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Question I have a close friend that was originally baptized Catholic. A while ago, she started attending a non-Catholic Church, which offered baptism into their Church, so she was baptized again. I would tell her…well you know it’s the 1st baptism that counts, not any that come after...So my questions is…am I right? That the 1st baptism is the only one that counts? No matter how many different religions you join after the 1st? Or is she right, it’s the one that you're currently with/in?
Answer Thank you for your question. In short, you are correct. I'm assuming that your friend was first baptized as an infant in the Catholic church. There are church bodies that believe that baptism of infants is invalid and can only be valid when a confession of faith can be made at an age of accountability. Your friend's second baptism was done in one such church. What makes Baptism valid is not the age or the confession or the accountability of the person being baptized. Baptism is valid when water is combined with God's Word, and done in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Baptism's validity is dependent upon the grace of God in Jesus Christ, and not on the works of the person. It is God's Word that makes ordinary water a life-giving and lavish washing away of sin. Therefore, a person only needs to be baptized once (Ephesians 4:4-6). Infants are the epitome of helplessness. They serve as a picture of humanity's inability to earn or work for salvation. Baptism takes spiritually dead people and brings them to life in the Kingdom of God. Baptism is so much more than a mere sign. Biblically speaking, Baptism is active and accomplishes what we cannot. To put it crudely... Baptism does stuff!! I would invite you and your friend to look at passages concerning Baptism and ask the question, "What does this passage say Baptism does?" For starters, look at 1 Peter 3:18-22. What does Baptism do, according to this passage? Other passages to look at are Romans 6:3-5 and Acts 22:16. There are others, but these will do for now. Thank you!