False Doctrine: Baptismal Salvation

So the answer to the question, ‛Are Catholics born again?’ is yes! Since all Catholics have been baptized, all Catholics have been born again. Catholics should ask Protestants, ‛Are you born again—the way the Bible understands that concept?’ If the Evangelical has not been properly water baptized, he has not been born again “the Bible way,” regardless of what he may think.”

Baptism as a baby is not salvation, nor is being immersed (baptized as an adult) salvation. Being born again is of the spirit (John 3:3). This oft quoted verse refers to being born of the water and the spirit (3:5), it means born as a human through the waters of life, and later born of the spirit. Catholics quote this verse denying it means the waters of life by emphasizing the words amniotic fluid are not in the Bible. In this they are correct, but to understand this it is important to know those words are modern in context and are not found in the Bible. The second objection to this false construct is that Messiah said, “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life’” John 3:6 (NLT). In addition to this the tradition of immersion, of cleansing for purity was thousands of years old and well known to the Jews of Yeshua’s day.

No one is saved through baptism (Greek: baptizo, which means immersion). Baptism is a follow on in obedience after salvation. The word makes it clear that to be saved (eternally) one must, “…declare with your mouth, “Yeshua is L-rd,” and if you believe in your heart that G-d raised Yeshua from the dead, you will be saved,” (Romans, 10:9, NCV). The sinner on the cross was not immersed and yet Messiah said to him, “”I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise,” or heaven.

False Doctrine (losing salvation).

            The article on the Assurance of Salvation is illustrative of the confusion of Catholic doctrine over salvation. They state the issue…

…of whether one can lose one’s salvation is the question of whether one can know with complete certainty that one is in a state of salvation. Even if one could not lose one’s salvation, one still might not be sure whether one ever had salvation. Similarly, even if one could be sure that one is now in a state of salvation, one might be able to fall from grace in the future. The “knowability” of salvation is a different question than the “loseability” of salvation.

The author of the passage above quotes the word, which says, ‘These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of G-d, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of G-d (1 John 5:13).’ Yet, both contradict not only the false Catholic doctrine of baptismal salvation, but manages to conflate salvation with the nebulous ‘state’ of salvation, or of falling from grace. That the author states “fall” as to lose salvation further contradicts baptismal salvation.  The truth is that one can know salvation is real and may rest assured it is eternal. G-d’s word (John cited previously) makes these two points incontrovertibly clear in one sentence. We believe to salvation, and we know we have eternal life. He did not say we believe and assume, guess, and wonder at eternal life. We know.

We know this is correct (that we are assured of salvation), but the incontrovertible word (which is that G-d’s salvation is eternal and cannot be undone) is rejected by the author, whose words tear hope from the hearts of many. This hope is found in the word which tells us (as the author surely knows – 1 John 5:13), but also in John 17:17-19 (RSV) which tells us we are “sanctified,” that is set aside. If we have been saved (born again) and sanctified (set aside) then so too it is clear that no one “take them” (believers) from G-d’s hands (John 10:29-30 (CEV).

‘No one’ literally means not even one’s self. Those who appear to have lost their salvation were not in fact saved in the beginning. They “…went out from our number, but they did not [really] belong to us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But [they withdrew] that it might be plain that they all are not of us,” 1 John 2:19 (Amp). Therefore, it is apparent that we are saved eternally and “once for all,” and those who leave or depart the faith WERE NEVER SAVED (BORN AGAIN).  And Messiah himself will say of them, “I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:23 (NIV).

There is assurance of eternal salvation in Messiah. We are “sealed to the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30) by the Holy Spirit. What G-d seals is sealed eternally, that is, for time without end from the moment of salvation. No one and no circumlocution of words can change what G-d has plainly said. We can know we are born again, eternally saved. If we say we are saved and continue to practice lawlessness (sin, iniquity) in our lifestyle, then it is clear that we were never saved.

To argue that losing salvation is true is to take salvation into our own hands as if through human will or power salvation is earned, but salvation is a free gift. No one can earn a free gift, given freely to all who believe. It took the death of Yeshua on a sinner’s cross to purchase for us what we could not earn for ourselves. The Word makes it plain, “If you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and believe in your heart that G-d raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 Thus the answer to the question posed by the quote, ‛Are Catholics born again,’ is maybe. If they believe in the Word (Romans 10:9) the answer is yes. If not, then no. No, because G-d’s word make it clear…

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of G-d’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. John 3:18-20

 

Dr. Ramón Argila de Torres y Sandoval

 

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