Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Baptism of the Lord



What is baptism? What does the Bible say? Let’s start with Ezekiel 36:25-27 which states:

I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. …I will put my spirit within you .

“I will sprinkle clean water” and He “will put [His] spirit within you” – And so with this outward sign using water we see that God gives us His spirit and that through this sprinkling we will be cleansed of all our impurities. Is this prophecy truly made alive in the New Testament through the sacrament of Baptism? Let’s compare what God said through Ezekiel to what God said through Peter at Pentecost.

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 will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38).


Ezekiel said: “I will sprinkle clean water
Peter said: “be baptized

Ezekiel said: “[I will] cleanse you from all your impurities
Peter said: “for the forgiveness of your sins

Ezekiel said: “I will put my spirit within you
Peter said: “you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

It seems quite undeniable that Ezekiel’s prophecy is perfectly fulfilled in the sacrament of Baptism. Because of His promise from Ezekiel we now know that the Grace of God comes during the sacrament of Baptism but what else does baptism do?

We know through Scripture that baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:13)

Baptism brings us in communion with each other by becoming members of the One Body of Christ.

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Gal 3:27)


We are brought into the Body of Christ, the Church.

And he is the head of the body, the church (Col 1:18)

Since we are baptized into the one body of Christ and we now know that Christ’s Body is the Church means that baptism brings us into the Church. And this is why there is no salvation outside the Church because there is no salvation outside of Christ.

And so we see that baptism brings Graces from God (Acts 2:38), washes away sins (Acts 2:38), we become Christians through baptism (1 Cor 12:13) by becoming members of the Church as through a door (Eph 4:4). And baptism is instituted by Jesus Christ when He sent out the Apostles to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mat 28:19)


God Bless
Nathan

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this, Nathan. It was also announced today at Mass that today was the last day of Christmas - but is it? :-) I posit that the last mention of Christmas in the readings is at Candlemas, February 2nd. My lights, tree and decorations are still up! I may shut down the outside lights tomorrow - (I'm the last one in my neighborhood with his lights still on as it is!), but I think I'll keep the tree and other decorations up at least through Feb. 2nd.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

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  2. I would add, we recognize ONE baptism - even if you were baptized in a Protestant church (most of them, anyway). For example, I was baptized as a Lutheran when I was a baby. I was "conditionally baptized" in 1988 when I became a Catholic (wasn't REALLY necessary, but the priest wanted to do at least that). When I was officially confirmed in 2014 (on April 19, coincidentally the same date as my baptism!) I had to get documentation from the Lutheran church I was baptized in (somehow, I have lost that original baptismal certificate). Anyway, I add this because ALL who are validly baptized are baptized into the Catholic Faith! Baptism is the initiation into the Catholic Church! Like it or not, all you validly baptized Protestants, you have received a Sacrament in the Catholic Faith which we, Catholics, recognize as wholly valid. :-)

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greetings.
      Mr. Windsor, if your infant baptism is for whatever reason invalid or if it never actually occurred, certificate or not, would this affect your salvation? I ask this question because it seems to me a very unwise choice to accept something that you yourself admit must be obeyed yet you have no actual memories of this act actually happening. Am I missing something here? Please let me know. I look forward to your answer.

      Delete
    2. Greetings David,
      Well, yes, a valid baptism is part of the "economy of salvation." One cannot willfully reject this sacrament and have hope of salvation. Why? Because Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved:" Mark 16:16. If you believe in Him, you will be baptized, period. I mean, why or how could someone claim to believe and refuse to be baptized?

      So, when my priest in 1988 asked me to be "conditionally baptized" - how could I refuse that? I wasn't denying my infant baptism, it was a "just in case" ceremony which, if the first was valid, this one in 1988 was not. Like I said, when I was officially confirmed as a Catholic in 2014, my infant baptism is what I had to provide evidence for (which I did) not my conditional baptism (though I had that too). In most Catholic parishes, if you show them your valid Protestant baptism certificate - they won't even conditionally baptize you. They accept the certification of that church and the witnesses who also stood for you. The Sacrament of Confirmation is also a "confirming" of your baptismal vows.

      I hope this helps,
      AMDG,
      Scott<<<

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    3. I tried to make a comment already; it disappeared. So, if this duplicates...my apologies.
      I just wanted to add a caveat to the "valid" Protestant baptism. The baptism must be Trinitarian. In this day and age of more and more revisionist Protestants, many don't believe in baptism, some baptize in the name of Jesus, or the Spirit, or God but not the Trinity. This is something I cannot fathom from so-called Bible believing Christians. After all Jesus said, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, **baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Baptism not done in the name of the Trinity is not considered valid. That is all I was going to point out.

      Delete
    4. Oops, Nathan already quoted Jesus in His article.

      Delete

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