Understanding Roman Catholicism
The Catholic church contends that baptism is necessary for salvation:
"The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation." Pg. 320, #1257
All Catholics should be aware that the Lord does not agree with this statement. The Bible teaches that salvation is a free gift that works can never buy. This doctrine was devised by Catholicism:
"The Church does not know of any other means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude..." Pg. 320, #1257
"The faithful are born anew by Baptism..." Pg. 311, #1212
"Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, and are incorporated into the Church..." Pg. 312, #1213
The Bible could not disagree more:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John 1:12
Despite Bible verses like these, the Catechism teaches that:
"Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte 'a new creature,' an adopted son of God, who has become a 'partaker of the divine nature,' member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit." Pg. 322, #1265
"By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin." Pg. 321, #1263 (See pg. 257, #985)
All these doctrines violate a host of Scriptures. The Bible teaches that only Christ can forgive our sins, performing a "good work" like baptism will never do it:
"In whom we have redemption through his (Christ's) blood, the forgiveness of sins..." Ephesians 1:7
If baptism is necessary for salvation, would the Apostle Paul have proclaimed:
"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel..." 1 Corinthians 1:17
Or would this same great man of God have stated:
"I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;" 1 Corinthians 1:14
John the Baptist's message was:
"Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 3:2
After people repented, then they were...
"... baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." Matthew 3:6
Listen to what the Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip as they discussed the subject of baptism:
"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts 8:36-37
The Bible teaches that baptism should occur after salvation, not as a requirement for salvation. When the Philippian jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Paul answered:
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house... And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway." Acts 16:30, 31, 33
First, they believed, then they were baptized. Baptism always follows salvation! Here's another example:
"And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." Acts 18:8
In Acts chapter two, Peter, the supposed first pope, preached. When he finished:
"... they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." Acts 2:41
Again, they were baptized, not to become sons of God, but because they already were sons of God.
When Philip preached to the people of Samaria, first came salvation, then baptism:
"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12
Soon after in that same passage, Simon, a deceiving sorcerer, followed the same path:
"Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip..." Acts 8:13
The Catechism states:
"All the sacraments are sacred links uniting the faithful with one another and binding them to Jesus Christ, and above all Baptism, the gate by which we enter into the Church." Pg. 248, #950
Just before his death, the thief on the cross next to Jesus put his faith in Jesus Christ. Obviously, he was never baptized, but he still went to paradise. Why? Because salvation is through faith in Christ, not through baptism.
The Catechism also contends that when a person is baptized, it is really Jesus Himself who is doing the baptizing:
"By his (Christ's) power he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes, it is really Christ himself who baptizes." Pg. 283, #1088
Simply stated, this is another Catholic tradition not found in God's Word.
Here is another Catholic doctrine:
"Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life." Pg. 324, #1274
But the Bible disagrees again, stating that the eternal destiny of God's children has been sealed with the Holy Spirit:
"... in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," Ephesians 1:13
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30
Is baptism necessary for salvation? Catholic tradition and God's Word are at odds. The Catechism says "yes." God's Word says "no."
Who will you believe?