The Identity of the Church - The Apostles' Teaching

The identity of the Church


Acts 2:42 gives us right from the beginning the basic structure of Church's identity. We do not have there an order of worship, but some elements which show the Church as it is seen from the outside. The elements of theaching, relationships, breaking of bread and prayer give the Church the unique nature.

The teaching of the apostles


For a Jewish movement, as it was at the beginning, it is unexpected to see the high authority of 'apostles' as the teaching is concerned. This does not mean that, for example, Moses' teaching is not important, but what we have here is the pivotal place the apostles have in the Church. They were chosen by Jesus, they were taught by Jesus, and sent by him to all nations to make disciples. So, by speaking of the teaching of the apostles we understand the hermeneutical place they have in the understanding of God's plan with his people and all humankind. The Old Testament is read in the light of what the apostles teach. The coming of Jesus is the climax of God's dealings with his people and the world. The phrase 'teaching of the apostles' is conveying ideas in the areas of hermeneutics, truth and authority. The Church reads things in the light shown by the apostles, they being the witness of Jesus ministry, death and resurrection. They handed over the truth about Jesus Christ to the Church and the world.
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