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Featured Acts 10 - Cornelius - Question - Continued

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by LaGrange, Nov 9, 2022.

  1. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I’ll start answering tomorrow

    Here is my main post that I was going to put on as my OP in the first thread. Some Catholics on this forum will be relieved to read that I accept and am posting this first view. Don’t think I’m contradicting myself with this first view below. What I did was make the case for the second view below in the first thread.

    Main Post

    I realize Baptism has been discussed over and over again and I’m sure sometimes you get tired of it. Instead of approaching Baptism in the usual way, I thought I would pick out a chapter or verse that seems hard to explain concerning Baptism and focus on that. Here’s one example :

    Acts 10 - Cornelius and Baptismal Regeneration

    Acts 10:47 Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we?

    Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they desired him to tarry with them some days.

    Two Views

    THIS VIEW IS AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

    The Unusual Situation View or
    The Regeneration-before -Water-Baptism View

    (an unusual situation because Cornelius was the first gentile to come into the church)

    Most of you would use this chapter to prove that you are not regenerated by water Baptism. Many Catholics would probably agree that Water Baptism came after regeneration. They would say it was through Baptismal Regeneration but, instead of through Water Baptism, it was through Baptism of Desire (Council of Trent, Session VI, Ch 4). These same Catholics would say that this was an unusual situation because Cornelius was the first gentile to come into the church. When you naturally read this chapter, the interpretation to some looks like Cornelius was “saved” and “then” was baptized. I’ve seen where some excellent Catholic theologians say the same thing in this instance. Two examples of this, commenting on v47 (re: Forbid water), is Haydock’s Commentary and the 1953 Catholic Commentary and they are not wrong. It depends on how you explain it. It doesn’t mean that nothing happens at Water Baptism in Acts 10:48. Here is the quote from Haydock’s Commentary: “… Or doubt that these, on whom the Holy Ghost hath descended, may be made members of the Christian Church, by baptism, as Christ ordained? Wi.—Such may be the grace of God occasionally towards men, and such their great charity and contrition, that they may have remission, justification, and sanctification, before the external sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and penance be received; as we see in this example: where, at Peter’s preaching, they all received the Holy Ghost before any sacrament.” On the other hand, MacEvilly’s Commentary and A Practical Commentary by Bishop Knecht say Peter had to Baptize Cornelius with water to be regenerated. The church teaches the necessity of Baptism but not the absolute necessity of water baptism (CCC1257-1261). Under certain circumstances there can be what is called “Baptism of Blood” or “Baptism of Desire”.

    Here’s the way I understand these:

    (1) Baptism of Blood - this is giving your life for Christ by shedding your blood and dying for Him (as a martyr). Even without water baptism you can be saved if you do this.

    (2) Baptism of Desire:

    (Three ways)

    (A) Preparing for Baptism - If you die while preparing to receive Water Baptism you can be saved. For example, if you were being taught the Faith in catechism class and intended to eventually be baptized and had sorrow for your sins, and died before water baptism, you would go to heaven. Aquinas used this kind of example (explained below under #1).

    (B) The Native in the Woods - Also, another example of Baptism of Desire would be the so-called “native in the woods”. This is when a person hasn’t had Christ preached to them because civilization had not reached them. We believe God makes it possible in some way for all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4)(This doesn’t mean all will be saved - you could refuse). This person must come to Christ but Christ makes Himself known to him in some unknown way (Acts 17:26-27).
     
  2. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    (C) Invincible Ignorance - Another possible example would be through “Invincible Ignorance”. “It is known to us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin” [Quanto conficiamur moerore (On Promotion Of False Doctrines), Pope Pius IX, 1863, Denziger’s # 2866] This means that God, can and does, sometimes work outside the sacraments. This is how those not Baptized with Water can get to heaven but it is the exception to the rule and very, very subjective and much harder to obtain in my view. This is so gray I don’t know how you would apply this because, even after the initial justification through the Baptism of Desire, you must stay in this grace. How? Also, I don’t think most would fall under the “Great Charity and Contrition” requirement that was in Haydock’s Commentary above. This is not uncharitable because almost NO ONE reaches this level of sanctity. Maybe Cornelius did. This is why Pope Pius IX said, basically the church has to leave it up to the providence of God.

    The OT saints - I’m not sure which category they go in but they would come under Baptism of Desire. They were Baptized through “Types” of Water Baptism [1 Cor 10:2, 1 Pet 3:20-21, 2 Pet 2:5, Ex 14 (crossed the Red Sea), Josh 3:11-17] Also, a good example of Baptism of Desire is the Thief on the cross (Luke 23:42-43).

    In conclusion, What the church teaches is the necessity of Baptism. Baptism of Water is the normal means and Baptism of Desire is the exception. I agree that all of this is Catholic Teaching so this view is acceptable IN THIS CASE.


    Cornelius-Regenerated-by-Water-Baptism View

    THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE OR THE NORMAL MEANS TO OUR INITIAL JUSTIFICATION

    This is my view

    First, here is a summary of a few verses in Acts 10:

    V2 Cornelius - a Just man, fearing God and giving Alms and Praying
    V3 Cornelius - had a vision of an angel
    V4 Angel spoke to Cornelius - Thy Prayers and Alms ascended and reached God
    V22 Cornelius, a Just man
    V31 Cornelius - prayer and alms reached God
    V34-43 Peter preaches Jesus Christ to Cornelius
    V43 by his name all receive remission of sins
    V44 The Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his friends
    V46 the gentiles spoke in Tongues
    V47 Peter says he cannot “Forbid Water
    V48 Peter “Baptized” Cornelius and his followers

    Here are a few things to notice:

    (1) Acts 10:2,22 - a Just man - Two times in Acts 10 it refers to Cornelius as a “just” man (Acts 10:2,22). In verse 22 it uses the Greek word “dikaios” (Strong’s #1342) which is often used to say someone is justified, however, the range and context of this word suggests that this isn’t the case. You can see in other verses that is doesn’t always refer to justification [ex: Eph 6:1, Phil 1:7 (meet), Luke 12:57]. When it says in this verse “Just”, it means Cornelius was a good man, a devout man or had a good character. Verse 22 talks about Cornelius in the same way as in verse 2. It couldn’t mean he was already Justified because he didn’t even know Christ. Peter had to preach to him about Christ and then Baptize him. Aquinas referred to him as an “unbeliever” (STh., II-II q.10 a.4 - you cannot really believe something you don’t know). I think where some get confused is when Aquinas says Cornelius had the Baptism of Desire before he received Water Baptism (STh., III q.69 a.4). In Aquinas’ time they did not use the term “preparatory graces”. He did use the word “Preparation” but it was not a formal term. This term was not used until later. It was used at the Council of Trent (Denzigers #798 [DS 1526). “Actual grace” is the term we use now and it wasn’t used until after the Council of Trent. All three of these terms are the same thing. The idea Aquinas was trying to convey was that if you were being taught the Faith, had sorrow for sin and you were in line to be baptized, and died before you received baptism, you would still go to heaven. This is Baptism of Desire. Cornelius did not die so I think preparatory graces (Actual Grace) better describe what Cornelius had prior to water baptism. Cornelius is NOT saved at this point.
     
  3. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    (2) Acts 10:2,4,31 - Prayers and Alms - three times prayers and alms are mentioned as the cause of getting God’s attention. These are preparatory graces (actual graces). This means Cornelius received these graces first (prevenient) and then acted on them by praying and giving alms and, as a result, received more graces. Actual graces do not save; only sanctifying grace saves. You could say that Actual Graces help “lead” to salvation so they are necessary. Also notice: Cornelius’ Good Works (prayer and alms) obtained God’s attention while Faith wasn’t even mentioned. It says he feared God so he had some kind of Faith (Faith in God in general but he didn’t know Christ until Peter preached) but this Faith alone didn’t get God’s attention. This also shows that Works before justification are not sinful. St. Augustine refers to prayer and alms as Good Works (On Baptism 1.8.10) although he said they didn’t help Cornelius in the salvation process until after justification (Baptism). They helped get God’s attention but did not justify him. Cornelius is NOT saved at this point.

    (3) Acts 10:34-43 - Peter preaches Christ to Cornelius - proof Cornelius didn’t know Christ. Cornelius didn’t have Faith in Christ so he couldn’t be regenerated. Cornelius is NOT saved at this point.

    (4) Acts 10:43,48 - By His Name - Peter says remission of sins comes “by His Name”. “By His Name” refers to Baptism because Cornelius and everyone else in the church is Baptized with water and the words “I baptize thee IN THE NAME of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”. (Matt 28:19). This hadn’t happened yet in v43. Cornelius is NOT saved at this point.

    (5) Acts 10:44-46 - The Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and his friends and they began speaking in Tongues - speaking in Tongues doesn’t mean you are saved. Unless you are Pentecostal, I think we would all agree with that. It is a Gift for the benefit of others. In this case it was a benefit to Peter as another sign from God that he was to Baptize gentiles into the church. Cornelius is NOT saved at this point.

    (6) Acts 10:47 - “Forbid water” - Peter says he cannot forbid water. Forbidding water means preventing God from justifying and sanctifying these souls. Forbid Water"(Strong’s #2967) - also see Acts 11:17 where is says "withstand God" - Both show that same greek word used in both verses for "Forbid" and "Withstand". Also used for "Hinder" in Acts 8:36. Cornelius is NOT saved at this point.

    (7) Acts 10:48 - Cornelius is Baptized - Baptism is the initial justification (signed or sealed with the Holy Ghost) and a pledge (down payment) of our inheritance (Eph 1:13-14). Also, I would look at Acts 2:38, Acts 16:16, Acts 22:16, 1 Pet 3:20, Gal 3:26-27, Eph 1:13 and Titus 3:5 on Water Baptism. You must have Faith but not Faith Alone (Matt 28:19-20, Eph 4:5). In the OT you had to have Faith but you were not justified until you received Circumcision (sealed)(Rom 4:11). The Circumcision of Christ is Baptism (Col 2:11-14). Cornelius IS saved at this point. In the future, it is always possible he could lose his inheritance (salvation) (Eph 5:5) through sin.

    Conclusion,
    I added this part. None of you could say for sure when Cornelius was justified or regenerated but only that he was. You were guessing. It is all very subjective. I have heard many times Protestants say they thought someone was saved and then later thought they weren’t. Many make multiple altar calls. It’s not practical. Only through the sacraments can you be sure, first through Baptism and then through Penance (Confession) afterwards.
     
  4. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    Baptismal Regeneration - Context in John

    The context of the first 5 chapters of the Gospel of John is the Sacrament of Baptism:

    John 1 – Jesus is Baptized (John 1:33)
    We are given “power” (Baptism) to be made sons of God (John 1:12)

    John 2 – Jesus transforms the Baptismal Waters into Wine (John 2:6-9) Wine = Holy Ghost (Acts 2:13)

    John 3 – Jesus teaches on Baptism (John 3:3, John 3:5) Jesus Baptizes (John 3:22)

    John 4 – Jesus commissions his Apostles to Baptize. (John 4:1-2), the Samaritan woman at the well - the Living Waters (John 4:6-15)

    John 5 - The healing waters of Bethsaida
    (John 5:4 = Gen 1:2)

    John 6 - Then Christ begins teaching on the Sacrament of the Eucharist
     
  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Explain where you think water immersion is in John 1:12?
     
  6. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    Hi 37818,

    John 1:12 But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.

    John 1:13 Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    “Believe” is mentioned 2 times in John 1.
    “Baptism” is mentioned 6 times in John 1.

    In John 1:13 those that are sons of God are “born” of God. The KJV Bible notes cross references this verse to John 3:3, John 3:6, John 3:7, 1 Pet 1:23, James 1:18. I would include John 3:5 because it speaks of “Water” and the “Holy Ghost”. So this “power” in verse 12 means to be “born again” which is Baptism. You must also “believe” in His name and you cannot do that either without God’s grace (Power). This means the “Power” is both Actual Grace (believing) and Sanctifying Grace (Baptism). Sanctifying Grace is what saves or justifies. You need to “Believe” and be “Baptized” but Baptism is where you are initially Justified.
     
  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Where do you get that? The term does not occur once. The term explicitly meaning immersion aka baptism, baptized etc.
     
    #7 37818, Nov 20, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2022
  8. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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  9. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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  10. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    Yes. The context of the chapter is about Baptism.
     
  11. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Only beginning at verse 25 is there a topic of water baptism.
     
  12. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    Hi 37818,
    Sorry I didn’t see your post for some reason. Let me ask you then: What is the context of the first 5 chapters of John? I’ll wait for your answer before I say any more.
     
  13. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    I am not, at this time going to write a summary of each of those verse sections. John 3:22-27 was about baptizing. John 4:1-2 is how Jesus was baptizing more disciples than John the Baptist.
     
  14. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    Fine. What I am saying is that the one theme through the first 5 chapters of John regarding justification is Baptism. This includes John 3:3. Baptism, by definition, includes using actual water to bring about the inner regeneration. As I pointed out in previous posts, this doesn’t mean the water itself does anything but, since Christ commanded it (Matt 28:19) to be used to bring about the inward spiritual regeneration, the regeneration doesn’t happen unless you use the water. You deny that. That’s why you don’t see Baptism in all five chapters. Strong’s (#907,911) says it means to make “fully wet”. I think you guys are making this way harder than it is. I have figured out that this one of the obstacles. The other obstacle being justification as a one-time event. I’m working on another thread on Baptism that I may put out after the first of the year that may help you see it better.
     
  15. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Not in all 5 chapters. And only a total of 11 references in John. There are more than the water immersion. And only two of four are referred to in John as such.
     
  16. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    Hi 37818,

    I want you to know that I really do appreciate your questions. Honestly, I don’t think I will be able to convince you of baptism in all five chapters. I’m not sure what to say that I haven’t already said. It’s so simple that’s it’s scary. Maybe this will help: After the disciples baptize (John 4:1-2), then there is the woman at the well (John 4:10,14) and the healing waters at Bethsaida (John 5:2-9), which are baptismal themes. Instead of going any further in John, maybe you could do more study of the OT types and the connection between Water and Spirit in the NT. Maybe one place you could meditate on that would show the physical water and the spiritual power coming together would be in John 19:34. Maybe you’ll see it, maybe you won’t. John 1-5 speaks about “believing” (John 3:16, John 3:36) and other things but included with all of that is “baptism”. That is what I was trying to get across with my OP (post #4) on the context of John 1-5.

    Here’s a couple of things I would like to ask:

    1. 1 Pet 3:20-21 “…..wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. Whereunto baptism, being of the like form, now saveth you also:….”

    How do you interpret this part of these verses?

    2. Acts 8:39 - Was the Ethiopian eunuch immersed?
     
  17. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Here is question I would like you to think about.
    How and what from were the eight saved? To give us some starting point.
    Verse 38, ". . . and he immersed him. . . ." Modern Literal Version.
     
  18. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    My Comment: I know. They were in the ark. They didn’t get wet. I get it. They were still saved by water. It was a baptism because the water washed away sin. It was the same as when the Jews crossed the Red Sea during the Exodus. The waters parted and they didn’t get wet, the Egyptians got wet. So, were they saved by water? Yes. Paul talked about the crossing of the Red Sea as a “type” of baptism (1 Cor 10:2). Now, to get into the ark (Church or “in Christ”) you have to pass through the waters (Baptism). The same thing happened when the Jews crossed into the promised land. The waters receded and the ark led the way (Joshua 3:15-17). Again, they didn’t get wet. It was a “Type” of baptism. The real water baptism does confer grace. Without water, none of this would have happened. Baptism is all over the place in scripture.

    My Comment:
    Acts 8:38-39 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water….. (KJV)

    You had to really hunt to find a bible that used “immersion” in that verse! Lol The KJV, DRV, ESV, NIV, RSV and even the GWT says “They” went down into the water and then “They” came up out of the water! It says “They”. Think about that. So, since it says “They”, was Philip immersed too? It’s the same thing as when Jesus was baptized (Matt 3:16). All it says was “And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water…”. It doesn’t say He was Immersed. I bring this up because you are so strict about “Immersion” yet you don’t think Baptism does anything. I don’t get it. If you want to answer this, I’ll answer you on Friday.

    I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving. May God bless.
     
  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. How and from what?
    Only the eunuch was immersed.

    Not at all.
    http://modernliteralversion.org/
     
    #19 37818, Nov 23, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022
  20. LaGrange

    LaGrange Active Member

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    OK. You tell me.

    I know that but what I was getting at was that you cannot tell that he was immersed by the language used except with your modern version.

    I didn’t quote you on the Last thing where I said you had to hunt to find a Bible that used “Immerse” and you said: “Not at all.”

    Of course, that is not what I meant. I meant that the Bible version you are using is in the extreme minority view of how that verse should be translated. Can you name a well known version that uses “Immerse” in verse 38 instead of “Baptized”? Yes, it says Philip “Baptized” the eunuch but it doesn’t describe how that was actually done in this verse. It says they went down into the water. That’s all. Baptism does mean Immerse but there are many other baptisms where there is pouring or sprinkling in scripture. As you know, Titus 3:5 describes Baptism as the “Laver of Regeneration”. Laver = Basin. Not necessarily something you are immersed in. Christ used a Laver to wash the feet of the apostles (John 13:5). It’s the same with the Baptism of Jesus in Matt 3:16. As I said in the last post, Paul said Crossing the Red Sea was a type of Baptism and yet they didn’t even get wet so Baptism is not always by immersion.
     
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