Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Lord’s Apostles

The first thing we are told about the newly Spritit-filled church on the Day of Pentecost is that “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42). Clement of Rome wrote at the end of the first century: “The apostles received the gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ was sent forth from God.” Approximately 200 A.D., Tertullian was more explicit: “We Christians are forbidden to introduce anything on our own authority, or choose what someone else introduces on his own authority. Our authorities are the Lord’s Apostles, and they in their turn chose to introduce nothing on their own authority. They faithfully passed on to the nations the teachings which they had received from Christ” (Prescription against Heretics).
When the time came to settle the canon of the New Testament, the supreme question about every disputed book was whether it possesses apostolic authority. Had it been written by an apostle? If not, did it come from their circle and represent their teaching?

The Orthodox Church today is the Church of the Apostles. It continues to teach not one person’s interpretation of the faith, i.e. Luther’s or Calvin’s but the complete deposit of faith as it was handed down to the Apostles of Jesus.

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with supreme honour The Rock of Faith and Leader of the Apostles, together with Paul and the Company of the Twelve, whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, giving glory to the One who gave glory to them.

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