«Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation? Even though baptism is one of the fundamental building blocks of ...»
By reason, therefore, of this laver of repentance and knowledge of God, which has been ordained on account of the transgression of God's people, as Isaiah cries, we have believed, and testify that that very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life. … For what is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and body alone? Baptize the soul from wrath and from covetousness, from envy, and from hatred;
and, lo! the body is pure (The Apostolic Fathers Dialogue with Trypho XIV).
And we, who have approached God through Him, have received not carnal, but spiritual circumcision, which Enoch and those like him observed. And we have received it through baptism, since we were sinners, by God's mercy; and all men may equally obtain it (The Apostolic Fathers Dialogue with Trypho XLIII).
But there is no other [way] than this; to become acquainted with this Christ; to be washed in the fountain spoken of by Isaiah for the remission of sin; and for the rest, to live sinless lives (The Apostolic Fathers Dialogue with Trypho XLIV).
Even as our Christ, by being crucified on the tree, and by purifying [us] with water, has redeemed us (The Apostolic Fathers Dialogue with Trypho LXXXVI).
Fragment of an Uncanonical Gospel:
You have washed in these running waters wherein dogs and swine have been cast night and day, and you have cleansed and wiped the outside skin which also the harlots and flute girls anoint, wash, wipe, and beautify for the lust of men, but within they are full of scorpions and all wickedness. But I and my disciples, who you say have not bathed, have been dipped in the waters of eternal life…. (Oxyrhynchus Papyri V:840).
(A.D. 180) Theophilus:
On the fifth day came into existence the living creatures in the waters, through which the manifold wisdom of God is made plain. For who would be able to count their multitude and variety? Moreover, the things which come from the waters were blessed by God, in order that this might be a sign that men were going to receive repentance and forgiveness of sins through water and the "washing of regeneration," namely all those who come to the truth and are born again, and receive blessing from God (To Autolycus II.xvi).
(A.D. 180) Irenaeus:
Now, this is what faith does for us, as the elders, the disciples of the apostles, have handed down to us. First of all, it admonishes us to remember that we have received baptism for remission of sins -in the name of God the Father, and in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became incarnate and died and was raised, and in the Holy Spirit of God; and that this baptism is the seal of eternal life and is rebirth unto God, that we be no more children of mortal men, but of the
eternal and everlasting God (Proof of the Apostolic Preach-ing).
And when we come to refute them, we shall show in its fitting-place, that this class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God, and thus to a renunciation of the whole [Christian] faith….
For the baptism instituted by the visible Jesus was for the remission of sins (The Apostolic Fathers Against Heresies Book I XXI).
But there are some of them who assert that it is superfluous to bring persons to the water, but mixing oil and water together, they place this mixture on the heads of those who are to be initiated. … And this they maintain to be the redemption. … Others, however, reject all these practices, and maintain that the mystery of the unspeakable and invisible power ought not to be performed by visible and corruptible creatures…. These hold that the knowledge of the unspeakable Greatness is itself perfect redemption (The Apostolic Fathers Against Heresies Book I XXI).
And then, again, when [do we bear] the image of the heavenly? Doubtless when he says, "Ye have been washed," believing in the name of the Lord, and receiving His Spirit (The Apostolic Fathers Against Heresies Book V XII).
"And  dipped himself," says [the Scripture], "seven times in Jordan."  It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: "Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (The Apostolic Fathers Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus XXXIV).
(A.D. 190) Clement of Alexandria:
Is Christ perfected by the washing and is he sanctified by the descent of the Spirit? It is so. The same thing also takes place in the case of us, for whom the Lord became the pattern. Being baptized we are illuminated, being illuminated we are made sons, being made sons we are perfected, being perfected we are made immortal…. This work is variously called a grace gift, illumination, perfection, washing. It is the washing through which we are cleansed of our sins, the grace gift by which the penalties for our sins are removed, the illumination through which the holy light of salvation is beheld, that is through which the divine is clearly seen…. Instruction leads to faith, and faith together with baptism is trained by the Holy Spirit…. We who have repented of our sins, renounced our faults, and are purified by baptism run back to the eternal light, children to their father (Instructor I.vi.25.3And such as is the union of the Word with baptism, is the agreement of milk with water; for it receives it alone of all liquids, and admits of mixture with water, for the purpose of cleansing, as baptism for the remission of sins (Fathers of Second Century The Instructor Book I Chapter VI).
Then within the same period John prophesied till the baptism of Salvation (Fathers of Second Century The Stromata, or Miscellanies Book I Chapter XX).
(A.D. 200) Tertullian:
Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away the sins of our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life!.... But we, little fishes, after the example of our IChThUS Jesus Christ, are born in water (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III On Baptism Chapter I).
It has assuredly been ordained that no one can attain knowledge of salvation without baptism. This comes especially from the pronouncement of the Lord, who says, "Except one be born of water he does not have life (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume Volume III).
Therefore, after the waters have been in a manner endued with medicinal virtue through the intervention of the angel, the spirit is corporeally washed in the waters, and the flesh is in the same spiritually cleansed (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III On Baptism Chapter V).
Baptism itself is a bodily act, because we are immersed in water, but it has a spiritual effect, because we are set free from sins (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III On Baptism).
There is no difference whether one is washed in the sea or in a pool, in a river or a fountain, in a reservoir or a tub, nor is there any distinction between those whom John dipped in the Jordan and those whom Peter dipped in the Tiber, unless that eunuch whom Philip dipped in the chance water found on their journey obtained more or less of salvation (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III On Baptism).
Unless a man have been reborn of water and Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens," has tied faith to the necessity of baptism. Accordingly, all thereafter who became believers used to be baptized. Then it was, too, that Paul, when he believed, was baptized (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III).
We enter, then, the font once: once are sins washed away, because they ought never to be repeated (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III).
For the flesh is the clothing of the soul. The uncleanness, indeed, is washed away by Baptism (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume III).
(A.D. 225) Origen:
In commenting on the crossing of the Red Sea he speaks of Christian baptism: The evil spirits seek to overtake you, but you descend into the water and you escape safely; having washed away the filth of sin, you come up a "new man," ready to sing the "new song" (Homilies on Exodus V:5).
Matthew alone adds the words "to repentance," teaching that the benefit of baptism is connected with the intention of the baptized person; to him who repents it is salutary, but to him who comes to it without repentance it will turn to greater condemnation (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 9).
(A.D. 250) Pseudo-Cyprian:
It follows therefore that Israel is condemned by the hand thrust toward the baptismal bath, and there it is witnessed what he believed. And after the reception of the seal purified by the Spirit, he prays to receive life through the food of thanksgiving, namely of the bread which comes from benediction…. Those learn who one time taught, they keep commandments who once commanded, are dipped who used to "baptize," and are circumcised who used to circumcise. Thus the Lord wanted the Gentiles to flourish. You see to what extent Christ has loved you (Against the Jews 10:79-82).
For he who has been sanctified, his sins being put away in baptism, and has been spiritually reformed into a new man, has become fitted for receiving the Holy Spirit; since the apostle says, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5 Epistle LXXIII).
For the blessed apostle sets forth and proves that baptism is that wherein the old man dies and the new man is born, saying, "He saved us by the washing of regeneration (AnteNicene Fathers Volume 5 Epistle LXXIII).
But further, one is not born by the imposition of hands when he receives the Holy Ghost, but in baptism, that so, being already born, he may receive the Holy Spirit (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5 Epistle LXXIII).
In the laver of saving water the fire of Gehenna is extinguished (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5 Treatise VIII On Works and Alms).
In the baptism of water is received the remission of sins (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5 Treatise XI Exhortation to Martyrdom, Addressed to Fortunatus).
That all sins are put away in baptism. In the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: "Neither fornicators, nor those who serve idols, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor the lusters after mankind, nor thieves, nor cheaters, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers, shall obtain the kingdom of God. And these things indeed ye were: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God (Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5 Testimonies).
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