I want to prefix something before I start with the actual article:
I am a Protestant. I reject papacy. The Roman Catholic Chuch (RCC) is antichristian because Jesus Christ isn’t her Lord but the pope.
However, be aware that Jesus commands us to love all people, also the Catholics. We reject the papal system but love the ordinary members of the RCC. This is pure democracy. We live in a free world. Thank God (Correction from February 16, 2018: I would no longer say that we live in a free world; no, we have the dictatorial regime of the so-called beast mentioned in the Revelation, which is a conglomeration of godless states under the leadership of the USA; they suck the whole mankind and don’t aspire after wealth for the mankind; they are God’s judgement for the mankind because the mankind criminally failed to seek the God who has made heaven and earth).
It is fully correct to reject papacy, but it is wrong to reject sacramental baptism. I know some people feel a pain when they hear the word sacrament. I assure you in the name of the triune God that the sacramental baptism was not invented by the RCC or the pope but by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The baptism I want to talk about is the sacramental baptism according to Christ’s institution.
What is the mystery of sacramental baptism?
By baptism, Jesus Christ calls you to be a disciple of him. When Christ lived on earth and was named Jesus from Nazareth, he called people with audible voice, “follow me!” The call was supernatural, powerful and actually irresistible. In the power of the call, the disciples become able to follow Jesus.
Christ has ascended to heaven.
How does he call someone today?
Today, he calls people by the sacrament of baptism. Baptism comes directly from heaven. The Church just administrates baptism. The invisible baptist is God himself. At every baptism God acts according to Romans Chapter 6: the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is dedicated to the person to be baptized. The old man of sin dies, and you get a new life in Christ. Also you receive the Holy Spirit. Of course, baptism must be received rightly. Baptism must be received by faith. Faith, of course, can solely be brought about by the Holy Spirit. Pagans approaching the Christian Church or their represantatives will come under the influence of the Holy Spirit (that could be the case right now when you read this article). The Holy Spirit will cause repentance and understanding of the gospel (Jesus is able to save and deliver sinners by his atonement). Everybody repenting and wanting to get cured by Jesus can be baptized. At baptism, Jesus Christ heals you. It is an outright act of recreation.
How to behave after baptism?
Baptism, of course, is no ticket to heaven. After baptism, we have to be obedient to God’s commands (Sermon on the Mount). It is not that we add on something by our discipleship (that would be a deadly misunderstanding), but for a Christian, discipleship is just natural. A caterpillar crawls and a bird flies. We should be like birds or butterflies. By flying we believe. Just be obedient and don’t ask whether you have faith or not. After baptism, faith means obedience.
At baptism, God gave us a cost-free present: Deliverance. We received God’s present by faith. Now we are able to be obedient.
Indeed, salvation is for free or by grace alone. God gives us forgiveness and a new life. Let us take both presents and live the new life believing that God has yet forgiven us. That is the outright faith.
Free Churches believing baptism would be merely a symbolic act are heretical and don’t belong to the one, worldwide, Christian Church. Rebaptism is prohibited. Everybody who rebaptizes shows that he has not understood the doctrine of baptism.
That’s just about the limit:
Even the infant baptism of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is valid (I am fully aware what I say). It is simply because baptism comes from above and is merely administrated by the church. It is up to you, dearly beloved Catholic brother, to start to believe right now. Just refer to your infant baptism and leave the RCC immediately. Become a Protestant this second.