Thursday, September 27, 2007

Baptism Saves

"How do we come to be Christians? Through faith, everyone says. How are we saved? Because we have been reborn from on high, through the grace of baptism. What other way could there be? Having gained the knowledge of this salvation brought about by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, are we about to let go the 'form of the teaching'? It certainly would be an appropriate moment to groan in grand style if perchance we were to find ourselves now further away from salvation than at the moment we first believed, if we were to renounce now what we received then. It is equally disastrous to die without baptism as it is to receive baptism and be short even one article of the traditional faith. As to the profession of faith which we set down at our baptism, when, leaving idolatry behind, we came to the living God, the person who does not at every moment keep it, and hold on to it during his whole life as to a solid protection, is alienating himself from God's promises by contradicting what he wrote in his own hand when he first professed the faith. For baptism is my life-principle and if the first of these days is the moment of rebirth, it is clear that the most precious words of all will be those expressed when I received the grace of adoption. Shall I, then, overcome by the foolish reasons of these people, betray the tradition which brought me to the light, which gave me the grace of knowing God, by which I have been made a child of God, whereas previously because of sin I was his enemy? Never!"

-St. Basil of Caesarea

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