Summary: being sent into the world to represent Jesus Christ
Intro: some ministers use the title Apostle, which gives the thought of the apostolic ministry of the early church. Even though I don’t carry this title, I fully believe every Christian carries the ministry of apostleship. Apostle means one who is sent, and every believer is sent into this world to share the message of Jesus Christ. Tonight, I would like to look at Paul’s definition of his apostolic ministry, and call each of us to this same ministry.
Apostles of Jesus Christ
I. Apostle of Jesus Christ—v.1- Paul makes it very clear that to be an apostle you must be one who is sent by Jesus Christ. If Jesus isn’t the one sending, then you are not a true apostle.
· As one sent by Jesus Christ, you represent Him in this world. You aren’t on your own mission, you are on His mission. You aren’t sent to represent man, but God, you aren’t sent by an organization, you aren’t out to prove your theology, you aren’t an apostle because you belong to a denomination, you are an apostle because Jesus has sent you.
· It’s not your message but His. We don’t go in man’s wisdom, but in demonstrations of the power of God. We aren’t sent to impress people, we are sent to free people. What we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, what we loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven.
II. We are sent to preach the gospel, we are sent to preach truth, we are sent to preach the cross. v.8-9 Paul saw any other message then the message of Jesus Christ as a cursed gospel. Even if angels came an declared other gospels then the gospel of Jesus Christ, it would be a false message.
· Every apostle must make sure that the message they are sharing is the gospel message. If your main emphasis isn’t on the saving power of Jesus, you have the wrong message.
· Our society is being bombarded with so many messages that confusion is in the land. In the last days people will be desperate for a true Word, there will be a spiritual famine. It is because the message of the way, truth and life has been replaced with messages of prosperity, blessing and gifts. You will never bless anyone until you give them the message of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing that will satisfy the soul. Anything less than the cross, is not a message of blessing but a curse.
III. Your aim is to please Christ-v.10 as an apostle for Jesus Christ your mission is to please Him. We have a society of ministers who are bound with the thought that the mission is to please the people. As long as the parishioners are happy, as long as the budget is large, as long as the buildings are big, then everything is great. But you aren’t an apostle of the people, you are an apostle of Jesus Christ. And if you don’t please Him, it really doesn’t matter who else is pleased.
· An apostle of Jesus says what they believe Jesus wants them to say, not what is politically correct.
IV. You are an apostle by revelation, not education-v.11-12 seminary training is a wonderful tool that God uses to equip people that have the call of God on their lives. But education can never be an end in itself. A personal revelation from Jesus Christ is the only way to operate in an apostolic ministry.
· People don’t need our theology as much as they need our testimony. They don’t want to hear what we have learned, they want to see what God has done in our lives.
V. Apostles Give Jesus Their Best—v.23 Paul related how when he was in the world he gave it all for the devil, now as an apostle of Jesus Christ, he gives his all for Christ. This is the secret of a true apostle, once they were giving everything they had to be a success in this world, now they give it everything they have to be a success in His world. Apostle have a higher aim than the temporary, they have eternal goals.
VI. Your ministry changes lives—v.24 apostles make an impact on others. It doesn’t matter how bad your history is, you can re-write your history with your future. Paul was the worst of the worst, but when he became an apostle of Jesus Christ, he made a complete 360. His turnaround was so dynamic that his message touched lives in every city he went. Today, it is the same, people need to hear that Jesus can turn your life around. He can wash away your sins, He can make you a new creation, He can make you an apostle.