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Rom 1:1d KJV Called to be an Apostle,
The word Apostle occurs 83 times in scripture, and 3 times in the book of Romans. Paul mentions he is an Apostle in this first verse, which puts an authoritative tone on the letter, and rightly so since he is describing what the message is, in which he has been entrusted with by Christ.
In the N.T. the word is used in a narrow sense in describing the 12 Apostles. We know these twelve held a unique, foundational office, for the criteria laid down for this office by Peter in Acts 1:21,22, cannot be fulfilled today. It was required that the man was an eyewitness from the time of the baptism of John, until the ascension.
Paul described himself also as an Apostle, as one born out of due time, in other words, though He had seen the resurrected Lord, who called him to this office, he hadn’t seen or been with the Lord prior to this as the others had. See 1 Cor 15:8.
James the Lords brother was also considered to be an Apostle, and appears to carry the authority of an Apostle in the 15th chapter of Acts. He is included as an Apostle by Paul in Galatians 1:19.
The ministry of Apostle in this restricted sense is no longer available, for the foundation has been laid, and will no longer be laid again. This can also be reflected by the fact that the Apostles had the authority to endorse and write scripture, which is a gift that is no longer available.
The confusion in the church today over this issue, lies in the fact that the term Apostle is also used of others in the N.T. apart from the twelve, Paul and the Lords brothers. But it is best to look at these examples in a different, more restrictive sense, and not in the same way as the twelve.
In Pauls day there were false Apostles as there shall also be in ours. In fact Paul helps us identify these false Apostles, by referring to them as super Apostles, these men and even some women will claim a superiority spiritually, and be puffed up and inflated by claims of what they have seen. All this bragging and boasting on their visions, dreams, and super spiritual experiences, shows them to be false, and not operating in the same spiritual humility as the true Apostles.
The truth is, the true Apostles still minister among us by their teachings and writings, and it will do well for us to heed them, and build our lives and practices upon what they have said! Discernment in these days and a dedication to scripture is desperately needed!
- This reply was modified 7 years, 7 months ago by PastorPoad.