A member of the LDS Church says that Ephesians 4:10-11 requires a true church to have apostles and prophets. I replied that every Christian is an apostle when they testify of Jesus and that all Christians have the calling of prophet when the Holy Spirit enlightens them and they speak the truth. Am I even close with my response?
Not an unreasonable thought.
However, biblically, what you call a prophet some might say are evangelists.
And, St. Peter, in the book of Acts (when considering the replacement of Judas) said that Apostles need to have witnessed the public ministry of Christ from his Baptism through his Resurrection…although Paul did not, but was called by Christ himself on the road to Damascus.
So, perhaps you are on to something, but I guess it could be argued either way if one wanted to get technical.
Peace and all good!
Scripturally these are two distinct roles. There are five mentioned in Scripture:
The good news is that God gave us a Church! Each of these ministries are visible in the Church today.
ccc 1575: ‘Christ himself chose the apostles and gave them a share in his mission and authority. Raised to the Father’s right hand, he has not forsaken his flock but he keeps it under his constant protection through the apostles, and guides it still through these same pastors who continue his work today. Thus, it is Christ whose gift it is that some be apostles, others pastors. He continues to act through the bishops.’
ccc 2003: ’ Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning “favor,” “gratuitous gift,” “benefit.” Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.’
A prophet is somebody who speaks God’s word. It is not necessarily a prediction of the future, a common misconception.
Apostle means somebody who is sent. When speaking of apostolic succession, it usually refers to the 12 Apostles from who we have our priests.
Of course, we are all priests and prophets. There are men who are called specifically to the priesthood, to administer the Sacraments. That is a distinctive calling, not to be confused with the general priesthood of the people of God.
We may be called to answer the question as the hope we have within us. Jesus said not to worry when we are dragged into court since the Holy Spirit would give us the words necessary. At such times, we do indeed become prophets since we are speaking the Truth, the words that God Himself has placed in our mouth. Any time that God gives us the words we need to witness to His truth, we are His prophets.
Did he say what point he was trying to make with this statement? From the way I read it it seems like he was trying to say his LDS church is the true church because they have apostles and prophets. Was that where he was going with this?
I would probably say ever Christian is a disciple or the saints spoken of in verse 12. I would probable define Apostle as one of the 12 and even accept St. Paul in this group. However, I think Ephesians 4 is speaking about apostles as in the ones sent out by the Apostles with the authority to teach.
I’ve come to this conclusion from verse 12…for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ
I would say the majority of us Christians are the “saints” spoken of here and not the apostles. The apostles in verse 11 are the ones who are charged to equip the rest of us.
We can come to the conclusion that these apostles must have been sent, to teach the rest of us, from the original Apostles (basically apostolic succession here) because verse 13 tells us that these apostles are to continue their teaching until we all attain the unity (joined as a whole) of faith. Basically, someone is given the authority to hand on the faith to the rest of us, we aren’t charged to go grab a bible and come to our own conclusions about the faith.
I think verse 14 sums it all up here…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.
So in a way I would agree with your friend, yes the one true Church of Christ would be required to have had their authority handed on to them from the Apostles. If not how would we ever know that we are not just following a wind of doctrine invented by the cunning men spoken of in verse 14.
If he has evidence that his church was handed down the authority of the Apostles I would love to see it, however I am pretty sure history has shown that they haven’t.
Hope this helps,
Typical Mormon silliness.
Who was is that said John the Baptizer was the LAST and greatest of all the prophets? Oh, yeah - that was Jesus Christ our true God.
When the Messiah arrived, and John declared him to be the Lamb of God there was no need for any further prophets, nor would there be.
At the Ascension of our Lord, and His sending the Paraclete at Pentecost all divine revelation was complete.
Mormons twist all sorts of Scripture to try and force their polytheistic, non-Christian religion into being just another Christian denomination.
They do not believe in the Trinity and they are polytheistic. They do not pass even the most rudimentary test of Christianity.
Where does it say that about John the Baptist?
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