ON another blog discussion about SCIENCE and GOD, the discussion sometimes turns solely towards religion, something that does not interest others.
So, in an effort to continue the discussion, I’ve created this forum.
A fellow JUser posted the following:
I believe baptism is no longer necessary for salvation, for we already have salvation.
To which I asked: Why do you believe that Baptism is no longer necessary for salvation?
The words of Christ are plain and who can change His words to mean something else?
"Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven."
Baptism is sooooo important that Christ commanded His Apostles to "....baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit....."
In St. Mark 16:16, Christ promised salvation to all those who "believes and is baptized". Scripture teaches that Baptism is an indispensable pre-requisite for attaining salvation.
As to the second part of your statement, that we already have salvation...
How so? We don't know for sure that we are saved until we've died, been judged and entered the gates of Heaven.
Redemption is not the same as salvation but it is a necessary prelude.
Both Catholic and Biblical teaching is that salvation depends on the state of the soul at death. The Apoc. 21:27, teaches that "there shall not enter it (heaven) anything defiled, or that worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb."
As we have said, Christ has already redeemed us, and unlocked the gates of Heaven. He did His part, now we have to cooperate by doing ours. We can only pass through those gates IF our soul is in the right spiritual state (of grace) at the time of our death.
Salvation is all about how one enters death ... and that's why Our Lord gave us the Sacrament of Baptism which gives our soul sanctifying grace, removes Original Sin and makes us children of God and heirs to Heaven. That's why it's the first sacrament and one of the reasons why the Church insists that infants be baptized ASAP after birth. This practice dates from the Apostles.
AND THE RESPONSE WAS:
Getting back to the baptism thing. I asked my sister about baptism. This is what she had to say about it:
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him,[d] saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Jesus told the one criminal that he would be with Him in Paradise (Heaven) and that criminal had not been baptized... he was crucified right then and there with Jesus.
We know for a fact that that criminal is in Heaven because Jesus said so. He was NEVER baptized! Baptism is something that we are instructed to do after salvation as a public profession of our faith. Baptism alone does not save us. If that were true, then all babies that have been baptized and never TRULY believe in Jesus and what He did for us and give their life to him, would go to Heaven... that is NOT AT ALL what the Word of God (Bible) says.
She also said to look at these verses:
She did say though, that claiming that Jesus as the Son of God "does not cut it." She pointed out James 2:19