Jesus Christ Established a Visible Church On Earth?

Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers. This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection.

In the Old Testament we see God’s continual involvement in the lives of the Israelites through appointed prophets. God delivered, instructed and admonished the Israelites. He made His motions in a visible, specific and formal way. He always did so through human hands, mouths, feet, minds and wills. God established a law and a means for executing it.

In concert with His redemptive act, Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter, “You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said “build,” as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.

Second, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19; 18:18) “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained.”(John 20:23)

Third, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded, “Do this in memory of Me.” (Luke 22:19) He commanded them to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

The early Church was structured in a hierarchical manner as it is today. We see in Acts, chapter 15 how the apostles and the elders came together under the leadership of St. Peter to decide the question of what was required of Gentiles. We also see how St. Peter was regarded as the head of the Church when St. Paul, “Went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas [Peter] and remained with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 1:18) There is no Scriptural evidence of independent local churches.

The Catholic Church is the only church that can claim to have been founded by Christ personally. Every other church traces its lineage back to a mere human person such as Martin Luther or John Wesley. The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope. This line of popes has continued unbroken for almost 2,000 years.

God rules, instructs and sanctifies His people through His Church. Under her teaching office, the Catholic Church preserves the Word of God. She is the custodian, keeper, dispenser and interpreter of teachings of Christ. And she accomplishes this under the protection of the Holy Spirit.









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15 comments

  1. richard thomas Reply

    Can someone recive holy communion witout going to priest for comfesion

    1. William Reply

      A priest cannot forgive sins. You must ask GOD Himself to forgive you of your own sins and you shall be forgiven in Christ’s name

      1. kay Reply

        Please can you kindly read John 20:21-23; James 5:16. From Scripture and Holy Tradition, you will come to know and hopefully believe that God in Christ Jesus, has given His Church to be able to forgive sins. Matthew 16:16-19. Thanks.

  2. Gabriel Reply

    haha, hehe, hihi, 😀
    Read Dr Michael Newton: The journey of our soul.
    It is used to be said, that, What is up, is on Earth, and what is on Earth, is in heaven
    so than, this is the first, what isw not meet the teaching, what tell us, that Jesus estabilished a visible church, as in the heaven, there is not church!!! Or at lerast, what is there, we do not name church!
    Secondly, as on earth, we experience, here, are much souls, who like rule others, rule much and get over them, and who want tu rule, they think they accepted the right to rule, but as they do, it is does not meet the love, what we christian peaple think love of Gopd Lord! then these rulers acts against the want of God , so many many signs are there in our life what does not meet with the teaching what is namclosed to Jesus!!! Therefore, the teachingt goes to a level, where peaple do not beleive the teaching from God!!! And therefore they looses the beleifes, and love towards God, because they are troubled….

  3. Silvano Reply

    I must add, that Jesus promised Saint Peter that on him, He will build His Church as in the Gospel of Saint Matthew. In the Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 21:15-17 Jesus actually delivers His promise. Here Jesus, widely known as the “good shepherd”, passes on to Saint Peter the staff of the shepherd, when He says “feed my sheep” and “tend my sheep”. Here we have Jesus delegating His task to Saint Peter, thus beginning to build His Church on Saint Peter.

  4. Becky Jo Reply

    In a nutshell, you have captured THE very reason Christ called me into HIS one, holy, Apostolic Catholic Church! Great article…thanks

  5. Eric Reply

    The church is the “body” of Christ, not the “spirit” of Christ. Visible and organized as to be a “light to the whole world”, not invisible and nebulous and impossible to identify.

  6. Tony Reply

    Amen Eric!

  7. Timwateru Reply

    I pray for those who look down on other Christian churches and the Catholic Faith that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ blessed them and forgive them

  8. Annette Reply

    “The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope.” – is quite obvious to anyone when examining the scriptures to find the Truth, that Peter’s name means stone (pebble), where as Jesus is the Rock He was speaking of when He said upon this Rock I will build my church. See your catholic bible – Psalm 18:2 “[YAHWEH] is my [ROCK] and my fortress, [MY DELIVERER IS MY GOD]. I take refuge in him, my [ROCK], my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold, my place of refuge.” – 2 Samuel 22:3 “[MY DELIVERER IS MY GOD]. I take refuge in him, my [ROCK] my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold, my place of refuge. [MY SAVIOUR], you have saved me from violence;” – Psalm 62:2 “[HE ALONE is my ROCK], my safety, my stronghold so that I stand unshaken.” – Since the Bible should always be allowed to explain itself, these passages of Scripture, satisfy who the ROCK is that Jesus was speaking of when talking to Peter the stone/pebble 🙂 – take a look at Strong’s and it will show that you are mistaken, that Jesus is the Rock and Peter the stone (pebble) 4074 Pétros (a masculine noun) – properly, a stone (pebble), such as a small rock found along a pathway. 4074 /Pétros (“small stone”) then stands in contrast to 4073 /pétra (“cliff, boulder,” Abbott-Smith). – “4074 (Pétros) is an isolated rock and 4073 (pétra) is a cliff” (TDNT, 3, 100). “4074 (Pétros) always means a stone . . . such as a man may throw, . . . versus 4073 (pétra), a projecting rock, cliff” (S. Zodhiates, Dict). – see the original http://biblehub.com/text/matthew/16-18.htm – God bless you as you study to find the Truth, which is Jesus, our Rock, upon which His church is built, our Saviour 🙂

  9. silvano Reply

    Annette, it is really true that when people want to believe a certain thing, they twist and twist the truth till it fits with their beliefs. The rock that you are talking about is not just a rock on which you can stand, say on a mountain, but it is the rock on which a building has been built, hence that famous corner “stone” … Stone, hence keipa, hence Petra. Why the heck would Jesus change Simon’s name into Keipa or Petra, hence the name of Peter, just to tell him that he was an Insignificant little river stone? It does not make sense, because this interpretation of yours is not to show the truth, but to discredit the Catholic Church. You protestants continue to bet on the wrong horse… Accept the light, and be a true Christian, namely a catholic.
    Jesus is waiting for you with open arms, like in the picture above. With love, Silvano

  10. Louis Lopez Reply

    We, Catholics, get attacked by just about everyone, Fundamentalists, Jehova Witnesses, Church of Christ, Chick publications, etc you name it, I seen the most vile things said about us, and our faith from these groups and others. My comment is this, when all these groups can get together and put their differences aside (for they all get their teachings from the bible) I will be more than glad to join them. For our Lord Jesus, in prayer to the Father said ” I pray not only for them, (the apostles) but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”John 18, 20-22

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