Bread From Heaven: Baptism without Faith will not ultimately save a person except a baby who dies without reaching the age of reason or a person baptized on their deathbed. There may be other exceptions, but generally baptism is the first step.The salvation is through the water just as Noah’s ark saved those on it as the Peter passage notes. Baptism corresponds to this.
Sonja: but this is a completely different baptism than
Jesus showed us.
Bread From Heaven: But the fact is that neither Jesus not anyone else, ever described baptism as being full immersion. While that is the general meaning of the word so the conclusion that immersion is what was done is legitimate, nothing explicitly precludes other methods.And the Jews had been instructed by God to pour and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices to cleanse and consecrate. So these methods were chosen for the cleansing and consecration of baptism when immersion was not practical. (Heb 9:13 Lev. 16:19
He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites.
Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat the meat.
2 Kings 16:15
Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Sonja: Do you accept the churches authority on faith alone or what is
your reason for doing so?
Bread From Heaven: That is a good question. I accept the Church’s authority because in my reading of history and theology I became convinced that the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus founded 2000 years ago and her beliefs were found
to be as old as the Church itself. When I looked at the writings of the early Church Fathers
if they had been writing in such a way as to support Protestantism I would still be Protestant.
However, uniquely Catholic doctrine existed at the dawn of the Church. No Catholic doctrine
contradicts Scripture but only Protestant interpretation of Scripture. Have you read my conversion story? You can read it–> My Conversion
Sonja: As far as faith alone…
For by grace are ye saved through faith;and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Bread From Heaven: I agree and the Catholic Church does not teach that we can save ourselves by works. And Eph. does not say by grace through faith alone. Martin Luther, on his own authority, added the word alone to that passage in his German translation of the Bible. But it is not there. This is a Protestant Tradition. It is contradicted by Scripture.
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself…20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless…as a result of the works, faith was perfected;…24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. … 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Also, if Protestant theology was correct then the demons would not shudder but be saved because they KNOW and BELIEVE in Our Lord God.
James 2:19… even the demons also believe, and shudder.
Sonja:I have already listed several verses that include belief/faith as a means for salvation, but you reject them as only “partial” truth. Many of them have no mention of baptism in them at all as the one above.
Bread From Heaven: True. You can find many different things linked to salvation/eternal life but not all of them are ever in one scripture. This is precisely why the Catholic Church does not teach that salvation is by ______alone. But the other reason is that the Bible is NOT a book of systematic theology. In order to understand, one must take it as a whole in order to be “in context”. To say we are saved by faith alone is taking the verse out of context b/c James 2 contradicts that idea. But since we accept scripture does not really contradict itself we need to find an understanding that makes sense out of both of those scriptures and many others. Some of the things scripture links with salvation/eternal life/heaven etc.
James 2 Faith without works is dead.
Ephesians 2:10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared
in advance for us to do.
Romans 2:6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
I John 4: 7 Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 12 …if we love one another, God lives in us
Matthew 5:44-46 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Keeping the Commandments
John 15 .. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit 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. .. bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. … 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Can one be saved without abiding in Jesus? Then one MUST keep His commandments.
I John5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
Can we be saved without loving God? How can we love God? By keeping His commandments.
John 14:1515 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
23 Jesus answered and said 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.
John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you… 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. … 17 This I command you, that you love one another.
Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
Endurance to the End
35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive [a]what was promised.
37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,
HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;
AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
39 But [b]we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the [c]preserving of the soul.
I could go on and on but I think I have shown that FAITH as Ephesians speaks about it must be a multifaceted entity that encompases all of the above and more.
Luke 21:19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’
Revelation 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’
Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’
Revelation 2:26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;
Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Revelation 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
Sonja: I did read the baptism selection. It mentioned that communion was to sanctify.
This is different than saying the physical bread gives us eternal life. Which do
Bread From Heaven: I believe both b/c Jesus said we must eat His Flesh and drink His blood in order to have Eternal Life. But it is not about taking communion one time for salvation. Ongoing communion cleanses and strengthens our souls to stay the course until death and end our lives in friendship with God. So, it is not an either/or but both/and.
Sonja: Do believe that one is subject to damnation until they partake of
Bread From Heaven:That is for God to decide. The Catholic Church NEVER pronounces who is damned. That is the domain of Our Lord. He is able to save in any way He wishes. But He has given us the sacraments and commandments to guide our souls to Eternal Life with Him. It is the sin of presumption to reason that “just b/c God can save a soul who does not conform to this or that, that therefore I am free to disregard all of these gifts and commands He has given us through the Church. Therefore, based on the teaching of Jesus and His apostles the Church teaches the way of Eternal Life and bestows sacramental graces upon the Faithful to keep their souls in Him.
Sonja:Cause if you take that passage literally that is what you must
accept. I don’t see another way of seeing it.
Bread From Heaven: This is the Problem. You are INTERPRETING the passage. The passage does not say that all who do not eat and drink are damned. I understand why you think this is a logical conclusion. But God’s ways are above our ways.
Sonja: Again you put your faith in the priests that bless the bread (mere humans) to put Jesus into the bread.
Bread From Heaven:No I trust the words of Our Lord and His power to work this miracle for the faithful even through a sinful priest. This the Church has always believed. To see some quotes from the first century A.D. –>Early Church Beliefs in the Eucharist
Sonja: As far as grape juice and wine, you are wrong about our reason for staying with
grape juice, although there are many protestants that believe alcohol is sinful.
The Bible never differentiates between the fruit of the vine that is fresh
(unfermented wine or grape juice) and fermented wine. They both have the same
name. (For example in proverbs when it says Look not upon the wine when it is
red.) We don’t ferment it cause it takes yeast and yeast represents tainting.
The same reason we eat unleavened bread.
Bread From Heaven:That is interesting. You are correct as far as what Jesus actually said. But I am quite sure that the Jews used wine for the Passover, fruit of the vine is a euphemism for wine, so Jesus certainly would have used wine at the Last Supper. But I am not all that hung up on wine vs. grape juice. It is just an interesting digression.
Sonja: I assume on the last point that the church has decided which sins are unto death
for the believer?
Bread From Heaven: Well, not exactly. In order for a sin to be mortal it has to meet 3 requirements.
1) It has to be a very serious sin, like adultery, murder, abortion etc.
2) The person must KNOW it is a sin
3) The person must do it freely not forced or coerced.
Then it would be considered mortal. There is not a list of mortal sins but scripture gives us several lists to make us aware of what grave or serious sin is. The ten commandments is a good place to start.
Sonja: I’ll have to look at these verses more carefully. I’ll read
through 1 John a couple times to try and understand it better. I do try and
understand the more “complex” passages, but it seems there is just too much that
seems completely contrary to what the Bible teaches in the Catholic church for
it to be right if you put the Bible first and the church secondary.
Bread From Heaven:Yes, I am sure it does seem so because you have been taught to interpret scripture according to the Protestant methods. But the doctrine of putting the Bible and personal interpretation first and the teaching of the apostles secondary is a Protestant Tradition with NO SUPPORT in Scripture. Here is an explanation of we mean by Tradition. Also, private interpretation is not approved.
2 Peter 1:20
Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.
And the word translated “prophecy” does not mean fortelling the future but according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
“Propheteia: signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God.”
Before my conversion, I was a very zealous Protestant, sola scriptura adherent and I used Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries and interlinears to “search the scriptures.” All contradictions of Catholic doctrine with the Bible are apparent rather than real. What Catholic Faith contradicts is merely Protestant interpretation of Scripture, not Scripture itself. But Catholics have perfectly legitimate alternate interpretations. It has been a very interesting journey. I applaud your careful reading and analysis of the Scriptures and your willingness to seek the Truth. baptism