Baptismal Regeneration in the Church Fathers (1)

Last week we covered this subject from the stand point of the Reformers – so, I thought that I might do a series on the Church Fathers.

Now this is blessed by the high priest for the remission of sins, and the first preparation for baptism. For he calls thus upon the unbegotten God, the Father of Christ, the King of all sensible and intelligible natures, that He would sanctify the oil in the name of the Lord Jesus, and impart to it spiritual grace and efficacious strength, the remission of sins, and the first preparation for the confession of baptism, that so the candidate for baptism, when he is anointed may be freed from all ungodliness, and may become worthy of initiation, according to the command of the Only-begotten (Apostolic Constitutions, XLII)

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70 Replies to “Baptismal Regeneration in the Church Fathers (1)”

  1. Indeed the beauty of the reformation and the reformed, is that it looks to the scripture itself, rather than any added “tradition” of even spiritual men and people. In the scripture there is only oil for the touch of the sick for healing, and water for baptism, the sign and seal of forgiveness and regeneration. Also, bread & wine as real “sacraments” (spiritual presence) of Christ’s death, in body & blood.
    Fr. R.

  2. Acts 2:38 through 22:16 speaks of only one way or door (John 10:9/14:6) to God, via the name of Jesus.(Col. 3:17, Matt.28;18, 1 Cr 1:24 and Acts 4:12) Today, all true repentant believers have been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal.3:27, Romans 6:4, Acts 10:36-48, and Col 2:12) and not the Babylonian made trinity.

    1. Steve, the Trinity didn’t come from Babylon.

      Further, I believe that it would “Jesus Christ,” not Lord Jesus Christ. We know this not only from Peter’s mouth, but from Church history.

  3. Various quotes on the necessity of baptism by faith. Christians have always interpreted the Bible literally when it declares, “The like figure where unto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” in 1 Peter 3:21 also read the following scriptures. Acts 2:38, 22:16, Rom. 6:3–4, Col. 2:11–12. Philip Schaff (Presbyterian/Reformed) —

    “This ordinance [Baptism] was regarded in the ancient church as the sacrament of the new birth or regeneration, and as the solemn rite of initiation into the Christian Church, admitting to all her benefits and committing to all her obligations….Its effect consists in the forgiveness of sins and the communication of the Holy Spirit.

    “Justin [Martyr] calls baptism ‘the water-bath for the forgiveness of sins and regeneration,’ and ‘the bath of conversion and the knowledge of God.’ “It is often called also illumination, spiritual circumcision, anointing, sealing, gift of grace, symbol of redemption, death of sins, etc. Tertullian describes its effect thus: ‘When the soul comes to faith, and becomes transformed through regeneration by water and power from above, it discovers, after the veil of the old corruption is taken away, its whole light. It is received into the fellowship of the Holy Spirit; and the soul, which unites itself to the Holy Spirit, is followed by the body.’ ….”From John 3:5 and Mark 16:16, Tertullian and other fathers argued the necessity of baptism to salvation….The effect of baptism…was thought to extend only to sins committed before receiving it. Hence the frequent postponement of the sacrament [Procrastinatio baptismi], which Tertullian very earnestly recommends….” (History of the Christian Church, volume 2, page 253ff)

    “The views of the ante-Nicene fathers concerning baptism and baptismal regeneration were in this period more copiously embellished in rhetorical style by Basil the Great and the two Gregories, who wrote special treatises on this sacrament, and were more clearly and logically developed by Augustine. The patristic and Roman Catholic view on regeneration, however, differs considerably from the one which now prevails among most Protestant denominations, especially those of the more Puritanic type, in that it signifies not so such a subjective change of heart, which is more properly called conversion, but a change in the objective condition and relation of the sinner, namely, his translation from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of Christ….Some modern divines make a distinction between baptismal regeneration and moral regeneration, in order to reconcile the doctrine of the fathers with the fact that the evidences of a new life are wholly wanting in so many who are baptized. But we cannot enter here into a discussion of the difficulties of this doctrine, and must confine ourselves to a historical statement.” [patristic quotes follow] “In the doctrine of baptism also we have a much better right to speak of a -consensus patrum-, than in the doctrine of the Holy Supper.” (History of the Christian Church, volume 3, page 481ff, 492)

    AD 66-90 Catholics begin. THEY WENT OUT FROM US, because they were not of us. (1 John 2:19; Jude 1-3). Most were apostate Greeks who had been seethed in Platonism, polytheism, mythology and philosophy. Some could never understand monotheism. The CATHOLIC CHURCH starts. TRINITARIANISM invented. (L. Paine, pp.86,287). It was derived from Plato’s celestial arithmetic. (L. Hogben, p.266). Tertullian twisted Plato’s TIMAEUS into his “TRINITAS.” Here started the Trinity. “Catholics acknowledged that Baptism was changed by the Catholic Church” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 263).

    The New Catholic Encyclopaedia on page 59 states that until the 11th Century, baptism throughout Christendom was by immersion according to Acts 2:38 and elsewhere in the Bible, and that it was not until after AD325 that sprinkling in three Titles was practiced.

    “The original form of words were into the Name of Jesus Christ, or Lord Jesus. Baptism into the Trinity was a later development” (Dictionary of the Bible by Scripture, Vol, 1, p. 241).

    “Christian Baptism was administered using the words “in the Name of Jesus.” The use of a Trinity formula of any sort was not suggested in the early Church history. Baptism was always in the Name of the Lord Jesus until the time of Justin Martyr when Triune Formula was used” (Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Vol. 2, p. 377-378, 389).
    Small wonder Trinitarianism leads to Confusion. “The chief and fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity is that the former is committed to pure and uncompromising monotheism and the latter subscribes to the belief in the trinitarian nature of the divine Being – to the unconditional monotheism of Judaism the doctrine of the Trinity is profoundly objectionable, because it is a concession to polytheism or, at any rate, an adulteration of the idea of the one, unique, indefinable, and indivisible God.”

    1. Steve,

      Your history is a bit skewed. Your ‘facts’ are conspiracy theories not rooted any reality, many of which I will not correct. Here, however, are a few:

      Tertullian had nothing to do with Plato – it was Justin.

      How do you identify the Catholic Church? The name catholic? The power of the papacy? That didn’t really happen until the 4th century, Steve.

      Further, if you had actually read the posts, you will see I am actually arguing in favor of Baptismal Regeneration.

      Before you go off half-cocked, you might want to know who you are shooting at and make sure you bullets are not blank.

  4. The Two Babylons by A. Hislop refute your ideas. As does history. If your are any type of bible student, you will admit that the Babylonian Religion was passed on through Trias or Trinity, to the Catholics and Protestants. Mystery Babylon. Read Isaiah 4:1. And having a powerless religion as they exclude Jesus Christ. The Mother Harlot and her chidren practice the unbiblical trinity, whether in God head or baptism. Matthew 7:15-23 states only wolves in sheep’s clothes who practing trinity baptism will be surprised when the are turned back from paradise. Will you be one? If you do not hear it is because you serve another Gospel and not paul’s (Gal 1:6-12) nor Peter’s (Acts 5:29) and certainly not Christ’s (Rev.22:18-19).

    1. Steve, Hislop’s work is one of historical fiction. The ‘scholarship’ is abysmal and has been debunked by anti-trinitarians. Further, Rome is not the Mother Harlot. This is a purely Western, and late, invention, forgetting the historic communions of the East.

      Further, Matthew 7 does have say anything about baptism.

      I, by the way, baptism according to Acts 2.38, but I have no need to defend myself to you.

  5. Regardless, I am not a trinity man as it man made by Tertullian (In 200 AD coins it from Plato’s pagan work.) and others. Each and every baptism remains in Jesus name in the word of God! Every Apostle inclusive of Paul (Who did the Apostle way in Acts 9:18/22:16) baptized, (Acts 16:15/33, 18:8, and 19:1-6.) that way! Two can’t walk together unless they agree. Amos 3:3 You must agree with God to be his. Jesus alone has all saving and command power, Acts 4:12, Col.3:17, and Matt.28:18. The name of the father is Jesus, John 5:43. Also Ephesians 3:15. The son was called Jesus in Matthew 1:@1. The Comforter or Holy ghost which you do not follow, came in Jesus name, John 14:26. Paul stated that if one does not follow in unity the teachings of his, they were cursed. He never implied nor invented a trias or trinity. If one fountain has both sweet (Acts 2:38) and bitter, (A one scripture misinterpretation and wrestings or twisting of the word trinity baptism of Matthew 28:19. Jesus said do it in the name, singular not plural of the father, son, and spirit.) it is not of God but Satan as he is the author of confusion. I do not care what you say if does not agree with God then you are apostate and powerless. Again, you will not hear God so why would you hear his servents? You won’t. You were warned of the actions (Ezekiel33) you follow will send you apart from God. Matthew 7:21-23, therefore my words are ended.

    1. Steve,

      ‘Regardless?’ In other words, you have been proven wrong on a few things and don’t care to correct them?

      Tertullian didn’t introduce the term to Christianity. It came from a generation before him. Further, Considering that neither Hebrew, Greek, Latin or English for that matter is the heavenly language, it would stand to reason that our words, even our biblical words, come from other sources, including pagans. Further, if you actually read Tertullian, you would see the large difference between his Trinity and that of those who came after him.

      Further, no one was ever baptized in ‘Jesus Name’ in the NT.

      The name of the Father is not ‘Jesus.’

      So, I don’t follow the ‘Holy Ghost’? From what evidence do you draw that myth from? Seems to me, however, that you are using trinitarian language. Further, your ‘facts’ are baseless, your accusations against me unfounded – as you obviously have not read any of my doctrinal positisons – and frankly, your mouth runneth over.

      What you are saying does not agree with God, so why should I agree with you?

  6. No you lie. All liars will have their part in the lake of fire, Revelations chapter 20-22. Regardless of your lack of faith in God, because your words are not scriptures and certainly not his. You by your deeds show that you are calling God a liar. He said repent, and be baptized by faith in the name of Jesus, for the forgiveness of sins. Read Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Luke 24:45-47, Acts 2:38 and a whole lot more. Are you daft man? Only a insane liar would say baptism in the name of Jesus is not biblical or scriptural. Paul did so. Acts 22. Then Peter and Matthew along with the other 118 helping or by his side assisted him in it in Acts 2, baptized in Jesus name. Are you saying that he lied? Peter said that the name of Jesus alone saved a person. Are you greater than God himself? Jesus said he alone all power in Matthew 28:16. Paul said that do all-baptism including, in Jesus name. Are you greater than Paul who had many spiritual gifts and direct Revelation of God? You are of the Antichrist spirit. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus.

    1. Steve,

      Show me where I have lied or that I have shown a lack of faith? I am just calling you out on your historical errors, and your false accusations against me.

      Further, Peter said to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. I doubt your ability to read and comprehend, Steve. Read all the comments that I have written you. See if that helps. Then, I expect an apology.

      Oh, and if you rebuke someone, make sure that 1.) you are completely right and 2.) you use the name of power.

      Steve, I believe that you need to calm down and actually read what I have written. You are so ate up with ‘pentecostal’ power that you have misplaced rage and the inability to actually dialogue.


    1. Ah, Steve, you have been proven false by your words and your resources.

      I never claimed to acknowledge the Trinity – I just said your foundational support was filled with historical errors. As anyone who reads this blog, or takes the time to look at my doctrinal statement, knows, I am not a Trinitarian. Further, I have said that I baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, according to Acts 2.38 and other verses. Not a word about Matthew 28.19. You have such a misplaced rage, Steve, that you cannot see what someone else is actually saying to you.

      The only thing that I have said, which has inflamed you, is that your factual resources are wrong and that no one was baptized in ‘Jesus Name,’ rather, in the name of Jesus Christ.

      Steve, I think you need to calm down a bit and know you who are dealing with and lying on.

  8. Look, nobody is angry nor enraged, except youself. Show me the errors I made scripturally. There are none. The trinity historically is from Babylon. I wonder if your not on some strong medication. Repeadly I said the same thing and you by your words reject what I said by the word of God. Show me my errors by the bible. That is all. No more no less. Do give your ideas, they are worthless to save anyone. Just prove what I said wrong or state publicly that all need baptism in Jesus name by faith. I await your return to sanity……

    1. Steve, your last post in all caps, while being immature, is a statement of being enraged.

      I never said your Scriptural foundations were flawed, I said our historical sources were. Hislop’s book is a joke – and remember, he remained Trinitarian. The Trinity is not from Babylon, but took centuries to develop. If you actually would read Tertullian you would see what he was saying, and what he was defending against. If you would study the facts, and not pulp fiction you might get that. Read the historical writers in their own words, not from the pen of another who bashed them, and yet remained Trinitarian. Do you not see how silly that is? Further, his scholarship is made up. I have provided a link to a rebuttal of his work, several, I believe. You might want to give them a look.

      Further, you keep saying ‘Jesus Name.’ Yet, no where in Scripture do you find that formula. Instead of reading what I said about this matter, you accused me all manner of evil, even, laughingly, trying to ‘rebuke me.’ Steve, that’s just satanic.

      Now, you can go on and keep being petty, or you can actually breath and then dialogue.

  9. Look your insane and I will pray for you that God helps you. You know that your wrong and instead of facing reality,and answering the stated question, you talk your garbage. Again, twenty minutes ago I said that and still I repeat it. And where historically or scripturally can anyone prove what I said wrong. Give me facts. Your pretty egotistical here, expecting all to trust simply your opinion whereas I have shown the reality of the situation. Instead of being trying to show truth you are showing forth nothing again. Where in the word of God is trinity. Show me…….

    1. Steve, you poor soul. Have you not read anything that I have said?

      Hislop has been proven wrong. Saying this does not make me agree with the doctrine of the Trinity. Further, saying you need to read the historical writers in their own words before you judge them from the pen of another does not make me agree with the Trinity. Silly, you should trying actually reading. I have also provided a rebuttal for Hislop’s false scholarship.

      Further, I have said that I baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, not in ‘Jesus Name.’ Again, Scriptural.

      So, exactly what is it that you need help in understanding?

      I think that you came looking for a fight, and tried to make one. You have set Hislop up on a pedestal, and when someone challenges him, you forget that he did not right Scripture, just a dime store novel. Further, when someone says they do not baptize in ‘Jesus Name’ but in the name of Jesus Christ according to Acts 2.38, you somehow confuse this promoting Matthew 28.19.

      See, Steve, you need some help.

    1. Steve, you poor deluded soul without the ability to read and comprehend what you have read… Go back and reread what I have written about the Trinity. Tell me if I have ever confirmed the Trinity.

  10. Look your full of youself. Bluster and divert as you try, your proof is non existent. There is no trinity. Neither in the word nor otherwise. You have not proven anything by your words. Show me the scripture where it states there is a trinity. I wait you lies, I mean response….

    1. Steve, put the arm candy down.

      Now, read everything that I have written and tell me what I have said that was wrong. Now, Steve, this is the important point. Use exact quotes

  11. Ok I see that you cannot be a man here. And be as it will, I hope God bless you and really I tried to help you. I’m sorry that you can not rightly divide the word of God. If you are church of Christ member though they baptize in Jesus Christ they believe in traids in Godhead. That is confusion and contradiction. Until you admit your problem, nobody can help you. Goodbye.

    1. Steve, you have major reading comprehension issues. I have never once affirmed the Trinity. Your are so blinded by darkness that you cannot see that. Hate is a bad thing to hold in a heart, Steve.

      Further, I have am not a Church of Christ member. Again, your inability to comprehend anything shows just how blind you really are.

    2. Steve, until you can figure out what has been said here by me, and you can come to a conclusion on this side of reality, you are on moderate.

  12. Again I leave this final word to the public to see. This man will not confirm his beliefs, as he is a fence sitter. I have tried motivate him to not be lukewarm but instead received rebuff. Ok. I thank God that we all have freedom to do and believe as we please. No man can serve two masters. One cannot serve Christ and trinity. Furthermore, I wish him all the best in Christ. But unlike Christ, Peter, or Paul who plain showed what they believed and hid not in darkness or shadow of turning, I good faith leave this man in same confusion I encountered him with. I will pray that God blessses him and delivers him from his double mindedness. God be merciful to us all. As we all are sinners saved by our faith and his grace.

    1. Steve, I had hoped that you would have taken the time to read the things I wrote on this page. It is clear that you have not. When people see this, they will see you for the bickerer that you are, and the blinded soul you have.

      I have stated my belief on the Trinity and upon baptism – yet, you continue to lie about it and instead, miss the entire dialogue because I said that you have your historical sources messed up. This, Steve, shows your silliness and your predication to argue.

      Shame on you Steve.

  13. hahaha This is interesting… Have I just read an arguement between two Oneness believers or am I confused? Do you both believe in being baptised in the name of Jesus Christ?

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