We preach, teach, and live what the Apostles’ left on record. Accordingly, the primacy of the Bible as doctrine is self-evident. Apostle Paul instructed Timothy that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness . . .” (II Timothy 3:16). Peter, whom Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven, speaks of the certainty we can have concerning the scriptures, for “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in the old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:19 -21) . Furthermore, Psalms 119:89 proclaims that the word of the Lord is settled in heaven forever, while Isaiah 34:16 instructs to “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail. . . .” It behooves us, then, to use the Bible as our road map to living a life that is pleasing to God. Jesus himself taught the primacy of scripture, promising to give the Spirit to believers who believed on Him as the scriptures instruct (John 7:38-39).
However, Jesus did not stop there; he proceeded to illustrate the necessity of believing in what the Apostles taught: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:20 ). The Apostles were taught of God and the remaining eleven Apostles (Judas was dead by then) were instructed by the risen Christ Jesus to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . . .” (Matthew 28:19-20). The all things came to be known as the Apostles’ Doctrine–what Jesus taught the Apostles and what the Apostles taught believers.
The Book of Acts of the Apostles is didactic concerning the practices of the Apostles and offers further insight into what the Apostles believed. Jesus promised that his followers would “receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you . . . (Acts 1:8). To receive this power, members of the early church gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost. At that time, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Peter instructs those dwelling around to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-39). Acts continues by explaining that many glad believers were baptized and that about 3,000 souls were added to their numbers. Verse 42 declares that “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and in prayers.” From this passage, we know that the early church believed on the Lord Jesus Christ through the words of the Apostles. What reasons, then, do true believers have for following doctrine other than what the Apostles taught? What reasons do we have for accepting and following after principles and denominations that do not reconcile themselves to Apostles’ doctrine? Let God be true and every man a liar! (Romans 3:3) In the end of time, God will judge us according to the Apostles’ doctrine. Paul reveals that “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus according to my gospel” (Romans 2:16).
One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism
As Christians, we must strive to ensure our membership to God’s household, which, according to Ephesians 2:20, is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” Knowing this, how can we ignore the salvation that Jesus offers to us?
Our preaching, teaching and standard of living derives solely from the inspired scriptures as recorded in the Bible. Accordingly, some of the principles of the Apostles’ doctrine include the following:
One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism. There are no denominations in the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:4-6, Acts 17:26
One God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:8
Godly repentance and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; receiving the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38, Acts 5:32
Living a holy life. Hebrews 12:14