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Apostle

The ancients were so perverse, certainly not occupying the moral high ground we have.

Doctrine (1)

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Exegesis (0)

  1. Acts 11 : 27 -30 See Doctrine

    Exegetical Patterns and Emphasis in this Doctrine:

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Tradition (0)

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Apostle : Explained

Apostle

Apostles are "sent ones". Apostles are one of the five gifts to the church, sent by Jesus, to plant/water God's churches as a field, and found/build God churches as a house. They are called to the ministry of the word of God and prayer. They function as spiritual fathers, and are called to expand the church, and to guard it's commanded structures.

Overview

Overview and background of apostleship

Doctrine
  1. 3:1 And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual people, but as to fleshly people, as to infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, for you were not yet able to eat it. But now you are still not able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For where there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and do you not live like unregenerate people?[a] 4 For whenever anyone says, “I am with Paul,” and another, “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human? 5 Therefore, what is Apollos and what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, and to each as the Lord gave. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing it to grow. 7 So then, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who is causing it to grow. 8 Now the one who plants and the one who waters are one, but each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must direct his attention to how he is building upon it. 11 For no one is able to lay another foundation than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, 13 the work of each one will become evident. For the day will reveal it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the work of each one, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built upon it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy this one. For God’s temple is holy, which you are. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks himself to be wise among you in this age, let him become a fool, in order that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written, “The one who catches the wise in their craftiness,”[b] 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”[c] 21 So then, let no one boast in people. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come, all things are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. 4 Thus let a person consider us as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. 2 In this case, moreover, it is sought in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But to me it is a very little matter that I be judged by you or by a human court,[d] but I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, but not by this am I vindicated. But the one who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord should come, who will both enlighten the hidden things of darkness and will reveal the counsels of hearts, and then praise will come to each one from God. 6 Now I have applied these things, brothers, to myself and Apollos for your sake, in order that in us you may learn not to go beyond what is written, lest someone be inflated with pride on behalf of one person against the other. 7 For who concedes you superiority? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if indeed you received it, why do you boast as if you[e] did not receive it? 8 Already you are satiated! Already you are rich! Apart from us you reign as kings! And would that indeed you reigned as kings, in order that we also might reign as kings with you! 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as condemned to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to people. 10 We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are prudent in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11 Until the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty and poorly clothed and roughly treated and homeless, 12 and we toil, working with our own hands. When we are[f] reviled, we bless; when we are[g] persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are[h] slandered, we encourage. We have become like the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things, until now. 14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but admonishing you as my dear children. 15 For if you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I fathered you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I exhort you, become imitators of me. 17 Because of this, I have sent to you Timothy, who is my dear and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18 But some have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I am coming to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will know not the talk of the ones who have become arrogant, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not with talk, but with power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness? 1 Corinthians 3-4

Roles & Functions

i am the intro paragraph about the roles and functions of an apostle

A Lowly (humble) Slave of Jesus as imitable prototype

prototype tldr goes here

Doctrine
  1. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them, “You know from the first day on which I set foot in Asia how I was the whole time with you—19  serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews— 20 how I did not shrink from proclaiming to you anything that would be profitable, and from teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks with respect to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. Acts 20.18-22
  2. 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and* said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want that I do for you?” 37 So they said to him, “Grant to us that we may sit one at your right hand and one at your left in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking! Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup that I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when they* heard this,* the ten began to be indignant about James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to himself and* said to them, “You know that those who are considered to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their people in high positions exercise authority over them. 43 But it is not like this among you! But whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be most prominent among you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:35–45 (LEB)
  3. 9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as condemned to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to people. 10 We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are prudent in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11 Until the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty and poorly clothed and roughly treated and homeless, 12 and we toil, working with our own hands. When we are* reviled, we bless; when we are* persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are* slandered, we encourage. We have become like the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things, until now. 1 Corinthians 4:9–13 (LEB)

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Exegesis
Language

Let's revisit the passage from Mark 10.35-45:

  • 35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and* said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want that I do for you?” 37 So they said to him, “Grant to us that we may sit one at your right hand and one at your left in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking! Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup that I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with,

    The association of hierarchy in general (and apostleship in particular) with humiliation is undeniable. These apostles, will have to drink Jesus' cup. It's not a cup given to him by slaves in soft clothing. It's a cup he drinks naked, beard ripped out, with spit on his face. Apostles are modeled to have a larger share of this cup of suffering/humiliation.

  • 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when they* heard this,* the ten began to be indignant about James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to himself and* said to them, “You know that those who are considered to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their people in high positions exercise authority over them. 43 But it is not like this among you! But whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be most prominent among you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:35–45 (LEB)

Consider this occurrence of humility in Paul's letter to the Philippians. :

2 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 complete my joy, so that you are in agreement, having the same love, united in spirit, having one purpose. 3 Do nothing according to selfish ambition or according to empty conceit, but in humility considering one another better than yourselves , 4 each of you not looking out for your own interests, but also each of you for the interests of others. Philippians 2:1–4 (LEB)

This occurrence of humility in 1 Peter actually demonstrates the role of humility in stirring up grace, but also highlights humility's function within hierarchy.

5 In the same way, younger men, be subject to the elders, and all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the right time, 7 casting all your cares on him, because ⌊he cares⌋ for you. 1 Peter 5:5–7 (LEB)
Tradition

Here are some traditions surrounding apostleship :

  1. The weakest in a local church should be able to acknowledge with sincerity that the apostle is the biggest slave, and to enumerate the ways that the apostle serves (slaves for) his or her interests.
  2. The apostle should be marked by peculiar suffering and peculiar blessing.

To go about a people (sent to) proclaiming

Proclaiming the Kingdom

Proclaiming the Whole Purpose of God

To testify to the gospel as a witness

To Be a Church-In-A-Box

To build the corporate temple of the Holy Spirit

To plant/water churches

A spiritual father to all in the church planted/founded

Footnotes

  1. read bottom rung, lowest, least exalted, most humbled, most de-elevated, last in procession.

  2. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

  3. better; higher; i.e. more exalted. above in station and stature. This passage is followed by the famous Philippians 2 passage about Messiah. There should be degrees of humility built on the ultimate humility of Christ, whereby the apostle has the highest degree of manifest humility (humiliation?).

  4. A note here on the suffering; by "peculiar", it is meant to be understood as suffering resulting not from their own folly, but a suffering borne out of following Christ. Often this makes the apostle a target of attacks and difficulties that are borne out of the unseen realm. Sometimes these hardships are the result of satanic attack, and sometimes these hardships are given providentially by God to ensure the victory of the apostle's ministry to create boasting in God.

  5. This is based on the exegesis that an apostle must be gifted in a measure of all 5 ephesians 4.11 gifts.