Essay: Water baptism cannot save, the Church cannot save, Born again by faith alone

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Bible scriptures opposed by all who reject Regenerative Baptism, Infant baptism, and the authority of the Catholic Church — Sola scriptura response from the whole context of the Bible:

Contents

Authoritative scripture

Any preaching on salvation that ignores these verses is a good example of confirmation bias and of Cafeteria Christianity.

The Body of Christ, the Savior of the world

  • Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." John 20:21
  • And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14
  • I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19
  • Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Hebrews 13:17
  • Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the church of the Lord which he obtained with his own blood. Acts 20:28
  • And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16
    (The scriptures are not mentioned, neither here nor in 1 Corinthians 12:27-38.)
  • For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
  • Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:27-38
    (The scriptures are not mentioned, neither here nor in Ephesians 4:11-16.)
  • I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. 1 Corinthians 11:2
  • So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:15
  • Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
  • And account the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. 2 Peter 3:15-17
  • You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:1-2
    (often cited by many Churches as support for apostolic succession)
  • 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 clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:1-6
  • For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. Romans 2:6-11
  • You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24
  • For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. Hebrews 6:4-6
  • He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Matthew 12:30-31
  • If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal. 1 John 5:16-17
  • My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20
  • I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot hear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:12-14
  • And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. John 14:16-17
  • Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19-20
  • Do you not know that you (plural) are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you (plural)? If anyone destroys God's temple God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you (plural) are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
  • So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
  • know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

Authority

  • Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Hebrews 13:17
  • Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution. 1 Peter 2:13
  • For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1-2
  • Children it is the last hour, and as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, so now many Antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:18-29
  • If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:15-19
  • He who despises the word brings destruction on himself. When anyone turns away from hearing the word of God, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 13:13 and 28:9
  • Any one who goes beyond and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son. If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; for he who greets him shares his wicked work. 2 John 9-11
  • As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11
  • Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones. Jude 8
  • These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loud-mouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 16
  • Whoever rejects Jesus and does not receive his sayings has a judge; the word that Jesus has spoken will be his judge on the last day. John 12:4712:48
  • He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God. John 8:47
    Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Be baptized and wash away your sins. Baptism saves us now, by water and the blood.—this is the word of God.
  • I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them 2 Corinthians 13:2

Regenerative salvation by water and the Spirit: water baptism saves

I thought it would be useful to the reader to have a summary of what the word of God says (see the article Infant baptism):

  • Unless one is regenerated by water and the Spirit, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5
  • Baptism saves you now. 1 Peter 3:21
  • Go forth and make disciples of all nations, Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
  • This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. 1 John 5:6
  • There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree. 1 John 5:8
  • Jesus saves us by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5
  • With our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22
  • The whole church is sanctified by Christ, cleansing her by the washing of water with the word. Ephesians 5:26
  • Be baptized, and wash away your sins. Acts 22:16
  • Be baptized. The promise of salvation is to you and to your children. Acts 2:38 and 2:39
  • Let the children come to me, and do not forbid them, for to such as these belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16
  • Verily, verily, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter it. Luke 18:17
  • God is not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9
  • We are buried with Christ in baptism, in which we are raised again through faith in the working of God, God making us alive together with him. Colossians 2:12 and 2:13
  • To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life. Revelation 21:6
  • A fountain springing up to eternal life. John 4:14
  • Whoever rejects Jesus and does not receive his sayings has a judge; the word that Jesus has spoken will be his judge on the last day. John 12:4712:48
  • He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God. John 8:47
    Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Be baptized and wash away your sins. Baptism saves us now, by water and the blood.
  • He who despises the word brings destruction on himself. When anyone turns away from hearing the word of God, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 13:13 and 28:9

Bring forth the scriptures that say "baptism cannot save"

Three doctrines explicitly and directly oppose the word of God.

"Baptism does not save. Baptism cannot save.
The Church does not save. The Church cannot save.
Man is saved by faith alone. Man is born again by faith alone.
"

Bring forth the scripture that explicitly states "baptism does not save, baptism cannot save".

Bring forth the scripture that explicitly states "the Church does not save, the Church cannot save", or that "membership in the Church does not save".

Bring forth the scripture that explicitly states "membership in the Church eternally assures salvation" (which Catholic doctrine also rejects).

Bring forth Chapter and verse, with words "church", "membership", "baptism" (cannot, does not) "save", "salvation".

Show the Bible passage that explicitly says in any form "born again by faith, born again by faith alone."

You can't. I know, because I looked, and tried to find it.

"Baptism cannot save"—"The church cannot save"—"Born again by faith alone"
(babies who die have no faith, simply because they were not yet capable of understanding anything).

It can't be found. It's not in the Bible. The Bible itself contradicts these three explicitly stated doctrines. And if it's not in the Bible, the principle of sola scriptura refutes it totally.

So if you believe in salvation by faith alone you don't believe the Bible. It's as simple as that.

By the way — The Catholic Church does teach that the Church saves. CCC 849 "The missionary mandate. “Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men.” [AG 7; cf. Heb 11:6; 1 Cor 9:6] (AG is the Vatican II document Ad Gentes) The Bible itself supports this doctrine.

You have clearly demonstrated repeatedly that you do not believe the Bible, because like the original Anabaptists you refuse to believe the whole context of all the scriptures cited here above and used by Protestants and Orthodox and Catholics against them for over four centuries now to no avail. "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" John 17:17. The scriptures that follow here below also bear this out.

"Water baptism is of the flesh!"

No, it is not. It is of God. The Bible itself says that God the Holy Spirit baptizes through water. Christian baptism is not of the flesh. It was established by Jesus Himself as necessary to enter the kingdom of God. Christian water baptism is the work of God who baptizes with water and the Spirit together to regenerate life. It is not man who baptizes, and water alone devoid of the sanctifying Spirit of God is not Christian baptism. By the regeneration (γεννεθή gennethe) of baptism of water and the Spirit a person is enabled by the Spirit of God to worship God in spirit and in truth and given the power to please God.

According to the Bible Christian Baptism is a divinely ordained union of the operation "of water and the Spirit" together in God by the blood of Christ who alone sanctifies us, having cleansed us by the washing of water with the word. Christian Baptism is not simply a water ritual of washing empty of the Spirit and totally separated from the blood of Christ. Peter himself made this clear (1 Peter 3:21).
Food itself is made holy by prayer 1 Timothy 4:5. So water is made holy with the word. To speak of Christian Baptism as if it is merely a symbolic ritual of the flesh alone, utterly devoid of the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit Himself directly applying the saving blood of Christ to the soul, is not to speak of Christian Baptism at all.

"God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth."

True. God also is material flesh incarnate—"And you...he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven"–for "the word became flesh and dwelt among us", the Holy Spirit descended and remained upon him at baptism, and we have an altar from which those who serve the Jewish Tabernacle have no right to eat. (John 4:24; Colossians 1:21-23; John 1:14; Hebrews 13:10.)
Our very bodies are consecrated by baptism and made participant in the act of salvation:
Romans 8:11 "he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Romans 12:1 "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God"
1 Corinthians 6:15 "know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ?"
1 Corinthians 6:19 "know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Ephesians 5:23 "and he is the saviour of the body"
Philippians 1:20 "as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."
1 Thessalonians 5:23 "your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless"
Hebrews 10:19-22 "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water"

The belief that God can not, does not, will not work his grace of salvation through the instrument of material water in union with the spiritual word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit is similar to the doctrine of Docetism which held that

"the purity of God the Word, the Son of the Father, could not personally defile himself by becoming incarnate human flesh, because it is impossible that pure spirit can ever interact with impure matter, 'having flesh and bones'. His appearance was only a symbolic vision, not the personal reality of Himself, so that it was impossible that Jesus could really shed his blood, die on the cross, be dead, and actually rise from the dead. God has no need whatever for any material means of effecting salvation."

John refuted this in the first words of his Gospel (John 1:1-18).

Credobaptism absolutely denies, repudiates and condemns the claim that God ever would or ever could work salvation directly through any kind of proper material ministry of Christian Baptism by water and the Spirit, which he himself ordained in John 3:3-5 and Matthew 28:19-20 ex opere operato. According to the credobaptist doctrine, God waits helplessly for man to open the door of his heart by faith first so that the Lord in response might come in to him. The doctrine of salvation by faith alone is totally dependent on the willing cooperation of man who must first know and understand and believe before God can save him. Infants cannot do that. By this reasoning salvation by faith is a work of man, and baptism is not the cause of spiritual regeneration because it is only a legal ordinance of water without the power of the Spirit.

Consistently, on the basis of sacred scripture, and because of scripture, the catholic and orthodox Christian Church east and west has condemned as a heresy the doctrine that baptism has no power from God, that Jesus did not establish the sacrament of baptism as the ordinary means of salvation by water and the Spirit, and that salvation is sola fide without any need for works of mercy, condemning also as a heresy the doctrine that eternal life once received by faith alone cannot be lost, rescinded, revoked, or forfeited by sin and apostasy, the doctrine of eternal security.

"Your doctrine is based on the flesh, the traditions of man. Cite scripture alone. Baptism is a work of man to earn salvation. The Bible says we are saved by faith, not by water."

I have cited scripture. My response is solidly based on scripture. Church doctrine supports scripture. You reject fundamental parts of the Bible and twist its meaning for the sake of your credobaptist tradition, "a tradition of men", which the vast body of all Christianity in the sixteenth century, solidly based on scripture (on the whole context of the entire Bible), denounced as a Satanic heresy based on violation of the Bible itself. Cafeteria Christianity#Proof texts. And I will not reject Christian doctrine based for over sixteen centuries on the whole context of the Bible and the "mind of Christ" in the sensus fidelium, sensus plenior, sensus Christianorum in all of the passages of the Bible I have cited all down through this page. I am heedful of the warning of Peter 1 Peter 3:15-18. However much you press me to do so, I will not deny Christ.

He said, "Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." It is you who make the word of God of no effect through your credobaptist tradition. That is why credobaptists in the sixteenth century were condemned by Protestants and Catholics for abuse of the scriptures. Documented anathemas against credobaptism go all the way back to the 3rd century. And Protestants agreed.

Conservative Christian historians and apologists are mindful of the following statement by John Eck addressed to Martin Luther in the year 1521, which Luther recorded in his own writings (Luther by Luther). Eck's statement here is supremely appropriate in light of Luther's refusal to submit to the judgment of the Church, the emperor Charles V, and the Pope, and the teaching of Paul in Romans 13:1-5.

"...there is no one of the heresies which have torn the bosom of the church, which has not derived its origin from the various interpretation of the Scripture. The Bible itself is the arsenal whence each innovator has drawn his deceptive arguments. It was with biblical texts that Pelagius and Arius maintained their doctrines. Arius, for instance, found the negation of the eternity of the Word—an eternity which you admit, in this verse of the New Testament—Joseph knew not his wife till she had brought forth her first-born son; and he said, in the same way that you say, that this passage enchained him. When the fathers of the council of Constance condemned this proposition of John HussThe church of Jesus Christ is only the community of the elect, they condemned an error; for the church, like a good mother, embraces within her arms all who bear the name of Christian, all who are called to enjoy the celestial beatitude."
—Martin Luther. Life of Luther (Luther by Martin Luther).


Compare the article on Hypocrites.

You tell me—

"To be saved means to be saved from the wrath of the Law. That is the clear teaching of the Bible. It's a gospel of grace, not of works. All else is the tradition of men, not God. Here, scholars, church teaching, and church tradition can't help you."
  • I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Devout scholars, church teaching, and church tradition do help. But you refuse to accept it (John 10:25-26). Your refusal is a clear example of classic Confirmation bias. All of the centuries-old consistent understanding of the Bible by all of Christendom based on the Bible is held in contempt by you. Even when presented with an abundance of scripture alone which demolishes the house of credobaptist doctrine as clearly opposed to the Bible, you reject it. Matthew 23:38. I had thought that you were a person of honest Christian integrity dedicated to the truth of the Bible. I believe that you actually refuse on principle to read the authoritative Bible texts and sources linked for immediate access which contradict credobaptism. Look at the article on Enmity.

"The Church cannot save" is not in the Bible; "Baptism does not save" is not in the Bible; "Born again by faith" is not in the Bible

  • There are 80 listings in Strong's under CHURCH έκκλησία ekklesia.
    There is in the New Testament of the Bible no direct statement in any form anywhere that explicitly states that the Church cannot save (you, anyone), that salvation is not in the Church, or that membership in the Church cannot save (you, anyone).
    A search online at Topical Bible: church and Topical Bible: Church: Membership In does not produce any passages under the key words "church" or "church membership" that teach any form of the doctrine that the Church cannot save, as repeatedly and persistently asserted here on this page.
    You won't find it. I've looked.
    Look at 100 Bible Verses about Church Membership.
    It may be that what is meant in reality by the assertion that membership in a church cannot save is that church membership alone cannot of itself guarantee salvation. The Catholic Church agrees. According to Catholic doctrine it is possible to lose the saving grace of one's baptismal salvation through loss of faith or by falling away from Christ into apostasy away from the body of the Church, which is his body, the temple of the Spirit. But it can be restored, through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (Confession) by a member of the Church having the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

Cite chapter and verse in the New Testament that says explicitly that "no church can save" or that "salvation is not from the church" or "salvation is not found in the church (any church)" or that "the church cannot save you" (and never did) or that "church membership cannot save" (you, anyone). The passage must have the word "church" as used frequently in denials of its necessity for salvation on this page.

Cite chapter and verse in the New Testament that says explicitly that "baptism does not save" (us, you, anyone) "now" or that "baptism cannot save you" (us, anyone) and never has, and never did or that "salvation is not through baptism" or that " membership in the body of Christ by baptism into Christ cannot save" (us, you, anyone) or that "baptism is not for infants and babies" or that "babies should not be baptized until they can confess faith in Jesus". The passage must have the key word "baptism" as used frequently in denials of its necessity for salvation on this page, and in the case of babies "infant baptism" or "baptized infants" together with the key words "must not", "cannot", "forbidden", "false", "unnecessary".

  • The phrase "born again by faith in the word of God", "born again by faith in the Lord", "born again by faith", is not found in the New Testament.
    Look at 100 Bible Verses about Being Born Again (openbible.info).
    Being saved by faith is proclaimed.
    Being born of God is proclaimed.
    Being born by the washing of regeneration is proclaimed.
    Being saved by the blood of Christ is proclaimed.
    But no passage of scripture has the explicit phrase "born by faith" or "born again by faith". The term "born again" is not found together with the term "faith" in any text of the Bible. The term "born again" is not found together with the term "saved" in any passage of the Bible.
  • See the article Infant baptism, under the heading "Regenerate" in John 3:3-5: Greek γεννηθή gennethe. The Greek text of the New Testament itself teaches regenerative baptism, which is absolutely denied by the frequent and persistent assertion that baptism is unnecessary for salvation and does not save because it opposes salvation by faith alone sola fide. The plain and obvious reality of γεννηθή gennethe as spiritual regeneration of the soul from death to life is directly asserted here as the revealed truth of God without any recourse to Church doctrine or tradition or academic scholarship and exegesis. It's solely what the Bible says, plain and simple. See the interlinear text of John 3:3 and John 3:4 and John 3:5. Anyone who says Jesus is wrong, by actually saying γεννηθή gennethe by water and the Spirit is not regeneration unto life, opposes the word of the Lord. Whether knowingly or unknowingly doing so makes no difference. It is a falsehood. Denial of this fact contradicts the Bible and puts no faith in Jesus' word as truth. That alone condemns as not of God the point of view that baptism with water consecrated by the word of God, can not, does not, never has, and never will save by regeneration unto eternal life, "the washing of water with the word" Ephesians 5:26, by joining the baptized to the very body of Jesus Christ himself as a living member of his body in whom is no sin.
  • Bring forth the scripture that explicitly states "baptism does not save, baptism cannot save", "the Church does not save, the Church cannot save", and "membership in the Church does not save", or that "membership in the Church eternally assures salvation" (which Catholic doctrine also rejects)—Chapter and verse, with words "church", "membership", "baptism" (cannot, does not) "save", "salvation". Show the Bible passage that explicitly says in any form "born again by faith." (You can't. I know, because I looked, and tried to find it. "Baptism cannot save"—"The church cannot save"—"Born again by faith alone" (babies who die have no faith). It can't be found. It's not in the Bible.)
If you cannot find such passages in the Bible to support the assertions made here about salvation by faith alone—salvation, without the necessity of baptismal rebirth by water and the Spirit with the word of God and "working out your own salvation" by sustaining Corporal and spiritual works of mercy (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-10)—if you cannot find such passages in the Bible, then it is undeniable proof that the doctrine you have been defending is not of God. It's not in the Bible. If not, then it either comes from the flesh alone, or from some other place, not from God. In any case it absolutely opposes the truth of the Gospel of salvation through γεννηθή gennethe regeneration by water and the Spirit with the word of God and is rightly condemned as a false gospel teaching "another Jesus" qualifying for Paul's anathema. Maranatha (2 Corinthians 11:4; 1 Corinthians 16:22). It is a rejection of the obedience that Jesus commanded in Matthew 18:15-20, the obedience of faith in the Church he built, his body and the temple of the Holy Spirit, the church gathered in the name of the Lord.
James 5:20.
Trust the Word. It's self explanatory.

Opposition Analysis

You say,

The argument seems to be:
  • The Bible, or Word of God, is not authoritative;
  • Salvation is dependent upon church membership;
  • While baptism qualifies a person for adoption into God's family, it is no guarantee; salvation still must be earned by good works, or at least the sacrificial death of Jesus is insufficient to cleanse one of certain sins.

Response: Scriptural support for the analysis

All of the following scriptures from the Bible, or word of God, are authoritative. That is precisely why I say:

  • Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5
  • He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16
  • I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19
  • Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Hebrews 13:17
  • Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the church of the Lord which he obtained with his own blood. Acts 20:28
  • And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 (The scriptures are not mentioned, neither here nor in 1 Corinthians 12:27-38.)
  • For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
  • Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:27-38 (The scriptures are not mentioned, neither here nor in Ephesians 4:11-16.)
  • Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
  • And account the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. 2 Peter 3:15-17
  • You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:1-2 (often cited as support for apostolic succession)
  • 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 clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:1-6
  • For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. Romans 2:6-11
  • You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24
  • For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. Hebrews 6:4-6
  • He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Matthew 12:30-31
  • If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal. 1 John 5:16-17
  • My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20
  • I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot hear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:12-14
  • And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. John 14:16-17
  • Do you not know that you (plural) are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you (plural)? If anyone destroys God's temple God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you (plural) are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
  • So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
  • if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
  • Children it is the last hour, and as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, so now many Antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:18-29
  • If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:15-19
  • Any one who goes beyond and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son. If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; for he who greets him shares his wicked work. 2 John 9-11
  • As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11
  • Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones. Jude 8
  • These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loud-mouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 16

Point one of the analysis

Point one of the analysis. From the Bible itself we see that the Bible must be "rightly divided" and interpreted by the "leaders" and "guardians of the flock" so that we are not "carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles".
In my youth, age 8-14, I sometimes asked my Grace Baptist pastor to confirm what I thought I understood from my Bible reading because what I found in reading it surprised me and I wanted to check my conclusions from my reading of the Bible alone, and he corrected my errors of understanding, because there were other parts of the Bible I either hadn't read or had forgotten and had failed to take into account, and from age 15-17 Pastor Archie Veltman, Southtown Baptist, Des Moines.
More than the Bible alone was needed. That's why we have Sunday School teachers to guide and interpret the Bible for the children. Even sola scriptura Christians need more than the Bible alone. That's why pastoral guardians of the congregation are needed and appointed to preach doctrine to their flocks, ostensibly so they won't go astray as a result of their personal reading of the Bible. Paul's listings in Ephesians 4:11-16 and 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 do not mention the Bible as necessary for the upbuilding of the body of Christ. The Bible is authoritative, but it is insufficient of itself alone, without guidance in understanding. That's why we have need of "Bible lesson" materials, and seminaries of pastoral Bible training for future pastors and Christian educators. The overwhelming multitude of online Bible commentary sites and Christian apologetics sites by sola scriptura Bible Christians is proof that even they acknowledge that the Bible itself, by itself, is not solely authoritative. Still, the scriptures can be twisted (KJV "wrested") by unprincipled men to their destruction and the destruction of those who follow them 1 Peter 3:15-18.
Your analysis, above, concluded that the argument is "The Bible, or Word of God, is not authoritative". Essentially a correct analysis of the argument. It is authoritative, even according to Catholic doctrine, but not by itself alone (The Cathechism of the Catholic Church CCC numbers 74-141). Whether Independent, Protestant, Orthodox or Catholic, the Bible is always interpreted by the differing Christian groups according to particular doctrinal principles not written in the Bible. For example, no text of the Bible says, "The Bible (Scripture) is the sole rule of faith for the man of God." It says rather that "the scriptures are useful / profitable". 2 Timothy 3:13-17
"while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
It does not say "the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith alone".
It does not say "All scripture is inspired by God as the sole rule of faith".
It does not say that faith alone is enough, but it says that the scriptures make us "equipped for every good work". "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ep 2:10
James says "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." James 2:24.
Martin Luther contradicted this doctrine. He said James is a "strawy epistle" and that he found nothing of the Gospel in it, and removed it to an appendix of uninspired writings in his German Bible.
The Bible is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, but works are necessary, since a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. The Bible is authoritative, but not by itself alone.

Point two of the analysis

Point two of the analysis. From the Bible we see that Christians are "baptized into the body of Christ" and that "just as the body is one and has many members, so it is with Christ"—"you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the Church" several ministries, among them the "guardians of the flock to feed the Church of God which he obtained with his own blood". The members of the Church are all "baptized into Christ", "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body". "If a man does not remain in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned." "And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15
Your analysis, above, concluded that the argument is "Salvation is dependent upon church membership". The Bible supports that argument, as seen above in the passages cited from the Bible alone. But church membership is much broader than being legally listed on the church rolls of membership in a particular Christian congregation. According to Catholic doctrine all who are baptized by water and the Spirit with the word are members of the body of Christ, and united to the Catholic Church, even if imperfectly, without being aware of it (The Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC numbers 830-848). Membership in the body of Christ himself extends even beyond the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church, embracing all who have been baptized into his body "unwilling that any should perish" 2 Peter 3:9.
"Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it...Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation" CCC 846, 847.
And as seen above in the passages cited from the Bible alone, those who do not abide in the body of Christ are cast out and burned.

Point three of the analysis

Point three of the analysis. From the Bible we see that even if a person is baptized into the body of Christ and believes, subsequent loss of belief and falling away (παραπίπτω parapipto "apostasy") from Christ afterward will condemn them to hell (Hebrews 6:7-8; John 15:6), unless someone brings them back to repentance (James 5:19-20; The Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC numbers 811-870 and 1422-1470.).
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone", "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead." "For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life." Rm 2:6
We also see from the Bible in the words of Jesus himself "every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." It is evident from the word of Jesus himself that his sacrificial death of infinite and eternal value is insufficient to cleanse this mortal sin of blasphemous and irredeemable unrepentance.
Your analysis, above, concluded that the argument is "While baptism qualifies a person for adoption into God's family, it is no guarantee; salvation still must be earned by good works, or at least the sacrificial death of Jesus is insufficient to cleanse one of certain sins." The Bible supports this argument, as seen above in the passages cited from the Bible alone.

conclusion: the analysis of the argument is supported sola scriptura

Your analysis of the argument is a fairly accurate summary, with some minor provisions added for clarification. Every point set out as the essential argument in the analysis is found in the Bible
(a) Scripture is authoritative when properly interpreted but insufficient of itself alone
(b) Salvation is dependent on being united to Jesus Christ in baptism and abiding in the one body of his Church as a member of his body
(c) Baptism unites the baptized to the body of Christ as a member of his own body built into the temple of the Spirit, but without good works as the sustaining fruit of salvation the member bears no fruit and is lost (cast forth), and the sacrificial death of Jesus is insufficient to cleanse one of unrepented sins and of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
The Bible supports all of these points of the analysis. What remains is the question of whether or not to accept the analysis sola scriptura, based on all of the scriptural support for it cited here. Use the principle of "Scripture interprets scripture" without disregarding any part of scripture cited here in support of the three points of analysis.
Jesus said to the lawyer (to an expert in the Law of Moses), "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" Luke 10:25-28
He also said, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me; if any man's will is to do his will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I speak on my own authority." John 7:16-17
"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8
"Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy. Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." Revelation 22:11-14
  • For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. Rommans 2:6-11
  • You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24
  • Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. Revelation 22:12.

I stand on the authority of the Bible. My doctrinal position is Catholic precisely because of the Bible. The Catholic Church was not founded in the beginning by anyone other than Jesus. The orthodox catholic Church was not founded by those who disobeyed their leaders, and went out from them, and taught a different gospel than the one they had been given and had received at first, and then claimed (in contradiction of the promises of Jesus) that Jesus had not remained with the Church he had personally founded, claiming that the Holy Spirit was not leading into all truth the shepherding leadership of the guardians of the Church they went out from. The Bible points by the irrefutable ordinary evidence of documented history itself that the true Church must be the Catholic and Orthodox Church, so that on the infallible basis of the promises of the New Testament in the words of Jesus and Paul and John that she would be led into all truth for ever by the chief leading shepherds of the church, therefore, whatever doctrine she dogmatically proposes for belief must be the truth—a factual, historically-attested conclusion based entirely on the infallible words of the Bible. John 14:16-17; 16:12-13; Matthew 28:18-20; 1 John 2:18-19; Galatians 1:6-9.
I directed you and the other readers of the Talk page to links that access actual Catholic doctrine solidly rooted in scripture. You spurned it with contempt. You just don't get it. I believe you will not stop. You even tracked me down to continue your mocking contempt on my talk page, with a hypocritical suggestion to create an Essay page that you yourself did not follow (Fallacy of Special pleading – "The other form of special pleading involves simply ignoring evidence unfavorable to one's position. One engaged in this form of special pleading concentrates only on one aspect of an issue, or a subset of aspects favorable to the person making the claim."). I will not respond again. You have totally convinced me it would be pointless and futile. I have much more important concerns than dignifying your apparently intransigent and unending obstinant persistence against an answer adequately expressed with substantial backing from the Bible and consistently reiterated as true doctrine. I am a Bible apologist, who happens to be Catholic. I know the scriptures. I have access to twenty centuries of Greek linguistic scholarship and Bible scholarship and textual critical analysis that supports the truth of the Bible, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. I stand by them. You dismiss them. Your answers and objections on Talk:Infant baptism have overwhelmingly characterized you as apparently not knowing the Bible, apparently not knowing the Greek New Testament text, apparently unable to understand the simple, plain and obvious meaning of the abundant texts of accurately translated Bible versions in Greek and English. And when answered with the actual words of scripture that clearly demonstrate to anyone, even an eight-year-old, from the basis of sola scriptura (scripture interpreting scripture with the words of scripture alone), all cited and quoted in context, that your doctrinal position has no backing and is opposed to the word of God, you still persist in contradicting them! Seventeen centuries of Christian knowledge and understanding of the Bible regarding salvation and faith and works from the end of the first century through the Reformation into the end of the eighteenth century stand solidly against your opposition to infant baptism, and they utterly reject with one united voice the arguments of the credobaptist "Believer's baptism only" position as "giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared." That is why in the sixteenth century the Anabaptists were condemned by all of the Christian world, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant. I worked in health care, "hands-on", for 42 years after I returned home "back in the world" 1976 to Iowa. My own 91-year-old mother who is astonishingly healthy (How I know!), a very astute and intelligent, clear-headed and very well-informed former Lutheran, and later former Baptist, who became Catholic shortly after I did, along with my father, advised me stop responding to taunts and "puerile" attempts at provocation here at Conservapedia regarding unscriptural rejection of salvation by regenerative baptism, to simply let you "rant and rave". You cannot win. Acts 5:39. I entrust you to God as the One Who will fully deal with you according to His Mercy and Justice.

"Infants display faith"—not the same as the saving faith in Christ as personal Lord and Savior being preached as a "requirement of salvation"

You say

"Salvation is by grace. You must have the mind of Christ, without which no man can see God (or see the Kingdom of God)
It's pretty simple. It's not rocket science. God never intended it to be a scholarly exercise. It's gotta be simple enough for a child to understand. ...
"While nobody really knows what's going on in an infant newborn's mind, I'm assuming the infant has faith that mommie is going to feed him/her/he/she/it. I'm not saying this is doctrinal, I'm just sayin' based on my own wisdom, learning, and understanding I've come to think this is probably the case. Psalm 82, incidentally, basically says parents stand in the place of God toward their children. When an infant opens its arms to recieve [sic] its mother's breast it is displaying faith. Faith is neither an intellectual exercise nor a 'work' to be performed. It is the simple trust of a child in a parent. A child at its mother's breast has faith and love toward its parent, that the parent will love and nurture it. It is this faith that saves the child, and it is that faith of a child that you must have to be adopted into God's family, i.e. "saved". That fact also refers to life in the flesh."

You say,

"parents stand in the place of God toward their children" citing Psalm 82.

They save their children by baptism. Just as Paul said Timothy saved those entrusted to him. And James said those who bring back someone from the error of their way save them. And the Church teaches the same, that the faith of the parents and of Mother Church stand in for the faith of the newborn child "while we were helpless" when the child is baptized. The Bible never says that infants were not baptized. Or that the children of believers were not baptized before they came to personal faith in Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, it is still Jesus Christ and his saving blood "poured out upon us" (Titus 3:5-6) in the washing of the water of baptism with the word "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" for the salvation of all who are born again by water and the Spirit who baptizes ex opere operato in sacramental water baptism with the word "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

This "simple trust of a child in a parent" is not the same faith that you preach is absolutely necessary for salvation, not the same as the saving faith in Christ as personal Lord and Savior you say is required for salvation. Here is your own credobaptist doctrine in your own words:

"The issue is salvation. And what is required for salvation. The answer is metanoia - repentance - a change of heart and change of mind. A change of heart and mind in your attitude toward God, sin, and what God says about sin. ....
And I should have included this part up front: remainder of Romans 10:9-10, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. In all three examples above the "I will" part came out of the mouth.
"

An infant is incapable of this requirement of salvation "required for salvation" which you yourself have defined as necessary to be saved. According to the Bible, all who are not saved are damned to the eternal torment of the lake of fire. You require "metanoia" of a newborn infant who has died, to already have, before death (and after death the judgment), to have before death

"a change of heart and change of mind in your attitude toward God, sin, and what God says about sin"—you said "The issue is salvation. And what is required for salvation. The answer is metanoia - repentance - a change of heart and change of mind. A change of heart and mind in your attitude toward God, sin, and what God says about sin."

If this is required to be saved, if the "I will" part comes out of the mouth, an infant who does not know how to speak is by that very fact not saved, because it is incapable of this requirement of

"metanoia - repentance - a change of heart and change of mind. A change of heart and mind in your attitude toward God, sin, and what God says about sin.".

You made no exception. Your "requirement" ipso facto mercilessly condemns them to hell, and afterward to the lake of fire, simply because they can't do what you insist is the absolute "requirement of salvation" from the wrath of God.

This "simple trust of a child in a parent" is not the conscious awareness and repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior you teach is necessary for salvation (Romans 10:9-10). Your doctrine that salvation is only by faith alone, a saving faith in Christ, a faith that you say the newborn infant and baby does not have and cannot confess with their lips unto salvation, the absence of which ipso facto condemns them to eternal torment in the lake of fire because they do not believe with faith in confessing with their lips Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior because "he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16), and condemns them to eternal torment simply because they are incapable of confessing Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
Your doctrine of salvation by faith alone in the Lord condemns to wrath all babies who have no faith in the Lord Jesus Christ when they die, and all sinners who never heard the Gospel and do not believe, and all grown persons mentally incompetent to understand anything and do not believe, and therefore teaches that God is willing that all such souls perish simply because they do not have faith in Jesus Christ.
In contradiction of this doctrine, the biblical doctrine proclaims that unless one is born again by water and the Spirit one cannot enter the kingdom of God, and that baptism now saves us "while we were helpless" by the water-washing of regeneration and renewal by the Spirit and saves helpless babies and sinners who are incompetent to understand what salvation and faith and sin are, because God is not willing that any should perish. And that is why Jesus commanded to baptize "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" to "wash away your sins" and make "a new creature" who is able to come to faith in the Lord and "partake of the divine nature", and why whole households including children were baptized during the first centuries of Christianity. That biblical doctrine is also the doctrine of the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church and all the Protestant churches that baptize infants for salvation.

No. You preach wrath on all who do not (and cannot) confess with faith that Jesus Christ is their own personal Lord and Savior and be justified by faith alone, which excludes from salvation by faith alone all newborn babies who die and all who have no opportunity to believe and have faith in him simply because they are unable.
The Catholic Church preaches instead the biblical doctrine of mercy by water baptism of all who are helpless "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", including babies, and mercy to those who wished for water baptism but died before being baptized with water and the Spirit, and mercy to those who would have accepted Christian baptism if they had only known that Jesus said, "Except one be born again by water and the Spirit, one cannot enter the kingdom of God." Baptism ex opere operato now saves by the washing of water with the word of prayer. God is merciful to all who are helpless and are brought to him. You damn to the lake of fire all who die without being able to confess with their lips faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

You object that I condemn you for your faith. I condemn a defective and false faith, as did all of Protestantism, Orthodoxy and Catholicism in the 16th century, a faith that they all with one accord condemned as an antichrist doctrine contradicting the Bible itself, the credobaptist doctrine of salvation by faith alone to be believed and confessed before participating in the performance of a testimonial symbolic baptism which excludes from salvation all newborns, infants, babies and children in arms who die, simply because they do not believe and do not confess with their lips unto salvation that Jesus Christ died for them as their own personal Lord and Savior and teaches that when they die without believing and confessing this faith alone they are condemned to suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire and have no rest by day or by night.

No one believes in God's word as long as they reject the plain and simple-to-understand list of clear biblical passages requiring salvation by water baptism and the Spirit.
Show the list to any eight-year-old who has had no Bible training and no exposure to introductory theology and ask her and him what they see and what the words simply mean.

Unless one is regenerated by water and the Spirit, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5
Baptism saves you now. 1 Peter 3:21
Go forth and make disciples of all nations, Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 . . .
. . . and so on all the way to the end of the list.

Cruel doctrine

A newborn infant cannot fulfill your requirement for salvation according to your own words,

"what is required for salvation. The answer is metanoia - repentance - a change of heart and change of mind. A change of heart and mind in your attitude toward God, sin, and what God says about sin."

Your requirement of

metanoia with a change of mind and heart and a conscious understanding of all these things "so simple a child can understand"

condemns to hell and the lake of fire every uncomprehending baby that cannot understand and has died within an hour of birth, simply because it had no personal conscious faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and did not understand and come to

"metanoia - repentance - a change of heart and change of mind. A change of heart and mind in your attitude toward God, sin, and what God says about sin"—what you say (in your own words) "is required for salvation".

The Catholic Church condemns such a monstrous doctrine of cruelty, the legalistic requiring of a helpless newborn what the child is utterly incompetent to do and cannot fulfill, and by holding to a false doctrine already long ago condemned as "antichrist" deliberately depriving them of the salvation of their souls by the water-washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit when they are infants and most at risk of death.
Whenever possible, since the first century, the Christian Church east and west baptizes by regeneration through water baptism all infants brought to the "laver of regeneration" because they were conceived in the original sin of Adam, since in Adam all die, and death passed to all, since all have sinned, and there is none righteous, no not one. Infants are baptized by water and the Spirit without your requirement of conscious understanding and metanoia and a change of heart and mind in their attitude toward God, sin and what God says about sin. The Church freely baptizes the uncomprehending infant for salvation unto justification, freely, as an act of mercy commanded by the Lord himself (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16) precisely because newborn infants and babies have no capacity for what you have said is required for salvation, and simply because at this time in their lives they cannot personally resist or place any personal obstacle in the way of the grace of the sacrament "poured out upon" them (Titus 3:5-6).
In stark contrast to your requirement of metanoia, a change of mind and a change of heart in the newborn's attitude toward God, sin, and what God says about sin, all the Church really requires is the unmerited bestowing upon them the simple act of "the washing of water with the word", which ex opere operato in the very doing of the act ordained by Christ saves them "in virtue of his own mercy, by the water-washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we may be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life" because Jesus himself said, "Except one be regenerated by water and the Spirit, one cannot enter the kingdom of God". Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 3:5; John 3:5.

"Gospel of grace not works"

You say that

no sin condemns those who have been saved by faith

(babies have no such faith, and there is none righteous, no not one). You say

"To be saved means to be saved from the wrath of the Law. It's a gospel of grace, not of works."
"This doctrine is supported by the parable of the householder who went to hire labourers in his field (Matt 20). They all got the same pay, whether they worked one hour or all day. "The Kingdom of God is like unto" the householder who shortchanged the guys who labored all day and paid the bum stragglers the same amount. So no, those who are saved by grace shall not be repaid according to their works."

You have just contradicted the Word of God, and condemned yourself.

  • For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. Romans 2:6-11
  • You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2:24 (context James 2:12-26.)

Law and Works

The heart of the law and the necessity of works is clearly shown in the Bible:
Law and Works
Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-33
Romans 3:31 "Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law."
Romans 13:8 "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law."
1 John 3:17 "How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?"
Revelation 2:5 "Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent."
Revelation 2:26 "To everyone who conquers and continues to do my works to the end, I will give authority over the nations;"
Revelation 3:2 "Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is at the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God."
Revelation 3:15 "‘I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot.", 3:17 "For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked."
Revelation 20:12 "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books."
Revelation 22:12 " ‘See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work."
James 2:17 "So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."
James 2:24 "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."
James 2:26 "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead."
Matthew 7:19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven."
John 15:2 "He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit."
Matthew 25:30 "As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
John 3:3 "Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ "
John 3:5 "Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit."
Luke 6:46 " ‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord”, and do not do what I tell you?’ "
Titus 3:5 "he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."
Ephesians 2:10 "For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."

Justification and salvation

You say,

"You have justification confused with salvation. The verse does not read, a man is saved by works and not faith alone as you repeatedly imply."

The context of the whole New Testament equates justification with salvation unto sanctification through baptism of water and the Spirit.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11
but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the water-washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7.
Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
You say that baptism of water and of the Spirit is a work. Scripture shows that it is a work that scripture testifies saves and justifies. And he will render to every man according to his works. Baptism is a work of salvation which Jesus accomplishes by his blood through the washing of water with the word unto the justification of salvation "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Let's be clear about who teaches what.
The Catholic Church has utterly condemned the Pelagian "gospel of salvation by works". The Church absolutely condemns the idea that salvation can be earned. It can't. Works make faith complete, just as St. James teaches. "Faith without works is dead. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."
Anyone who says the Catholic Church teaches that salvation must be earned knows nothing, and is seriously guilty of misrepresenting Catholic doctrine with a gross falsehood against the truth.
Anyone who says that the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus does not save by his blood in baptism through the Catholic Church is guilty of seriously misrepresenting Catholic doctrine with a gross falsehood against the truth.
The Catholic Church teaches instead that salvation is
solely by the grace and justification of Jesus Christ alone by the power of the Holy Spirit through the sacrament of baptism ex opere operato.
Proof of this is set forth clearly in the The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Three: Life in Christ, Section One: Man's Vocation: Life in the Spirit, Chapter Three: God's Salvation: Law and Grace, Article 2: Grace and Justification, I-IV, numbers 1987-2029 - citing abundant Bible support, Rom 3:22; cf. 6:3-4; Rom 6:8-11; Cf. 1 Cor 12; Jn 15:1-4; Mt 4:17; Rom 3:21-26; Cf. Rom 7:22; Eph 3:16; Rom 6:19, 22; Jn 1:12-18; 17:3; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4; 1 Cor 2:7-9; Jn 4:14; 7:38-39; 2 Cor 5:17-18; Rom 12:6-8; Mt 7:20; Rom 8:28-30; Mt 5:48; Cf. 2 Tim 4; Rev 21:2; Mt 16:24.

God does the work of salvation in baptism through the power of the Holy Spirit in sacramental water baptism which He ordained as the ordinary means of salvation ex opere operato, not man.
The Catholic Church teaches that salvation is solely by the grace and justification of Jesus Christ alone by the power of the Holy Spirit through the water of baptism.

To put it bluntly - "baptism saves you now" 1 Peter 3:21.

"So which is it? the work of Christ or work of a believer who is baptized that saves?"

Both: Christ in baptism and the baptizer in one body. The sanctifying work of Christ through baptism, but not a work of the baptized. The person baptized is not the one who baptizes. "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:25-27. "He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the λουτρού water-washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life." Titus 3:5-7. "Except a person be born of water and the Spirit, a person cannot enter the kingdom of God." John 3:5.

Three scriptural texts demonstrate that it is Christ himself doing the work of baptism for salvation directly through the members of his Church by what they do in obedience to his will in baptism, which he himself ordained as the ordinary means of salvation.—"Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." 1 Corinthians 12:27. "for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13. "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the end of the world. Matthew 28:19-10. "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" John 20:21. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." 1 John 4:14

I was baptized by water and the Spirit, but I didn't do it. Therefore my salvation was not dependent on an action on MY part. You keep insisting that we baptize ourselves and do the work ourselves. No. I did nothing. Jesus did, by washing me with his precious blood in the water of regeneration. Sacramental baptism is done to us and for us by Jesus Christ Himself by water and the Spirit. No Christian, Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic does the work to save himself. None of us baptized ourselves. If you still think baptism is a work I did to myself to be saved you are wrong. I didn't do it. Baptism by water and the Spirit is the supreme grace of God. Pure gift bestowed. No one can earn it for himself, and no one can do it to himself or for himself. It's done to us, not by us. Baptism is not a work of our own salvation. It's the work of Jesus by his blood.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” – Baptism now saves you. John 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21. Plain and simple, easy to understand. But you still just don't get it.

You made this challenge—

"Why do we need salvation? (Note: My question is "Why do we need salvation?", not "Why do we need baptism?")."

You ask "Why?"
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” – Baptism now saves you.
Why do we need salvation?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” – Baptism now saves you.
Why do we need salvation?
God is not willing that any should perish! 2 Peter 3:9. The promise is to you and to your children. Acts 2:39

You rhetorically challenged me to explain,

"Why do I need salvation? What am I being saved from?"

The Catholic Church can tell you, all based on the Bible. It's all set forth clearly in the The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Three: Life in Christ, Section One: Man's Vocation: Life in the Spirit, Chapter Three: God's Salvation: Law and Grace, Article 2: Grace and Justification, I-IV, numbers 1987-2029 - citing abundant Bible support, Rom 3:22; cf. 6:3-4; Rom 6:8-11; Cf. 1 Cor 12; Jn 15:1-4; Mt 4:17; Rom 3:21-26; Cf. Rom 7:22; Eph 3:16; Rom 6:19, 22; Jn 1:12-18; 17:3; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4; 1 Cor 2:7-9; Jn 4:14; 7:38-39; 2 Cor 5:17-18; Rom 12:6-8; Mt 7:20; Rom 8:28-30; Mt 5:48; Cf. 2 Tim 4; Rev 21:2; Mt 16:24.
If you have a teachable spirit, you will have your answers. “Go thou and learn." 1 Corinthians 8:2
Proverbs 14:7
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Baptism now saves you.
This grace was given to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery of God who created all things; that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:8-11.
Know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
Your interminable argument is not with me but with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. [1] [2]
You cannot win. (Acts 5:38-39)

The Good Thief, not baptized, helpless on the cross

You say,

"The thief on the cross who repented was not water baptised, yet Jesus said to him, 'Today you will be with me in Paradise.' "

You don't believe the Bible. Not as long as you reject what the Bible says is required to enter the kingdom of God. The Thief on the Cross was saved by baptism of desire through the personal word of Jesus because he was unable to receive it but would have if he could have. We also have his word and are required to submit when we are able. If we reject his word we reject him and if we reject him we reject him who sent him. He has sent the Church, and whoever hears the one whom he has sent hears him, and whoever hears him hears The Father Who sent him. Doctrine, not behavior, or the betrayal of Judas would invalidate Christ, and all professing Christians who sin would cancel the authority of scripture. If the Church is a human institution, the Bible commands "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution." 1 Peter 2:13-17. "Obey your leaders and submit to them." Hebrews 13:17. "If he will not listen to the Church, let him be to you as a pagan." Matthew 18:17. A Gentile was an unclean pagan unbeliever. A tax collector (publican) was an unclean betrayer and a sinner. (See Excommunication.)

See the article "The Legacy left by Martin Luther, the first Protestant!", by Bob Stanley (thecatholictreasurechest.com)

"Helpless" babies and sinners - Ephesians 2:11-16 and Romans 5:12-19; Romans 5:6-11 and 8:31-39; 2 Timothy 2:13 and 2 Corinthians 1:19-22 and John 10:35

Consider the argument that Jesus died to save the helpless and powerless who have no faith, "having no hope and without God in the world" Ephesians 2:11-16 and Romans 5:12-19.
No one is more helpless than the unborn, newborn, infant, baby, or child in arms who cannot walk, and has no conscious faith and no conscious hope βρέφη brephe (Luke 18:15).
Compare Romans 5:6-11 and 8:31-39
Yet Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
Taken all together within the context of the whole of the Bible and together with the fact that God cannot contradict Himself, and that scripture cannot be broken, infant baptism is supported by the Bible.
Compare 2 Timothy 2:13; 2 Corinthians 1:19-22; John 10:35.
The word "faith" does not appear in any of these passages. Infants without faith and hope and God are helpless, and God saves them "while they are still helpless" by baptism with water and the word (Ephesians 5:26). See the brief separate article: Helpless babies and sinners.

Salvation

"What is salvation?"

You ask me to answer the question,

"What is salvation?"

I gave you my answer from the Bible.

Fundamental Salvation

The Bible answer to the question "What is salvation?" is set forth fully in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a reiteration of all that the Bible says.

For the benefit of readers here I provide direct access to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which affirms "Baptism is of the spirit, not of the flesh" by citing abundant scriptural support for water baptism as the divinely ordained means of salvation for even the most helpless (1213-1284 and 1987-2029).
It's pretty simple. Baptism saves the soul. A child can understand that.

The Catechism defines salvation from scripture alone, using abundant citations and quotations from scripture, with literal conclusions from scripture, drawn from the common understanding of the Church Fathers east and west, who based all they said on the literal sense of scripture, the sensus fidelium, sensus plenior and sensus Christianorum of Christianity, faithfully expressing "the mind of Christ", so that what you rejected as "traditions of men" is in fact the teaching of scripture, "and the scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35; Mark 12:24; 1 Corinthians 15:34).

I can say this because I am primarily and fundamentally a Bible apologist, who just happens to be Catholic. I was raised a Baptist. I know the Bible. I am 72 years old and I have read it cover to cover 82 times since before the age of 12 when I finally "went forward and accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior" and was baptized by full immersion at Grace Baptist Church (Conservative Baptist) in Des Moines, Iowa, in the spring of 1959. Shortly afterward I was appointed by the pastor as one of the "youth conversion counsellors" of newly baptized young teen converts and made one of the leaders of our Youth Group, and actively joined "Youth for Christ". Years later, as an adult, by fervent prayer, and by my knowledge of scripture and history and finding out by careful investigation what Catholicism and Orthodoxy actually teaches (which is not what I had been told they teach), at age 33 the Lord Jesus led me to embrace the Catholic Church as the most biblically faithful Church on the face of the earth. I held to three fundamental scripture passages:

Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 2:18-19; and John 14:16-17 with John 16:12-14.

I looked for a church that was not founded by those who disobeyed those who were over them in the Lord and that did not come out of another church and teach a doctrine different from the church it came out of. Only one church qualified historically and scripturally. People asked me, "How can you do that?" I said, "Because I believe the Bible. Let me show you."
I stand on the firm foundation of the doctrine of the Bible which includes all "authority established by God" (Romans 13:1-10; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13-17). The established Church has "the mind of Christ".

Rejection of scripture written by men who were sent by the Lord, is rejection of the word of the Lord who was sent by the Father, and rejection of the word of the Lord who was sent by God is rejection of the Lord who sent Him (Luke 10:16; Matthew 10:40; Luke 9:48; John 13:20; 12:48). The full context of the teaching of the Bible itself according to the whole of the first sixteen centuries of consistent Christian understanding of salvation through the blood of Christ alone, poured out by the Holy Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9-11) in baptism with water (1 John 5:6; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Revelation 1:5), was the reason the whole Christian Church, Catholic, Orthodox and mainstream Protestant together, guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16 and 26; 16:13-14; Matthew 28:19-20), condemned the credobaptism doctrine of the Anabaptists and Baptists as a doctrine of Satan himself. What they say I say with them.
— also Proverbs 18:1; 20:3; 22:10; 26:12; 27:3; 30:5.

"What is salvation?"

Salvation is eternal life instead of death, given by baptism now. Simple.
The gift of unmerited salvation which gives eternal life is directly bestowed by the regeneration of baptism (Titus 3:5) "which saves you now" (1 Peter 3:21) ex opere operato, through the ministry of others not of themselves "on behalf of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:18), on behalf of the same Lord Jesus Christ who does the actual work of the sacrament himself through his blood (1 Peter 1:2), in accordance with the established doctrinal condition demanded by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, "Except a man (Gr τις tis "anyone") be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God." John 3:5. This is the free gift of God—with the condition that the Lord himself laid down to be saved. Jesus sanctifies and cleanses "by the washing of water with the word" (Ephesians 5:26). He commanded baptism in Matthew 28:19.
"Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I command?" (Luke 6:46; Matthew 7:21; John 15:10).
Jesus does this from love for a purpose (John 3:17; Ephesians 1:5; Matthew 28:19).
Salvation is the rescue of the soul, by the cleansing blood of Christ on the cross (1 John 1:7) through the washing of water with the word, that the soul might be born again (regenerated) by water and the Spirit, saved from the everlasting ruin of sin, saved for "good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Romans 2:7; 1 John 3:7; James 2:24). Babies saved by the salvation of baptism grow up to serve the Lord by the power of the grace bestowed through salvation by regeneration, by the washing of water with the word, born again by water and the Spirit, buried with him in baptism—saved from the wrath to come on those who are not cleansed of their sin (1 John 3:10; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Revelation 20:15; 22:14-15). The essence of salvation, and the result of salvation, bestowed on the helpless sinner is a partaking of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) by the everlasting life of God in Christ Jesus poured out on the helpless soul (Romans 5:6) by "water and the Spirit", and the eucharist, which bestows the "life that now is and is to come" 1 Timothy 4:8.

Salvation begins with baptism. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213-1284 and 1987-2029. God loves the whole world so much (John 3:16-17) that he is "not willing that any should perish" 2 Peter 3:9. The doctrine that salvation can be lost, that it can be rescinded, revoked and forfeited by mortal sin, is covered in the article Eternal security (salvation). Abundant supporting Bible passages regarding the danger of losing salvation are listed and quoted there. It is also already adequately covered here in this article Infant baptism.

1 Peter 3:21 "baptism doth also now save us." —You deny this.

John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born (regenerated) of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." —You contradict this.

Hebrews 10:26 "if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins."—You deny this.

2 Peter 2:20 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." —You deny this.

2 Peter 3:17 "beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." —You deny this warning.

1 Corinthians 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." —You deny this danger.

2 John 8 "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward."—You reject this warning and the doctrine of the word of God on the reward that God will render to every one for what they have done.

1 Timothy 6:3 "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;"
1 Timothy 6:4 "He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings"
1 Timothy 6:5 "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."

2 Timothy 2:14 "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers."

Titus 3:9 "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."
Titus 3:10 "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;"
Titus 3:11 "Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."

Mark 7:9 "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."

You deny scripture for the sake of your tradition. I stand by the Bible. Baptism saves by the blood of Christ. And Christian believers must be careful not to lose their reward. James 5:19-20.

1 Peter 3:21 "baptism doth also now save us."

John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born (regenerated) of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
It is evident you contradict the Bible. A perfect example of Confirmation bias and Fallacy of invincible ignorance. I will die before I ever deny the word of Jesus Christ.

The Bible says "baptism now saves us." That's salvation. Regenerative salvation by water and the Spirit: water baptism saves. Clearly, no debate. The teaching is not implicit, it is undeniably explicit, word for word, simply plain and obvious, and not a single text alone but many, all read within their immediate context and within the context of the whole of the New Testament.

But you have no faith in the word of God, even when it is clearly printed on the page. [3] [4] [5]

Moses and water in the wilderness

You asked,

"Where in the Old Testament did Moses require water baptism to be saved?"

I can show you where Moses preached the foreshadowing of the requirement of water baptism by type

[6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]
[20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

Rebuttal: refutation of credobaptism: Protestant and Catholic

The Pentecostal article below is a plain rebuttal of your position, and is presented here as my response. Jesus saved many people without their faith. That includes babies, Old Testament saints, and all pagans who never had opportunity to hear the Gospel, who would have accepted baptism by water and the Spirit if they had known of its necessity.

Let Us Reason Ministries - a Pentecostal refutation of sola fide - "Did Jesus or the apostles heal everyone because of their faith?"

Introduction to Pentecostal article reproduced below

– The article below is an outstanding response to the credobaptist doctrine of "believer's baptism" as the only way of salvation. We ourselves in our own helpless weakness do not even know how to pray, like helpless infants in their weakness who have no faith (see Helpless babies and sinners). We are all like newborn babies who need the Holy Spirit to intercede for us in the regenerative baptism of water and the Spirit unto new life. "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs and groanings too deep for words."

The following Pentecostal article is here quoted in full from Let Us Reason Ministries (letusreason.org)

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Did Jesus or the apostles heal everyone because of their faith?

We hear many teach that every time Jesus healed a person he said "According to YOUR faith, be it unto you," as if God always waits to enact His miraculous power by our faith. But this is not accurate, and one simply has to read all the Scriptures on healing and not focus on certain ones to understand this.

I believe in God's supernatural healing , Our God is one who does miracles. Today we hear that it only takes faith for the Lord to answer our prayer.What If one is not healed by faith, does it means they are a failure, because they did not exercise the faith that God needed in order to react. Jesus When Jesus was physically on earth he healed everyone that asked Him, But he also healed those who did not ask Him.

Luke 6:19: “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.”

Luke 9:11: “But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.”

Yet when we look carefully Jesus healed as many people that had no faith, than did. Sometimes he required faith, other times he did not. They were healed by His grace and mercy because of His love and most importantly to show the people who He is. Matt 14:14 :“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.”

So many brought friends and loved ones out to be healed. Matt 15:30:: “Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them.”

Healings were done in numerous ways. There were times Jesus responded to the faith of another person who asked on behalf of the one who needed healing.

Matt. 8:5-10 It was the faith of the centurion that healed his own servant. If we apply this today those who have enough faith for their own healing can apply it to everyone else to be healed.

Mk.5:35-43 The daughter of Jairus was healed from the fathers faith and asking.

The paralytic was carried by his friends to Jesus and “When Jesus saw their faith” (for their friend) He pronounced his sins forgiven first and then healed him (Mark 2:2-12).

Lk.17:11-19 Jesus healed all 10 lepers but only one obeyed showing that he was the only one to possess true saving faith.

Jesus healed people from the ultimate sickness of sin, death. In Jn.11 Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, certainly it wasn’t Lazarus’ faith that raised himself, he was dead, neither did anyone else believe it could occur then. It was done so they could believe he was their Messiah (also Lk. 8:54). Other examples are in John 18:10, when Peter cut of the ear of Malchus, Jesus healed him without any faith from anyone.

Lk.8:26-39 The demoniac of Gadarene was healed without asking before he was capable of expressing his faith.

The Bible records Jesus doing just as many miracles without anyone exercising faith then with their faith. Jesus performed miracles with disbelief among the disciples.

Of the 35 miracles recorded in the Gospel accounts the faith of the recipient is exercised in only 10 of the accounts. Healing of the lame man (Jn.5:1-9) the cleansing of a leper (Mt.8:2-4) healing a mans withered hand (Mt.9:2-8) the healing of the man born blind (Jn.9:1-7) healing the blindness of Bartemaeus (Mt.20:29-34) The women who had a blood flow (Mt.9:20-22; Mk.5:24-34) Peter who walked on water to Jesus (Mt.14:24-33) the miraculous catching of the fish (Lk.5:1-11) and the second miraculous catch (Jn.21:1-11) The cleansing of the 10 lepers of which only one had faith (Lk.17:11-19).

Jesus did not indiscriminately heal ALL the people ALL of the time, but It was those God willed to be healed that were healed.

While he required faith for some he did not require it for all. In John 5:1-15: (v.3) multitudes were gathered at the pool of Bethsaida to be healed, Jesus did not call everyone forward, He picked only one person to be healed, a blind and lame man. Jesus initiated a conversation and asked the man at the pool of Bethsaida if he wanted to be made well. His answer was that there was no one to carry him to the pool, believing that if he entered the water he would be healed. The man with the infirmity was healed by God’s grace. He had no faith in Jesus; he didn’t even know it was Jesus who healed him until later (v.12-13).

In John 9 we find a blind man who did not ask to be healed, but was picked to be healed out of many others. This also was God’s grace. When Jesus saw the man blind from birth responding to His disciples’ inquiry, He healed him without his asking. It was not about their faith as much as it is about His will. Everyone Jesus WILLED to be healed was healed, 100%. This is the basis for a healing from a biblical frame of reference. He did not only heal those who had faith, He often picked those who had no faith.

Matt 13:13-15: "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.'

Because they did not understand Jesus did not heal them. What did they not understand? His teaching and who He was, they did not repent.

True supernatural healings do not always require faith it’s bestowed in mercy by the providence of God. The healings that are from God are always 100% successful, without any relapses, and are almost always immediate. False and psychological healings require physical contact, they can have relapses, and do not heal organic disorders and are not usually immediate. “Faith healers” claim you must keep your faith for your healing or the devil will come and steal it. Nowhere are God's healings spoken of in this way. Real miracles are under God's control with or without the use of man; false miracles always come by mans hands, and are done by their own dictates.

The Bible records Jesus doing many miracles in the absence of anyone exercising faith than with faith present. This is very significant considering the current teaching of faith being necessary for ones healing.

The Apostles healing ministry

After Jesus physically left earth and the apostles were leaders of the church, they were commissioned with the gospel and authority to do as Jesus did.

Acts 3:2-6: “And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

The man at the Gate beautiful was not seeking healing but money, he had no faith. John and Peter might of walked by this man a number of times to the temple but on this certain day they were moved to raise him up from his sick bed.

Miracles through the apostles became widespread outside of Israel to the Gentiles.

In 1 Timothy 5:23 Paul had Timothy to take wine for medicinal purposes. Lack of Faith was not the problem. 2 Timothy 4:20 says: “Trophemus I left in Miletus sick.” Trophemus a companion of Paul was left as Paul went on ministering, he did not encourage him to have faith to be healed. In Philippians 2:26, 30 mentions Epaphroditus as a devoted servant of the Lord; he became sick and stayed that way for some time and almost died. We see their prayers were answered by God’s will and in his timing. All Christians should pray for God to heal when it is needed.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul had a thorn in the flesh In Vv.9-10 Paul laments “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” God denied Paul to be healed for a reason. So to say everyone must be healed because of what Jesus did on the cross is wrong, the gospel is primarily about forgiveness of sin.

There is now a teaching inside the church that our cup of communion heals. Jesus said “This is My blood...which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Notice He said for sin. This is an ordinance that physically is to remind us of the actual crucifixion event. We are told it is “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). The Bible states that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, not healing for sickness. Revelation 1:5: “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” It is always our sin we are promised to be healed from. Now the question arises: “since sickness is from sin,” if our sin is forgiven we should not be sick? The Bible does not teach we have or can obtain sinless perfection in this life, so why should we think we would be free of sicknesses? Even death is from sin -- if we believe communion heals absolutely then those who take it would never physically die. We die because we are not cured physically from our sickness of sin until the day of resurrection.

We are currently forgiven and cleansed by the blood in a legal sense but not in a completed physical sense. This is reserved for the day of our resurrection when corruptible will become incorruptible. It is only then sin will be dealt the deathblow and we will live forever in an immortal physical body. We are presently clothed in Christ’s righteousness because we have faith in him who fulfilled the law, and is our substitute. One day we will personally be made righteous and what He accomplished will be fully applied to our body, not just our spirit. Rom.8:15 we live in a fallen world until the time of restoration. When one teaches all must be healed now they must ignore the context of the greater portion of Scripture. The faith teachers are not dividing the word correctly. They teach by faith we can today obtain everything scripture says. They apply blessings what will only take place millennial to us now.

Divine health so that you are never to be sick is not the teaching of Scripture; it is divine healing that is taught, it is in God’s hand when and how one would be healed. Real faith trusts him, is patient and perserveres.

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Where does the Bible say that the Church does not save?

You say,

"The Church cannot save you. Only Christ saves us, not an apostate man-made human institution teaching fleshly doctrines of rituals invented by the traditions of men. Nowhere does the Bible say the church saves. Only Christ saves, not man."

"Attention all hands: Now hear this!"
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." Matthew 28:18
"And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world." 1 John 4:16.
"As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." John 20:21. "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven." John 20:23.
"I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Mt 16:18-19
"if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 18:17b-18
"Be subject to every human institution" 1 Peter 2:13.
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment." Romans 13:1-3.
"So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." 2 Thessalonians 2:15.
"Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17.
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-9.
"Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us." 1 John 2:18-19
"And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you." John 14:16-17
"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you." John 16:12-14].

I was taught as a Baptist to be faithful to the Bible as the Word of God. As a faithful Baptist heeding all the scriptures above and based on the Bible I obeyed and accepted that the Catholic Church had to be the one true Church. It was the only Church not founded by people who disobeyed those over them, and left and went out from them, and taught a doctrine different from the gospel they had been taught by the Church that they left.
It is the authoritative binding doctrine of the established Christian Church that has always connected the dots between Jesus' healing miracles and infant baptism and teaches to this day that "Baptism … now saves you" 1 Peter 3:21.
I accept the doctrine and interpretation of the established binding authority of the apostolic tradition of the Christian Church in connecting them.

Like Paul, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.
Heeding all the scriptures I have cited above, and based on the Bible alone sola scriptura, I obeyed and accepted that the Catholic Church had to be the one true Church. "Catholic" means universal, for all people of all places in every time to the day of judgment. It was the only Church not founded by people who had disobeyed those over them, and left and went out from them, and taught a doctrine different from the gospel they had been taught by the Church that they left, and denied that the Holy Spirit had remained for ever with the leadership of that Church, saying that Christ who remained to the end of the world had not remained, saying that He had departed and was no longer with that Church. The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ Himself as His Bride, remaining with her to the end of the world as the vessel and channel of the grace of God given to the whole world as the body of Christ Himself, sent as He was sent, as the Savior of the world, baptizing. The Church is the "Temple of the Spirit", "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling-place of God in the Spirit" (1 Peter 2:4-5; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:19-22). "He cannot deny himself" (2 Timothy 2:11-13). To depart from the Church is deserting the gospel of grace. The grace of salvation comes from Christ alone through the Catholic Church he founded and sent out into the whole world as "the pillar and ground of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15), "that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 3:10).

"Church membership is not salvation."

Grace is bestowed by Christ through his body the Church and those baptized into him are saved. The Catholic Church saves as the one sent by God. The Church saves because Jesus is God in her as her head and the Holy Spirit dwells in her as the temple of God and it is he who sanctifies her and is the source of salvation, because God is in her at work in her members as members of the body of Christ himself, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).

"The church saves? I don't think even Catholic doctrine teaches that. You're bordering on speaking anathema."

You clearly don't know what you're talking about. The Catholic Church does teach that the Church saves. Catholic doctrine "teaches that" in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 836-837 and 849.

836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation."
837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'"

The Catholic Church does teach that the Church saves.

CCC 849 "The missionary mandate. “Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men.” [AG 7; cf. Heb 11:6; 1 Cor 9:6] (AG is the Vatican II document Ad Gentes)

The Biblical Basis for Infant Baptism - Protestant and Catholic

The teaching of Scripture

"When we look carefully at the teaching of Scripture, we see that the sign of the covenant was applied to infants prior to Christ, and presumably continued to be applied to them when Jesus changed it to baptism." —James W. Scott, The Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Protestant response

Article by James W. Scott Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) The Biblical Basis for Infant Baptism

Many evangelical, Bible-believing Christians believe that baptism should be reserved for those who make a profession of faith. They point to the clear teaching in the Bible that converts should be baptized (see, for example, Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:37–38; 8:12; 18:8). The baptism warranted in the Bible by precept and example, they say, is believer’s baptism.
But wait a minute! The ordinary practice in baptistic churches has no more direct biblical support than the practice in churches that baptize infants. In both groups of churches, those who are converted from outside the church are baptized as new believers. That kind of “believers’ baptism” is not at issue. What is at issue is what to do with those who are born and raised within the church. Should they be baptized as infants or should their baptism be withheld until they make their own profession of faith?
Neither practice has explicit biblical support. There is no example of anyone born to Christian parents being baptized in the New Testament at any age, and no precept addresses their specific situation. The time and circumstances that are appropriate for baptizing such children must be inferred from general biblical teaching concerning baptism.
Let us once and for all disabuse ourselves of the notion that what goes on in baptistic churches has direct biblical warrant. It is only inferred from Scripture, as is our practice. (The question of immersion—the “mode” of baptism—is treated in an earlier article and will not be discussed here, though it is equally important in baptistic thinking.)

The Baptistic View of Baptism

Those who advocate believer’s baptism insist that infant baptism is not baptism at all (even if the infant is immersed). This is because they have a different understanding of baptism. In their view, baptism is principally a testimony given by the person baptized, first in word and then symbolically in water. Since an infant cannot give a testimony, a genuine infant baptism is an impossibility.

However, the Bible nowhere portrays baptism as the testimony of the person baptized. Passages that link faith to baptism (such as Acts 8:12; 18:8) simply show that faith, publicly professed, is a necessary condition for baptism. Indeed, it is appropriate to include a statement of faith in the baptismal ceremony. However, a baptism itself (the application of water, with accompanying words) is a statement by God (through the church) to and about the person being baptized, not a statement by that person. The person baptized is the recipient of baptism from a minister of Jesus Christ, acting in his name (Matt. 28:18–20; cf. Acts 2:37–42; 8:16; 35–38).

Once we recognize that faith is a condition for baptism, and that baptism itself is not a demonstration of faith by the person baptized, the question can be asked, Whose faith is required? As we look now at the relevant biblical teaching, we will see that the faith of parents fully suffices for the baptism of their children.

Baptism and Discipleship

When Jesus instituted Christian baptism, he instructed his disciples to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them ... [and] teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20). Baptism, then, begins the discipling process, which continues throughout one’s life. Everyone recognizes that the children of believers should be taught to observe the commandments of Jesus (see Eph. 6:1–3, 4). But this passage indicates that they should be baptized first.
On the Day of Pentecost, those who were converted by the preaching of Peter “were baptized; and there were added [to the church] that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). They then received instruction “in the apostles’ teaching” and participated fully in the life of the church (vs. 42). Again we see that baptism marks one’s entrance into the church, into the fellowship of the saints. But what about the children of these converts? Were they baptized and included in the church fellowship? Baptists want to leave children unbaptized but include them in the life of the church, but that is not the biblical pattern.

Children of Abraham

In order to understand the proper place of children in the church, it is necessary to understand that the church consists of those who have received the promise of spiritual blessing that was originally given to Abraham. The third chapter of Galatians spells this out carefully, concluding, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29).

This means that the covenant that God made with Abraham remains in effect today (in its “new covenant” form, of course). Otherwise, we could not be Abraham’s offspring, receiving what was promised to him and his descendants. The Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1–3; 15:1–7; 17:1–14) was confirmed to his son Isaac (Gen. 26:1–5, 23–24) and his grandson Jacob (Gen. 28:10–15; cf. 48:15–16; 50:24). It continued with the nation of Israel (Ex. 2:24; 6:2–8), for whom the Law of Moses was added (as the Mosaic or “old” covenant) until the time of Christ (Gal. 3:17–19), in whom the promises given to Abraham were fulfilled (vss. 16, 22–28).

After Abraham exercised faith in God’s covenant promises (Gen. 15:6), the Lord added the rite of circumcision to the covenant arrangement (Gen. 17:9–14). He received “the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he [already] had while uncircumcised” (Rom. 4:11). Because Abraham was righteous (his sins were forgiven) as the result of his faith, he was circumcised as a sign given by God that sealed that righteousness. Physical, outward circumcision signified spiritual, inward cleansing of the heart (Ezek. 44:7; Rom. 2:28–29), a spiritual reality for Abraham and all his true, believing descendants.
Not only Abraham, but all males in his household, were to be circumcised. Henceforth, all males were to be circumcised as eight-day-old infants, throughout the generations of the covenant community (Gen. 17:12–13). Circumcision marked one’s entrance into the covenant community; without it, one was to be “cut off from his people” (vs. 14).
This was God’s way of signifying that the promises given to faithful Abraham extended also to his children (and anyone else who came under and accepted his authority). Some of those, like his son Ishmael, left the covenant community and renounced the faith of Abraham. Others in Israel’s sorry history remained in the covenant community, but did not share the faith of Abraham. A remnant, however, by the grace of God, remained faithful.

A New Covenant Sign

Into the circumcised community was born Jesus, in whom the promise of spiritual blessing for all peoples of the world would be fulfilled (Gal. 3:8–9, 14). The line of physical descent from Abraham reached its climax in the person of Jesus (vss. 16, 19). After him, only spiritual descent mattered (vss. 7–9, 25–26). Converts would no longer be incorporated into the nation of Israel.
Consequently, a covenant sign that focused on physical descent through the male line was no longer appropriate. A new sign of the covenant was needed—one that all people, whether Jew or Gentile, male or female, could receive. As we have seen, water baptism was instituted by Jesus as the new sign of entrance into the community of faith. Essentially, then, baptism replaced circumcision.
The change from circumcision to baptism is reflected in Acts 8:12, where we read that Samaritans were being baptized, “men and women alike.” There is no reason to point out that people of both genders were now receiving the sign of the covenant, except to contrast it with the old sign of the covenant. Implied in this contrast is the fact that baptism had replaced circumcision.

Spiritual Circumcision

There were Judaizers in the church who wanted Gentile converts to be circumcised and to follow the whole Mosaic law. But in various epistles, Paul insisted that Christians not only had nothing to gain from circumcision and Judaism, but actually had everything to lose! Writing to the Colossians, he declared that Christians were complete in Christ and should not look to Judaism or any other religion to supplement their faith (Col. 2:8–23). His statements specifically about circumcision and baptism (vss. 11–12) deserve close attention.
Christians have no need for physical circumcision, Paul indicates, because “in Him”—that is, as part of their spiritual union with Christ—they have already been “circumcised with a circumcision made without hands” (vs. 11). That is, they have already received that inward circumcision, that spiritual cleansing of the heart, that is effected by the Holy Spirit. In Romans 2:28–29, Paul refers to this as inward circumcision, “which is of the heart, by the Spirit.”
This spiritual circumcision, Paul continues, consists of “the removal of the body of the flesh” (Col. 2:11). But what is “the body of the flesh”? An important textual variant here reads “the body of the sins of the flesh” (NKJV). In either case, another contrast with circumcision is in view. Physical circumcision removes a small piece of flesh. But spiritual circumcision, figuratively speaking, removes or puts off the whole body of sinful flesh, that is, “our old self,” “our body of sin” that has been “done away with” (Rom. 6:6). When the Spirit cleanses the heart, the whole weight of sin is removed, and the sinful flesh is renounced.
This spiritual cleansing, Paul continues, is effected by “the circumcision of Christ” (Col. 2:11). Since this verse has all along been speaking of the spiritual experience of the sinner, “the circumcision of Christ” must likewise be something in Christian experience, not something in the life of Jesus (i.e., his death, as baptistic writers suppose). It is the spiritual circumcising that belongs to Christ—“the circumcision done by Christ” (NIV) or simply “Christian circumcision.” The Judaizers were insisting on the physical circumcision set forth in the Law of Moses; Paul was upholding the spiritual circumcision of Christ.
Paul’s opponents might well have agreed that an inward cleansing was in order. However, they would have insisted that this be signified by physical circumcision. But Paul indicates that that is not necessary, for the Christian has already been “buried with Him” [that is, Christ] in baptism (Col. 2:12; cf. Rom. 6:4–5). Physical circumcision has nothing to add. A new sign, baptism, has been received.
Finally, Christians have been “raised up with Him through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). “We have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead ... we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). What do the Judaizers have to offer in comparison with that? We are already complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)!
It is part of the teaching of Colossians 2:11–12, then, that baptism has replaced circumcision for the covenant community. The Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled in the new covenant, and circumcision has been replaced by baptism as the sign and seal of the righteousness of faith.

Children in the Church

Under the Abrahamic covenant, those who were born within the covenant community received the sign of the covenant as infants. Because the Abrahamic covenant remains in effect, but with the sign of it having been changed, it follows that those who are born within the covenant community should be baptized as infants, just as they were formerly circumcised as infants. They should be baptized at the start of the discipling process, as outlined by Jesus.
If there are any doubts as to the “fitness” of infants to be raised as disciples of Jesus, he himself dispelled them. When children were brought to Jesus by their parents for his blessing, the disciples tried to brush them aside (Mark 10:13–16). But Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me ... for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” These children included babies (Luke 18:15); Jesus “took them in His arms and began blessing them” (Mark 10:16).
Some would say that Jesus welcomed them just to teach adults a lesson (see Luke 18:17). But if infants do not qualify for the kingdom of God, then how can adults qualify by being like them? There is no lesson for adults to learn unless Jesus welcomes the infants of believers into his kingdom. That kingdom, today, is essentially the church (Matt. 16:18–19). Since people are visibly received into the church by baptism, it follows that infants are to be received into the kingdom of God by baptism.

Faith and Baptism

As we have seen, circumcision under the Abrahamic covenant was applied to infants on the basis of parental faith (Gen. 17; Rom. 4:11). Since we today are part of that covenant through faith in Christ, the new sign of the covenant, water baptism, should likewise be applied to infants on the basis of parental faith.
That theological conclusion is confirmed by the accounts in the book of Acts which reveal that whole households were commonly baptized on the basis of the faith of the head of the household. These accounts are examined in some detail in the article “Saving Faith and Infant Baptism,” in the April 1992 issue of New Horizons, but it will be helpful to summarize the argument here.
The most detailed and informative account is that of the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:30–34). “Believe in the Lord Jesus,” he was told, “and you shall be saved, you and your household” (vs. 31; cf. 11:14). Accordingly, the gospel was preached “to him together with all who were in his house” (vs. 32). In response, he “believed in God with his whole household” (vs. 34), whereupon “he was baptized, he and all his household” (vs. 33).
The key word in this passage is “with.” It signifies accompaniment. When Luke says that the jailer heard the gospel and believed with his household, the implication is that everyone in his household went along with him. Any older household members, such as his wife, evidently became believers, too. But any young children went along with their father, following his lead with whatever limited understanding that they had.
This crucial distinction between “with” and “and” (regrettably obscured by some translations) is clear in similar passages in Acts: 1:14; 3:4; 4:27; 5:1; 10:2; 14:13; 15:22; 21:5. In each case, “with” introduces those who follow the lead of others and join with them in their activity, however actively or passively. In Acts 21:5, for example, Paul is escorted to the harbor by all the men in the church at Tyre, “with wives and children,” which no doubt included a number of small infants.

In the household baptism passages, the head of the house always believes “with” his household, but he and they are baptized. Just as the heads of households escorted Paul to the harbor “with” infants who were only passive participants, so also heads of households were baptized “with” whatever infants were in their families.

Some would argue that there may not have been any infants in these households mentioned in Acts. However, household baptism was evidently a common practice in the apostolic church (see also 1 Cor. 1:16). It must have happened thousands of times, often including infants.

You and Your Children

Paul’s promise to the Philippian jailer, that salvation would come to his whole house if he believed in Jesus, was no different from what Peter told three thousand adult converts at Pentecost. The promise of the Holy Spirit, Peter said, was “for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself” (Acts 2:39). These converts had just been called by the Lord into fellowship with himself, and many other adults (then “far off”) would be called in the future, but the children of these converts formed a third category: they were called into fellowship with Christ together with their parents (or even merely one parent: see 1 Cor. 7:14). Such is the grace of God to the children of believers! We can only infer that the children of the first Christian converts were baptized, brought up in the Christian faith (see Eph. 6:1–4; Col. 3:20–21), and, whenever it pleased the Lord, given the Holy Spirit promised to them.

Conclusion

When we look carefully at the teaching of Scripture, we see that the sign of the covenant was applied to infants prior to Christ, and presumably continued to be applied to them when Jesus changed it to baptism. And when we look closely at the household baptisms described in Acts, there can be little doubt but that infants were commonly baptized in the apostolic church. They were baptized then, and they should be baptized now, on the basis of God’s promise to bless the children of believers. The faith of a parent qualifies a child to be baptized and raised as a disciple of Jesus. He welcomed them into his kingdom, and so should we.

—James W. Scott

Catholic response

Article by Dave Armstrong
A Quick Ten-Step Refutation of Sola Scriptura

1. Sola Scriptura Is Not Taught in the Bible

Catholics agree with Protestants that Scripture is a “standard of truth”—even the preeminent one—but not in a sense that rules out the binding authority of authentic apostolic Tradition and the Church. The Bible doesn’t teach that. Catholics agree that Scripture is materially sufficient. In other words, on this view, every true doctrine can be found in the Bible, if only implicitly and indirectly by deduction. But no biblical passage teaches that Scripture is the formal authority or rule of faith in isolation from the Church and Tradition. Sola scriptura can’t even be deduced from implicit passages.

2. The “Word of God” Refers to Oral Teaching Also

“Word” in Holy Scripture often refers to a proclaimed, oral teaching of prophets or apostles. What the prophets spoke was the word of God regardless of whether or not their utterances were recorded later as written Scripture. So for example, we read in Jeremiah:
“For twenty-three years . . . the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again . . . ‘But you did not listen to me,’ declares the Lord. . . . Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: ‘Because you have not listened to my words. . . .’” (Jer. 25:3, 7-8 [NIV]).

This was the word of God even though some of it was not recorded in writing. It had equal authority as writing or proclamation-never-reduced-to-writing. This was true also of apostolic preaching. When the phrases “word of God” or “word of the Lord” appear in Acts and the epistles, they almost always refer to oral preaching, not to Scripture. For example:

“When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13).
If we compare this passage with another, written to the same church, Paul appears to regard oral teaching and the word of God as synonymous:
“Keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us” (2 Thess. 3:6).

3. Tradition Is Not a Dirty Word

Protestants often quote the verses in the Bible where corrupt traditions of men are condemned (e.g., Matt. 15:2–6; Mark 7:8–13; Col. 2:8). Of course, Catholics agree with this. But it’s not the whole truth. True apostolic Tradition also is endorsed positively. This Tradition is in total harmony with and consistent with Scripture.

4. Jesus and Paul Accepted Non-Biblical Oral and Written Traditions

Protestants defending sola scriptura will claim that Jesus and Paul accepted the authority of the Old Testament. This is true, but they also appealed to other authority outside of written revelation. For example:
a. The reference to “He shall be called a Nazarene” cannot be found in the Old Testament, yet it was “spoken by the prophets” (Matt. 2:23). Therefore, this prophecy, which is considered to be “God’s word,” was passed down orally rather than through Scripture.
b. In Matthew 23:2–3, Jesus teaches that the scribes and Pharisees have a legitimate, binding authority based “on Moses’ seat,” but this phrase or idea cannot be found anywhere in the Old Testament. It is found in the (originally oral) Mishnah, which teaches a sort of “teaching succession” from Moses on down.
c. In 1 Corinthians 10:4, Paul refers to a rock that “followed” the Jews through the Sinai wilderness. The Old Testament says nothing about such miraculous movement. But rabbinic tradition does.
d. “As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses” (2 Tim. 3:8). These two men cannot be found in the related Old Testament passage (Ex. 7:8ff.) or anywhere else in the Old Testament.

5. The Apostles Exercised Authority at the Council of Jerusalem

In the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6–30), we see Peter and James speaking with authority. This Council makes an authoritative pronouncement (citing the Holy Spirit) that was binding on all Christians:
“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity” (Acts 15:28–29).

In the next chapter, we read that Paul, Timothy, and Silas were traveling around “through the cities,” and Scripture says that

“they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem” (Acts 16:4).

6. Pharisees, Sadducees, and Oral, Extrabiblical Tradition

Christianity was derived in many ways from the Pharisaical tradition of Judaism. The Sadducees, on the other hand, rejected the future resurrection of the soul, the afterlife, rewards and retribution, demons and angels, and predestinarianism. The Sadducees also rejected all authoritative oral teaching and essentially believed in sola scriptura. They were the theological liberals of that time. Christian Pharisees are referred to in Acts 15:5 and Philippians 3:5, but the Bible never mentions Christian Sadducees.
The Pharisees, despite their corruptions and excesses, were the mainstream Jewish tradition, and both Jesus and Paul acknowledge this. So neither the orthodox Old Testament Jews nor the early Church was guided by the principle of sola scriptura.

7. Old Testament Jews Did Not Believe in Sola Scriptura

To give two examples from the Old Testament itself:
a. Ezra, a priest and scribe, studied the Jewish law and taught it to Israel, and his authority was binding under pain of imprisonment, banishment, loss of goods, and even death (cf. Ezra 7:26).
b. In Nehemiah 8:3, Ezra reads the Law of Moses to the people in Jerusalem. In verse 7 we find thirteen Levites who assisted Ezra and helped the people to understand the law. Much earlier, we find Levites exercising the same function (cf. 2 Chr. 17:8–9).
So the people did indeed understand the law (cf. Neh. 8:8, 12), but not without much assistance—not merely upon hearing. Likewise, the Bible is not altogether clear in and of itself but requires the aid of teachers who are more familiar with biblical styles and Hebrew idiom, background, context, exegesis and cross-reference, hermeneutical principles, original languages, etc. The Old Testament, then, teaches about a binding Tradition and need for authoritative interpreters, as does the New Testament (cf. Mark 4:33–34; Acts 8:30–31; 2 Pet. 1:20; 3:16).

8. Ephesians 4 Refutes the Protestant “Proof Text”

“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
This passage doesn’t teach formal sufficiency which excludes a binding, authoritative role for Tradition and Church.
Protestants extrapolate onto the text what isn’t there. If we look at the overall context of this passage, we can see that Paul makes reference to oral Tradition three times (cf. 2 Tim. 1:13–14; 2:2; 3:14). And to use an analogy, let’s examine a similar passage:
“And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:11–15).
If 2 Timothy 3 proves the sole sufficiency of Scripture, then, by analogy, Ephesians 4 would likewise prove the sufficiency of pastors and teachers for the attainment of Christian perfection. In Ephesians 4, the Christian believer is equipped, built up, brought into unity and mature manhood, and even preserved from doctrinal confusion by means of the teaching function of the Church. This is a far stronger statement of the perfecting of the saints than 2 Timothy 3, yet it does not even mention Scripture.
So if all non-scriptural elements are excluded in 2 Timothy, then, by analogy, Scripture would logically have to be excluded in Ephesians. It is far more reasonable to recognize that the absence of one or more elements in one passage does not mean that they are nonexistent. The Church and Scripture are both equally necessary and important for teaching.

9. Paul Casually Assumes That His Passed-Down Tradition Is Infallible and Binding

If Paul wasn’t assuming that, he would have been commanding his followers to adhere to a mistaken doctrine. He writes:
“If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed” (2 Thess. 3:14).
“Take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).

He didn’t write about “the pretty-much, mostly, largely true but not infallible doctrine which you have been taught.”

10. Sola Scriptura Is a Circular Position

When all is said and done, Protestants who accept sola scriptura as their rule of faith appeal to the Bible. If they are asked why one should believe in their particular denominational teaching rather than another, each will appeal to “the Bible’s clear teaching.” Often they act as if they have no tradition that guides their own interpretation.
This is similar to people on two sides of a constitutional debate both saying, “Well, we go by what the Constitution says, whereas you guys don’t.” The U.S. Constitution, like the Bible, is not sufficient in and of itself to resolve differing interpretations. Judges and courts are necessary, and their decrees are legally binding. Supreme Court rulings cannot be overturned except by a future ruling or constitutional amendment. In any event, there is always a final appeal that settles the matter.
But Protestantism lacks this because it appeals to a logically self-defeating principle and a book that must be interpreted by human beings. Obviously, given the divisions in Protestantism, simply “going to the Bible” hasn’t worked. In the end, a person has no assurance or certainty in the Protestant system. They can only “go to the Bible” themselves and perhaps come up with another doctrinal version of some disputed doctrine to add to the list. One either believes there is one truth in any given theological dispute (whatever it is) or adopts a relativist or indifferentist position, where contradictions are fine or the doctrine is so “minor” that differences “don’t matter.”
But the Bible doesn’t teach that whole categories of doctrines are “minor” and that Christians freely and joyfully can disagree in such a fashion. Denominationalism and divisions are vigorously condemned. The only conclusion we can reach from the Bible is what we call the “three-legged stool”: Bible, Church, and Tradition are all necessary to arrive at truth. If you knock out any leg of a three-legged stool, it collapses.
—Dave Armstrong

Bible response: Reiteration - Bible texts: Regenerative Baptism

I want to reiterate here what the authority of the Bible itself teaches about regenerative baptism:

  • Whoever rejects Jesus and does not receive his sayings has a judge; the word that Jesus has spoken will be his judge on the last day. John 12:4712:48
  • He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God. John 8:47
    Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Be baptized and wash away your sins. Baptism saves us now, by water and the blood.
  • He who despises the word brings destruction on himself. When anyone turns away from hearing the word of God, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 13:13 and 28:9
  • I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them 2 Corinthians 13:2

Titus 3:5 Greek λουτροῦ loutrou "water-washing" and παλιγγενεσία paliggenesia "regeneration"

It's not difficult. Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Jn 3:5. He saves us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Tt 3:5.

What is so difficult about affirming this simple truth?
You are right in saying

"Only the spirit of God through Christ saves us."

The Bible says that only the spirit of God through Christ saves us by the washing of water with the word, by the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 3:5

What is so difficult about affirming this simple truth of the Bible?

" 'washing of water with the word'. Here, water is used figuratively. The word cleanses when you are immersed in it. You deny the authority of the Word."

What is your authority for saying the word water in this text is used figuratively?
The biblical author doesn't say it is either figurative or that it is a figurative image of being immersed in the study of the scriptures of the Lord.
According to 1 Timothy 4:4-5 food received with thanksgiving is actually consecrated (made sacred, holy) by the word of God and prayer. It is the same with water consecrated for baptism by the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." What is your proof from the text of Titus that the washing of regeneration is figurative? You cannot demonstrate or prove that "the washing" is figurative and that it cannot possibly involve water. You are depending on a fallacy of assertion, based on the traditions of men, not the text of the Bible.

You are either totally ignorant of New Testament Greek, or you are an outrageously blatant liar!
In any case, you have totally falsified the meaning of this text of the Bible. By clearly doing so, you have completely disqualified yourself as a Bible Christian, by your denying of the authority of the Word of the Lord: —the word λουτροῦ loutrou "washing". (Your interpretation is an illicit eisegetical error, not a genuine exegesis.)

This is not a case of a simple mistake or misunderstanding; it has serious consequences for those who believe the argument against regenerative baptism, and believe others who teach the same error of false interpretation. Such a man cannot be trusted with the Word of God. His words are proven incompetent and worthless. He has testified against himself. The evidence is irrefutable. Any persistence in manifest error after it is demonstrated beyond any possible remaining doubt ipso facto exposes undeniable dishonesty, an unmistakable lack of integrity, a spirit resistant to plain truth even when the truth is obvious, irrefutable and clearly evident.

The Greek word here in Titus 3:5 — λουτροῦ loutrou "[the] washing" — means "a washing, a bath, a cleansing bath (of water, not the vessel), water for washing, washing". It doesn't mean anything else. The word is used twice in the New Testament (Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5), and has been used for more than a thousand years by ecclesiastical writers to the time of the Reformation, as a synonymous figure of speech for "baptism", "the bath of regeneration" ("washing", a bath, figurative, baptism)—the word "washing" itself in Titus 3:5, λουτροῦ loutrou (a cleansing bath of water, washing) is not figurative.

The Greek word for "regeneration" here in Titus 3:5 — παλιγγενεσία paliggenesia — means "rebirth", "renovation", "restoration", "regeneration". Commonly, however, παλιγγενεσία paliggenesia denotes the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as the renewal or restoration of life after death.
Greek dictionary λουτρόν loutron "[the] washing"
Greek dictionary παλιγγενεσία paliggenesia "regeneration"
Titus 3:5 — interlinear text
Titus 3:5 — multiple versions
Titus 3:5 — multiple commentaries representing the scholarship you reject. The word "figurative" is not used in any of the commentaries on this passage, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox. The παλιγγενεσία paliggenesia "regeneration" is not figurative rebirth, but actual spiritual rebirth, affecting the being of the one baptized, a genuine conversion of the nature of the one who has been baptized.

—"Seeing, then, that God has saved us by His own act, independently of any work of ours, we ask, How has He effected this? The words we are here considering give the answer to the question. The Greek should be rendered, “by the laver of regeneration,” &c. Then, by means of the laver of regeneration, &c, has God put us into a state of salvation. In other words, He has effected this by means of “baptism” (for the laver here can only signify the baptismal font, and is called the laver of regeneration because it is the vessel consecrated to the use of that sacrament), whereby, in its completeness as a sacrament, the new life in Christ is conveyed."
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Making disciples: Matthew 28:19-20 - Baptism, then doctrine of faith

Jesus makes quite clear that disciples are made by the procedure that he himself ordained:
(1) baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
(2) teaching them to observe all that he commanded his apostles. He explicitly stated, "Except one is regenerated of water and the Spirit, one cannot enter the kingdom of God."
This is fully in keeping with references elsewhere to the beginning of the Christian life (see Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3, 4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21).
Whole households were first baptized, and then devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the eucharistic breaking of the bread, and to the prayers. Sixteen centuries of Christian doctrine established the apostolic tradition, grounded in the Bible and the preaching of the Gospel, of baptizing all who were to be made disciples, including all newborn infants of baptized and believing Christian parents, teaching them the saving necessity of producing by their professed faith in which they are raised the fruits of good works and living lives of moral purity, the purpose for which God created them in Christ, and that without producing the fruits of good works of mercy for those in need they would be condemned to the outer darkness. (Mark 16:15-16)
Then the Anabaptists and Baptists rejected this by preaching salvation by faith alone (which the Bible condemns), and in response to this doctrine they were condemned as heretics by the whole Christian world, Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic,

  • for their unbiblical and non-Christian man-made doctrine of refusal to obey the command of the Lord (Luke 6:46; John 14:23-24) by their refusal to make infants disciples of the kingdom of God through (1) the saving regeneration of their souls by baptism, and then after baptism (2) raising them up in the teaching of the apostles and the breaking of bread and the prayers,
  • condemned them for their denial of the unmerited grace of the saving power of God in the sacraments of baptism and eucharist by their heretical teaching that these are legal ordinances of symbolic ceremony only,
  • and for their condemnation of the apostolic Christian doctrine of regenerative baptism,
  • because they made salvation dependent solely on the human work of listening, comprehending, understanding and then publicly confessing faith in Christ as their personal Lord and Savior in order to be saved, an act no infant is capable of performing, thus deliberately withholding from them rebirth to new life which would make them each "a new creature".

The choice is clear: either to believe what the Bible clearly says about water baptism "which now saves you", or to reject what it says in order to hold to the sixteenth century four hundred year old man-made tradition of salvation by faith alone which the Bible condemns.

"Only love?"

Love more than faith is necessary for salvation. Faith without love is dead. 1 John 3:16-18.

You say—

"The Foundation of the Abrahamic Covenant is faith - believing that whatsoever He promised [the resurrection of Isaac] He was able to deliver. You argue faith (i.e. believing that whatsoever God promises he is able to deliver) isn't necessary, only love. You're preaching bunkum."

You misquoted my clearly stated position with a distorted misrepresentationtwice! Even the devils believed, and they trembled. James 2:19 They have faith that God is all-powerful, but they have no love.

The word "more than" is not a synonym for "only". I did not say "only love". Not one part of the section below says faith isn't necessary.

Love more than faith is necessary for salvation

After almost 73 years of life, and almost 61 of them believing in Jesus, I am convinced that it is not faith finally that saves, but genuine love in the soul, inclining toward God, in response to the gift of his grace; with the opposite of love, selfishness in the soul, inclining away from God, in response to the offering presence of the gift of his grace which is rejected.

"And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God."

The Bible testifies that even infants not yet born are capable of love or hatred toward God, who looks on the heart, and sees what no one on earth can see. That's what I put in the main article:

According to the Bible, even infants and those in the womb are able to praise God or go astray from him by sin. See the following:
Job 31:18; Psalm 8:2; Psalm 139:16; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 21:16; Luke 1:41; Luke 18:15; Acts 2:39; Acts 17:27; 2 Peter 3:9; compare Psalm 58:3; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 9:13.

St. James testified that even the demons believe in God, and they tremble, because they did not love God, but rebelled and fell. The Letter to the Hebrews says

"The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

If any one wants to do His will, you will come to know the truth. And God will deal with you, for he is unwilling that any should perish. The more that those who love God come to know of his will in all things the more they willingly seek to fulfill it. This includes coming to faith in God, reading the scriptures, seeking his true Church to be able to worship with his people, and obeying whatever he has revealed to be most pleasing to him in conduct and belief and devotion of worship. Not every human being has such ability or mental capacity for understanding. It has been said that there is no one so blind as one who will not see, lest they change. Nevertheless, he who has ears to hear will hear, and to him who has will more be given. And those who do not understand or know him he will love until within the depths of their soul known only to him they accept or reject his calling, "in the hope that they might feel after him and find him."

"The Spirit of the Lord filleth the whole world." Wisdom 1:7
"hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

I recommend to anyone willing to inquire after the truth and is able to do so, to watch the EWTN program with Marcus Grodi, "The Journey Home". He interviews people who were Catholic and left and preached and witnessed against Catholicism and then came back to the Catholic Church based on the Bible, and people who had never been Catholic and were fervently anti-Catholic based on the Bible, who were later convinced to change their minds, by their growing knowledge of the Bible and the discrepancies between it and what they had been taught, and by the result of their prayer for guidance to God, prompting them to obey the Bible, check the facts, and find out what the Church actually teaches, instead of what they had been erroneously told it teaches, to take instruction and join the Catholic Church as the living body of Christ having the fullness of the Gospel of God.

At the age of 12, when I "went forward to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior", I silently prayed, "Lord, if you ever show me truth that even totally overthrows what I think is the truth, then help me to drop that and cling to what you give me." I testify to every reader of this page that the Lord granted my prayer in full.

I commend every reader here to the grace of the Holy Spirit and to the prayerful intercession of St. Jude, the patron of lost causes and impossible cases, and of St. Mary the Mother of Jesus, that you will come to know the loving truth of God and always seek to do his will, no matter what it may be. Amen.

Semper fidelis! --Dataclarifier (talk) 10:27, 16 November 2019 (EST)