We claim to “believe in one holy, Christian and Apostolic Church.” Indeed, the Apostles of Jesus were uniquely inspired, uniquely endowed with the Holy Spirit—for us!
When in John 14:26 Jesus promises, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach YOU all things and bring to YOUR remembrance all that I have said to YOU,” He is speaking to His Apostles. To establish the foundation of Christ’s Church “you”—Apostles—would be taught all things by the Holy Spirit. And “you”—Apostles—who walked with and were catechized by Christ would miraculously be enabled by the Spirit to remember all that He said. They had heard and beheld first hand that the cross is at the heart of the Christian faith.
The New Testament attests that without Christ’s Apostles there would be no Church. For example, in the initial verses of his first epistle the Apostle John uses the pronouns “we” and “us” to refer to himself and the other Apostles: “That which was from the beginning, which WE have heard, which WE have seen with OUR eyes, which WE looked upon and have touched with OUR hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and WE have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to US—that which WE have seen and heard WE proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with US; and indeed OUR fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And WE are writing these things so that OUR joy may be complete.” Before we can have fellowship with the Father and the Son we must first have fellowship with the Apostles who heard and touched and saw the teaching, the dead and the resurrected Christ.
To know Christ we must constantly be discerning truth from error. The Apostle John continues in the fourth chapter of his first epistle, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” How do we “test the spirits”? Using again the apostolic pronouns “we” and “us” John answers, “WE are from God. Whoever knows God listens to US; whoever is not from God does not listen to US.” Discern truth from error by the Apostolic Word.
Similarly the Apostle Paul informs us that Christ’s people are built on the foundation that draws its lines from Jesus, the Cornerstone. And what is that foundation? “…you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone…” (Eph. 2:19,20). The apostles and prophets—basically the New Testament and the Old Testament witness—are the foundation of Christ’s Church. Some believe “apostles” here precedes “prophets” because the New Testament writings/authors supersede the Old Testament writings/authors in that they present the Christ who fulfills the Old Testament.
As a final example, in the Revelation to Saint John Jerusalem (Christ’s Bride, the Church) is seen to be enclosed by an indestructible wall, identified as having an apostolic foundation: “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
Tremble in awe at the Apostolic testimony—a testimony that can be read, but more importantly a testimony that is proclaimed, so that faith in Jesus comes from hearing His Apostolic Word.