Baptism, Eucharist, & Mortal Sin

Sonja: I confess not to completely understand the passage in Peter,

I Peter 3:21 baptism now saves you

there are so many other instances where the Bible talks about belief/calling on the Lord only…John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, .
Bread From Heaven: What is said in I Peter regarding baptism is very clear. What is unclear is why, Protestants, who profess to believe in Scripture and ONLY Scripture teach their members to reject what this scripture clearly says.

Faith and belief are also necessary for salvation. Baptism initiates us into the family of God exactly like circumcision did for the Jews (infant circumcision and infant baptism correspond to each other)

Col 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Sonja:In Acts when he is talking to the jailor…how do you explain those away?

Bread From Heaven: Let’s look at the passage from ACTS.

Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

As you see they believed and were baptized. The Catholic Church teaches that if one believes but dies before being able to be baptized they are still saved through a Baptism of Desire. God can save us without baptism in His mercy and omniscience; but we were told by Jesus to be baptized.

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Being a disciple implies the Faith necessary for salvation. But, where does Jesus make baptism and obedience optional? Where does Jesus say salvation is by FAITH ALONE?

Many Protestant pastors and teachers tend to dichotomies: either this or that. ie. Either Faith or baptism saves us. But the Catholic Faith, with a 1500 year head start on Protestants in reading and understanding Scripture recognize dichotomies don’t do justice to Scripture. More often it is not either/or but both/and…faith and baptism and obedience as we see in the Matthew passage above. Other passages mention other requirements for salvation/eternal ,  “eating My Flesh and drinking My Blood”. Trying to force Scripture into an either/or dichotomy distorts the message beyond repair; or else many scriptures are totally ignored or interpreted away.

Sonja:Furthermore, does not baptize in the Greek meant to immerse? This is what I’ve been taught, but admittedly don’t know Greek myself, but it seems the only way you could accurately picture the death burial and resurrection like they pointed out in one of the letters

Bread From Heaven: And yes, baptismo means immerse. So, immersion is certainly a fuller sign of dying to self and rising to new life. But, if baptism initiates us into Christ and is necessary for salvation (Jn 3) then what of conversions on a sick/death-bed? What of infants close to death? Haul them miles and miles away to a body of water deep enough to fully immerse? They might die on the journey. For many reasons the Church compassionately and for practical reasons decided that a valid baptism could be accomplished without full immersion. A lake or river with moving, (living water) is preferred but at least the pouring of water on the head was required three times, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

CCC-1278 The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This is an except from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But the whole entry is very beautiful. You can read it here Baptism.

Sonja: The Eucharist…the bread and wine have to be representative as there was never actually any physical bread that came down from heaven. The “bread” was Jesus Christ. If you could show me physical bread that came from heaven, I would probably concede to a literal interpretation here. Also, if you take these passages as literal they say whoever partakes of this bread will be saved. That is apart from all your other sacraments and belief only this one thing would need to be done. So the only logical way I can take it as meaning partaking spiritually in his body and blood via excepting his sacrifice for my sin…We do have unfermented wine and unleavened bread, but only “in remembrance” of what he has done.

Bread From Heaven: You are correct. Jesus IS the Physical Bread that came down from Heaven. A better Bread than the Miracle of the Manna that came down from Heaven. The physical Bread that we eat is JESUS’ body,blood,soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, after plain bread has been consecrated by our priests. It is no longer mere bread but JESUS, under the appearance of Bread. We partake of this Bread that comes down from Heaven by a miracle, of God, through the hands of a priest, at each of our masses.

Grape juice is just not wine. Grape Juice is grape juice and wine is wine. Wine comes from fermented grape juice. Grape juice does not come from unfermented wine but grapes. This is a very plausible sounding way for Protestants to try to get around the fact that, contrary to the fact that wine was one of the elements Jesus used at the Last Supper, they have arbitrarily decided to use grape juice instead. Protestants often do not use wine b/c of the tradition from a few years ago surrounding Prohibition and their recent tradition that drinking alcoholic beverages is sinful. This is another Protestant Tradition of men b/c it is nowhere supported in scripture. Getting drunk is a sin but drinking without getting drunk is not a sin.

Sonja:…mortal and venial sin…not sure what you think is a “sin unto death” but Revelation 21:8 lists liars as having their part in the second death. James 2:10 tells us if we “keep the whole law” and yet “offend in one point he is guilty of all.” The next verse explains why…the same God told you not to do it. There are some things however that do seem to be worse in the eyes of God when dealing with things on earth. I would agree there. Would love to hear any rebuttals (please make them educated and Bible based) that Catholics have.

Bread From Heaven:  You are correct. There are several lists in the epistles that list very serious sin. I John mentions mortal sin/sin unto death.

I John 5:16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

The Catholic Church calls these sins that lead to death, Mortal Sins and the lesser sins that we, ourselves,  can pray for forgiveness for, Venial Sin. We have merely given a shorter name to these sins than “sin-that-leads-to-death” and “sin-that-does-not-lead-to-death”.

Regarding

James 2:10 tells us if we “keep the whole law” and yet “offend in one point he is guilty of all.”

Of course, it is TRUE. Any sin, small or large, brings us condemnation. An offense against and Eternal God is itself of Eternal Magnitude. And only and Eternal Sacrifice could suffice to make reparation for our sin both mortal and venial. However, as you so aptly pointed out some sin is an abomination in the eyes of God just like they are in the eyes of men. Even before I became Catholic I thought it was crazy to think that God saw all sin EQUALLY especially when so many verses refuted this sophistry.

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4 Responses to Baptism, Eucharist, & Mortal Sin

  1. SR says:

    Great post!!! I love your blog and have it on by blogroll. I can only say one thing to Sonja as there truly is nothing I can add to this. Being a convert and regarding Jesus really being in the Bread and Wine. I had to look at the language He used to convince those He was. Christ never said He was not there. Then I had to ask myself, “Did He lie?” Of course He did not. Then another Scripture hit me, and that was when all those He let leave in their disbelief. Jesus would have never let them place their souls in danger with a misunderstanding on this teaching? God Bless, SR

  2. Aguti says:

    I stumbled across your post and found it to be an interesting read. I was raised catholic and brought up with many of these beliefs and traditions. However, i have since became Christian and started studying scripture. I have found that many of the catholic beliefs/traditions are not biblically correct. Let me respond to a question on the post. Where does Jesus say salvation is by faith alone? All throughout Romans 9, Paul explains how righteousness is gained through faith and not works. Our works is an outward expression of our faith, not the other way around. In genesis, the children were spared because their parents had faith and spread the blood on the doorway. Again, it wasn’t the other way around. We are granted salvation and righteousness through faith and not by works. Furthermore, Philippians 3:1-9, Paul explains that traditions, works and the law mean nothing. “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

    • bfhu says:

      Dear Aguti,

      I was raised Protestant and the more I read and studied the Bible the more I realized that certain Protestant doctrines/beliefs did not square with scripture.

      All Catholics and Protestants are Christians. Jesus founded the Catholic Church. Men in rebellion to the Church He founded started the first Protestant denominations. Then men in disagreement with something in those started other denominations until today we have thousands of Protestant denominations in direct opposition to Jesus’ stated desire “that all be ONE.”

      Catholic beliefs and doctrines never contradict the Bible. They only contradict Protestant interpretations of the Bible. Of course, we must have faith but the scriptures no where teach that Salvation is by faith alone. In fact Martin Luther added the word “alone” to “we are saved by faith” b/c the Bible never said such a thing. Instead there are passages that explicitly say our works are necessary:

      James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

      18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder (Are the demons saved by Faith alone?) 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and NOT by faith alone.

      Works of the Law” means the ritual law such as circumcision, dietary, and sacrificial laws. This phrase is only found in the dead sea scroll refering to ritual law and in the writings of St. Paul. This phrase does not refer to what we mean by good works-love, kindness, charity, self-giving etc. Protestants use these passages that speak about how “works of the law” cannot save, in order to dismiss any necessity for them in the plan of salvation. This is not true and ignores thousands of passages in scripture. This distorts the Gospel. Scripture shows us good works are required. They are not optional.Faith-alone-Protestants ignore all the thousands of passages that exhort obedience and holy actions. I am listing a few below but these are only from the New Testament. Thousands more are in the Old Testament.

      I Cor 13 1-3 and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

      Mt. 5: 20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

      Matthew 7 :16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
      17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
      18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
      19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
      20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

      22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
      25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

      Mt 19:17 if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

      Luke 10:25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27 And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.”

      John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

      John 6:48
      I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh….“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

      John 14:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;…21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”… “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

      John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He [a]prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already [b]clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [c]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love

      Romans 2:5 …the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,

      Romans 2:13
      for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doersof the Law will be justified.

      Romans 3:31
      Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

      Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

      2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

      Phil 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

      I Peter 4: 17
      For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, [m]WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

      I Jn 3: 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

      I Jn 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.

      I Jn 5:2
      By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

      Revelation 20:12
      And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

      Rev 22:11 and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

      12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

  3. prize rebel says:

    prize rebel…

    [...]Baptism, Eucharist, & Mortal Sin « The Black Cordelias[...]…

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