Tuesday, May 26, 2020

No More Apostolic Succession But There Are 'Apostles' (Colossians 1:1)

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy” (Colossians 1:1, NLT)

Paul was qualified as one of the unique apostles, “chosen” and called by Jesus Christ (“the will of God”) personally and an eye witness of His resurrected majesty (read Acts 9:1-31). Paul was able to “proof that [he is] an apostle” (2 Corinthians 12:12) and as well as being inspired to write most of the books/letters of the New Testament. In my own reading and conviction, God has NOT authorized any apostolic succession since Paul was called, so there are no new apostles living on earth today. Timothy was not an apostle but one of Paul’s converts and a fellow missionary.

Question: If there are no apostles today, is there then no representative of God for our times? Hey, yes! There are! In mission and evangelism, God always puts His witnesses in the world. The word ‘apostle’ means ‘a sent one, a missionary’, and certainly this calling has not ceased just because the initial, unique apostles during the time of the New Testament are now no more with us. The Bible says that every believer has been sent to share the Gospel to others - through living and preaching - which has now been given to us. All of Christ-followers are commissioned as messengers and missionaries for God. Our Lord Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere… to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

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