Monday, August 10, 2015

Give me an A

In my Bible alphabet blog series A stands for Apostle.

It is a word that only appears in the New Testament. Jesus intro-duced the term when He appointed (or ordained) several of his disciples as apostles.

In Mark 3:14-15 we can read what was expected of them:

He appointed twelve[a] that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.
[a] Some manuscripts twelve—designating them apostles—

Disciples of the Lord Jesus that were appointed as apostles had a clear calling and function:
  • they had to be with (close to) Him
  • they had to be ready to be sent out
  • they had to preach
  • they had to use their authority
Were there more than the twelve apostles Jesus appointed? Yes! Paul, for example, was probably the most famous one after that time. Do apostles still exist? Yes! They are still being appointed today for the benefit of His church world wide. Ephesians 4:11-12 says it like this: So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up...

The five functions as mentioned above are given by Jesus for the building up of the church (the body of Christ on earth). Most churches today still recognize and have evangelists, pastors and teachers, but to a much lesser extent apostles and prophets. That is weird if you think about it, because they are needed to equip (new) believers for work in service of God!

Christ gave them to us until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Well, I am sorry to say, but we are not there yet. So we must ask the Holy Spirit to continue to appoint apostles for the benefit of the church.

If you have a clear calling on your life (a desire, a passion, an inner conviction) to be with (close to) Jesus, to go out and preach (in your street or the other side of the world) and to use your God given authority, then that is a calling from Jesus Himself. Don't let ANYONE stop you to answer that call!


11 comments:

  1. Marja: Good thoughts here.

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    1. Thanks for joining this series Cecelia!

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  2. Yes and amen! I like the breakdown of the meaning of the word. It's a great reminder, thank you!

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    1. I love breakdowns Karen, it helps me to read and to understand better. THANKS!

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  3. What an encouraging post! I felt like an apostle years ago when I quit my job to buy a Christian bookstore. Many told me I was foolish but when I think back to the opportunities God gave me to witness, I know it was what I was supposed to do.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Terri, you knew in your heart it was the right thing to do. Blessings!

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  4. So glad I got to read this, Marja. I needed it. Thank you!

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  5. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Yes, don't let anyone stop you! I know self-doubt does trickle into my thoughts, and I wonder "was that really Jesus calling me to...?' But He has overcome the world. And I can overcome the battle of the my mind with His words of truth.

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    1. Amen Lynn, so true. Self-doubt tries to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destiny, so we must put our confidence in Him and His Word.

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  6. Hi Marja, Great post! And a great reminder and encouragement to do as you feel the Lord has led you. I kinda was losing sight of that. God bless
    Tracy

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Thanks for your visit, it is my hope and prayer that this post was an encouragement to you! Feel free to leave a comment.