Malankara World

What Shall I Do To Be Saved?

By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil


Question 61. Is the Church visible or real? Some argue that there is not a visible Church

After the reformation in the church, some from the days of Calvin, the reformer, has raised this argument. The Acts of apostles shows us a visible church. People required an act like 'baptism for admission into the church. People were submitted to written rules, and known administrators administered the church. There are misbelievers who think that the Church is just a communion of people who love Jesus Christ. Others misbelieve that the Church is a body of people chosen by God, and whose member's name is known only to God.

St. Paul compares the church to the body. From the apostolic times it is believed that the church is visible. St. Paul and St. John have stated this. They knew who the members were and who were not (1 Cori. 5:12-13, 12:12 ,1 John 2:19, 1 Tim 1:20). Admission to the church was only through baptism. Members either lost their membership or were cast out by ex-communication (1 Cori, 1 Tim 20). Demas, Hymenaeus, and Alexander lost their membership because they broke off from the true teaching. Our Lord appointed St. Peter as the head of the visible church (John 21:15-19).

Note:

(1) Hymenaeus taught that resurrection has already taken place by baptism. He believed in Jesus Christ but did not follow the true teaching. So he was expelled out of the Church.

(2) Alexander also mentioned in 2 Tim 4:14 -"did St. Paul a great harm."

TOC Section 1 (Q 1-26) | Section 2 (Q 27-56) | Section 3 (Q 57-81) | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

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