We live in times where many want to be called an apostle. But what does the Bible say about apostles. Are you one of them? You may, if this lifestyle is the motivation of your heart.
Conduct and Character
1 Corinthians 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.
Hath set forth: To expose to view; or to exhibit.
Last in receiving honor, last in being recognized by men and by the body of Christ, last in being raised up by Christ, and smallest in importance and in the estimation of men.
Appointed to death: Greek: Upon the death “Doomed to die”
A spectacle unto the world. Greek: A theater unto the world.
God has exhibited, showed off, and exposed to view. The apostle becomes a man exhibited, or to be gazed at. Last in rank, importance, recognition and so forth.
The apostolic calling to those who are destined to be God ambassadors.
As His representatives, apostles are called to be a portrait or a painting of God’s ways, will, and timing upon the earth. The Lord allows the apostle to go through the humiliating and frustrating circumstances of being last so that he is whittled away from all that does not represent the voice of the Lord, His ways, and His timing.
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.
Filth and offscouring: The food scrapings on a dirty plate, and the sweepings gathered from a dirty floor, which are rinsed off or thrown away.
The Lord engineers all of this in the apostle’s life, as He whittles him or her into a walk by the simple rhema word, and continuously humbles them so that they only walk in His ways.
Ambassadorship requires living by God’s rhema word and conforming to His ways. Only then can there be true a representation of the Lord here on earth.
1 Cor 4:10 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 morons on the account of Christ
We are frail and weak, you are confident and strong
We are those who get no respect from people
1 Cor 4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
We are hungry and thirsty
We are dressed scantily or with poor quality of clothing
We are treated poorly
We have no home of our own
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
We labor for the gospel’s sake to the point of exhaustion
When we are abused by men, we bless back
When we are persecuted, we patiently endure it.
1 Cor 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
We did not make use of the different rights given to us by the gospel as apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not make use of our rights, but instead put up with all things so as not to impede the pioneering progress of the gospel.
Where is the offense, or do you have time to get offended?
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.
It is throwing beyond magnitude. We were utterly at loss, destitute of earthly and fleshly measures and resources.
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
It is a judicial sentence of death. “An official resolution that stamps a matter as done.’
(Literally Paul asks, “Am I going to save myself by earthly efforts? My answer is NO!! I MUST DIE!! ONLY IN CHRIST AND THROUGH CHRIST)
Whether on asking myself, should I die or whether I should come out of mortal peril, I answered, “I must die”.
So as to trust in God alone who is raising the corpses.
2 Cor 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Our sufficiency and ability and our qualifications is not found in ourselves as a source but only in God, his grace and power as its root sources.
2 Cor 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not Because by the mercy of God, we were called into this ministry, we do not become discouraged. (We know that if God divinely summoned us, He will take care of us, and see us through; therefore we do not lose heart.)
But have renounced (we gave up once, and now forbid) the hidden things of dishonesty (anything that brings shame or disgrace to the gospel, or to us), not walking in craftiness (not conducting ourselves in the doctrines of men), nor handling the word of God deceitfully(by trickery, adulterating or corrupting God’s word for base gain) ; but by manifestation of the truth (but by manifesting the gospel in its accuracy and genuineness through the Word of God and by our lives) commending ourselves to every man’s conscience( we present ourselves to every type of men’s conscience) in the sight of God. (Before the constant gaze of God).
Paul here says, that the soundness of the apostle’s doctrine and the genuineness of his or her life in accordance to the gospel must be so great, that it must hold up to the scrutiny of the voice of God bearing witness or passing judgment to what the apostle ministers in their hearer’s consciences. Secondly, the apostle must also deal with the scrutiny of God Himself, whose penetrating look is ever upon the apostle.
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.
The power is the property of God.
2Cor 4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
The manifested death of Christ within the apostle is as an “energy dynamo” that never ceases but always works with effect. We are always being handed over to death, so that the very life of Christ can be like wised energized with effect for the sakes of others.
Death is actively energized and efficient in us. The death of Christ is effectual in the apostle. Christ’s death always mighty in the apostolic workings. This death is for the benefit of others
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.
2 Corinthians 5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
If we are out of our minds; out of our wits or insane
If Paul goes beyond the bounds of normalcy, into an out of the box lifestyle, it is in his highest devotion towards the Lord; but on the other hand wisdom and prudence towards his disciples.
2 Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
Not urging or driving us, but shutting us up to one line, or one side of the road and one purpose, as in a narrowed wall road.
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.
2 Cor 12:14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
I am not seeking your possessions, I am seeking you (the person)
2 Corinthians 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.
Spend: Incur personal cost
Spent : To exhaust by spending; To spend oneself totally up for the person and for the sake of the gospel
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.
2Cor 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 out of the power of God as the root system in his life.
Oneness With The Lord.
1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who endued me with His power (only as He found me dependable.) The gift of His power was given to me as He found me worthy of trust. Once that the trust and power were there God placed me into my ministry.
John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me ( Greek: apostolic sending), and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
The apostle or the one sent on an apostolic mission lives moment to moment through the Father who does the works.
As I have taught, the works of the Father are translated into rhema words. The apostle must continuously discern and carry out the rhema word. That is the apostle’s whole aim in life.
Any time that the apostle acts in the flesh, he or she will experience a loss of the full credentials of the Lord’s power, which is found only in the voice of the Spirit.
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.
The apostle, or the one on an apostolic mission, is birthed from God and lives continuously out of God just as a tree must live out of its roots. Not only is their ministry birthed from God, but also their constant presence in this world must be accomplished out of this same dependency.
The apostle has no agenda. His or her agenda is the Lord.
The apostle therefore lives in utter dependency upon the Lord. The apostle has been broken by the Lord and lives out of the voice, strength and the power of God. There has been a death to his or her ability to overcome, so that their overcoming now comes through the revelation of the Son of God.
His or her whole existence is sustained and originates through his or her relationship with the Father.