Summary: Paul was an Apostle of Jesus Christ.
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Delete Discussion Intro:
1. In July of 1863 President Lincoln and members of his cabinet had gathered awaiting the outcome of an important battle near Gettysburg Pennsylvania. A messenger came running with a telegraph, it read, “The Army of the Potomac holds the field; General Meade has won!”
Everybody broke out in cheer except President Lincoln, he cautioned, “No celebrating is in order yet. Who wrote this telegram? Can we trust the source?” It was signed by Byington. No one in the room had any idea who that was! Lincoln had them telegraph the Secretary of the Navy for identification.
Eventually he was identified as a legitimate newspaper reporter. The message was thus verified to be credible.
2. The contents in this epistle are so amazing, so glorious, so wonderfully incredible that it is important to make sure the message is reliable. That is why Paul mentions the fact that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ.
3. His Authority.
Trans: We have looked at his Identity many times, Paul, so lets just look at his Authority.
Ephesians 1:1 (NKJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
I. First, he was Supplied.
An apostle – the root means “to set in order, to equip.” It pictured a ship that had been fully equipped, loaded, supplied for a journey. Paul was equipped for everything he would possible need to fulfill his commission in life. Part of that included power to perform miraculous works to authenticate his message.
We are not apostles, but we have also been equipped by God, to accomplish everything that is His will for us, as we make our journey through this life. Phil. 4:19
“With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack?
II. Furthermore, he was Sent.
An apostle – the prefix means “away from, to send off.” Not only was his ship supplied for the journey, but it was sent off on a mission by Jesus Christ Himself.
A. LXX – this is found only once. I Ki. 14:6
B. Judaism – denotes one who is sent out on a foreign service, usually to collect the Temple Tribute.
C. N.T. – has the definite, official sense of a delegate, a messenger with a commission.
Paul was sent by God Himself! Gal. 1:1
“Although the Gospels call the same people "disciples" and "apostles" (Mark 3:7, 14, 20), the terms are not synonyms. Disciple means "pupil, learner"; apostle means "emissary, representative," in the sense of one who is sent with the full authority of the sender. The "twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev. 21:14), as distinct from the apostles ("representatives") of the churches (2 Cor. 8:23) and from the rest of Jesus' disciples, were chosen and sent by Jesus (Mark 3:14) just as Jesus himself, "the apostle ... whom we confess" (Heb. 3:1), was chosen and sent by the Father (1 Pet. 1:20). Just as rejecting Jesus is rejecting the Father, so rejecting the apostles is rejecting Jesus (Luke 10:16).