The Catholic teaching on Baptism begins with the idea that the very act of baptism “erases original sin,” and that it is required for one’s salvation. This is why babies must be baptized as soon as possible. Some quotes from the Catechism demonstrate this teaching:
Para. 1250 “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.”
Para. 1257 “…The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude…”
Para. 1261 “As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God… Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.”
Another interesting aspect of Catholic baptism is noted in Para. 1237 of the catechism: “Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate.”
Of course none of this is found in Scripture. Baptism is what the Christians do because they have become Christians by being justified by faith in Christ; it is an outward, public sign of the person’s confession. There is nothing about baptism that saves a person who has not placed their faith in the atoning work of Christ. One is forced to ask why Christ never baptized anyone, and why Paul baptized only a few, if baptism was required for salvation? Faith in Christ alone is what saves us from sin (John 3:16, 36; John 5:24; John 6:47; John 20:31; Acts 16:31; Rom. 1:16; Rom. 3:22,25; Rom. 10:9; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9, 16; et al).
And, of course, there is no biblical teaching for the idea that exorcisms should be pronounced at the time one is baptized.
Baptism saves no one, and that is what the Bible teaches.
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