When we say the Church is apostolic, it means that it traces its origins back to the apostles of Jesus Christ. This refers to the belief that the Church continues the teachings, authority, and mission of the apostles.
Now let’s take a closer look
When we say that the Church is apostolic, it means that it can trace its origins back to the apostles of Jesus Christ. This concept is central to the early Christian belief that the Church is not a human institution, but rather, a continuation of the mission and teachings of the apostles.
The apostolic nature of the Church is derived from Jesus’ commissioning of the apostles to go forth and spread his teachings to all nations. In the New Testament, particularly in the Gospels and the book of Acts, we see Jesus appointing and sending out his apostles as his chosen representatives. They were entrusted with the task of proclaiming the Gospel, baptizing believers, and establishing communities of faith.
The continuity of apostolic teaching and authority is seen as a crucial aspect of the Church’s identity. This idea is captured in the Nicene Creed, a statement of faith adopted in the 4th century, which affirms belief in “one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic Church.”
One of the earliest references to the apostolic nature of the Church can be found in the writings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who was a disciple of the apostle John. He wrote in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans, “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” This highlights the close connection between the apostolic succession of bishops and the unity of the Church.
Interesting facts about the apostolic nature of the Church:
Apostolic succession: The belief in apostolic succession is the idea that the authority of the apostles has been passed down through the generations of bishops. This means that each bishop can trace their ordination back to one of the apostles, ensuring the continuity of apostolic teaching and authority.
The Twelve Apostles: The apostolic foundation of the Church is based on the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus, including Peter, James, John, and Thomas. Each of them played a significant role in the establishment and expansion of the early Christian Church.
The apostolic fathers: The term “apostolic fathers” refers to the early Christian writers who had a direct connection to the apostles or their immediate disciples. Their writings provide valuable insights into the beliefs and practices of the early Church.
Here’s a table highlighting the apostles and the regions they were associated with:
|James son of Alphaeus||Palestine|
*Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and was replaced by Matthias, according to the book of Acts.
In conclusion, when we say that the Church is apostolic, we are referring to its origins and continuity with the apostles of Jesus Christ. This concept emphasizes the belief that the Church carries on the teachings, authority, and mission entrusted to the apostles. Through apostolic succession, the Church maintains a direct link to the early Christian community and its foundational teachings. As Saint Ignatius of Antioch eloquently expressed, “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
Video response to your question
In this YouTube video titled “What Does It Mean to Be Apostolic?”, the speaker reflects on the meaning of being apostolic and emphasizes that it is not about individuals working alone, but rather being called together for a mission initiated by Jesus. Apostolic ministry involves being empowered by Jesus to heal and having authority over demons and diseases, not over people. It is a ministry of service and healing, not about having authority over others. Being apostolic means being sent to preach and heal, proclaiming the kingdom of God. The speaker also discusses the concept of being sent by God to places where He is about to work and acknowledges that there may be times when believers are sent into dangerous places. However, they encourage believers to expect healing and miracles as they trust in the power and authority that comes with preaching the gospel.
I discovered more data
In church. Finally, apostolic implies that, in both its church and ministry, the church is historically continuous with the Apostles and thus with the earthly life of Jesus.
When we say that the Church is apostolic, we mean that it continues the teachings and mission of the apostles, upon whom Jesus founded the Church. The Church is built upon the teaching of the disciples, which we have today in the books of the New Testament. To say the Church is Apostolic is to say that it is built upon the Bible, the foundation of the prophets and apostles, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone.
When we say that the Church is apostolic, we mean that it continues the teachings and mission of the apostles, upon whom Jesus founded the Church. The Youth Catechism explains, Jesus called the apostles to be his closest collaborators. They were his eyewitnesses. After his Resurrection, he appeared to them repeatedly.
We call the Church “Apostolic” because it is built upon the teaching of the disciples, which we have today in the books of the New Testament. So, to say the Church is Apostolic is to say that it is built upon the Bible — the foundation of the prophets and apostles, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone.