Apostolic succession and Reconciliation


Often when I defend the faith to Protestants I use passages such as these to establish the authority of the church and the primacy of Peter.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (matt 16:18,19)

similarly when I try to defend reconciliation I use such passages as

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23)

Often the protestant response is that that authority died with the apostles and was not passed on to their successors

The bible clearly establishes apostolic succession, but does the bible suggest that the power to heal and forgive sins that was given to the apostles is also subject to this succession?


The big question here becomes not whether or not power was given to the Apostles, but why that power would cease with their deaths. Why should only the first generation of believers have an opportunity to have their sins forgiven? Why would an all-knowing, all-loving God allow only the first people to believe in his Son to have their sins forgiven? God knew that more people would follow them, that more people would believe through the ages. So why would they not be allowed to have their sins forgiven? Why would the power die with the Apostles?



[quote=levi86]Often the protestant response is that that authority died with the apostles and was not passed on to their successors

If that is true, then the power or death (which is to say, Satan) prevailed over the Church that Jesus established.

Did Jesus establish a Church with certain characteristics, only to have that Church wiped from the face of the earth when the last Apostle died? If so, Satan overcomes the Church - Satan wins, and Jesus (who promised that the Power of Hell would not prevail over His Church) is a liar.


I find in James 5:14-16 an indication that the sacraments of healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick) continued in the successors of the Apostles, the presbyters of the Church.


Apostolic succession is biblical because in Acts, Mathias replaces Judas…the first of a long line of Apostolic succession. That set the precedence that continues up to and thru today.

Bless you all!


Yea, and not to mention the replacing of Judas as was told by the prophet. In Acts.


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