Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave ( apodidomi) the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
An apostle gives witness of the resurrection of the risen Christ.
The apostle gives back the witness of the resurrection as something that is his obligation or duty. The Greek word is apodidomi. It is defined as paying back a debt an obligation or an oath. Between married couples it’s the fulfillment of conjugal duties.
Many want to be called apostles, but are they, broken, humbled and dead to self so that Christ can be magnified through them?
2Co 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
The apostle lives from the dunamis power of God as a tree lived from its roots.
Dunamis power is power in ability. For someone to live, not from his own power, but from another’s, a deep work must occur. Trust in one’s ability and confidence must be broken. Because, dunamis power, is power in ability, an apostle’s ability, has been taken to the cross. He now lives from the ability of God.
Acts 6:10 And they were not able ( ischus) to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
The opponents of God had absolutely no inward strength of spirit to take a stand against Steven. This is the resurrection power abiding in the apostle.
Ischus, is resident, indwelling or inherent power. God works out of ischus, which manifests as dominion. Is your own inherent power and confidence taken to the cross and now the resident power of another, mainly God, dwells in you?
Acts 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
Saul, later Paul, was more and more filled with God’s power and was continuously strengthened. (Imperfect tense or continual action.)
Saul was continually energized in God’s ability.
He threw into disorder and the perplexing of mind the enemies of God through the display of God’s power.
The apostle has his roots deeply in God’s power. He has recognized his weakness and inability.
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
It is not pleasant or agreeable that we would leave, abandon or forsake the word of God.
Greek: “Never pleasing it is for us to leave the word. But we to the office of prayer and the word will be constantly devoted. It is not fitting that we hold or neglect the word of God, to occupy ourselves with the distribution of food.”
Daily time in prayer and the Word is indispensible to the apostle. God is not a Facebook God. By that I mean, God does use Facebook, but not its shortcuts. Better said, God is not a God of shortcuts. We live in shortcut society, but God is not like that. Do you want a shortcut relationship with the Living God?
Acts 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God and not men.
To be persuaded to obey God as ruler than to submit to an earthly authority. It is the necessity in this case, or necessary, that we obey God and not men.
God is not politically correct. A politically correct world fears man and his opinions. The Christian must never fall into the fear or man, but stand up for what is right in God’s eyes.
1 Cor 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
The apostle becomes a man exhibited, or to be gazed at.
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
We are buck heads, called stupid for Christ’s sake. We are strength less, impotent.
You have ischus or inner confidence. We are base or of little esteem and without honor.
11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
God has exhibited, showed off, and exposed to view.
We are maltreated. We are dirt rubbed off, or the rinsing off of dirty dishes.
We are fools for Christ; we are frail and infirm; we are those whom no one respects; we are hungry, we are scantily clothed; we are maltreated; we have no fixed home, and we labor to the point of exhaustion.
1 Cor 15: 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily
Be in danger and put in peril. “Living dangerously as I do.”
Or living my life for the Lord in such a way that I am put in peril every hour.
2 Cor 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
Excessively we were burdened beyond our power. We have to depend daily on God’s power and provision.
To be pressed out of measure: It is a throwing beyond magnitude. The Greek says that according to a hyper state Paul was burdened. Anything that is hyper is excessive, off the charts, and moves fast. The trials of the apostle are hyper so that his whole trust becomes centered on the Lord and not his.
We were utterly at loss, destitute of measures and resources. Once again, she who will display God’s resurrection life is brought to destitution of earthly measures and resources, so that the work, the resources and the glory will be God’s.
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead ( corpses)
Whether on asking myself, should I die or whether I should come out of mortal peril, I had to answer, “I must die”. This is the Greek definition of the sentence of death. It is a judicial sentence of death and the sentence of death which any apostle owns. This is a pre requisite to live in the power of God.
To trust in God who is raising the corpses.
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
2Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
In the breaking of the earthen vessel is the light revealed. The apostle is a clay vessel, broken, so that God’s Spirit is revealed. This is accomplished by the cross. The 21st century church must go back to the cross if is to be relevant.
Who will live and preach the cross in 21 st century America? God is looking for those who will.
The divine light is the inspiration and guidance of the apostolic ministry. The power is the property of God.
2Cor 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Troubled: Contracted, straightened, and squeezed on every side. We are pressed closely, but not cramped. Are you straightened and constrained so that prayer, the Bible and God are your daily resources for the answers that you need?
Pressed on every side yet not straitened.
Perplexed: Not finding a way out.
Despair: We are perplexed but not utterly perplexed.
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Forsaken: We are no left in an evil bind. Pursued by enemies but not left in their power. Though smitten down by enemies, yet we are not killed.
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are always delivered unto death ( thanatos)for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
We are always surrendered and yielded to the thanatos or the process of death. This is a continual death to our will, ability, confidence, so that all is placed in God.
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
Death is actively energized and efficient in us. This is death to self, mainly.
It is always mighty in the apostolic calling. This death is for the benefit of others, so that the powerful life of Christ may shine through the apostle.
2 Cor 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
To rot thoroughly being disabled or being brought to decay, consumed, or ruin.
2Cor 5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
Be out of our mind, out of my wits or insane.
Or be at our right mind. Moderated as to opinion or passion. If Paul exceeds the bounds of moderation it is in his moods of highest devotion, when he is pouring out his soul to God; and prudence towards his converts.
The apostle loses all earthly reputation. A good reputation before God and man is vital. The loss of reputation which is needed is the one who seeks the selfish approval of man. It’s the approval of the “man pleaser.”
If you want the approval of man, you will not be free to work in God’s glory. The glory of God demands continual obedience to the voice of the Spirit. This freedom is found in being a fool for Christ. Only a fool in the eyes of man, is free enough, not to regard criticism, so that she may step out and walk on the waters of God’s glory.
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
Constraineth: Not urging or driving us, but shutting us up to one line and purpose, as in a narrowed wall road.
Does the love of God for others shut you out from other things, compelling you to follow one narrow road and one purpose of serving them?
2Cor 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
Not even one occasion of sin or offense. No occasion for stumbling.
Do we ask God to rid us of anything that causes our brother and sister to stumble through un dealt things in our lives?
4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
Much steadfastness, constancy and endurance.
Approving, exhibiting or demonstrating or standing near.
Greek: In narrowness of room and space, in anguish, oppression, and distress.
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
In toils, pains, labors, trouble weariness. Instability, confusion and disorder.
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
Purity: Chastity, uprightness of life. That is to be blameless in all things. To have nothing in our lives where the devil can point an accusatory finger at us.
The word devil, or diabolos, is one who thoroughly hurls. The devil is the “master accusation hurler.” Do we hurl accusations and have un forgiveness towards our brothers and sisters?
Kindness: moral excellence, character or demeanor.
Love unfeigned. Without dissimulation.
Slowness to avenge wrong.
7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
Evil and good report: Through well speaking and ill speaking.
Are you mature enough not to get offended when someone unjustly speaks ill of you? A great evil in the church lingers as many get easily offended and leave.
Paul tells us that he suffered from the condition of one who was defamed and had an ill repute among some.
Paul was accused of being one who mislead others into corruption. Yet, Paul, was always genuine and pure. This is an evil report. Can you handle an evil report and not pack up and leave?
2Cor 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
I will very gladly incur personal expense for your Christian well-being. I will pour my very soul out for your progress in the faith. I will exhaust myself by spending and using myself up for your spiritual maturing in Christ.
Is this part of your ministry for the sake of the body of Christ? If you are not there yet, because God is working in your life, is this your goal?
9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
Paul, was many times one who was unknown, yet thoroughly known by those who loved him. So much for the fame and glory of modern day apostles! LOL!
10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
As nothing having and yet all things possessing. What about the prosperity message that says that if you are a child of God, you will always have lots of money and things!
1 Corinthians 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth(As soap being rinsed off from dirty plates) of the world, and are the offscouring (scrapings of food thrown away) of all things unto this day.
Romans1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Set apart to preach the gospel of and from God.
The apostleship promotes obedience to the faith and make disciples for Christ’s sake among the nations
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
To hold in honor, magnify my office and lay great stress on our ministries. I do my ministry honor.
Are you focused on the ministry which God gave to you, to continually develop it?
I Cor1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
Paul a divinely summoned and divinely appointed ambassador belonging to Christ Jesus, through God’s determining will. Divinely called, invited, appointed.
An apostle is divinely sent.
The apostle’s reputation, life and desires take a second place to the purposes of the One who sent him. This is what an ambassador does.
The emphasis on the commission lies in the hands of the author, being God.
No one can be sent except the one who is under orders.
1Cor 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
The apostle must see the resurrected Lord with a discerning eye, or the revelation of the Spirit.
Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Paul, is an apostle not from men as a source of his ministry or his open doors.
Not raised up by men but by Jesus Christ
Thus the apostle never intends to please man outside of God’s will, but to please God who chose and raised him up. Not pleasing man but a bond slave of God is the life of the apostle.
Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
The apostle proclaims the will of God because He lives in the will of God. No one can preach about God’s will if she does not live it first.
1Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
He can proclaim God’s commandments with authority, because the apostle lives in and under the commandments of God.
2Tim:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
In accordance with the faith of God’s chosen out ones with a precise and full knowledge of the truth, this is in accordance with piety or godliness towards God.
There is a standard of faith for God’s elect. The revelation of the Person of Christ in the measure of the stature of His fullness is the church’s standard of faith. The apostle stimulates and promotes the faith of God’s chosen ones, by revealing the mysteries of God which leads to the revelation of Christ.
The apostle leads the church into the correct discernment, recognition and participation of the truth, which belongs to and harmonizes with what tends to godliness. He must live in that accurate recognition and participation of the truth first.
With the promise of life goes the provision for its proclamation. Hence the apostle in proclaiming that you and I shall live through Christ is an apostle according to the very proclamation of the resurrection life. Obviously, the apostle lives in Christ’s resurrection life.
Mark 6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
The Lord’s presence and spending time with the Lord is central to the apostle’s life.
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward
Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
The apostle lives in union and oneness with the Lord, through the principle of death and resurrection.
John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Total dependency upon the Lord. The apostle is broken from her own strength and confidence and lives out of the strength and the power of God.
Her whole existence is sustained and originates through her relationship with the Heavenly Father.
John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
Union and oneness with the Lord through life and death.
The apostle lives out of the presence of God.
The authority and the commissioning of her daily life is grounded in the Father.
The apostle has no personal influence on the inner form of her commission. She is brought under the will of God who destroys her autonomy, or a spirit of independence, through the works of the cross.
The apostle is lawfully charged to represent Jesus and His cause.
The apostle as a bondservant stands under the jurisdiction to his master and derives from Him all that he is and all that he needs.
Fullness of the Spirit is proportional , as it is indispensable for commissioning with the full credentials and authority of the Father Himself. An ambassador must work with the full credentials, backing and resources of the country which sent him.
The closer the contact with Jesus the more effective will be the apostleship.
John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
The apostle’s work originates in God. It is so done with the full authority of God and in signs and wonders, especially if the apostle is a clean vessel.
Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order(epidiorthoo) the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
Ac 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
To set straight besides or after. To arrange what was left after Paul’s departure.
Epidiorthoo: This is as the word orthodontist, or one who sets teeth straight.
The things that are wanting are the things that are failing, lagging or, inferior. Do you have this type of care for your church?
Ordain: To appoint or set down in every office.
Revelatory Ministry of Apostles
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
The spiritual building of the church is built up in, or on the foundation which the prophets and apostles have revealed. This foundation is the Person of Christ.
Many churches do not build upon the revealed Person of Christ, and His will and purposes for that local body. Many times they build on things, programs and agendas. Hence many are weak and non-relevant.
Notice how the building is fitly framed together upon the foundation of the Person of Christ which the apostle and prophet revealed.
The article (the) is not before prophets. This shows that apostles and prophets are of the same kind of people.
1Cor3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder( ARCHITECT), I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Lays the revelatory foundation of the person of Jesus Christ .
Blessings this Sunday! Make a difference at your church!