Now, although the last one might seem attractive, there's the problem that we see the Christ commissioning his disciples "he who receives you receives Me....he who rejects you rejects Me and Him who sent me" (St. John recording that the disciples but not Christ baptized) in the Gospels
But I have received them, in as much as by their word (the NT) I have believed on the Lord. By that same word I have received Apostolic affirmation of divine authorization to baptize. Simply put, the Lord called me to be His minister, and he has authorized me to baptize. If you really have an issue with that, then I can't really help you. Take it up with Him.
we see no one doing much of anything without a laying on of hands (note that when St. Paul is called by God Himself during liturgy, the hands are still laid on him), St. Paul warns Timothy and Titus to appoint the hierarchy in the Churches, not to mention the warning in Hebrews "no man takes this honor on himself," well Solo Scriptura is going to find it less than appealing.
Thank God for Paul -- the Apostle not ordained of other Apostles.
Which Paul would that be? 'cuz the St. Paul the Apostle we know was ordained by the Church, recognized the authority of Her hierarchy, and perpetuated that authority:
Acts 9:3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do
.” 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight
.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel
; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit
.” 18 And immediately
there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus
, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews
who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ. 23 When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death; 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples
; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus
. 28 And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord
. 29 And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. 30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus...
Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. Acts 11:1 Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, 3 saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” 4 But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence,....15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
19 So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch
. 23 Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; 24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. 25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul
; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers
; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. 27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch
. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge [lit. by the hand of] of Barnabas and Saul to the elders
Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. 2 And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. 3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread....4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God
. 6 On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands...11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying
... 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place...25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem
when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark
Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were ministering [lit: celebrating the Liturgy] to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said
, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them
.” 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit
Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders
[lit. presbyters/priests for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
24 They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. 27 When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they spent a long time with the disciples. 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
... 4 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported
all that God had done with them...6 The apostles and the elders
[presbyters/priests] came together to look into this matter
. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe...12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me....19 “Therefore it is my judgment...22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, 23 and they sent this letter by them,...30 So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message. 33 After they had spent time there, they were sent away from the brethren in peace to those who had sent them out. 34 (But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.) 35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others also, the word of the Lord. 36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”
Acts 19:1 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them
, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
[sidenote: this shows a) baptism in the name of Jesus is in the triune formula, not literally Jesus' name, b) baptism is connected with the Holy Spirit c) laying on of hands, i.e. chrismation now, is seperate from but linked to baptism, and it is confered by the authority of the Church. btw, by these verses we know that the laying on of hands in Acts 13 was that of the episcopacy, cf. Acts 8:16]
Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders [lit. presbyters/priests] of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them,...28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers [lit. bishops: from this we know that the references to presbyters/priests were to chorbishops, the early office of auxiliary bishop who functioned as parish priest], to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. [as an aside, St. Paul goes on in verse 35 to quote "the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive," which are not found in the Gospels. So much for sola scriptura.]...
Acts 21:17 After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18 And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present
. 19 After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; 21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. 22 “What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 “Therefore do this that we tell you
. We have four men who are under a vow; 24 take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.
25 “But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.” 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them
, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them....39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” 40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying, Acts 22:1 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.”...12 “A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing near said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very time I looked up at him. 14 “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. 15 ‘For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins
, calling on His name.’
The one born out of due season, and giving precedent to the Lord Himself calling, authorizing, and ordaining ANY He sees fit to the work of His ministry, through His Spirit even apart from "official" recognition of ecclesiastical bodies who assume the Spirirt must work through them and their channels like the Jews of old in the case of both Christ and His forerunner. The head of the church can still act without permission from His recognized subjects ya know.
But His subjects cannot.
You seem to be setting Galatins against Acts, but Scripture does not contradict scriputre:
Galatians 1:15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, [note: no mention of Ananias] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas
, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother
...2:1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas
, taking Titus along also. 2 It was because of a revelation that I went up
; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach
among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation
, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain
Btw, it seems the false brethren are the proto-Ebionites.
I have to get the kids ready (and myself) for DL. Hopefully, Lord willing, I'll be able to return soon and finish. But in the meantime, I'll summarize with reference to my present parish. It started as a Bible study at Wheaton College. Pursuing sola scriptura, they realized finally that the scripture required bishops, so they would have to get them. But, as Hebrews warns, no man takes this honor on himself, but it is given him, so they had to find those to whom the episcopacy had been given, to whom the Apostles through Paul entrusted the Church in Acts 20, and as Titus had fulfilled their commission to set the Church in order by appointing elders/bishops (lit. presbyters/priests/chorbishops). In other words, someone who could trace their succession, unbroken, to the Apostles: if they thought starting from scratch would do it, they could have joined the Mormons. You know, those who gave their "official" recognition to the canon of scripture and transmitted it, recognition you do not recognize but presume to take their Gospel (and as St. Paul warns, there were and are other Gospels: the Ebionites had one for instance). Or do you have the autographs of Scripture? Or has it been revealed to you a la Joseph Smith (I have always found it more logical to believe the Mormon story than to think, for instance, like a Jehovah's Witness that no one understood that document that they were copying manuscript by manuscript over the centuries. How can you trust them? How do you not know that they changed the text to fit their beliefs, as defenders of the Gnostic Gospels?).
Those ecclesiastical bodies who know the Spirirt works through them and their channels (Christ I know, Paul I known, Peter I know, St. Ignatius of Antioch I know, Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch I know, but who are you?). Those same channels that produced, canonized and preserved the Bible. Consider the source, if you can't trust them for interpretting it right, why do you trust their, i.e. OUR, text?
So this parish knew they had to go to the Vatican, the Anglicans or the Orthodox (the Lutheran church of Sweden and Finland were options they didn't know about). Then Anglicans (and Lutherans) by the time came had shown they couldn't preserve Apostolic Christianity, and the Vatican, in contradiction to Scripture and Tradition (which is the same thing), claimed that their bishop was really the only one. So the parish was receieved into the Orthodox.
Received by that same Church of Antioch where the disciples were first called Chrsitians, where St. Paul was ordained, and where St. Peter's successor still sits on his throne. Our priest was ordained by a bishop who was born on that street called Straight in Damascus, baptized, like St. Paul, in St. Ananias' house, and ordained in the cathedral on that same street near the gate St. Paul was let down over the wall. As our priest says, when the bishop lays his hands on you, like they did we see all through Acts, you are only an arms length from an Apostle.
The precedent of St. Paul is to submit the Gospel you preach to those of reputation. Have you done that?