What does the Bible say?
On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the crowds:
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, my brothers?’ Peter (said) to them, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.'” Acts 2:37-38
The Bible tells us if we wish to follow Jesus Christ, we must be baptized.
In baptism, our sins our forgiven and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
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Baptism is how we respond in faith to the Good News of Christ.
“Those who received his word were baptized…” Acts 2: 41
“Many … believed and were baptized.” Acts 18: 8
“Philip… told him the good news of Jesus… and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?’ …and he baptized him.” Acts 8:35-38
“When they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized.” Acts 8: 12
“The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul. And… she was baptized…” Acts 16: 14-15
“There he found some disciples… And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’… On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 19:1-5
Through baptism we are united with Christ, in His death and resurrection, so that we might have newness of life.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Romans 6:3-5
“You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12
God uses baptism to save us.
“He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
“Baptism… now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 3:18-21
Jesus said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” Mk 16:15-16
“‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’… and he was baptized at once, with all his family.” Acts 16: 31-33
Jesus says we need to be “born anew” by water and the Spirit (baptism) to enter the kingdom of God.
“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'” John 3:3-5
Rejecting baptism, means rejecting God’s plan for your life.
Jesus said that the Pharisees and the scholars who rejected the baptism of John had “rejected the plan of God for themselves.” (Luke 7:30) The baptism, which Jesus himself commanded in Matthew 28:19-20, is God’s plan for our lives.
Old Testament passages prefigure baptismal cleansing of sin & renewal of heart through the gift of God’s Spirit
“I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses… I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you…” Ezekiel 36:25-27
“Our hearts (were) sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
The prophet Elisha commanded Naaman to humble himself by washing in the Jordan River to restore his leprous flesh:
“So he went down and dipped himself… according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” 2 Kings 5: 10 – 14
Jesus himself was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.”
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.'” Mat 3:13-15
Through baptism, we become children of God, and “put on Christ.”
“In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:26-27
“… he gave power to become children of God; [to all those] who were born…of God.” John 1:12-13 (Also see Rom 8:14-17)
Through baptism we become part of his body, the Church.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
Baptism is the sign of initiation into the New Covenant, as Circumcision, on the eighth day after birth, was the sign of initiation for the Old Covenant (See Acts 7:8 and Colossians 2:11-12)
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
What is Baptism?
“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit… and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission…” (CCC par. 1213)
Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.” (CCC 1257)
Adult Baptism and the Catechumenate
“Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The Catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.” (CCC 1247)
“For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.” (CCC 1259)
“The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.” (CCC 1252; See Acts 16: 31-33)
“Children are baptized in the faith of the Church.” (CCC 1282)
“As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them.” (CCC 1261)
If you have family, friends or loved ones who are not yet baptized, why not share this brochure with them?
“How beautiful… him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation.” Is 52:7
Jesus commanded the Apostles to make disciples by baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“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.” Mat 28:19-20
If you have not been baptized, please understand that:
“God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17
Jesus invites you to be cleansed of sin and receive new life in His Spirit in Baptism.
“And now why do you wait?
Rise and be baptized,
and wash away your sins,
calling on his name.”
“And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized” Acts 9: 18
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