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The Church

New Testament Old Testament

New Testament

Jesus Christ founded the Church.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; Matthew 16:18

Jesus protects His Church.
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo,
I am with you always, to the close of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus is the head of the Church, the Church is His Body
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; Ephesians 5:22-24, 31-32

Jesus intimately identifies Himself with His Church
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; Acts 9:1-5 (cf. Acts 22:4-7, Acts 26:9-15)

Note Jesus does not ask why Saul (Paul) is persecuting His Church, He asks "why do you persecute me?"

Christ loved the Church, cherishes & nourishes it. The Church is holy and without blemish.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:25-30

The Church is the pillar & bulwark of the truth.
if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you. Hebrews 13:17

The Church as final authority, with the responsibility of binding and loosing.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:17-18

"Vicars" (substitutes) of Christ
After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." Luke 10:1-2, 16

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives any one whom I send receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me." John 13:20

So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20

and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. Galatians 4:14

But a man named Anani'as with his wife Sapphi'ra sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Anani'as, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." When Anani'as heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. Acts 5:1-5

The Bishops have been placed in charge of the Church by the Holy Spirit
Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Acts 20:28 (Douay-Rheims) (note many Bibles translate the Greek word, episkopos, as "overseer". The traditional rendering is "bishop", however. The King James version, for instance translates it as "bishop" in every instance except this one. In any event it shows that the Church has a heirarchical structure by the design of Almighty God.)

Our Lord promised to lead the Church and to be with her until the end of time
"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
John 16:12-13

"I am with you always, to the close of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

There are different offices/gifts/ministries given to members to build up the Church, of which Christ is the head.
His Body, the Church should be unified and consistent in faith and doctrine.

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16

We are all members of the one body of the Church & the Holy Spirit has given different gifts to each of us.
All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:11-14,18-21,24-30

The apostles' doctrine, community, sacred rite (bread).
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

Pharisees succeeded Moses (seat of Moses).

The application of this is that the Pharisees - despite all their faults - had a real authority, of divine origin, that they "inherited" from Moses in a way that can be said to foreshadow the Apostolic succession. (Antoine Valentim)
"The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice." Matthew 23:2-3

If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:17

you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:5

among them Hymenae'us and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1 Timothy 1:20

This page is an adaptation of Antoine Valentim's pages, The Bible Defends the Catholic Church!, Church and Authority & Papacy & Infallibility
See also Catholic Dossier's issue on The Church
See also: Lumen Gentium Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Second Vatican Council

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Old Testament

The Church as described & prophsied about in the Old Testament. Excerpts from Jeff Childers' page

"I trust in God's promises to preserve his Church"

Next, consider the words of God to King David. "And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house to my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a Father to him, and he will be a Son to me." (2 Sam. 7:12-14) David's son was Solomon, who built the Temple. David's descendant who would rule forever was Jesus Christ, who built the true House of God, the Church. (1 Tim. 3:15) This House, this Kingdom, this Church built by Jesus the Son of David is called by God "firm." In verse 16, the Lord says " your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever." Christ will rule forever and his Kingdom will remain firm! Only the Catholic Church out of all the Churches has any claim on fulfilling this prophecy. The other Churches were not founded by Christ, but by misguided Christians no less than a thousand years after Jesus. The one Church founded by Christ "shall stand firm forever." While I would never pass judgment on sincere people in other Churches, this leaves no room for another house or another kingdom to take the place of the Catholic Church.

The prophet Isaiah further clarifies this idea. "The Lord himself will give you a sign: The Virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel...To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." (7,8) The Messiah Immanuel, the Mighty God, will rule over the house of David and the Kingdom of God, his Church. Isaiah promises that the Church will increase steadily throughout time. This does not allow for it to fall away, only to be restored centuries upon centuries later. Nor does God's promise to uphold the Church "with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever" allow for such to happen. If we can trust God's Word, we can be confident that his original Catholic Church, the only Church for a thousand years, is still being upheld and increasing, by "the zeal of the Lord Almighty."

Those who consider the Catholic Church to be a false Church usually accuse her of bringing pagan Roman doctrines and practices into the Christian faith. It could be said, then, that the Church was delivered up to the Romans for corruption. This, however, is grossly inconsistent with the message of the prophet Daniel. Daniel was called in by King Nebuchadnezzar to interpret a dream. In the dream, various creatures represent four kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Speaking of the last kingdom, the Roman Empire, Daniel prophesies. "In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever." (Daniel 2:44) Here, Daniel assures us that the Kingdom of God, established in the days of the Roman Empire by Christ through his apostles, will last forever. It will not be delivered up to the Romans or any other nations, but the people of the nations will be delivered up to the Kingdom of God.

Lastly, consider the words of our Lord Jesus to St. Peter in Matthew 16:18. "And so I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it." Here Christ confirms what was spoken by the prophets. The Church will not fall away. No power can topple it. How is it possible that a Church made up of mere human beings with all of our human weaknesses can stand firm as the household of God for 2,000 years? It is not by our own power at all. Rather, it is Christ. "And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

It is a clear and scriptural truth that the Church founded by Jesus, the only Church in existence for over a thousand years, will never fall away. How can it if Christ be with it? Therefore, my friends and brethren, the first main reason I joined the Catholic Church is that I trust in God's promises to preserve his Church.

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