effect of baptism is: The Remission of
All Sin, Original and Actual. This is clearly
contained in the Bible. Thus we read (Acts 2:38):
Be baptized every
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins;...
We read (Acts 22:16): Be baptized, and wash away thy sins.
St. Paul beautifully represents the whole Church as being baptized and
purified (Eph 5:25 sq.): Christ loved the Church, and delivered
Himself up for it: that he
might sanctify it, cleansing it by the washing of water in the word of
life*that he might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such
thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. The
prophecy of Ezechiel (36:25) has also
been understood of baptism: I will
pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your
filthiness where the prophet is unquestionably speaking of
moral defilement. This is also the solemn teaching of the Church.. . St. Justin Martyr
(Apol., I, Ixvi)
declares that in baptism we are
created anew, that is, consequently,
free from all stain of sin....It is needless to multiply
testimonies from the early ages of the Church. The Catholic
doctrine: Now, it belongs of necessity to
Christ's baptism that it be given not only in water, but also in the
Holy Ghost, according to John 3:5: Unless
a man be born of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God.
*of life is not in the Greek.
In the left
column, the Catholics quote many to certify their
doctrine -- but not Jesus.There is, at the bottom, an appeal to
John 3:5, where we find the root of their error. Here is the verse in
context: Nicode'mus said to him, How
can a man be
born when he is
old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?
Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I
say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter
the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that
which is born of the Spirit is spirit (Jn.3:4-6).
The context defines it. Must a man enter the womb again? This is the
birth of water. Then the Lord said
that one must be born both of water
and of the Spirit. He then confirmed this (vs.6) by
con- trasting the birth of the flesh (of water) with that of the
Catholics, teaching falsely that the birth of the Spirit comes at
baptism, find it an easy step to Justin Martyr's
statement: in baptism we
are created anew, that is, consequently,
free from all stain of sin (Apol., I,
quote Ezekiel, the Acts, Paul, & the multitude of the Fathers from the early ages of the Church to
shore up the error, but not a word from Jesus save the false reading of
John 3:5! Everything springs from making the birth of the Spirit
coincident with water baptism. It's a good living for the priest; he
makes the victim believe that he must be baptized to be cleansed from
sin that will otherwise send him to hell, and only the priest can do
it! It is a trap, baited with the deceptive promise of heaven.
comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication,
theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man (Mt.15:18f);
Thus Jesus explains the stain, and here is it's detergent: I am the true vine, and my Father is
the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes
away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more
fruit.You are already made
clean by the word which I have spoken to you (Jn.15:1f).
It's the Word that washes away sins and every defilement. It's the
Father, by means of His Word, that does the pruning of every sin and
stain. The Lord prayed to the Father for us, that we be so cleansed: Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is
truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into
the world. And for their sake I sanctify myself, that they also may be
sanctified in truth (Jn.17:17f).
To sanctify is to separate
from the world into
the sacred, but this process also cleanses because there is no
filthiness in Him. And see? It is the Word, the Father's Word of
Truth that cleanses and sanctifies. This Word is sharply defined: for I have given them the words which
thou gavest me (Jn.17:8).
From the early ages, the Church
has deceived men with the teaching that the water of baptism
cleanses, and so has made void the Word.