What is the Apostles Doctrine and what does it mean to be Apostolic? Doctrine simply means teachings or instructions, so when we say Apostles Doctrine we are referring to the teachings and instruction of the Apostles as they received it from Jesus. Acts 2:42 tells us that the first church ever established continued in the Apostles Doctrine... "And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and fellowship".
The original apostles were those hand selected group of men that followed Jesus throughout his earthly ministry. During the time the apostles spent with Jesus, they received valuable instructions and directions. The time the apostles spent with Jesus is chronicled in the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The implementation of that teaching can be found in the remainder of the New Testament from Acts to Revelation.
A vital component of the Apostles Doctrine is the plan of salvation, that is what does it take to be saved from Gods wrath to come in response to sin on the earth. Gods plan of salvation for mankind is comprised of five basic components: Belief, Repentance, Water Baptism, Infilling of the Holy Spirit and a Holy life. We will review each briefly below to familiarize you with the our doctrinal position, however it is not intended to be a thorough exposition, the best method for that is Bible study.
Belief in God is the first step in obtaining eternal salvation. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, "for he that cometh to God must believe that he is". Once belief in God has been established, that belief will prompt you to take action. That action is to discover what God desires out of your life and then to put those desires into place in your life. The only place to discover this plan for your life is through the word of God, found in the Bible.
Repentance is the act of changing ones mind and behavior. When any aspect of our lives are not in alignment with Gods word we are moving in a direction that takes us away from a relationship with God. In order to restore that relationship, we have to change the way we think about what we are doing and then change what we are doing. This is the act of repentance and is clearly illustrated in the biblical account of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32
Baptism is an outward sign or demonstration that a change has taken place on the inside and is required to be saved. Mark 16:16 reads, "He that believe and is baptized shall be saved". Baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo, which means to be completely immersed or fully wet. We follow the biblical method of baptism, which is complete immersion in water. When you are baptized, you will be baptized in the only name given among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12) that is in Jesus name.
Holy Spirit is the Spirit, character and nature of God. The Holy Spirit is the power that will enable us to overcome our sinful nature and take on the nature of God. The Spirit is also there to be a comforter to us (John 14:16,26; 15:26) and to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). The evidence or sign that a believer has been filled with the Holy Spirit is the supernatural event of speaking in other tongues found in Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6.
Holiness pertains to the quality of life that God intends for us to live. Although living a Holy life includes living a morally sound life, it does not end there. To live a Holy life is to live a life as God would as demonstrated in the life that Jesus lived. The bible gives us a couple of clear indications as to why we should live not only morally pure lives but Holy lives as well; because He is Holy (Leviticus 19:2, 21:8) and because without it we cannot see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
This is Gods plan of salvation for mankind, as Jesus delivered it to the apostles who in turn taught and implemented it in the 1st century church. History tells us that after the death of the original apostles, men that had not been with Jesus altered and changed what had been originally established. This diluting of the true gospel was foreseen by the apostles and warned against in the bible (Jude 4). As a result of the dilution of the gospel and the opinions of men we have the many different "denominations" today.
Being Apostolic is not another "denomination". Apostolic is a derivation of the word Apostle. Being Apostolic means we identify our faith with the same faith of the 1st church started on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). By so doing, we maintain doctrinal purity and the integrity of the teachings of Christ as they were delivered to the apostles and thus on to the 1st century church. Simply stated we believe and teach the same things the first church did.
Others of our faith sometimes refer to themselves as Pentecostals, meaning they also identify themselves with the 1st church started on the day of Pentecost. Those outside of our faith sometimes equate us with being Charismatic or Evangelical Christians, because we believe in the gifts of the Spirit and in the speaking of other tongues. However this would not be an accurate statement because we have strong doctrinal differences.
We have a biblical history and a Godly heritage. We pray that the tenants of our faith are clearly seen and understood just as they are clearly supported and taught in the scriptures.