We are studying the spiritual gifts, the theme of this series is “Gifts of The Holy Spirit.”
It is important to remember that a positive response on our part as believers to the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential if we are to truly be God’s people.
Today we are discussing The Gift of Apostleship.
1 Corinthians 12:28 (ESV)
28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (ESV)
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
So far our weekly discussions on the gifts of the Spirit have been general.
This message deals with a specific gift, apostleship.
- Let’s start with some general remarks about apostleship.
A. Example of the word apostleship.
I read a story of two young seminary or bible college students, you may even see yourself in this story.
They spent the summer before graduation as short term missionaries in Taiwan.
They were good friends, and had often discussed whether the Lord wanted them on the mission field.
Now they had decided to spend three months to see how it would go and if they would acclimate.
One of them enjoyed his time on the mission field.
He adapted readily to the culture.
He never got sick.
He learned small pieces of the language.
The time flew by.
The second prospective missionary hated the food, learned only a few words of the language, got sick three times, and wanted to spend most of his time with all the other westerners he could find.
At the end, he stated that he never wanted to be a missionary!
His companion could hardly wait to apply to the missionary board to return after his final year of study.
This illustration is an indication of what is being talked about when apostleship is the subject, for the term is closely identified with missionaries in our contemporary thinking.
B. Use of the word apostle.
A word study of this term in the New Testament is needed to understand the gift.
It is found between seventy and eighty times the New Testament and in nineteen of the twenty seven New Testament books.
Thus the very number indicates something about the gift’s significance.
The distribution of the word apostle throughout the New Testament and its use by multiple writers places emphasis on the missionary concept.
2. A specific examination of apostleship as found in the New Testament
A. Apostle always means ”one who is sent.”
Prior to the resurrection of Jesus, he was the one who did the sending.
Since the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit does the sending but still with the same authority and purpose.
B. Apostles stand fully under the jurisdiction of their Master.
Apostleship is according to God’s sovereign will.
It is not the result of a person’s decision but results solely from the sender’s initiative.
2. Apostles are representatives of Jesus Christ.
This means there is no reason for apostles to boast.
Apostleship is a position of deep humility, never of exaltation.
3. Apostleship is not an office or position.
It is a commission.
Apostles are commissioned, or sent, by the Lord Jesus.
This being true, it is s privilege to go wherever the master sends.
4. Apostles receive their character from the One who sends them.
C. The gift of apostleship denotes the commissioned representative of a congregation.
Look at 2 Corinthians 8:23(ESV)
23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
The supreme task of apostles is to propagate the gospel of Jesus.
Because they act according to God’s will, they have no option for personal autonomy and should be fully committed to God’s service.
Jesus gives apostles the power to act, by their action they give proof of the commission.
There is a pressing need for missionaries all over the world.
The holy Spirt is ready to give the gift of apostleship to those who He chooses.
It is critical that each of us listen carefully th what He speaks to our hearts, because every believer is to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit in reaching the lost.
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
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