The “new birth” according to the Church of Rome is their so-called “sacrament” of baptism. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says regarding baptism:

1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”5 (Online source, emphasis added)

And if the above isn’t clear enough that apostate Roman Catholicism teaches baptismal regeneration under “The Necessity of Baptism” we’re instructed:

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.59 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.60 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.61 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. (Online source, emphasis added)

Being of a skeptical sort I can’t help but wonder, if the “Lord Himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for Salvation,” then why is it Christ Jesus neglected to mention that to the thief on the cross in Luke 24:42-43. Well now, maybe it had just slipped the Master’s mind. After all, it had been a very long and difficult day for our Lord. And when considering this subject of baptismal regeneration in Roman Catholicism we also need to realize here that the vast majority of human beings who are baptized, and thus considered “born again” in the Roman Catholic Church are infants.

Let me show you a little something about baptism from the Bible itself; 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 14 to be exact. If baptism really is the “basis” of the “whole Christian life,” and if baptism really is “necessary for salvation” — in addition to the blood of Christ, then we have most certainly added a “condition” here. We will have an additional work that would undoubtedly have to be considered required in this essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And if baptism “assures entry” into Heaven then we no longer have solus Christus i.e. Christ alone as our hope of Heaven.

The Apostle Paul And Baptism

If we are “born again” when we are baptized then we should expect to see this clearly outlined in the Bible, should we not? And if being baptized really is part of the salvation process itself then baptism should also comprise a very important aspect of every minister’s work, wouldn’t you say? However, what we do need to keep in mind at this point is that we are told right within the pages of Holy Scripture itself that the thief on the cross mentioned before was himself clearly saved through God’s grace alone; by faith alone, in Christ alone. At this point we must also remember that nothing found its way into the Bible by some “accident.”

In 1 Corinthians 1:14 the Apostle Paul writes —  I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Chrispus and Gaius. Now, you do have to admit that this a very odd statement — I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you  — if baptism really is necessary for salvation. Verse 15  — so that no one could say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else).

What? Paul says — I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. Why, that’s a rather strange comment if baptism really is “the basis for the whole Christian life.” The Apostle Paul, arguably the greatest evangelist after Christ Jesus Himself, doesn’t seem to place much importance on baptism. Hmm, I wonder why that is? And as always, the answer is found right here in the Scriptures themselves. We look at verse 17  — For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to — [what] — preach the Gospel.

As I will say every time, a funny thing happens when you just let the Bible speak for itself. You find the truth! The great Apostle Paul just said the Lord did not send me to baptize those who had already believed the Gospel, and had already received Jesus as their Lord and Savior, just as the thief on the cross had done. And we do need to be mindful here that Paul was only writing under the direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit; and, one might suppose that the Lord Himself would be a reasonably good Source for proper Christian doctrine.

No men and women, Paul wasn’t sent to baptize; he was instead called to evangelize, and his mission was to preach the Gospel to those who had not yet heard the Good News. He is teaching us here that it is after someone believes the Gospel, which is something an infant cannot possibly do, then they are baptized. Here in fact, the Apostle Paul is actually making a crystal clear distinction between the Gospel and baptism. And if you remember from 2 Corinthians 11:4, not only are there “other” Jesuses, and “different” spirits, but there are also “different” gospels—which are really no gospels at all.

The Apostolic Gospel Is The Only Gospel

If you need further proof there are other gospels we need only go over to the Book of Galatians chapter 1 and verse 6. And it is going to be vital for you to come to grips with this passage of the Bible here in this age of universalisalism; but for now, let’s consider this from the Apostle Paul — I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One Who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel. One, which I will inform you added works and was very close to being exactly like the false gospel of works-righteousness currently taught by the apostate Roman Catholic Church.

Verse 7 — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven. We stop right here as you may find this of interest. The appearance of an angel, one named Nephi—or Moroni—depending on which version of the account you read; however, the appearance of an angel to Joseph Smith allegedly led to the Book of Mormon and resulted in the false gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wouldn’t you say that’s kind of an interesting “coincidence” considering Galatians 1:7?

But — says Paul — even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than we — this would be the Apostles — preached, let him be eternally condemned. The Greek word used here for eternally condemned is the word anathema, which the Council of Trent of the Roman Catholic Church once tossed around so easily. Men and women I say it again, false gospels like the one taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as the one preached by the Roman Catholic Church are really nothing new.

However, the proclamation of the pure Gospel of our Lord is so important—and so critical—that the Apostle now repeats his stern rebuke in verse 9. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be eternally condemned. God the Holy Spirit saw to it that this warning was preserved in Holy Scripture, which will give you a fairly good idea of just how seriously the Lord takes His Gospel. And this is because these attempts by Satan to pervert the true Gospel of Jesus Christ—by adding some kind of works to it—have been going on ever since Jesus of Nazareth defeated him crushing that serpent’s head on the cross in the first century.

Let’s go a little further along in this passage of Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia. And as we do you will see something which will prove quite interesting in regard to just where the great Apostle Paul received this Gospel in the first place. Verse 10 — For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. This now brings us to a couple of tremendously important verses. Verse 11 — For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. And then verse 12 — For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it,…

Paul Received The Gospel From Christ Jesus Himself

We are about to uncover an extremely important point here. Think of it now, this information has just come from the former Saul of Tarsus the chief antagonist of the primitive Christian faith. He has an encounter with Jesus of Nazareth after our Lord was resurrected from the dead then suddenly he turns completely around and becomes a fierce defender of the very Gospel that he once tried to wipe out. And not only that but the Apostle Paul then goes on to write half the New Testament!

Back to Galatians 1:12 and what Paul tells us concerning this Gospel which he would go on to preach. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Here is very good reason to believe that the Apostle Paul was taught this Gospel of Jesus Christ by the very Lord of Glory Himself! In any event, this much we do know for certain—no mere man taught it to him. Rather, Paul tells us, he received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Now oddly enough there have been those who have taken issue with how I have been teaching at Apprising Ministries but a large part of what I’ve been doing here is bringing us back to basics to make sure that we know exactly what the Bible actually says about these fundamental cardinal doctrines of the historic orthodox Christian faith. And the single most basic issue that there is for the Christian is this doctrine of justification, which undoubtedly is the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Upon such a great salvation (see—Hebrews 2:3) as this, we can never compromise.

And as I have previously pointed out this is precisely why God the Holy Spirit made sure that the Gospel itself—what was actually preached by Christ’s Apostles themselves—was preserved right within the text of the Bible itself. If you have been following my teachings about the Roman Catholic Church then you already know this. But it seems good in the Lord to look at this Gospel one more time just to make sure we’re prepared to defend it properly.

We go back to the Book of 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 1 to see the actual  Apostolic Gospel of Jesus Christ in its simplicity once again:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,

Keep in mind we have just seen that Paul received this Gospel from the risen Christ Himself and there’s a reasonably good chance that Jesus knew what His Gospel is, wouldn’t you agree? The Apostle now continues — For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

So there it is; that’s the Apostolic Gospel. Period; end of story! Here we have the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And as anyone can plainly see there are certainly no “sacraments” of Roman Catholicism needed nor are there any Mormon “Gospel Principles.” The absolute truth of God’s inerrant and infallible Word—Sola Scriptura—unquestionably shows that there are no human works of any kind involved.

As we know from the Gospel of John the price of our salvation was paid in full; and, further we know that Christ’s work was “finished” right on the cross. Remember the Scripture says — When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:30). By the way this is recorded for us in the eyewitness testimony of the Apostle John who was standing right there and personally heard Jesus say what he would record as — “Tetelestai.” Which as you probably know is the Greek for “finished”; i.e. a debt paid in full.

Let’s end with this: If Jesus is God in human form; and if He finished His work on the Cross, and if He paid your debt in full, then what exactly is there left for you to do? Nothing, but to fall at His feet in reverent awe for such a great salvation.