The word ‘apostle’ means a sent one who is not merely a messenger but also one who bears the authority of the sender. It's a bible word used to describe three categories of men:
• Jesus as the supreme Apostle (Heb3v1); sent by God the Father with Gospel truth; He was given all authority & perfectly represented the one who sent Him.
• The 12 Apostles who witnessed Jesus life & resurrection and their teaching has formed the foundation on which the whole church, throughout history, has been built.
• The apostles of the ascension given as gifts to equip God’s saints until she comes to maturity & unity (Eph 4v11).
Ephesians 4 apostles desire to call all people to the obedience that comes from faith and they are characterised by the following activities:
#1 Proclaim the overall purposes of God in the earth:
• It was to be a work of Grace.
• Bringing all things under one head – Jesus.
• Outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our lives
• The church having a central role in God’s overall purposes.
• The cross removed the barrier between God & Men and Jew & Gentiles.
• All promises made in the OT are now fulfilled in Christ.
#2 Establish churches in the way Jesus did; creating communities where lives are inter-weaved and characters reformed for God’s glory.
#3 Lay & re-lay Foundations of the Gospel for each generation and cohort of salvation, working hard as master builders.
#4 Mission Motivators; to go to the unreached regions of the world, catching churches up in missionary zeal (Rom15v24).
#5 Concerned for the poor. Paul choose to delay his visit to the church in Rome in order to ensure an offering for the poor in the Jerusalem church was personally delivered (Rom15v25-26).
Family but not hierarchy: Because God is in very essence Father, His plan when He created the world was to extend his rule & blessing through families: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons and so on. Apostles are to bring a Fatherly leadership to local churches. Churches are not to be groups of people who responded to certain apostles teaching and so joined his organization… Rather churches are to relate to his warm fatherly leadership (Rom16v1-16).
Exploring who we can partner with: So the question that naturally arises is “If apostles are a gift to a local church to help stimulate mission who is ours?”. That’s a great question that we pastors are trying to answer … just to be clear we are not asking “what can an apostle do for us?”. Rather we are asking: “Which apostolic team can we partner with in the ongoing mission to reach the world for Christ and the nations to obedience of faith?”.
We are part of a family of churches called Newfrontiers and have been partnering with David Devenish in mission overseas (Russia and Croatia). David is now forming an apostolic sphere in the UK called Catalyst. Because of our history with David and him being an established apostle in Newfrontiers, we are exploring if we should work closer with him.
David will be with us on Sunday 14 July.
This will be an important day for us as a church, please do all that you can to ensure you come to hear him speak. We must receive all of the gifts that Jesus has for his church to safeguard us from becoming a Golf Club Church.