Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. From your study of the ante nicene church fathers, did they believe in baptismal regeneration. I have three pages of quotes form them that to me show they did strongly. I am not saying they are right but what you think?
Yes the early church writers consistently believed that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins as stated in scripture at Acts 2:38 and 22:16.
135 AD, Barnabas, Chap.XI - “Blessed are they who, placing their trust in the cross, have gone down into the water; for, says He, they shall receive their reward in due time: then He declares, I will recompense them….This means, that we indeed descend into the water full of sins and defilement, but come up, bearing fruit in our heart, having the fear [of God] and trust in Jesus in our spirit.”
135 AD, Hermas, Commands 4:3:1 - "'I have heard, sir,' said I, 'from some teacher, that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.' He said to me, 'You have heard rightly, for so it is'"
135 AD, Hermas, Similitudes 9:16- “…before a man bears the name of the Son of God he is dead; but when he receives the seal he lays aside his deadness, and obtains life. The seal, then, is the water: they descend into the water dead, and they arise alive…”
175 AD, Melito - "Are not gold, silver, copper, and iron, after being fired, baptized with water ...in order that it may be strengthened by the dipping"
210 AD, Tertullian, Baptism, Chap.1- “…But we, little fishes, after the example of our Icthys Jesus Christ, are born in water…”
210 AD, Tertullian, Baptism, Chap. 7- "…in the same way as the act of baptism itself too is carnal, in that we are plunged in water, but the effect spiritual, in that we are freed from sins..."
225 AD, Origen - "...you descend into the water and you escape safely; having washed away the filth of sin, you come up a 'new man'...."
250 AD, Oxyrhynchus Papyri, V:840 – “…I and my disciples, who you say are not bathed, have been dipped in the waters of eternal life…”
345 AD Cyril - "When going down, therefore, into the water, think not of the bare element, but look for salvation by the power of the Holy Ghost: for without both thou canst not possibly be made perfect. It is not I that say this, but the Lord Jesus Christ, who has the power in this matter…" (Cyril of Jerusalem, "Catechetical Lectures," Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 7, pg. 15.)
350 AD Cyril - "Bearing your sins, you go down into the water… You go down dead in your sins, and you come up made alive in righteousness" (Catechetical Lectures 3:10, 12).
350 AD Cyril - "When you go down into the water, then, regard not simply the water, but look for salvation through the power of the Spirit." (Catechetical Lectures 3:4).
360 AD, Cyril - "For as he who plunges into the waters and is baptized is surrounded on all sides by the waters...."
370 AD, Basil of Cesarea - "How then do we become in the likeness of his death? We were buried with him through baptism....How then do we accomplish the descent into Hades? We imitate the burial of Christ through baptism. For the bodies of those being baptized are as it were buried in water."
381 AD, Ambrose of Milan "Nor do they observe that we are buried in the element of water that we may rise again renewed by the Spirit. For in the water is the representation of death, in the Spirit is the pledge of life, that the body of sin may die through the water, which encloses the body as it were in a kind of tomb, that we, by the power of the Spirit, may be renewed from the death of sin, being born again in God." (The Holy Spirit 1:6[75-76]).
“…a means was found that man might die while living, and while living rise again. What is living? It is the living life of the body, when it came to the font, and was dipped into the font. What is water, but from the earth? Therefore, the heavenly sentence is satisfied without the insensibility which death brings. Thy dipping paid that sentence…”
“Yesterday we discoursed on the font, whose appearance is somewhat like that of a tomb in shape; into which, believing in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, we are received, and plunged, and emerge, that is, we are raised up.”
“And your old man plunged into the font was crucified to sin, but rose again unto God.”