What is an Apostle?

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And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: -Ephesians 4:11-12

According to these verses, the Bible says that God has given us apostles. The purpose of apostles (as well as prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are for
the perfecting of the saints of God. "Perfecting" means for the purification of their life. These people are given by God to the body of Christ, the church, to help saints of God for their edifying and sanctification. So they can become what God wants them to be. But what is an Apostle?

First, lets define the word
Apostle. The word "Apostle" literally means one who is sent, a messenger.
Greek: apostolos (ap-os'-tol-os) - a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ

In the New Testament, the word is used in three ways:

1. The first way it is used, is in reference to Jesus Christ himself.
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; -Hebrews 3:1

Jesus was
sent from God the Father into the world to provide redemption for mankind.

2. The second way the word "apostle" is used, it refers to Christian workers, generally.

Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the
messengers (apostolos) of the churches, and the glory of Christ. -II Corinthians 8:23

Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, -Acts 14:14

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your
messenger (apostolos), and he that ministered to my wants. -Philippians 2:25

In each of these instances, it refers to men other than the 12 (ie. Titus, Barnabas, and Epaphroditus) who were specifically chosen by Jesus.

3. The third way the word "apostle" is used, refers to the twelve men who were specifically chosen by Christ, to lay the foundation of Christianity.

These 12 men are each specifically named in
Luke 6.

And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. -Luke 6:13-16

These apostles laid the foundation of Christianity, giving us their writings that have been
miraculously preserved for 2000 years. These writings, the Bible, are to be the foundation by which we build our faith upon.

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20


At An Carraig Baptist Church, we take a literal, fundamental approach to the Bible (AV 1611). We are also a local, independent body of believers, which means we are not subject to a religious hierarchy. Being "Baptist" means, we hold to the Bible based, Baptist Distinctives, that have been the hallmark of true Baptist churches through the centuries. You are welcome to join us at any of our weekly meetings, or schedule to meet for tea/coffee.


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