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Roman Catholicism, water baptism and the conversion of the Gentiles

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  • Roman Catholicism, water baptism and the conversion of the Gentiles

    By the sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is properly conferred in the way the Lord determined and received with the proper dispositions of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life (Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 3, II, 22, p. 427).

    Why is it that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were Christians before their water baptism in that they had already received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15-17; 15:7-9; cf. Romans 8:9; Galatians 3:3; 1 John 3:24; 4:13)?

  • #2
    Originally posted by foudroyant View Post
    By the sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is properly conferred in the way the Lord determined and received with the proper dispositions of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life (Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 3, II, 22, p. 427).
    Originally posted by Rom 6:3-5 NKJV
    3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection
    Seems to be compatible with the above statement.
    Why is it that Cornelius and the Gentiles with him were Christians before their water baptism in that they had already received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15-17; 15:7-9; cf. Romans 8:9; Galatians 3:3; 1 John 3:24; 4:13)?
    Because there was some question in the minds of the church whether or not Gentiles should be included in it. The Pentecost of the Gentiles answered that with an unequivocal "yes".
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    • #3
      That still doesn't answer how the RC can insist that the Gentiles were not yet saved since they received the Holy Spirit before their water baptism.
      Romans 6:3-5 refers to being baptized with the Holy Spirit so appealing to it does not negate the fact that these Gentiles were Christians before their water baptism.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by foudroyant View Post
        That still doesn't answer how the RC can insist that the Gentiles were not yet saved since they received the Holy Spirit before their water baptism.
        Do they, in fact, insist this, or are you just hyperliterally reading that into their statement on ecumenism?
        Romans 6:3-5 refers to being baptized with the Holy Spirit so appealing to it does not negate the fact that these Gentiles were Christians before their water baptism.
        Interesting. I've never seen that interpretation of Romans 6:3-5 before. Why do you think it refers to baptism of the Spirit?
        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
        sigpic
        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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        • #5
          They insist it.
          The exceptions are:
          "There are exceptions to water baptism: It is possible to be saved through "baptism of blood," martyrdom for Christ, or through "baptism of desire", that is, an explicit or even implicit desire for baptism."
          http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-necessity-of-baptism

          Cornelius and the Gentiles with him do not fall under any of the above and yet they were Christians before their water baptism.
          ------------------------------------------
          The saving baptism of Romans 6:3 results in the Christian no longer being "slaves to sin" (Romans 6:6). This "spirit of slavery" is cancelled because the Christian has received the "Spirit of adoption" (Romans 8:15). The Gentiles are said to have "received" this Spirit before their water baptism (Acts 10:44-47).
          Last edited by foudroyant; 05-19-2014, 09:10 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by foudroyant View Post
            They insist it.
            The exceptions are:
            "There are exceptions to water baptism: It is possible to be saved through "baptism of blood," martyrdom for Christ, or through "baptism of desire", that is, an explicit or even implicit desire for baptism."
            http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-necessity-of-baptism

            Cornelius and the Gentiles with him do not fall under any of the above and yet they were Christians before their water baptism.
            Yep, as I suspected. Even assuming they wouldn't make an exception for Cornelius et al. if you asked, "baptism of desire" sounds like it would fit the bill nicely.
            The saving baptism of Romans 6:3 results in the Christian no longer being "slaves to sin" (Romans 6:6). This "spirit of slavery" is cancelled because the Christian has received the "Spirit of adoption" (Romans 8:15). The Gentiles are said to have "received" this Spirit before their water baptism (Acts 10:44-47).
            What is water baptism for then, IYO?
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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            • #7
              My mistake in Post #5. The do consider the conversion of Cornelius a case of baptism of desire:

              The conversion of Cornelius’s household appears to be a case of baptism of desire in Scripture. In this case we know that Cornelius and his household had not yet been water baptized (for after the experience Peter orders that they go on to be water baptized; Acts 10:47-48).

              While still in their pre-baptized condition, they hear the gospel from Peter (10:34-43), and as they respond to it the Holy Spirit descends upon them and enables them to speak in tongues (10:44-46). This proves to Peter that they are acceptable to God and do not have to become Jews in order to become Christians.

              Since the reception of the Holy Spirit is one of the blessings of salvation and is associated with baptism, it appears that they were placed in a state of grace by their response to the gospel and filled with the Holy Spirit even though they did not yet have water baptism. They thus would seem to be saved by baptism of desire, God allowing them to share in the blessings of salvation that are normally associated with baptism (Acts 2:38) even before the reception of the sacrament. Peter is quick to insist, however, that they go on to receive the sacrament that their desire for Christ has already initiated.

              http://www.catholic.com/quickquestio...tism-by-desire
              -------------------------------------------
              Water baptism

              Charles Carter and Ralph Earle: The incontestable right of these uncircumcised Gentile Christians to be baptized, as a token of their acceptance into the body of Christ, is made evident by the miraculous divine approval, and the apostle's declaratory question of verse 47. Peter then commands their baptism and thus shows a vital, saving relationship through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of men. God had witnessed to His acceptance of the Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, and Peter witnesses to their acceptance into the Church by baptizing them in the Name of Jesus without the requirement of circumcision (The Acts of the Apostles, page 149).

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              • #8
                Thanks. It is evident, IMO, that baptism is more than simply a token of acceptance; what could be a clearer token than being filled with the Spirit?
                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                sigpic
                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                • #9
                  Cornelius and those with him demonstrate to us that water baptism occurs after one is saved. In the Church Age Luke (nor anyone else) does not give any clear-cut example of any Gentile receiving the Holy Spirit after their water baptism.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by foudroyant View Post
                    Cornelius and those with him demonstrate to us that water baptism occurs after one is saved. In the Church Age Luke (nor anyone else) does not give any clear-cut example of any Gentile receiving the Holy Spirit after their water baptism.
                    That's an important distinction, if only because of Acts 8:14-17
                    14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

                    The question now is whether the Jew/Gentile distinction means anything in particular.
                    Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

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                    • #11
                      The Jews during this time period received the Holy Spirit after their water baptism (Acts 2:38) while the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit before their water baptism (Acts 10:44-48).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by foudroyant View Post
                        The Jews during this time period received the Holy Spirit after their water baptism (Acts 2:38) while the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit before their water baptism (Acts 10:44-48).
                        IMO you're being unnecessarily literal with your interpretation here. There is no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile (Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11).
                        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                        sigpic
                        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                          There is no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile (Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11).

                          I agree - all people (Gentiles included) can be saved in Christ. The events I cited in Post #11 took place before what Paul taught in the passages you cited.


                          F.F. Bruce: The sequence of the component elements in Christian initiation varies from one occasion to another in Acts. Peter's hearers in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost repent, are baptized, and receive the Spirit (2:38, 41); the Samaritans evangelized by Philip believed and are baptized "into the name of the Lord Jesus", but do not receive the Spirit until apostolic hands are laid on them (8:12, 14-17); Cornelius and his household receive the Spirit while they are still listening to the message and are then baptized (Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, page 280, chapter 25, Baptism and the Lord's Supper in Pauline Thought).
                          Last edited by foudroyant; 05-20-2014, 09:48 AM.

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