Thursday, January 20, 2005

Roman Catholicism's Baptism and Saving Faith

In the Bible, true believers possess only one type of faith; that is, a PERFECT faith that results in justification from God and everlasting salvation. The Word of God makes NO distinction between the faith before and the faith after water baptism. True believers are "justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16) Saving faith "comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) True believers cannot lose their faith and justification because Jesus Christ said: "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." (John 10:28) This saving faith is the same kind of faith as Abraham's, who was justified by faith alone WITHOUT water baptism (Romans 4:3).

in the context of Roman Catholicism, the "faith" that occurs before water baptism, is not "true faith". Unlike the Bible, the Roman Catholic Church draws a distinction between the "faith" before and the "faith" after water baptism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church in point 1253 writes of the pre-baptismal "faith" as "not a perfect and mature faith" and "it is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe." Thus, in Roman Catholicism, one has not truly believed in Jesus Christ before water baptism.

This statement by the Roman Catholic Church says it best: "It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister of Baptism asks the catechumen: "What do you ask of God's Church?" and the answer is: "Faith." "What does faith offer you?" "Eternal life." " (168, Catechism of the Catholic Church) In Roman Catholicism, only the faith after water baptism counts. "Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians." (1271, Catechism of the Catholic Church) Therefore, I would not be wrong in saying the Roman Catholic Church falsely teaches faith, that is saving faith, comes upon and after water baptism.

It is very clear from the Word of God that it is faith in the HEART, not water baptism, which results in justification and salvation: "That 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." (Romans 10:9-10)


Blogger nartz said...

hey, i read your article and would like to share some things i experienced having grown up in the RCC (i'm a protestant now.).

i recall stories i was told in cathechism class about priests rushing to accident scenes, deathbeds and dying newborns, at the request of their family or friends, just to baptise that dying person. baptism was extolled on like it was a magic water that ensured entry into the pearly gates after death. i'm glad i now know the true meaning of our faith though, as you put it, "It is very clear from the Word of God that it is faith in the HEART, not water baptism, which results in justification and salvation"

well-said, once again. :)

27/8/05 4:37 AM  
Anonymous said...

It cannot have effect in actual fact, that is exactly what I think.

2/11/11 2:58 PM  

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