Does baptism confer grace?

What follows is part of a conversation I had with someone regarding the Roman Catholic Church.

I wrote, “Where in the Bible does Paul or any of the early church leaders teach that there are seven sacraments?”

In this person’s response, he replied, “Baptism Matt. 28:19”.

Remember, the Catholic church teaches that the sacraments confer grace. Let us look at this verse.

Matthew 28:19-20

19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Notice, this verse does not speak of conferring grace. This speaks of the Great Commission, what we are told to do – make disciples, them having evidence of repentance, and teaching them what God has commanded.

We are told of the need to repent and be baptized because we have had our sins forgiven (Acts 2:38), and we are to perform deeds appropriate to repentance (Acts 26:20). As for baptism, we see that John baptized with water, but Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8). We see that after the Gentiles believed in Christ, the Holy Spirit filled them, then they were baptized with water (Acts 10:38-48). It is possible to be disciples and not believe, but when they learned of Jesus they were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, to the point that as Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 19:1-7). Baptism in Christ symbolizes being buried with Christ (Romans 6:3). Baptism does not save us, but an appeal to God in good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ does (1 Peter 3:21).

No where do we see baptism conferring grace to or upon someone. In fact, we are saved through faith in the work of Jesus Christ, as we see in 1 Peter 3:21.


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