Communion | Holy Communion
Holy Communion is a meal of remembrance: it calls to mind the death of Jesus Christ as a unique event that is valid for all times. Those who partake in Holy Communion profess their belief in the death, resurrection, and return of Jesus Christ. Those who regularly partake of Holy Communion in the New Apostolic Church also profess their belief in the Apostles of Jesus active today. In this respect, Holy Communion is also a meal of profession. In Holy Communion Jesus Christ first of all has fellowship with His Apostles and then with the believers. Beyond that the believers also have fellowship with one another in Holy Communion.
The body and blood of Jesus Christ become present in the consecration. Bread and wine are not changed in their substance through the consecration. In other words, bread and wine are not transformed. Rather, the substance of the body and blood of Jesus is joined to the bread and wine. This event is described as consubstantiation. In Holy Communion, bread and wine are not mere images or symbols for the body and blood of Jesus. Rather, the body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present after the consecration.
Creed | Articles of Faith
In ten Articles of Faith, the New Apostolic Creed formulates the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church in a binding manner. It also has the function of defining the attitude of faith of New Apostolic Christians.
- I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth.
- I believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried, entered the realm of the dead, rose again from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. He is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from where He will return.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit, the one, holy, universal, and apostolic church, the community of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and life everlasting.
- I believe that the Lord Jesus rules His church and thereto sent His Apostles, and until His return still sends them with the commission to teach, to forgive sins in His name, and to baptise with water and Holy Spirit.
- I believe that those designated by God for a ministry are ordained only by Apostles, and that authority, blessing, and sanctification for their ministration come forth out of the Apostle ministry.
- I believe that the Holy Baptism with water is the first step to a renewal of a human being in the Holy Spirit, and that the person baptised is adopted into the fellowship of those who believe in Jesus Christ and profess Him as their Lord.
- I believe that Holy Communion was instituted by the Lord Himself in memory of the once brought, fully valid sacrifice, and bitter suffering and death of Christ. The worthy partaking of Holy Communion establishes our fellowship with Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is celebrated with unleavened bread and wine; both must be consecrated and dispensed by a minister authorised by an Apostle.
- I believe that those baptised with water must, through an Apostle, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to attain the childhood in God and thereby the prerequisite for becoming a firstling.
- I believe that the Lord Jesus will return as surely as He ascended into heaven and that He will take to Himself the firstfruits of the dead and living who have hoped for and were prepared for His coming; that after the marriage in heaven He will return to earth with them to establish His kingdom of peace, and that they will reign with Him as a royal priesthood. After the conclusion of the kingdom of peace, He will hold the Last Judgement. Then God will create a new heaven and a new earth and dwell with His people.
- I believe that I am obliged to obey the worldly authorities provided no godly laws are thereby transgressed.
The Church says yes to life. Family planning is at the discretion of the married couple; however, the Church rejects contraceptive methods and products that are essentially aimed at killing fertilised ova. The further development of conceived life must not be inhibited.
God has given commandments to mankind. In them He proclaims His will for the benefit of mankind. The commandments bring to expression how human beings should structure their relationship with God. In addition, the commandments are the foundation for the positive relationships between human beings.
When asked which was the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus responded with two quotations from the Mosaic Law: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22: 36–40). The commandment to love God and one’s neighbour is also known as the dual commandment of love.
The church of Christ—both in its visible side as well as its invisible side—has these four distinguishing features: oneness, holiness, universality, and apostolicity. These identifying features of the church are called notae ecclesiae. They are manifest in different ways and to varying degrees in the various Christian denominations.
These identifying features of the church of Jesus Christ are most clearly manifest where the Apostles are at work: they dispense the three sacraments to the living and the dead and proclaim the word of God with emphasis on the imminent return of Christ. It is here that the Lord’s work of redemption is established. The term “Lord’s work of redemption” refers to that part of the church in which Apostles are active in imparting those gifts of salvation that serve to the preparation of the firstlings, the bride of Christ.
The church of Jesus Christ is comprised of people who believe in Jesus Christ and profess the Son of God as their Lord. They are baptised in the name of the triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The New Apostolic Church endorses scientific research in accordance with the godly commission: “Fill the earth and subdue it”. The framework of this commission is defined in the Ten Commandments and the gospel of Jesus. This includes unreserved respect for human life in all its diversity.
Due to rapid developments in the field of biotechnology we can only provide an outline of the individual areas as a basis for decision-making.
- The creation or the destruction of human embryos for scientific purposes has to be rejected.
- The production of genetically identical offspring (reproductive cloning) has to be rejected. The production of genetically identical tissue for therapy purposes (therapeutic or research cloning) is likewise rejected, if it involves the destruction of embryos.
- Somatic gene therapy is acceptable in principal. The medical risk is of particular consideration here. Interference with the genome of germ cells, which has unforeseen consequences even for future generations, is unethical.
Confirmation (Latin confirmatio, meaning “reinforcement”, “affirmation”) is that act of blessing in which young New Apostolic Christians take upon themselves the obligations which their parents or guardians undertook on their behalf at their baptism and sealing. Confirmands vow to be faithful to God and publicly profess, that is, before the congregation, the New Apostolic faith. Once confirmed, these Christians, who have now reached the age of spiritual majority, bear full responsibility before God for their life of faith.
The cross of Christ is a sign that God has reconciled sinful mankind to Himself. In the ancient world, crucifixion was an expression of defeat: a shameful end for a despised person who had been cast out of human society. In the case of Jesus, however, this apparent defeat is a victory: through His death on the cross, He has achieved a work of salvation beyond compare.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1: 18).
The foundation of the Chief Apostle ministry is the commission that Jesus gave when He instituted the office of Peter. Jesus said the following to Simon Peter: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16: 18–19).
The “office of Peter” is the fundamental office that Jesus Christ assigned to Apostle Peter. The Petrine office incorporates the care of those who belong to the church, just as Jesus asked Peter to do: “Feed My lambs... Tend My sheep.”