Lesson II—God, Our Teacher by his Church

Q. What did Jesus Christ do in order that all men, even to the end of the world, might learn His holy Doctrine, and have the means of grace by which alone they could be saved?
A. He established a well-organized society of those who believed in Him and professed His whole Doctrine.

Q. What did Jesus Christ call this society?
A. He called it His Church.

Q. Who were the first members of that society?
A. The Immaculate Virgin Mary, the twelve Apostles, the seventy-two disciples, and some other followers of Jesus Christ.

Q. How did Jesus Christ organize His society?
A. From among His followers He chose twelve men to be the witnesses and teachers of His Doctrine and works.

Q. What were these twelve men called?
A. Apostles.

Q. Where were the Apostles to be the witnesses of Christ’s doctrine and works?
A. “In Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts i. 8.

Q. What did Jesus Christ give the Apostles to understand when He said to them that they would be witnesses unto Him all over the world?
A. That He had chosen them in order that, after His ascension into heaven, they should preach to all nations what they had seen and heard from Him.

Q. How did He prepare the Apostles for so difficult and important an office?
A. He first instructed them publicly and privately, for three years and a half, and during forty days after His resurrection, in all the doctrines which they should make known to all nations, and then sent to them the Holy Ghost to enlighten and strengthen them in their office.

Q. What else did He do?
A. He gave His Apostles those very powers which He Himself exercised on earth.

Q. What were those powers?
A. His power as Teacher, as Priest, and as Ruler or King of an everlasting kingdom.

Q. When did Jesus Christ bestow His powers upon His Apostles?
A. When He said to them: “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth.” Matt. xxviii. 18. “As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.” John xx. 21.

Q. What were the Apostles’ powers as Teachers?
A. Power to spread abroad, explain, and preserve uncorrupted the holy doctrines of Jesus Christ, and to condemn all false teaching.

Q. In what words did Jesus Christ bestow this power upon the Apostles?
A. In these words: “Go and teach all nations, preach the Gospel to every creature.” Matt. xxviii. 18.

Q. What were the Apostles’ powers as Priests?
A. Power to offer sacrifice, and administer the sacraments of Christ.

Q. In what words did He bestow this power upon them?
A. In these words: “Do this that I have done,” that is, sacrifice this, “in remembrance of me.” Luke xxii.19. “Go, baptize mankind in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. xxviii. 19. “Whosesoever sins you forgive, they are forgiven them.” John xx. 21.

Q. What were the Apostles’ powers as Rulers?
A. Power to govern the Church, make laws for the people, and enforce those laws.

Q. In what words did He bestow this power upon them?
A. In these words: “Teach mankind to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matt. xxviii. 18. “I give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt. xvi. 19

Q. Were these powers of Teacher, Priest, and Ruler given to all men alike, who believed in Jesus Christ?
A. No; to the Apostles only and their successors.

Q. When, then, our Lord bestowed on His Apostles His own powers of teaching, administering the sacraments, and governing the Church, did He at the same time command all men to hear and obey them?
A. He did, in these words: “Whosoever will not believe, shall be condemned;” and, “He who heareth you heareth me;” and, “He who will not hear the Church, let him be as the heathen and publican.” Matt. xviii. 17.

Q. What do we learn from all this?
A. That the Church of Jesus Christ was made up of two classes of men: of teachers and hearers; of priests and people; of rulers and subjects; so that we are bound to believe what the Church teaches, receive her sacraments, and obey her laws.

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