Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?
Pages 102-103: John 3:5; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:19-21. Baptismal regeneration is understood by Catholics (and Orthodox, Lutherans, traditional Anglicans, Methodists, and some other Protestants, in a basic agreement) to mean a spiritual rebirth. Just as a human being must be physically generated to enter the world, he must be spiritually regenerated to enter the kingdom of heaven. The passages above constitute the major scriptural reasons why the great majority of Christians for two thousand years have accepted this belief, and accept baptism as a sacrament: a physical means to convey God's grace.
Note: The grace of God is manifested in hope that allows Christians to glory in tribulations.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Note: A person enters into the grace of God by faith in Jesus Christ not baptism.
Page 104: Protestants who deny baptismal regeneration (Baptists, Presbyterians, many Pentecostals, and others) place spiritual regeneration at the point of personal conversion or a decision to become a disciple of Jesus. Some still practice infant baptism, but deny that it regenerates. Most groups that practice only adult baptism deny that it regenerates, but some (such as the Church of Christ) believe in an adult ("believer's") baptism that also regenerates. The passages presently under consideration make the "non-regeneration" position difficult to accept, since they associate baptism directly with salvation.
Note: Christians were saved when they heard the word of God and believed.
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Page 105: The verse (John 3:5) is not self-interpreting, and one must bring some assumptions to it. So Calvin makes the water metaphorical; others take it literally as the water of baptism.
Note: In context, you must be first born naturally to be born again spiritually.
John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’"
Note: Since demons or fallen angels have never been first born naturally they can never be born again spiritually.
Page 105: What is "washing" in one verse (with two other common elements) is "water" in the other. Thus, baptism is tied to salvation, in accord with the other verses above. 1 Corinthians 6:11 is also similar to Titus 3:5 and John 3:5: "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
Note: Spiritually being washed by the blood of Jesus Christ is through faith.
Hebrews 10:19-23 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Pages 105-106: The "justified" is the parallel of "kingdom of God" and "saved" in Titus 3:5 and John 3:5; "washed" goes along with "washing of regeneration" and "born of water," and all this was done by the Spirit. Now, it is a striking threefold parallelism. Furthermore, it is notable that baptism, justification, sanctification are all mentioned together.
Note: Spiritually being washed occurs by the blood of Jesus Christ through faith in Him.
Revelation 1:4-6 Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Page 106: This cross-referencing supports the argument that both baptism and regeneration are the subject matter of John 3:5.
Note: The subject matter of John chapter 3 is spiritual regeneration through sincere belief or faith in the death of Jesus Christ for your sins.
John 3:10-16 Jesus
answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these
things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We
have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things
and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No
one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the
Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Note: John chapter 3 has nothing to do with baptism in context.
Page 106: The analogy to John the Baptist's baptism is interesting and affords us more biblical parallels to John 3:5. For John, baptism was the way to the kingdom of heaven ("a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins": Mark 1:4). Christian baptism likewise forgives sins, because it regenerates. Why should an ordinary Christian baptism have less power than John's, and not be able to wipe away sins as his did?
Note: Baptism does guarantee salvation as evidenced by the Holy Spirit.
Acts 11:15-17 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
Note: Preaching baptism for salvation demonstrates the lack of sincere belief or faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Page 106: When Jesus arrived to begin his mission, the first thing he did was to be baptized by John (Mark 1:9), as an example (of course, he technically did not need to repent or be baptized). And what happened when Jesus was baptized? The Holy Spirit descended upon him (Mark 1:10). Thus, the Holy Spirit is present alongside the water of baptism, but is not identical to the water, as in Calvin's view of John 3:5.
Note: The baptism of Jesus Christ was a public pronouncement to Israel that the Messiah had arrived by John the Baptist.
John 1:29-34 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
Note: Accordingly, our baptism should be a public pronouncement of our faith in Jesus Christ after we have been saved.
Pages 106-107: Also, we see that the water preceded the Spirit, rather than vice versa, as in Calvin's view. Cross-referencing, then, makes the baptism (and regeneration) interpretation of John 3:5 much more plausible. Whereas in dealing with John 3:5, Calvin allegorized the water, here he interprets the "washing" of Titus 3:5 as indeed referring to baptism, but then he proceeds arbitrarily to change the function of baptism in relation to regeneration, claiming it merely follows the latter (as a sign of something already accomplished on other grounds) and does not cause it.
Note: The Holy Spirit arrives for the Christian at the point of sincere belief or faith in Jesus Christ.
Acts 10:34-48 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to behave?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we
Note: The Holy Spirit preceded baptism and arrived at the moment of sincere belief from hearing the word of God.
Page 108: 1 Peter 3:21 could not be any clearer than it is: "Baptism ... now saves you." The RCV (applying Calvin's exegesis) would have to read, "Baptism now gives you the knowledge and certainty of salvation." Calvin tries to explain away the baptismal regeneration of 1 Peter 3:21 by overemphasizing the "clear conscience" that Peter also mentions (see Institutes, IV, 14, 24). But I think context is decisive in upholding the Catholic interpretation of 1 Peter 3:21.
Note: Spiritually being washed occurs by the blood of Jesus Christ through faith in Him.
Revelation 7:14-17 So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Pages 108-109: The meaning is much clearer in context. This is a typical Hebraic parallelism, or what is called "types and shadows," very common in Scripture. In the Old Testament, when salvation was mentioned, it usually referred to winning a battle, being saved from an enemy, having one's life or town saved, and so forth - in other words, physical salvation. This became a metaphor for spiritual salvation later on, in New Testament thought. Here, Peter makes the same sort of analogy. The eight persons in Noah's ark were saved through water, i.e., physically saved from drowning. The water of the flood symbolized baptism that now saves you also, spiritually, from sin.
Note: Noah and his family were saved from the water through faith in God.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Note: Saint Peter was wrong numerous times as recorded in Scripture.
Matthew 16:22-23 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Pages 110-111: So we see that several groups of Protestants accept a view of baptism virtually identical or quite similar to the Catholic one: that baptism effects spiritual regeneration in a person; it is a means, not a sign, of justification. Naturally, we think their exegesis and biblical support is that much better, but readers can draw their own conclusions.
Note: Have you been cleansed or washed by the blood of Jesus Christ through faith in Him?
1 John 1:1-6 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Note: Baptism should never be confused with the Christian message of Jesus Christ.
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