Chapter 15. Baptism: Becoming a Christian • 183
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
The Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the
Eucharist—are the foundations of the Christian life. “Baptism, the
Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the
‘sacraments of Christian initiation,’ whose unity must be safeguarded”
(CCC, no. 1285). We begin with our study of Baptism in this chapter
and will treat the other two Sacraments in the following ones.
DYING AND RISING WITH CHRIST
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ
Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed bur-
ied with him through baptism into death, so that, just
as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, we too might live in newness of life.
Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accor-
dance with the Lord’s will, it is necessary for salvation,
as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.
—CCC, no. 1277
In his dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus taught that Baptism was necessary
for salvation. “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born
of water and Spirit” (Jn 3:5). After his Resurrection, Jesus met with the
eleven Apostles and gave them the commission to preach the Gospel and
baptize, telling them, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved”
(Mk 16:16). The word
in its origins is Greek and means “immer-
sion” and “bath.” Immersion in water is a sign of death, and emersion out
of the water means new life. To bathe in water is also to undergo cleans-
ing. St. Paul sums up this truth when he says, “You were buried with him
in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the
power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12).