Tagged: Baptism

Works of righteousness, what are they?

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

What are these “works of righteousness” to which St. Paul refers?

In my opinion, a work of righteousness can include any good deed which is commanded by God.  That includes the Commandments, the Beautitudes, the virtues, the works of spiritual and corporal mercy, etc. etc.

You see, I tie this verse back to this one:

Exodus 20:6

King James Version (KJV)

 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

But we are not saved by doing the Commandments.  But by His mercy.

Do you see the relationship?  The Commandments of God are the basis of every good work which we can do.

To put it bluntly, we can’t wash our own souls.  God is the only one who can do that.  And God won’t do it for anyone except for those who have kept His Commandments:

Romans 2:13

King James Version (KJV)

 13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

In order to be justified, in order to be saved, we must keep the Commandments of God:

Revelation 22:13-15

King James Version (KJV)

 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

 14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.


Doctrine of Baptisms

How do you explain this teaching?

Hebrews 6:2
King James Version (KJV)
2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

I say that this is a teaching on the Sacraments.

1. There is one Baptism. And that is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
2. There is one Sacrament of Baptism and that is by water and the Holy Spirit. 

And in the Sacrament of Baptism, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is effected by water and the word.

Did you catch that?  In #2, #1 is effected by the sign of water and the word of the Priest.

But every single Sacrament is a bath of sanctifying grace.

Every single Sacrament is a washing the soul by the Spirit of God. 

Therefore, every single Sacrament is, by definition, a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation“Sacramental grace” is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.

In every Sacrament, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is effected by one sign or another.

In Baptism, it is water.
In Confession, it is the Priestly absolution.
In Confirmation, it is the anointing of oil.
In Eucharist, it is the consuming of the Eucharist.
In Anointing of the Sick, it is again the anointing of oil.
In Matrimony, it is the oath of the bride and groom.
And in Ordination it is the laying of hands.

Or do you deny that in the Sacraments, one is washed in the grace of the Holy Spirit?

Merit before Baptism?

Merit before Baptism is not the same thing as merit before justification.

I’ve been having an interesting conversation in Greenbaggins blog, where the folks I’m talking to equate justification and Baptism. They keep saying to me, interchangeably:

Vincent said, #1245 November 9, 2014 at 9:12 am

Faith is a free gift in Catholicism not a meritorous work. The grace of baptism is not merited. That is official catholic teaching.


Eric W said, #1261 November 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

De Maria (re: 1255),

RC theology teaches…:

2. Grace of justification (grace of baptism)….

Although it is true, that it is Catholic Teaching that we are perfectly justified in Baptism. What these folks seem to have forgotten, is that the Catholic Church teaches that justification is a PROCESS that begins well before Baptism and does not end until we die. Well, at that point its put on hold until the final judgement where we will stand before the King of Kings for our final justification.

So, when the Church says that the grace of justification is not merited, She means that grace which we receive to begin the process of justification at the beginning of conversion is not merited.  Lets go over some of the Catechism regarding this subject:

2008 The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace.

That’s the unmerited grace of the Call to Conversion.

The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man’s free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man’s merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.

After that Call, if we turn to God in faith and seek His Face, we begin to merit. This is before Baptism.

2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification,

at the beginning of conversion (see 2008).

Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity,

we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.

Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.

So, I think that is what is missing. The understanding that justification begins before Baptism and doesn’t ever end.