Ministry And Gifts Of The Spirit (2)
Bible Passage: 1Cor.12:27-31
Introduction: Last week, we looked at the broad classification of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We differentiated the five ministry gifts from the other service gifts. This week we shall examine in detail the ministry of the Apostle as a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Who Is An Apostle?
Apostle means “one sent forth.” He is a delegate, representative or ambassador. He is a faithful messenger of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus: The message of salvation for all who will believe and accept The Lord Jesus. The NIV translation of 2 Cor.12:12 says I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true Apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.” The message will be validated by signs, wonders and miracles, Heb.3:1; Jn.20:21. The twelve disciples were the first, Lk.6:13; Acts 1:13. Apostles are specially endowed to plant new churches and with administrative skill to run them. A contemporary equivalent will be a missionary.
1. He must be appointed by God. Mathias was chosen by the other apostles but nothing was heard of him thereafter. Gal.1:1, 15-16; Jn.15:16; Rom.1:5; 1 Cor.1:1.
II. Apostles have personal continuous revelation of Jesus Christ to help in dealing with contemporary live issues, 1 Cor.9:1; Acts 1:21-22.
III. They receive fresh revelation and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, which must be infallible and biblical for the benefit of the church – Jn.14:26; Jn.15:27, 16:13; 1 Thess.2:13. They are custodians of the true church doctrine.
IV. The Apostolic ministry gift must be confirmed with signs and wonders – 2 Cor.12:12; Acts 2:43; Mk.16:20; Acts 5:12.
Duties Of Apostles
They are expected to organise the church, disseminate the gospel, establish new churches in new locations, ordain leaders for the churches and ensure that the right doctrine is taught in churches. Jn.20:21; Acts 13:1-3; Rom.15:20-21; 2 Cor.10:16; Acts 14:21-23; Acts 15:1-2, 16:4-5.
There are many self-made apostles today. Others were appointed by men acting purely in the flesh. As believers, we must be careful and test every spirit and examine every revelation in the light of the inerrant living word of God. To be an Apostle takes much more than signs and wonders-2 Cor.11:13-15.
God bless you.