In my discourses with non-Catholics, I have assembled a description of the nature of the Church Christ established using 9 main passages of Scripture. There are certainly other verses that can be used as substitutes, but I wished to keep this simple.
I welcome any feedback from Catholics and non-Catholics. Does it make sense? (even if you disagree with the conclusion, do you see the continuity?)
Here are the NINE POINTS:
Luke 10:16 “He who listens to you listens to Me; he who rejects you rejects Me; but he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” Jesus said this to his apostles.
Matthew 28:18 Jesus said, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Me.”
John 20:21 “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” Consider this along with point TWO: Jesus had all authority…Jesus sent apostles the same way God sent Him…later we see that God remains with them in the Spirit…and will until the end of this age (Mt 28:20).
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:15-26 This passage is about Apostles choosing successors. Matthias is chosen to take Judas’ place.
Acts 9:17 “Annanias [a disciple] went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul…” See how the laying of hands in this manner imparts the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:17-19 or Acts 19:6 for example.
Acts 14:23 “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church…” We know there is “One” Church (Mt 16:18, Mt 18:17), so these described in Acts are regional. Compare to Acts 1:8 in point FOUR.
1 Peter 5:2 To the elders: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers…” The Greek text matching with “overseeing” or “supervising” is “episkopeo” from which the word “Bishop” is derived.
Acts 15:6-24 This passage describes an authoritative body of appointed leaders exercising their power to bind and loose, a power granted by Christ (Matthew 18:18)
These nine passages taken together, reveal something more than when taken only one at a time. In summary, Christ passed His authority to the apostles, who throughout the New Testament give authority to other bishops and priests, imparting in them the Holy Spirit, which Christ promised would guide them to all truth (John 16:12). This is to continue to the end of this age.
The Church Christ established resembles the Catholic Church, complete with its authoritative body, and it is safeguarded from teaching error.