How many of us have been approached by a family member, a friend, an officemate, or even a stranger, only to be asked, “Are you born again?” Whatever the response, the next question would be: “Have you asked Jesus into your heart and received Him as his personal Lord and savior?”
What then, is the Catholic response for us to be born again and saved? According to Steven Ray, a pastor who converted into Catholicism, three things he points out:
- In this day and age of computers, it is so easy to search. Try searching in the bible, “Ask Jesus in your heart.” In a few seconds, the answer comes in – NONE. Try searching in the bible, “Personal Lord and Savior.” In a few seconds, the answer comes in – NONE. Hence these two phrases are not BIBLICAL.
- These two phrases, therefore, were not mentioned by Jesus nor by the apostles nor by the Church Father, nor by the Magisterium. These two phrases come from the Baptist tradition which came about after the birth of Protestantism in 1517.
- Water and the Holy Spirit has always been used in Creation:
- In Genesis, Man was created using water and the Holy Spirit.
- Then the Jews call Noah the second Adam. The presence of these two again, Water and the Dove, which represent the Holy Spirit.
- In Exodus, the Israelites went through the water guided by a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day, which is the Holy Spirit.
- When Jesus was baptized, it was also about Water and the Holy Spirit.
- Hence, in John chapter three, Jesus explains that for one to be born again, a new creation, one has to be born of the Water and the Holy Spirit, which is none other but BAPTISM.
Hence, three things we remember:
- It was the Catholic Church that made the bible, let us use it and study it.
- We are a new creation because of our baptism, don’t take it for granted – it is the removal of original sin and being part of the Church that Christ founded.
- Baptism reminds us that we are not of this world, although we are in the world. Hence not to lose focus on what really matters in life – Eternal Life.