The Catholic Church embodies the fullness of the faith as taught by Jesus and the Apostles. What does this mean and why is it important?
The fullness of the faith refers to all of the sacred teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, both written and spoken (2 Thess. 2:15, 3:6). It’s important for the simple reason that Jesus commanded that all these things be taught (Matt. 28:20). In obedience to His command, the Catholic Church has preserved these very same teachings since the time of the Apostles. Here is just a sampling from the early Church fathers:
110 A.D. St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop: “…see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ.” (Letter to the Smyraeans)
215 A.D. St. Hippolytus, Bishop and martyr: “Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them.” (The Apostolic Tradition)
255 A.D. Firmilian, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappodocia: “Therefore, the power of forgiving sins was given to the Apostles and to the Churches which these men, sent by Christ, established; and to the bishops who succeeded them by being ordained in their place.” (Letter to Cyprian)
Jesus taught all the things that are necessary for salvation. All of His teachings have been passed on through the Apostles and are taught in and through the Catholic Church today. No other institution can legitimately make that claim. Through the Holy Spirit, the Church continues to be guided to all truth (John 14:26, 16:13). Therefore, confirm your personal commitment to the Lord with faithful discipleship by believing and obeying His word.
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