Sermons

Summary: Continuing to look at the Ministerial Gifts within the local church and their true purpose and whether or not these gifts are still vital today.

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Eph. 4:11-12

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Everything God does, he does well.

Not only in the creation, but also in the

Creation of HIS church.

He has ORDER. And the giving of HIS

Gifts to man is part of that order.

John Calvin once said:

"This is the arrangement by which the Lord is pleased to govern his church, to maintain its existence, and ultimately to secure its highest perfection.”

Reminds me of Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Therefore, being endued with these GIFTS is a very intricate part of the plan of God for His church.

Apostles

Mark says that he sent them out two and two. This was a kind arrangement, that each one might have a companion; and that they might visit more places, and accomplish more labor, than if they were all together.

These twelve were the original number of apostles.

The word apostle means one that is sent, and was given to them because they were sent forth to preach the gospel.

• They were ambassadors of Christ.

• They were specifically commissioned!

To this number Matthias was afterwards added, to supply the place of Judas, Ac 1:26.

And Paul was specially called to be an apostle to the Gentiles, Ro 1:1

Their office was clearly made known.

• They were to heal the sick, raise the dead, preach the gospel.

• They were to be with him, receive his instructions, learn the nature of his religion, be witnesses of his resurrection, and bear his gospel then around the globe.

The number twelve was the best for these purposes that could be selected.

It was sufficiently large to answer the purpose of testimony; and it was small enough as not to be disorderly, or easily divided into parties or factions.

They were not learned men, and could not be supposed to spread their religion by art or talents.

They were not men of wealth, and could not bribe men to follow them.

They were not men of rank and office, and could not compel men to believe.

They were just such men as are always found the best witnesses in courts of justice—plain men, of good sense, of fair character, of great honesty.

Such men everybody believes, and especially when they are willing to lay down their lives to prove their sincerity.

It was important that Christ should choose them early in his ministry,

• that they might be fully acquainted with him;

• might treasure up his instructions,

• and observe his manner of life and his person,

• that by having been long acquainted with him they might be able to testify to his identity,

• and be competent witnesses of his resurrection.

No witnesses were ever so well qualified to give testimony as they;

and none ever gave so much evidence of their sincerity as they did.

The question is: Is the Ministry of the Apostle still in effect today?

Some say no: But let’s look at Eph. 2:19-22

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

If the apostles and prophets were the foundation of the church, are we still building the foundation?

Hebrews 6:1-3 encourages us to move on from the foundation. Although Jesus Christ is most definitely active in the church today, His role as the cornerstone of the church was completed with His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

If the work of the cornerstone is, in that sense, complete - so must the work of the apostles and prophets, who were the foundation.

Some say YES:

Look again at what the Apostles did:

-specifically commissioned

-they preached the gospel, planted churches,

-oversaw Church growth

-had many signs follow them

We may not call them as such today, but don’t you think that Missionaries fit this description?

Yeah but…. An Apostle had to witness Christ’s resurrection.

Paul didn’t. Although he did have a direct confrontation with Christ on the road to Damascus.

And if you don’t think that Apostles are for today, what do you do with

1 Cor. 12:27-31

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

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