.) Catholics say YES!!
a.) 1 Peter 3:21
b.) Acts 10:44ff
c.) Acts 16:15
1.) "oikos" = household; common usage would include infants!
d.) Jesus commanded us to bring the little ones to him!
1.) Mark 9:36ff
2.) Matt 11:25ff
3.) Matt 18:1-3
4.) Matt 19:10-12
e.) The faith of another is good enough to convey grace!!
1.) Luke 7:1ff
2.) Luke 7:11ff
3.) Matt 15:21ff
4.) Mark 2:5ff
f.) Old Testament testimonies
1.) Noah; Gen 7:1ff
2.) Abraham; Gen 12:1 ff
3.) David; 2 Sam 7:1 ff
"Baptism now saves you"( 1 Peter 3:20), we have become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4); making us "temples of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 6:9); making it possible to "be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt 5:48); because our "holiness must surpass that of the Pharisees and Scribes" (Matt 5:20)or "you will never enter the kingdom of heaven". We were "born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:11-12). Yes, "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are". (1 John 3:1)
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." What is that a reference to? Well,
when you study the context of Ephesians 5, it's 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.
Likewise, 1Peter 3:20 reads, "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." What does it mean, "the pledge of a clear
conscience"? When somebody is baptized, they are making a personal
pledge. They are swearing an oath, in Christ, by Christ and through
Christ. They are calling for God to cleanse their conscience. The book
of Hebrews says that all of the ablutions, all of the dunkings in the Old
Testament ceremonies didn't cleanse the conscience. The word in the Greek
in that section of Hebrews is "baptismois". All the Old Testament
baptisms couldn't purify the conscience, implying that the one New
Testament baptism does, in fact.
A very important passage for our attention is found in the Book of
Romans, Chapter 6. "Original sin is that which took us out of God's
family and made us children of the devil," as Jesus says in the Gospel of
John. That is what original sin does. That's what Paul describes in
Romans 6. Then he describes how Jesus Christ as the new Adam works out
our redemption so that we can be brought into the family of God. That's
where Romans 6 begins and the question that the reader has is, "Okay, how
do we get in on the action? How do we get out of Adam's family, where we
were children of the devil and get into the family of Christ and become
children of God?"
Notice that St. Paul does not say, "For as many of you who have come
forth to an altar call or who have received Jesus Christ as personal Lord
and Savior into your heart." Again, as true and as helpful as those
things are, those are not what Paul said. Nowhere in the New Testament is
the language like that used. Nowhere do you find, "You have to receive
Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior into your heart." Do you
The Catholic Church is Bible believing and Catholics are Bible
Christians because they base their salvation and sonship upon the very
words of the Bible. When Saint Paul raises and answers the question, "How
do we get in on the action to get out of Adam's family and into the
family of God?" he says this, "By no means we died to sin, so how can we
live in it any longer, or don't you know (Romans 6, verse 3) that all of
us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We
were therefore baptized with him through baptism into death, in order
that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the
Father, we too, may live a new life." What is the assurance that we
have? The sacramental oath of Baptism whereby God regenerates us.
That is the teaching of St. Paul. It's very clear. That is also the
teaching of John. Let's turn to the most famous passage regarding
baptism, John 3. This, of course, is the passage that's famous because
it's used by so many Bible believing Christians to explain what you've
got to do to be saved. You've got to be what? Born again. Right? 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 born
anothen." Now that Greek word is a deliberate choice. That word can mean
two things, either again or the same word means from above.
Jesus says, "Unless you are born anothen." 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
says, "You've got to be born anothen." Nicodemus thought it meant
"again." The word can also mean "from above." I would suggest that it
means "from above" primarily. And Jesus clarifies this in the following
verse, John 3, verse 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. In other words, you've got to be born of water
and Spirit: A equals B equals C, therefore A equals C. 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? Well, John has already shown us,
hasn't he? In the first chapter just preceding this section, in John 1,
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and what came down "anothen" 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.
What is John hoping the reader understands by 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. We are Bible believing
Christians. We've also got to become Bible studying Christians, haven't
Now I would also suggest that the rest of John 3 backs up this
Catholic interpretation of this crux passage. John 3, verse 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
In fact, the same passage uses the same word, anothen two more
times. In John 3, verse 31 and 32, it tells us, "the one who comes from
above is above all; the one who comes from heaven is above all." The
word anothen is used, showing that it's not born again, like
reincarnation, but rather born from above in the sense of regeneration.
We do not believe in reincarnation as Catholics or as Christians. We do
believe in the necessity of regeneration, and that is baptismal. No
wonder in John 3, verse 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." They were crying on his
shoulder. 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.'" And by the way, 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
Now, I hope you heard what I just said, because I guarantee you the
1990's will not be through before at least two or three people come up to
you and 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." Just to give you a clue as to what to say when they
come knocking on the door, because you know they will.
(from Scott Hahn "Growth by Oath)