The Pope, Baptism, Confirmation in the Catholic Church
The Bible teaches that Christ founded but one church, not many churches, and that thisis the church which has Peter for its head.
Matt. 16:18 - And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter and upon this rock I willbuild my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give to theethe keys of the kingdom of heaven, etc.
John 21:15 to 17 - So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son ofJonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, yea, Lord, thou knowest that I lovethee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16. He saith unto him again the second time, Simon,son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. Hesaith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas,lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, lovest thou me?And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesussaith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Luke 22:32 - But I have prayed for thee (Peter) that thy faith fail not: and when thou artconverted, strengthen thy brethren.
Comment: Hence only the church having Peter and his lawful successors for its headcan logically claim to be the Church of Christ.
1.) The Bible teaches that in apostolic times whole families were baptized. Acts 16:33 - And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; andwas baptized, he and all his, straightway.
1 Cor. 1:16 - And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; besides, I knownot whether I baptized any other.
Acts 16:15 - And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us,saying, if ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.And she constrained us.
Comment: Unquestionably there were children in these families. Moreover, the earliestrecords of the church prove that children were baptized a few days after birth.
2.) The Bible teaches that (for grown persons to whom the gospel can bepreached) faith is a necessary condition for baptism.
Mark 16:16 - He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved. He that believeth not, heshall be condemned.
Matt. 28:19 - Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of theFather and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Comment: In this text there is no question of children, to whom the gospel could not bepreached and who therefore could not believe. For them not faith but only baptism isrequired, that original sin may be washed away and supernatural grace imparted to them.3.) The Bible teaches that no one at all (hence not even an infant) can enter theKingdom of God without baptism.
John 3:5 - Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of waterand of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
Comment: The expression "a man" or "tis" in Greek means any one at all. Hence thistext applies to both babies and adults.
The Bible teaches that there is such a Christian ordinance or Sacrament as confirmationor "the laying on of hands" by which we receive the Holy Ghost. Back
Acts 8:14, 15 and 17 - Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard thatSamaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. 15. Who, whenthey were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. 17. Then laidthey their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:6 - And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost cameon them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied.
Comment: In the early church the Sacrament of "the laying on of hands" was oftenattended with visible miraculous manifestations, which is not now usually the case. But theSacrament itself remains the same when conferred by a lawfully consecrated Bishop as asuccessor of the Apostles.