BIBLE READING:1 CORINTHIANS 9; 2 CORINTHIANS 11: 23-28; ACTS 11:1-4,17-26
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, till we all come to the Unity of the Faith and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the Measure of the Stature of the Fullness of Christ; Ephesians 4:11-13 (NKJV).
In the letter to the Church in Ephesus, Apostle Paul describes the kind of leaders God has provided for His Church to attain maturity and Christ-likeness and in becoming the Spotless Bride of Jesus. He listed five offices that are referred to as the Five-fold Ministry: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
With transparency comes greater responsibility and with responsibility, higher accountability. God has set His leaders in place for His Church to function and those truly called into these places will have been tested and proven, having gone through the fire of preparation, displaying true humility and Christ-likeness, not desiring a position, but wanting to serve their King anyway He wants them to.
An Apostle by definition is “one called and sent by Christ to have the spiritual authority, character, gifts and abilities to reach and establish people in Kingdom Truth and Order, especially through founding and overseeing local churches.”
An Apostle has “a burden to build something that didn’t exist before.” They lay the foundation of new local churches and see to it that they come into full maturity. That is the church that person will be the apostle to i.e., he/she will not have any authority as an apostle in other churches, which is what many today claim. Paul himself wrote to the Corinthians, ” Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord” (1 Cor. 9:2 NIV).
Apostles have a burden to ground their church in Solid Biblical Teachings. An example can be seen in Acts 11 when Paul and Barnabas spent two years at Antioch, teaching and equipping them. Apostles have the desire to train and raise up church leaders who will come into full maturity in the Church and to release them and then move on to plant another church.
Let us remove the mysticism from the term “Apostle”, and see it for what it really is. The term “Apostle” isn’t just a title but it has great responsibilities attached to it. It is “W-O-R-K.”
Lord, I pray that You give me a revelation of the Apostle of the Divine Mandate under which You have placed me and grant me the grace to serve effectively in Jesus’ Name. Amen.