The 1994 Catholic catechism states that baptism is necessary for salvation:
“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.” Pg. 320, #1257
“The Church does not know of any other means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude…” Pg. 320, #1257
“The faithful are born anew by Baptism…” Pg. 311, #1212
“Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, and are incorporated into the Church…” Pg. 312, #1213
“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 and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.” Pg. 322, #1265
“By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.” Pg. 321, #1263 (See pg. 257, #985)
What does the Bible say about this? (Joh 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (emphasis mine)
Baptism cannot forgive sins because the Word states differently. It is Christ’s precious blood at salvation that forgives our sins. (Eph 1:7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (emphasis mine)
If baptism were necessary, then the Apostle Paul would not have said: (1 Cor 1:17) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (emphasis mine).
When one gets saved, there must be a turning away of the old sinful life. A thief can no longer continue to steal – a liar can no longer continue to lie – an adulterer can not longer continue to be an adulterer. Repentance is necessary or the salvation experience has made the cross of Christ of none effect! John the Baptist’s first words were to repent and so were Jesus’ first words in His ministry.
(Mat 3:2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.(Mat 4:17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.After repentance and salvation came baptism.
(Mat 3:6) And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
(Act 2:41) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
(Act 8:12) But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
(Act 8:13) Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
(Act 8:35) Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
(Act 8:36) And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
(Act 8:37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
(Act 16:30) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
(Act 16:31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
(Act 16:32) And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
(Act 16:33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
(Act 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
Salvation comes first by hearing the Word of God and believing what is preached. Then baptism follows.
The Catechism also says:
“All the sacraments are sacred links uniting the faithful with one another and binding them to Jesus Christ, and above all Baptism, the gate by which we enter into the Church.” Pg. 248, #950
Again, the Word has something to say about this. (Luk 23:43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. The thief was never baptized yet Jesus Himself promised him that he would be with Him in paradise. Baptism is not necessary for salvation but is an act of obedience after salvation. The thief did not have time nor the ability to be baptized but that did not stop him from going to Heaven. Salvation is through Jesus Christ alone.
There are so many things in the catechism that a catholic is not aware of. I was not aware that the catechism teaches that when a person is baptized, it is really Jesus Himself who is doing the baptizing:
“By his (Christ’s) power he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes, it is really Christ himself who baptizes.” Pg. 283, #1088
Where is this said in the Bible? It isn’t. It is yet another tradition of the catholic church.
“Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life.” Pg. 324, #1274
The Word is quite clear as to what seals the believer. Nowhere does the Word state that baptism is the seal of eternal life. What the Word does say is: (Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, and(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (emphasis mine).Again, catholic tradition supersedes the Word of God in the catholic church. Who will you believe? What will you tell Jesus when you stand before Him (and you will and He asks you why you believed lies instead of His Word?