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Thus, in the Didache we find little but moral instruction; but it is clear that those to whom it is addressed must have already received some knowledge of what they were to believe.Later on we find more explicit dogmatic teaching, for instance, in St.As we might expect, the Apostle insists upon "doctrine" as one of the most important duties of a bishop (1 Timothy , 16; ; 2 Timothy 4:2, etc.).The word means instruction by word of mouth, especially by questioning and answering.Though it may apply to any subject-matter, it is commonly used for instruction in the elements of religion, especially preparation for initiation into Christianity.The word and others of the same origin occur in St.Justin's Apologies and in the writings of Clement of Alexandria.Still, even this is not much more advanced than what we have seen above as taught by St.
During His public life He frequently made use of the catechetical method to impart instruction: "What think ye of Christ? Peter speaks to him of Jesus Christ who "is lord of all . And we are witnesses of all things that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree. even to us who did eat and drink with him after he arose again from the dead; and he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead.Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest . To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him" (Acts 10).In this discourse we have the chief articles of the Creed: the Trinity (God, Jesus Christ "Lord of all things", the Holy Ghost), the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord; His coming to judge the living and the dead, and the remission of sins. Paul's discourses, though, of course, in addressing the pagans, whether peasants at Lystra or philosophers at Athens, he deals with the fundamental truths of the existence and attributes of God (Acts, xiii, xiv, xvii).They had three forms of catechizing: domestic, conducted by the head of the family for the benefit of his children and servants; scholastic, by teachers in schools; and ecclesiastical by priests and Levites in the Temple and the synagogues. And after this instruction they were to initiate them into the Church, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (ibid.). Peter, "standing up with the eleven", declared to the Jews on Pentecost day, and proved to them from the Scriptures that Jesus, whom they had crucified, was "Lord and Christ". in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins." "And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them" (Acts 2).Proselytes were carefully instructed before being admitted to become members of the Jewish faith. When they had been convinced of this truth, and had compunction in their heart for their crime, they asked, "What shall we do? We have here an abridgment of the first catechetical instruction given by the Apostles. John came from Jerusalem and "prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost"; and doubtless declared to them the doctrine of that Holy Spirit (ibid.).