What is an apostle?

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What is an apostle?

Post by renaemrgn on Thu May 05, 2011 6:58 am

I had a dream last night I was reading a book (maybe a dictionary) and when i turned the page there were a lot of definitions on what was an apostle.

Then this morning after I prayed and read my bible. I felt the need to turn the page and when I did it was to Corinthians 7 where an apostles job(?) was described...

Anyone knows what this means?

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Re: What is an apostle?

Post by Dove-Solutions on Thu May 05, 2011 11:40 am


First we need to look at what the function of a Apostle is:

literally: One sent forth; a messenger. Specifically: One of the twelve disciples of Christ, specially chosen as his companions and witnesses, and sent forth to preach the gospel.

" Apostle of the Church"

An apostle of a church, then, is one sent by a particular church to represent that church's interests and/or deliver its message. Paul mentions that Epaphroditus was the apostle from the church at Philippi: "Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants" (Philippians 2:25). The Greek word here translated "messenger" is apostolos. The relationship between Paul and the Philippian church was a close one, and this is one indication of it: they sent a messenger to assist Paul in his labors for Christ. He (Epaphroditus) was their apostle; he represented the church at Philippi to the apostle Paul. II Corinthians 8:23 also mentions such church apostles ("messengers," Greek, apostoloi).

" Apostle of Christ"

The gift of apostleship, however, refers to that carefully select group of men who were the personal representatives of Jesus Christ Himself. "Apostle of Christ" is a much more specific and technical use of the term "apostle." In a sense, all Christians are to be apostles for Jesus Christ, but this gift of apostleship belonged only to a very few. An apostle of Christ was a personal messenger of Jesus Christ, sent by the Lord Himself. He was a vicar of Christ (if you will pardon the expression!). He was one who represented the interests of Jesus Christ to men.


Like the gift of Pastor-Teacher, one was an apostle not only by calling or gifting but also by meeting certain qualifications. As already noted in the previous chapter, an apostle must have been one who could personally testify to the risen Christ. This was Paul's argument in I Corinthians 9:1 which established his own apostleship: "Have I not seen the Lord?" This was also one of the requirements stipulated by the eleven for the replacement of Judas (Acts 1:21-22). The credentials of Christ's apostles also included the ability to perform miracles. Jesus Himself gave this power to the twelve when He commissioned them (Matthew 10:1). Again in defending his apostleship to the Corinthians Paul mentioned this as something which identified him as a true apostle: "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds" (II Corinthians 12:12).

The apostles were miracle workers who could bear personal witness to the risen Lord.

Christ's apostles occupy a position of unique honor. In I Corinthians 12:28 they are listed as "first" in importance. Jesus Himself affirmed this when He prophesied that in the coming Kingdom they would "sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:29-30). Revelation 21:14 speaks of their names on the twelve foundation stones of the wall of the New Jerusalem. In Matthew 16:18-19 Peter, the representative of the apostles, is the one who holds the keys of the kingdom and is the rock on which Christ will build His church.

Why should they enjoy such honor? Not only because they were the personal representatives of Christ but also because in bearing witness to Christ and His work, they were the foundation of the church (see chapter 13). It is their teaching on which the church is built, hence, their great honor.

I got this from a search on the internet but it is a good discription of the office of and the function of the Apostle. I pray this is of help to you.

Love in Jesus,


~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Himand He will direct your path.~ Proverbs 3:5-6


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Re: What is an apostle?

Post by sirene on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:14 pm

an apostle first has to be a disciple please know this...a disciple is a person who is disciplining or being disciplined in the knowing and doing of something they are taught ...hopefully for true christians it would be the doing of the laws and commandments GOD sends down just as jesus did. this would be the study of knowing who GOD is and what his focus is on and serving that. The message that an apostle would have would be that same thing GOD has stated and the doing of it and telling of it only and nothing else.

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Re: What is an apostle?

Post by lola21st on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:59 pm

Just a thought...

Your dream may be directing you to gain more knowledge about what an apostle is so that you're aware - it may be that you'll need to have this knowledge/understanding in the future.

This role is a somewhat controversial role in the church today, there isn't agreement regarding its modern day relevance - one school of thought is that it is no longer a role for today since an apostle would have to be appointed directly by Jesus Christ himself. The other position is that today's apostles have had a direct encounter with Jesus in the same way that Paul did as Connie's post explains...


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