The Reformation Must Not Be Reversed By Mike Gendron During the month of October, it…
A Devilish Lie That Deceives Catholics
By Mike Gendron
Of all the deceptive doctrines and dogmas of Roman Catholicism, there is one that is more paralyzing and potentially fatal than the others. It is the falsification of all the spiritual benefits that are purported to be received with the sacrament of water baptism. This distortion of biblical teaching is paralyzing for Catholics because it discourages them from examining their dead, spurious and misplaced faith.
The Falsification of Spiritual Blessings
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), many spiritual blessings flow out of water baptism. It is said to be the sacrament of regeneration which causes people to be freed from sin, and reborn as sons of God (CCC, 1213). By water baptism, all sins are forgiven, as well as all punishment for sin. Nothing remains in those who have been reborn that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God (CCC, 1263). The horrible deception continues. “Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte a new creature, an adopted son of God, who has become a partaker of the divine nature, member of Christ, co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, 1265). But that is not all! Rome declares “Justification is conferred in Baptism…It conforms us to the righteousness of God” (CCC, 1992). Catholics need to know that absolutely none of these spiritual blessings are received as a result of water baptism. The only way they will know they have been so woefully deceived is when they abide in God’s Word and the truth sets them free from religious deception.
Scripture Exposes Rome’s Deceptive Teaching
Only when we examine this Catholic teaching through the lens of God’s inspired Word can we know how cunningly deceptive it is. Scripture is used for reproof, that is, to expose and to unmask the fatal errors of every false religion (2 Tim. 3:16). Rome’s deceitful teaching on water baptism violates and blasphemes the sovereign regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). Regeneration results in the new birth, being born again as a child of God. It is solely and completely the work of God. Man has absolutely nothing to do with the new birth as it is irrefutably stated in John’s Gospel. Children of God “were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). Our rebirth is necessary because fallen man is spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins” until he is “made alive” (regenerated) by God (Eph. 2:4-5).
The Timing and Purpose of Water Baptism
Water baptism is an act of obedience and a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ after one has been born again of the Spirit. There is irrefutable evidence for this in Scripture. When the Gentiles heard and believed the Gospel, Peter declared, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did.” Then “he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:47-48). In spite of this clear teaching from God’s Word, most Catholics are baptized as infants before they can believe anything. Rome makes a fraudulent attempt to overcome this by declaring it is the faith of the infant’s parents that validates the baptism. They need to know that God does not have any grandchildren, only children of faith.
Water Baptism Cannot Cause Spiritual Rebirth
Catholics insist that their doctrine of water baptism is supported by the words of Jesus: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit” (John 3:5). Yet, Christian baptism is not mentioned here. In fact, the ordinance had not been introduced yet. The Lord Jesus was explaining that the new birth was entirely a spiritual one, which, like the wind, no man can control. Several places in the Bible “water” is used figuratively as the Spirit of God (John 4:14 and 7:37). The words in John 3:5, “of water and of the Spirit,” could be correctly interpreted, “of water, even of the Spirit.” Such a rendering is in full accord with Ezekiel 36:25-27, where the water is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit causing spiritual cleansing and rebirth. Jesus chided Nicodemus for not knowing this when He asked, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?” (John 3:10).
Only God and His Word Can Cause Spiritual Life
The two necessary agents to bring about the new birth are the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Peter declared, “you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23). James wrote: “in the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth” (Jas. 1:18). The new birth is a spiritual, holy and heavenly birth that results in our being made alive spiritually. Almighty God, not man, is the sole source of this radical transformation (Eph. 2:1, 8). It is not the priest and his water; it is the Spirit and the Word of God.
Let us speak the truth in love to Catholics who do not know they have been deceived about life’s most important issues. Pray for God to give us open doors of opportunity and for open hearts to receive His Word with humility and repentance. This is a message that will encourage you to evangelize Catholics God’s Way.