An exchange on Baptism and Works, part 1
By Matt1618

This is an email exchange on the matter of whether baptism regenerates, and saves, and whether works are necessary for salvation. The Protestant comments are marked in green and my response follows in blue.
Hi Matt

Hi there,

I have a Catholic friend who is searching the Scriptures and has become disillusioned with the RCC. As a Protestant I have been helping him to see the differences between our doctrines. He had never studied the Bible before (like so many Catholics) but now he is acting like a Berean and searching the Bible (with the help of the Holy Spirit) and seeing the truth for himself. For years (over 40) he had believed doctrines were biblical just because his church told him so.

Catholicism is very Biblical and is true, as I show in my website. I encourage you to point out the following article to your friend:

To Ex-Catholics: Did You Leave for the True Gospel? I have just started to read your article A Defense of Baptismal Regeneration " " ... may I respectfully point out an error.........

If I make mistakes I need to know them.

You state, "Jesus is baptized, and .... What does Jesus do after he tells Nicodemus in [John] 3:5 about being born of water and spirit? He goes out baptizing" Does He? In John 4:1-2 it says that "The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptising more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptised, but His disciples."

I think you missed something, as stated in my article:

John 3:22:

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
I know that we have different views on baptism but it is not good to mis-quote Scripture.

Did you forget John 3:22? That is why I referred specifically there in my article. Did you miss that?

It is significant that Jesus never baptised anyone. Paul only baptised 3 people and then stated, "For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel." (1 Corinthians 1:17). If baptism was essential for salvation then surely they would have told us so, and they would have also administered it.

First of all, Jesus did tell us so, as stated in the gospel. I’ve already showed you what Jesus did, with the quote in the Bible that you conveniently overlook. The main point is not in question, is that right after he told Nicodemus that one must be born of water and Spirit, John makes the point of people getting baptized. That is how one gets the water and the Spirit.

Mark 16:16

He that BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. What part of that don’t you understand?
Why does he say, you must be born of ‘water and spirit’ to enter the Kingdom of heaven, if he did not mean it?

Why did he specifically say in his commission

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
If baptism is so irrelevant, why did he commission them first to baptize? He didn’t tell them to write anything. Paul thought it was important, he knew his sins were washed awy by baptism, but he delegated that authority to other people to take care of that work. Baptisms done by others delegated by him, were just as efficacious as baptisms done by him. That is why he did not have to do many baptisms, that was delegated to others. Why does Paul write what I gave you in Romans 6:3-4?: Why does he also say?
Galatians 3:26-27. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have BEEN BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST HAVE PUT ON CHRIST.
Why does Peter say in response to the question what must I do to be saved? Acts 2:38-39
38 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. 39 For the promise is unto you, AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
You know what? I gave you the references in my article. Why do the apostles and Jesus not mean what they say?

Also, Paul gave other people the ministry to baptize. So what if he did not personally baptize people: he still taught its necessity. Because others were assigned to baptize for him, does not do away with the necessity as he taught. Remember, when he was told how to get his sins washed away by baptism?

Again: Acts 22:16

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
So was Paul lied to when he was told that? He specifically writes in the very same letter to the Corinthians, 1 cor. 6:11:
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul knows that his sins were washed away by baptism. What do you think he means when he uses the term ‘wash’? Of course it means baptism. That is how his sins were washed away (Acts 22:16).

It is the gospel that brings us truth of salvation. "The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).

As noted in Acts 22:16 above, it specifically says that he got his sins washed away, when he was baptized. Why didn't Paul ever (in all his writings) correct the person whom God sent to him? In fact he says the same thing himself when he specifically writes:

Romans 6:3-4. 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 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.
Why do you disagree with Paul?

The Good News (Gospel) is that we are saved by the shed blood of Christ alone - and that we can come to God no other way.

Sure, and how is that blood applied? In baptism, because in baptism his sins were washed away. You quote the Catholic Catechism as saying, "By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin." (Pg.353, #1263. see also pg. 279, #985).

Why then was Jesus baptised? He was not a sinner. He was pure and sinless. He didn't need saving.

Of course he was not a sinner. John thought of that as well. He knew baptism was for the remission of sins (Mk. 1:6). Jesus, knew that it didn’t apply to him, but he served as an example to us. Matthew 3:15-16 says:

14 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.
He fulfilled all righteousness. He came to fulfill the law (just as shown in Mt. 2:15, 17, 23, 5:17) He came to not do away with the law, but to fulfill it. Just as he submitted himself to the law, he accepted the conditions preparatory to the Messianic age - the primary condition being a baptism of repentance, even if there was nothing for him to repent about.

Scripture says that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins" (Hebrews 9:22). It is the blood of Jesus that saves - not baptism. It cannot be both. Christ's blood was shed 2,000 years ago and the moment it was shed it was efficacious for the whole world (not just Catholics - as they didn't exist then). I believe it is blasphemous to declare that Christ's blood is not sufficient to save the foulest sinner - and that something else is required - such as baptism.

Ok, then using your theory here, I can say:

It must be blasphemous to say that you must believe in order to be saved. I can say, “Scripture says that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins” (Heb 9:22). It is the blood of Jesus that saves - not believe.’.. I believe it is a blasphemous to declare that Christ’s blood is not sufficient to save the foulest sinner and that something is required - such as belief.” Now, do you say that one must believe to be saved? That is doing something now isn’t it? Then how in the world is that not blasphemous if you say baptism is blasphemous!! You are inconsistent. If one is blasphemous, then the other one is blasphemous. If one is not blasphemous, then the other is not blasphemous!! I think neither is, but you put yourself into a box you can not get out of.

The Scripture teaches that the application of the blood to the person, is by belief, baptism, etc. Was Jesus blasphemout when he said belief and baptism was necessary (Mk. 16:16). Was Peter blasphemous when he said ‘Baptism doth now save us’ (1 Pet. 3:21)? Was he blasphemous when Peter answered ‘Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins’ (Acts 2:38). Was Paul blasphemous when he said that one is made a son of God by baptism (Gal. 3:27)? I don’t believe so, but you are calling the writers of Scripture blasphemous? I wonder whether you want to do that!!

If baptism is necessary for salvation then Jesus was a liar when He told the thief on the cross, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise." The thief had not been baptised. He had not joined the Roman Catholic Church or performed any good works - and yet he went straight to heaven. Why? Because he believed in Jesus Christ. And if one person can get to heaven without baptism then we all can. God does not have different rules for different people.

No. Of course this is before the mandate was given in Mt. 28:19-20, and before he had died and made it mandatory. This of course is an exception. He died, didn’t have a chance to have baptism. (Jesus didn’t forget this requirement after he resurrected: See Mk. 16:16 and Mt. 28:19-20). he did several things though on the cross, showing an active faith, and it was not merely faith alone. He rebuked the thief who remained unrepentant. That is doing something Lk. 23:40). He does this in the face of the others who are jeering at Jesus. That is a good work. He did not say a salvation prayer. He did an action. He says that they are punished justly .He realized the goodness of Jesus. The thief had faith in God as demonstrated by his fear of God that he expressed to the other thief. He now put that faith into action by reaching out to Jesus in perfect contrition. That faith was not alone.

On there being no exceptions. Does that mean that babies who die before they each the age of reason, do they go to hell because they cannot believe? Or do you allow exceptions? If you say there is no exception to the need for belief, then all babies go to hell. If you say that there are exceptions and babies can get to heaven, then you allow exceptions, which undermines the whole argument you use against allowing exceptions. Which one do you argue?

Why didn't the thief go to purgatory? The reason is that there is no such place. Did Jesus just forgot to tell us about it? No, but Jesus did tell us about the rich man and Lazarus, and how at death one went straight to heaven and the other went straight to hell - no purgatory there ! (Luke 16:19-31).

See 1 Corinthians 3:15. See also 2nd Macc. 12:44-46. Actually, ‘paradise’ is not heaven. Because Jesus did not go there that day now did he? He went three days to preach to the spirits in prison. He actually didn’t go to heaven until after his resurrection , when he ascended there now didn’t he? See Mk. 16:19, Acts 1:9-11.

How was Abraham saved? By baptism? No By circumcision? No. Is he in heaven? Of, course. He was saved the same way we are - by faith alone. p> No. He was not saved by ‘faith alone’. The baptism mandate was not made until after Jesus’ commission, though he alluded to it in John 3:5. In fact James says something different! James 2:21-26

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.
In fact the only time faith alone is used in the Bible is when James says that one is not justified by faith alone. Is James blasphemous not too, besides Paul, Peter, and Jesus?

God does the saving / converting / birthing us into the Kingdom of God. We do not do it by baptism or "good works" "purging in Purgatory" "indulgences" -- or what you call manmade Protestant traditions such as "giving our life to Jesus" "altar calls" "salvation prayers." You may think that you have been saved by baptism, but I know I was saved by the grace of God.

Unfortunately you sound ignorant of Scripture. Did you read the above on James 2:21-26?

How about Mt. 25:31-46?

31 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' 40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' 45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Jesus separates the sheep from the goats . Those who go to heaven, go there because they did good works. Those who go to hell, go there because they did not do good works. Faith alone is shown to be a fraud by Jesus himself. Tell me how this fits faith alone theology. Also, Paul himself teaches while teaching that we are not saved by works of the law (Rom. 3:28), does also teach that, Rom. 2:6-13::
6 For he will render to every man according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. 12 All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
Not what they taught you when you became Baptist now did they?

I was an alcoholic. Baptism would have done me no good. I could not save myself - I had no good deeds to offer God. I needed a radical change - and God did this for me. I was "born from above" and my life was transformed. I became "a new creation, the old has gone the new has come" (1 Corinthians 5:17). I could have sat all day in a baptismal tank - and remained exactly the same. I needed God to change my life.... as He did with the thief on the cross.

There is no question that baptism is not one person saving himself. But it is the way that one gets remission of sins (Acts 2:38), or did Peter not mean that? That is the way God’s grace is applied. Now, of course there must be a sincere repentance, and in baptism, one must renounce Satan and all his works. One must change his life as well. Baptism is the means of the new creation (See 1 Cor. 6:11, you were washed, you were justified). 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

We are told (by Jesus, Paul and Peter) that we must be born again - but not that we have to do it. We are "born from above." This is something that God does - not us.

It is not either/or, it is both/and. God works through water. God works through the Water to bring the Spirit. Do you have to believe? Don’t you have to do something, but it is God working to make you believe? Why is it either or. It is both/and.

We are born again by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Water does not refer to baptism in the Bible but is always symbolic of either the Word of God or the Holy Spirit......

You must be born of water and Spirit. Where does Jesus say that in John 3:5? Instead in the verse you forgot, he and his disciples went baptizing (Jn. 3:22). Where does the Bible ever say, Bapism symbolizes anything? Instead we see repent and be baptized and what do they get? Acts 2:38-39

38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.
And believe it or not, they got water baptized right after that, (v. 41) for the purpose of getting that Holy Spirit.

"For you have been born again.....through the living and enduring Word of God" (1 Peter 1:23). James the brother of Jesus wrote, "He chose to give us birth through the Word of truth.... humbly accept the Word planted in you which can save you" (James 1:18,21). We are saved and made holy through "the washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26).

Who says this (Eph. 5:26) is not a reference to baptism? In fact an Evangelical commentator admits this refers to baptism. Skevington Wood writes in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Mi: Zondervan, 1978), 11:77, “There seems to be little or no doubt that the reference is to baptism. The ‘washing with water’ is equivalent to the ‘washing of rebirth’ in Titus 3:5.”

FF Bruce, who writes in his commentary on Ephesians, on Eph. 5:26:

”he noun translated ‘washing’ occurs only one other place in the New Testament - in Titus 3:5, where Christ is said to have saved his people ‘by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.’ The reference is to Christian initiation, in which the bestowal of the Spirit and baptism in water play a central part - the baptism involving not only the external washing but also the inward and spiritual grace which it signifies.. The phrase ‘with the word’ in our present test: the ‘word’ is the convert’s confession of the name of Christ’s baptism is administered.”
So even Protestants recognize Ephesians 5 refers to baptism. Of course just one chapter earlier, he said “There is one Faith, One Lord, One Baptism (Eph. 4:4), showing the importance and necessity of baptism. On the same level of importance of One Faith, and One Lord!!!

The Word of God (the truth) is what cleanses us and washes us, and saves us. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.... for 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'...Faith comes by hearing the message ,and the message is heard through the Word of Christ" (Romans 10:9-10;13;17). "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth (not baptism) and renewal by the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).

What do you mean not baptism? That specifically refers to baptism as the washing and renewal, as shown in John 3:5. As shown in Acts 2:38-29. As shown with Paul in Acts 22:16. As shown in 1 Cor. 6:11. As shown in Peter in 1 Pet. 3:21.

Infant baptism.........How can a baby hear the truth of the Word of Christ and believe it? How can a baby call on the name of the Lord? How can a baby confess his sins? It is quite obvious that a person must be old enough to understand the Gospel, believe it and repent of his sins before he can be saved. You say adults have to believe but babies don't. Why not? Where do you get that from? Since most Catholics are baptised as babies faith does not seem to be required at all in the RCC. Yet Scripture says "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no-one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

There you go again. Saying that it is either baptism or grace. All the Scripture writers believe that it is both/and, not either/or. Well, in reference to infant baptism that is a whole other discussion, I refer you to another article I have written which specifically gives the Biblical reason for infant baptism: infant.html

Baptism and salvation are two completely different things. Baptism is symbolic of salvation - it is symbolic of dying with Christ and being reborn by the cleansing of the truth of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit in our lives. You may have been baptised as a child - but unless you repent and call out to God to save you - you will perish as an unregenerate Catholic.

Baptism regenerated me, but of course when I reached the age of reason, I had to turn to Christ and continue to be renewed in him as well. I pray to him on a daily basis, and I turn to him daily as well.

You laugh at the Protestant idea of baptism being "symbolic" yet I must titter at your assumption that Scripture says we literally die with Christ when we are baptised. You and I are living examples of the fallacy of that statement. How could we literally die with Christ when His death occurred 2,000 years ago? That is an example of Catholicism desperately trying to prove a doctrine at any cost, without really thinking everything through carefully. Can you honestly say that there has never been a single doctrine in the RCC that you have ever doubted? My friend said there were many that he had not been happy with, but was afraid to voice his opinions.

Well, I just quoted Paul when I made the reference. I believe Paul when he wrote, Rom. 6:3-7:

3 Do you not knowthat all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For he who has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
Don’t you believe what Paul wrote here? Being baptized into Christ makes one a New person so that he can walk in the newness of life, via baptism. Baptism destroys sins. But baptism is only the entrance into his life. As Christians we must follow through this in our life.

Why don’t you send your friend this email and my webpage so he can get a different perspective? I use Scripture in all my writings (unless I look at a few things from a historical perspective). Otherwise all my articles are backed with Scripture.

Now, in fact I did leave the Catholic faith about teenager time. In fact, I became ‘born again’ from your perspective when I was led on the ‘Romans Road of salvation’, by a Baptist so I know very clearly what you believe. I accepted faith alone and Bible alone, and rejected my Catholic upbringing. Then I just ran into Scripture after Scripture which taught Catholic things and not the Protestant things I was taught by my Baptist friend. Things like John 6:54-56, Mt. 26:28(Eucharist), Acts 2:38-39 (Baptism), Mt. 16:18-19 (Authority of Peter), , Mt. 25;31-46, Rom. 2:6-13, James 2:21-26 (works in grace) John 20:22-23 (Confession).

"Salvation is of the Lord." It has nothing to do with us - and that is why it is so glorious. Nothing we do (including getting baptised) can earn us salvation. We are obedient to the call to be baptised because it is an outward expression of the work that God has done within us.

I have an article showing that you are correct that we don’t earn salvation, but works are still absolutely necessary or Jesus is a plain liar. God rewards those who are faithful, as faithful sons, not as an employer paying a wage, but as a Father rewarding his son for faithfulness: See

In Acts 16:30-33, the Philippian jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" ...And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. In Acts 18:8, Crispus believed and was then baptized, "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."

Let us look at your Acts 16 example, verses 29-34:

29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" 31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.
Why in the very time that he said that to believe, that he was baptized It is done at the same time, as noted earlier, Acts 2:38. Notice that he did not leave him in a salvation prayer. He led him to baptism that very night, at the same time!!! Thus, it goes hand in hand. Baptism is part of that salvation package that Paul mentioned in Acts 16!! Remember, Jesus had said those who believe and are baptized are to be saved. Thus, baptism went hand in hand with that belief. If it was only symbolic, why did he not say, well, wait until after I bring you to all the other church members and I will baptize you in front of others to symbolize that you were saved when you made the salvation prayer tonight. Instead, he got baptized right then and there!!! It is like, ‘I am going to eat a hot dog’. Does that mean that one will eat only the meat part, which is the hot dog itself, or does eating a hot dog, not also include the bread with the meat? Thus, when one eats a hot dog, one eats the meat with the bread. Also, when he says that you must believe to be saved, do you not see that baptism that very night indeed, was part of that salvation package!!

I originally came from a Pentecostal background (I am now a Baptist) and have seen many unregenerate sinners go through the waters of baptism. I can testify that they were certainly not saved, and their subsequent failing away proved this. I would have been more than happy if baptism saved people, considering how many drunks and alcoholics passed through our church. They all believed in God but were unrepentant towards their old lifestyle - so God could not save them. No amount of baptizing would have brought them into the kingdom of God. Jesus says that we will know the saved person by his fruit.

If all baptised Catholics are truly born from above, then why are so many of them homosexuals, drunks, adulterers, liars, thiefs and perverts. No, I am not saying there are more than in the world, but there are certainly not less. When someone is born from above they completely change. They have been taken out of the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of light. Can you honestly say that you see this happening in your church? I certainly can in mine. The one word that is conspicuous by its absence in your article was - repentance.

I quoted Acts 2:38 which says repent and be baptized. I could tell at our Church, we have very many people who turn to God on a daily basis. Maybe you haven’t run into them. But I tell you there are. Now, we have a sacrament instituted by Christ himself, in John 20:23, which says how he was to forgive sins. The priest at my Church, for example says that on a daily basis, at the end of day, we should recall how we did that day, and if we fell short, we should confess our sins to God.

You speak about "being baptised into Christ" as if it were a description of water baptism - which it is not. Then you say that baptism makes us sons of God - which it doesn't.

Gal. 3:26-27 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Right after saying that one is son of God through faith, Paul writes For as you were baptized into Christ, one puts on Christ. This for a the beginning of v. 27, explains how one is a Son of God, by putting on Christ.

John 1:12-13 says, "To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." So how do we become "born of God"? We receive Christ and we believe in His name. Have you done that? I have, and so did the thief on the cross. Yes. I believe in Jesus’ name as well. Again, it is belief and baptism, as Jesus himself said, not belief or baptism to receive him. It is both and, not either or.

Another point....If as the CC states, all punishment for sin is dealt with at baptism, could you please tell me why indulgences, penance and Purgatory are necessary? I do not understand this.

Ok. In baptism all our sins are washed away, as Paul is told in Acts 22:16, and as he teaches in Rom. 6:3-7. Now, this is for sins up to the point of baptism. Baptism is the entrance point but not the final point of salvation. One must live their life accordingly after baptism. If one sins, and falls short that is what penance is for. You seem to have a misunderstanding. We do indeed repent of our sins, when we go to that sacrament of confession. That sacrament is instituted by Christ himself (John 20:23). Now, on indulgence that is a whole other issue: That is biblical as well, but I can you refer you to another article on the matter James Akin has written on that issue here


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