The Ministry of the Apostles

This is a subsidiary post of Apostles.
It is also a subsidiary post of Ministry and Ministers.

The scriptures below describe the role of the apostles – that is, the work they were given to do, the ministry they were directed to perform…and which they faithfully executed.

Matthew 10:1  –  God attended the work of the apostles with work of His own – that is, miracles (i.e. signs and wonders).  See also Luke 10:19John 14:12; Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12Hebrews 2:1-4.  For this purpose, Jesus gave them authority.  For more on apostolic authority, see Matthew 16:1918:1819:28Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 10:813:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:6.  The keys gave them the power to open and shut.

Matthew 10:40  –  Receiving the apostles is tantamount to receiving Jesus Himself.  Conversely, rejecting the apostles is rejecting Jesus (Luke 10:16; John 13:20).  See also Galatians 4:14.  This stands to reason because Jesus is the one who sent them (John 20:21).

Matthew 16:19  – Jesus gave authority to the apostles.  For more on this apostolic authority, see Matthew 10:118:1819:28Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 10:813:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:6.  The keys gave them the power to open and shut.

Matthew 18:16  –  The rule of “two or three witnesses” (also stated 2 Corinthians 13:1) is rooted in the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15).  We see it practiced throughout the New Testament (e.g. Acts 8:14).

Matthew 18:18  – Jesus gave authority to the apostles.  For more on this apostolic authority, see Matthew 10:1; 16:19; 19:28Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 10:813:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:6.  The keys gave them the power to open and shut.

Matthew 19:28  – Jesus gave authority to the apostles.  For more on this apostolic authority, see Matthew 10:1; 16:19; 18:8Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 10:813:101 Thessalonians 2:6.  We see Paul exercising this kind of authority in 1 Corinthians 5:1-13.

Matthew 28:18-20  –  As representatives of Christ, the apostles’ authority (Matthew 16:19; 18:18; 19:28; Luke 10:19; 22:30; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 13:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:6) derived from His authority.

Mark 3:13, 14, 15  –  Jesus chose, appointed, and sent apostles to preach and have authority over demons.

Mark 6:7  –  Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs, at least in part because “out of the mouths of two or three witnesses let every fact be established (Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1)

Mark 16:7  –  Jesus appointed the apostles to bear witness to Him, and appeared to them after His resurrection so that they might testify about His having appeared to them (Acts 10:39, 40, 41).

Mark 16:11, 13, 14  –  Jesus expects us to believe the testimony of those who saw and heard Him after He rose from the dead.  That is, He is telling us that the appropriate response to testimony from trustworthy witnesses is faith.

Luke 1:1-4  –  Luke gathered testimony from eyewitnesses for His narrative about Jesus – that is, the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 6:12, 13  –  Jesus chose His apostles from among His disciples, and did so after spending an entire night in prayer.  Thus the witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection were chosen before His resurrection (Acts 1:2; 10:41).

Luke 7:22  –  Jesus was giving a more sure answer to the question than if He’d simply said, “Yes.”

Luke 10:16  –  As Jesus was sent from God, so the apostles were sent from Jesus (John 20:21).  Therefore, acceptance or rejection of God turns on acceptance or rejection of the apostles of Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:40; John 13:20).

Luke 10:19  –  God attended the work of the apostles with work of His own – that is, miracles (i.e. signs and wonders).  For more on miracles, healings, and signs and wonders, see Matthew 10:1John 14:12; Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12Hebrews 2:1-4.  For this purpose and more, Jesus gave His apostles authority.  For more on apostolic authority, see Matthew 16:1918:1819:28Luke 22:302 Corinthians 10:813:101 Thessalonians 2:6.  

Luke 11:49-51  –

Luke 22:30  –  Jesus gave His apostles authority.  For more on this apostolic authority, see Matthew 16:1918:1819:28Luke 10:192 Corinthians 10:813:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:6.  

Luke 24:48

John 1:14

John 1:29, 36  –  The apostles are bringing to us the witness of John the Baptist, in addition to their own witness.

John 3:32  –  This is the nature of testimony and testifying: to say what one has seen and heard (Acts 4:20).

John 6:29  –  The apostles were sent by Jesus (John 20:21); therefore,we should believe them for this is the work of God.

John 13:20  –  (Matthew 10:40; Luke 10:16)

John 14:12  –  God attended the work of the apostles with work of His own – that is, miracles (i.e. signs and wonders).  See also Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:19; Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12Hebrews 2:1-4.

John 14:26  –  The Holy Spirit was the means by which the apostles were able to remember the things that Jesus had taught them.

John 15:27  –  The apostles could testify because they had been around Jesus long enough to have seen and heard things to which they could testify.

John 17:1-26 – As the primary beneficiary of the prayer that comprises this chapter, Jesus is referring to the apostles in almost every verse. Beginning in verse six, Jesus refers to them as “the men whom You gave me out of the world.” Thereafter, they are the “they” and “them” to whom Jesus repeatedly refers.

John 17:20  –  We believe in Jesus through the word of His apostles.  That is, it is “their word” (the word of His servants: 1 Corinthians 3:5) through which we believe in Him (Matthew 10:40; Luke 10:16).

John 18:37  –  Before the apostles were sent to testify, Jesus Himself was sent to testify.  He was sent from heaven; they were sent from earth.  He was sent by God; they were sent by Jesus.  Jesus was therefore the first and master apostle (Hebrews 3:1); they were conformed to His image (John 20:21).

John 20:21  –  The apostles were sent, and sent by Jesus.  God wants us to believe those whom He has sent (John 6:29).  The apostles saw what we have not seen (1 Peter 1:8; Hebrews 11:27).  Jesus is disappointed when we don’t believe them (Mark 16:11, 13, 14).

John 20:29  –  The apostles are the ones who saw Jesus in the flesh.

John 20:30-31

John 21:24-25

Acts 1:2  –  The apostles had been chosen ahead of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Luke 6:12, 13; Acts 10:41), and were given additional instruction after He was raised from the dead.

Acts 1:8

Acts 1:21, 22  –  When the apostles sought a replacement for Judas Iscariot, they looked for someone who had “seen and heard”

Acts 2:42  –  If the early church was “devoted to the apostles’ teaching,” shouldn’t you and I be devoted to it as well?

Acts 4:1, 2  – The apostles taught…and bore witness to the resurrection of Christ.

Acts 4:20  – Peter is saying “We cannot stop being witnesses,” “We cannot stop giving solemn testimony,” “We cannot stop testifying.”

Acts 4:33  –  In “giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” the apostles were following Jesus’ direction that they should be “witnesses” (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8).

Acts 5:12  –  God attended the work of the apostles with work of His own – that is, miracles (i.e. signs and wonders).  See also Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:19; John 14:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12Hebrews 2:1-4.

Acts 6:2, 4  –  The apostles were focused on prayer and ministry of the word more than on the feeding of widows.

Acts 8:14  –  As to why both Peter and John were sent to Samaria, see 2 Corinthians 13:1 below.

Acts 10:39, 40, 41, 42, 43  –  The apostles were witnesses to Jesus’ activities both before and after His resurrection (Acts 1:21, 22).  They were chosen beforehand (Luke 6:12, 13; Acts 1:2).

Acts 13:30-31

Acts 20:21, 24  –  The apostles testified – that is, bore witness – and did so solemnly.  They never digressed into “silly talk” or “coarse jesting” (Ephesians 5:4).

Acts 20:32

Acts 22:15  –  The apostles were appointed to bear witness to what they saw of the Lord and heard from the Lord – that is, what they had “seen and heard.”

Acts 22:18  –  There are those who would not accept the testimony of Paul just as there were those who would not accept the testimony of John (3 John 1:9).

Acts 26:22

1 Corinthians 2:16  –  The Lord shared His mind with the apostles, and the apostles have shared it with us (1 Corinthians 14:37).

1 Corinthians 3:5  –  The apostles of Christ are servants of Christ through whom we have believed (John 17:20).

1 Corinthians 9:1

1 Corinthians 11:1  –  We are to imitate the apostles as they imitated Christ.

1 Corinthians 14:37  –  The apostles were not speaking their own minds, but rather the mind of the Lord (1 Corinthians 2:16).

1 Corinthians 15:1-20

1 Corinthians 15:15

2 Corinthians 10:8  –  Jesus gave His apostles authority.  For more on this apostolic authority, see Matthew 16:1918:1819:28Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 13:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:6

2 Corinthians 12:12 –  God attended the work of the apostles with work of His own – that is, miracles (i.e. signs and wonders).  See also Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:19; John 14:12; Acts 5:12Hebrews 2:1-4.

2 Corinthians 13:1  –  Out of respect for this “two or three witnesses” guideline, the apostles typically traveled in pairs (Matthew 18:16; Mark 6:7; Acts 8:14).

2 Corinthians 13:10  –  Jesus gave His apostles authority.  For more on this apostolic authority, see Matthew 16:1918:1819:28Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 10:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:6

Galatians 4:14  –  See Matthew 10:40.

Ephesians 2:20

Ephesians 3:4

1 Thessalonians 2:6  –  Jesus gave His apostles authority.  For more on this apostolic authority, see Matthew 16:1918:1819:28Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 10:8; 13:10

1 Thessalonians 2:13  –  We accept the testimony of the apostles as more than merely the word of men.  It is the word of men (Acts 17:20), but is the word of God also (Hebrews 13:7).

1 Thessalonians 4:2

1 Thessalonians 4:11  –  Because of the authority the apostles were given, they were able to command.

2 Thessalonians 1:10

2 Thessalonians 3:4, 6, 12, 14  –  The apostles commanded in the name of the Lord because He had given them authority to do so.

2 Timothy 1:8

2 Timothy 2:7  –  If we consider what the apostles say in their writings, the Lord will give us understanding.  What a promise!

2 Timothy 3:14-15  –  We should not read the New Testament writings as if they were anonymous.  Rather, they are the work of the apostles and it is the apostles whom we are trusting when we trust their writings.  Their testimony is credible because of the lives they lived and the way they died.

2 Timothy 3:16-17  – Continuing from 2 Timothy 3:14-15, the apostles are bearing witness not merely to the resurrection of Christ, but that resurrection according to the Scriptures (i.e. the Prophets, including Moses).

Hebrews 2:1-4  –  It’s not as if we can hear the apostles’ message and then move on.  We need to keep listening to their message because there is always more to be gleaned from it (Hebrews 13:22; 1 John 2:24).  Note also that God attended the work of the apostles with work of His own – that is, miracles (i.e. signs and wonders).  See also Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:19; John 14:12; Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12.

Hebrews 3:1

Hebrews 13:7  –  The apostles led the New Testament church to believe, just as they have led, through their writings, all subsequent ages to believe.  They led by speaking the word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13).  We are to follow their example – that is, imitate their faith (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Hebrews 13:22  –  As the letter to the Hebrews is “a brief word of exhortation” to which we should give due consideration, so also, in a larger sense, the New Testament is “a brief word of exhortation” to which we should give due consideration.

1 Peter 1:8

2 Peter 1:12-21

2 Peter 1:16, 17, 18

1 John 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1 John 2:24  –  “What we heard from the beginning” is the apostles’ teaching.  Let us therefore be devoted to it (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 2:1).

1 John 4:14

3 John 1:9  –  Let us not be like Diotrephes, who did not accept what the apostle John wrote to the church.  Just because the apostles were right does not mean that everyone listened to them (Acts 22:18).  Diotrephes demonstrates that there are even people in the church who will not accept what the apostles say.  Let us not be among such people!

***

Exodus 20:16  –  Here (and in Deuteronomy 5:20) – that is, in the Ten Commandments – the responsibility of a Jew to bear witness truthfully was firmly established.

Deuteronomy 5:20  –  Here (and in Exodus 20:16) – that is, in the Ten Commandments – the responsibility of a Jew to bear witness truthfully was firmly established.

2 Samuel 23:8  –  The apostles are like “the mighty men of David.”  Referenced also in 1 Chronicle 11:10.

1 Chronicles 11:10  –  The apostles are like “the mighty men of David.”  Referenced also in 2 Samuel 23:8.

Isaiah 53:1  –  The question for all ages since the apostles is, “Do we believe their report?”

Daniel 12:3  –  The New Testament saints were given as stars in the darkness to lead to righteousness all the ages that would follow, and the apostles were the brightest stars in that constellation.  The stars give way to the sun (Malachi 4:2), don’t they?

Malachi 3:1  –  The apostles are messengers sent before His face.

#####

CONCLUSIONS TO BE DRAWN

The apostles were appointed (Mark 3:13, 14 15; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 2:11).

Jesus gave His apostles authority (Matthew 16:1918:1819:28; 28:18-20; Mark 3:14-15; Luke 10:1922:302 Corinthians 10:8; 13:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:6).  Because of this authority, the apostles were able to command believers in His name (1 Thessalonians 4:2, 11; 2 Thessalonians 3:4, 6, 12, 14), and this authority extended even to unseen spirits, healings, and miracles (Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:14-15; Luke 10:19; John 14:12; Acts 5:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:1-4).

The apostles were chosen (Luke 6:12,13; Acts 10:41).  For more on the concept of chosen, see Matthew 22:14; 2 Peter 1:10; Revelation 17:14.

The apostles are often seen in parallel with the prophets of old (Luke 11:49-51; Ephesians 2:20).

The Apostles’ teaching was deemed by outsiders as little more than a sectarian dispute among Jews.  See Acts 18:15; 23:29; 25:19.  As for the dispute not being worthy of a death penalty, see also Acts 25:25; 26:31; 28:18.  Why would the Roman Empire, or anyone in the Greco-Roman world, care about the identity of the Jewish Messiah – especially if he had been crucified!

The apostles taught (Matthew 28:18, 19, 20; Acts 2:42; 4:1, 2; Acts 4:18; Acts 5:21; Acts 5:28; Acts 5:42; 1 Corinthians 14:18-19).

#####

A RELEVANT VOCABULARY

apostle  –  “a messenger, one sent on a mission”

appear  –  The resurrected Jesus appeared to His apostles (1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians 15:1-20).

appointed  –  Mark 3:13, 14, 15

report  –  as in Isaiah 53:1

send, sent  –  as in Luke 11:49-51; Acts 20:21

testify, testimony

witness

 

2 Replies to “The Ministry of the Apostles”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.