The Ninth Article of the Apostles’ Creed
April 23, 2015
The Ninth Article of the Apostles Creed
I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints
To begin this post on the Ninth Article of the Apostles Creed , we will be looking at what we call “The Four Marks of the Church“. I have to say that the Four Marks of the Church are absolutely vital to one’s understanding of what the Catholic Church actually is ; they are also the bedrock of the Church’s claim to being the One True Church founded by Christ! If you choose to learn about the Four Marks of the Church, you will be well on your way to being able to defend the Catholic Church and Her “constant and very firm teachings “.
What are the Four Marks of the Church? I am glad you asked ! The Church is : 1. One, 2. Holy, 3. Catholic, and 4. Apostolic. We will focus first on the oneness of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s unity is evident in its oneness. The Church is one in Jesus Christ through His mystical body. There is one Jesus and He founded one Church, not many Churches. Jesus never said churches, he said church. Let us look at the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16:” And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ( my emphasis added)” Notice Jesus’s words, “my church”. “My church” is singular not plural, so this must mean one Church.
The Sacred Scriptures are very explicit concerning the Church’s oneness. I have heard it said before that , ” a text without context is no text at all “. I have to say that I completely agree with that statement. Certain verses of Holy Scripture on their own can be twisted and manipulated to fit a person’s particular agenda or personal belief or wish. On this topic of the One Holy Catholic Church , it is inconceivable that the Holy Scriptures can be read in any other way than to support the Oneness of the Catholic Church. Let us look at just a few of the verses from Holy Scripture, they speak for themselves ; after all it is God’s Word ! In John Chapter 10 verse 16 Jesus speaks “So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.” Jesus again speaks on John Chapter 17 verses 17-23 “ “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.( my emphasis with bold).
Let us move on to St Paul so that we can get some more context concerning the Oneness of the Church. Like I stated earlier, it is very important to read the Holy Scriptures in context of the entire Bible. We cannot pick and choose, or cut and paste the particular verses that may co-sign our personal thoughts or ideas. Like St Augustine states, ” The old is revealed in the new, and the new is hidden in the old “. The Holy Scriptures do not contradict one another ; in fact, they always compliment one another.
Once again, let us read St Paul’s words from the Letter to the Ephesians , Chapter 4 verses 3-6 ” 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. ” (my emphasis added). Brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ I urge you to read and re-read these passages, they leave no room for interpretation, especially when read in context with the Bible as a whole. Also I ask that you key in on “ one baptism “. I have run into so-called former Catholics, I call them roaming Catholics, who have actually been ” re-baptized “. This is a serious offence against God. God didn’t make a mistake when you were baptized the first time. Trust Him, He doesn’t make mistakes, ever!
I’ll tell you what, I will list a few more passages you can investigate concerning the Church’s oneness. Here they are :
1 Cor 1:10 – there should be no divisions among you ( over 40,000+ protestant denominations)
Col 3:15 – called in one body
Rom 12:4-5 – though many, we are one body in Christ
Rom 16:17 – avoid those who cause schism ( I wonder how Luther interpreted this verse???)
Mark 3:25 – And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand
Jesus and St Paul make it very clear that unity is the fundamental characteristic of the One True Church. The Catholic Church has stood as one for 2,000 years. The Catholic Church is one in government ; under the Pope and the Bishops. The Catholic Church is One in Faith ; we need only look to the Apostles Creed, Seven Sacraments, the Our Father, and the Ten Commandments. The Catholic Church is One in Worship ; we worship together at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on all days (especially on Sunday), all continents, all time zones. It doesn’t matter where you may find yourself on this earth, if there is a Catholic Church in the area you will most likely be able to follow along.
May Almighty God bless us and protect us from the World , the devil, and ourselves !