Baptism - The 'Sacrament of Baptism' is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Baptism brings one into faith. "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, and are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in the Church's mission; "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."
Baptism, comes from the Greek word 'baptizein' meaning to "plunge" or
"immerse." to "plunge" into the water symbolizes the individual's burial
into Christ's death, from which we also rise up by resurrection with Him,
as a "new creation."
Christ sent his apostles so that "repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations." "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
Cleansing from sin:
All sin is removed by this sacrament: original and actual, mortal and venial -- and not only the guilt of sin but also whatever punishment is due for it. The recipient may have lived a life of utter wickedness; but if he/she has sincerely repented and adhered to Christ by faith, all of this is washed away in the waters of baptism. Were he/she to die immediately, he/she would be admitted directly into heaven like the "good thief" to whom Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). For in the sacraments, it is not the merits of the recipient but the grace of Christ, that produces the effect; and this grace is infinitely more abundant than all the sins in the world (Romans 5:15-17).
Life in the Spirit
Incorporation into the Church