St John's Q&A

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Baptism - notes

1. "Miracles of the Eucharist" video to be shown next Tuesday (7/26), 7 pm, school cafeteria. This powerful video will conclude the summer series. You won't want to miss this; please join us!!

2. Parish party to celebrate the upcoming groundbreaking for the new Parish hall, Sunday, July 31. Families are invited for food, drinks, and fun starting at 5 pm. Bonfire for youth (junior high and high) will start around dark. Music and games included. See you there!!

3. The following are my notes for the talk on Baptism from the summer series. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Can someone get to Heaven without being baptized?

Jesus – to Nicodemus (‘see the kingdom of God’...need to be ‘born from above’)

“In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit” - John 3:5

“whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” – Mark 16:16

Does baptism in the Spirit only occur through water?

By desire – the good thief on the cross, e.g.
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”
“in truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” – Lk 23:42-43

By blood – sharing in Jesus’ baptism by blood
“The cup that I shall drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I shall be baptized, you shall be baptized” – Mk 10:39

Is baptism symbolic only??

- sacraments – confer the grace they signify
- no Scriptural references to baptism (or any of the sacraments) being symbolic only

“’You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptized 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

“every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ” –Gal 3:27

“when we were baptized into Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death. So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life” – Rom 6:4

Baptism prefigured in OT
- 2 Kings 5:14
Naaman immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, “and his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child.”

- Isaiah 44:3
“I shall pour out water on the thirsty soil and streams on the dry ground. I shall pour out my spirit on your descendants” (water and Spirit)

- Ezekiel 36:25-27
“I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your filth and of all your foul idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you”

- Noah’s ark, as described by Peter – 1 Peter 3: 19-22
“ In (Noah’s ark), only a few, that is eight souls, were saved through water. It is the baptism corresponding to this water which saves you now
– not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience given to God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”

OT purification rites = almost always limited to external ‘bodily’ purity
- Ark shows the limits of the saving waters of the old covenant

- Baptism = no limits of the saving waters of the new covenant

The spiritual life begins with baptism

- Rom 6:4 - by baptism, “we too should begin living a new life”
Heaven on Earth, fullness of life

- Col 2:9 – “you have been buried with him by your baptism…you were dead, because you were sinners and uncircumcised in body; he has brought you to life with him”

- baptism and all of the sacraments are not just about getting to Heaven when our bodies die, but also about getting to Heaven on Earth

- die to self, sin
- experience the fullness of Christ on Earth in the Church (sacraments)
- Eucharist, Confession, etc.

What do we receive at Baptism?
- Life in Christ

- Indwelling of the Holy Trinity
“Baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
- real (vs Protestants – merely symbolic)

- Faith
-“for all of you are children of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus, since every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ” – Gal 3:26-27

- forgiveness of sins
- “by Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin”
- concupiscence remains (the inclination toward sin)

- gifts of the Holy Spirit
- wisdom, knowledge, understanding, reverence, fear of the Lord, right judgement, courage

- incorporation into the Church, the Body of Christ
- “for by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body” – 1 Cor 12:13
- all the baptized share in the common priesthood of Christ
- “but you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” – 1 Pet 2:9
- baptized to be priest, prophet, and king

- “Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.” – CCC, # 1269

- "’Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church" and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.’” – CCC, # 1270

- an indelible spiritual mark
- “Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.” (CCC, # 1272)

- “do not grieve the holy Spirit who has marked you with his seal, ready for the day when we shall be set free” – Eph 4:30

- "Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life." – St Ireneaus
- die with the seal of baptism = enter eternal life


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