6.4.1.4 The church is "apostolic"

The church of Christ is apostolic in two respects: in it the apostolic doctrine is proclaimed and in it the apostolic ministry is active.

The apostolic doctrine is the unadulterated message of the death, resurrection, and return of Christ, according to the teaching of the early Christian Apostles, as attested in the New Testament, and as believed and practised by the early Christians (Acts 2: 42).

The apostolic ministry is the Apostle ministry given by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit, with all its powers, namely to proclaim the gospel, administer the sacraments, and forgive sins (Matthew 28: 19; John 20: 23).

Thus the apostolicity of the church consists of the fact that it continues the proclamation of the apostolic doctrine, as attested in Holy Scripture, and that the Apostle ministry is historically manifest within it until the return of Christ.

SUMMARY

The Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople states that the church of Christ is the one, holy, universal, and apostolic church. (6.4.1)

The church is one. Profession of the one church derives from belief in the one God. The church attests to the oneness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (6.4.1.1)

The church is holy. This has its foundation in the sanctifying actions of God. The holiness of the church has its foundation in God alone, and not in the people who belong to it. Their sinfulness does not invalidate the holiness of the church. (6.4.1.2)

The church is universal. This means that it is all-encompassing and universal. It is both of this world and of the next, both present and future. (6.4.1.3)

The church is apostolic. In it apostolic doctrine–the message of Christ's death, resurrection, and return–is proclaimed. Likewise the Apostle ministry instituted by Jesus Christ has been historically manifested in the church until His return. (6.4.1.4)

See also