13 New Apostolic Christians and their life of faith

733 What is the significance of sacrifice in the new covenant?


The sacrificial service of the Old Testament, which was to reconcile human beings with God, lost its significance through the sacrifice of Christ (cf. Hebrews 8-10). In the sense of the New Testament, sacrifice implies leading a life in accordance with the gospel. So it is that Apostle Paul called upon the Christians to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12: 1).


New covenant: see explanation of Question 175→

“Now where there is remission of these [sins], there is no longer an offering for sin.”  Hebrews 10: 18

734 Who is the greatest example of willingness to sacrifice?


Jesus Christ is the greatest example of willingness to sacrifice. Out of love for mankind, He gave His life as an offering and a sacrifice.

Even though no other sacrifice can be compared to the sacrifice of the Lord, His willingness to sacrifice is nevertheless an example that calls upon us to follow Him.

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice...”

Ephesians 5: 1-2

735 What is the basis for our willingness to sacrifice?


A sacrifice in the Christian sense should not be considered an enforced obligation. Neither should it be made in expectation of a reward. Rather, the willingness to sacrifice should spring forth from faith, gratitude, and love for God.

736 How is willingness to sacrifice demonstrated in congregational life?


Willingness to sacrifice is shown directly in congregational life: many members dedicate a considerable portion of their leisure time, energy, and talent to the service of the congregation without remuneration. Many of them are active in the musical programming and instruction of the Church. With few exceptions, the ministers also work in a voluntary capacity.

737 What is a spiritual sacrifice?


It is a “spiritual sacrifice” when one subordinates one’s own will to the will of God and allows oneself to be led by that which God desires.

738 What is the relationship between sacrifice and blessing?


Basically, human beings can only bring sacrifices because God has already blessed them beforehand. These sacrifices are therefore an expression of gratitude for that which they have received.

In the case of any sacrifice, the attitude of heart is the deciding factor. If the sacrifice is made willingly out of thankfulness and love, blessing will be associated with it. This can be experienced in earthly life, for example in the form of natural wellbeing. However, blessing is primarily of a spiritual nature, which includes the imparting of divine salvation out of the merit of Christ (cf. Ephesians 1: 3-7).

“He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”  2 Corinthians 9: 6-8

739 What is marriage?


Marriage is the lifelong union between a man and woman, as desired by God, and upon which His blessing rests. It also forms the foundation for the family. It is based on a public promise of fidelity that is freely given by both partners. Mutual love and fidelity are indispensable factors in the success of a marriage.

Polygamy (marriage with multiple spouses) is not consistent with Christian doctrine and tradition.

740 What can we derive from the account of creation concerning marriage?


“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it’” (Genesis 1: 27-28). – Both man and woman are thus created in the image of God. Different yet equal before him, they both stand under the blessing of God.

Human beings are created to have companionship. In their spouses, both man and woman have a counterpart whom they can support and help. “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him’” (Genesis 2: 18).

By entering into marriage, man and woman are amalgamated into a single entity intended to last for their lifetime: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2: 24).

741 What is the significance of the wedding blessing?


The wedding blessing can have many different effects: it provides strength for enduring love and fidelity, promotes the willingness to serve, help, and understand one another, and it helps partners to forgive each other and reconcile differences. However, the blessing received can only take effect if the couple conducts themselves accordingly.


Acts of blessing, wedding blessing: see Questions 660→ et seq., 671→

742 What significance does the Christian faith have for the success of the marriage?


It is desirable for spouses to have a common agreement in matters of faith, however, the fact that both partners are Christians is no guarantee for a harmonious matrimony.

All questions pertaining to their life together should be discussed and clarified before marriage, particularly in the case where either one of the partners is of a different culture, religion, or confession.

743 What is the significance of sex in marriage?


If mutual consent and true love stand in the foreground, sex can be an important bond within a marriage and contribute to the wellbeing of both spouses. Sex in marriage should be defined by mutual respect, sensitivity, and understanding.

744 What is the New Apostolic Church’s position on family planning?


Family planning is at the discretion of both partners. Nevertheless, the Church opposes all contraceptive methods and means that function primarily to terminate an already fertilised egg cell. The Church generally accepts artificial insemination, however, it opposes all measures by which life may be destroyed through human choice.

745 What is the New Apostolic Church’s position on fulfilling one’s obligations in one’s profession and society?


The Ten Commandments provide direction for fulfilling one’s duties in one’s profession and in society.

It is the obligation of the Christian to contribute to the benefit of society. Each individual shares in this responsibility.

“Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs...”  Romans 13: 7

746 How does the New Apostolic Church perceive its responsibility to society?


Within the scope of its capacity and commission, the New Apostolic Church helps to promote the common good. The New Apostolic Church advocates peace in the world, appeals for reconciliation, and admonishes forgiveness. It opposes all forms of violence.

747 Do New Apostolic Christians participate in public life?


Yes, New Apostolic Christians are active in public life. The Church does not influence its members concerning their political opinions or activities.

The New Apostolic Church calls upon its members to treat all people— irrespective of social standing, age, language, or any other differences—with respect and tolerance.

748 What is the position of the New Apostolic Church toward the state?


The New Apostolic Church attaches importance to open and constructive relations with governments and public authorities. It is politically neutral. Its activities conform to the laws of each respective country, in accordance with Romans 13: 1: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” This presupposes that even the power of the state is in harmony with the divine commandments.

The Church fulfils its legal obligations under the laws and regulations of the respective countries in which it works. In turn, it also expects its position to be respected and acknowledged.


Position toward the authorities: see Tenth Article of Faith

749 How is the relationship of the New Apostolic Church with other churches, denominations, and religions?


The New Apostolic Church and its members respect the religious practices of other people and refrain from making derogatory remarks concerning those of different faiths, different religions, and different denominations. They endeavour to have a good and peaceable relationship on the basis of mutual respect. The Church rejects all forms of religious fanaticism.

In dialogue with other Christian churches—irrespective of differing doctrinal positions—the commonalities of the Christian faith are emphasised.

750 What is the social commitment of the New Apostolic Church?


The New Apostolic Church is committed to the gospel. Thus it understands its duty to engage in charitable activity that benefits all people irrespective of personal differences. This work is supported by the voluntary commitment of many helpers in the congregations, but also by material assistance.

Within the scope of its abilities, the Church plans, promotes, and supports nonprofit and charitable projects, institutions, and aid campaigns around the world. It also works in collaboration with relief organisations.