Sonja: I confess not to completely understand the passage in
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”.
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.