Thursday, October 18, 2012
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” (Romans 11:13 KJV).
Who is our apostle? While today’s Scripture plainly reveals the answer, today’s Christian is often totally ignorant of it.
Upon inquiring the average church member, “Who is your apostle?,” we will receive one of three answers: (1) the 12 apostles, (2) Jesus, or (3) “apostle” so-and-so who leads a local church or ministry. Unfortunately, none of these common replies are correct; yet church tradition perpetuates such ignorance.
“Apostle” (apostolos) simply means “one who is sent away.” We need to know whom God sent to us Gentiles. Who is God’s spokesman to us?
One might argue the twelve apostles were sent to the world, and this is true (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15), but first they were to convert all of Israel (Matthew 10:5-7), which they never did (Matthew 10:23). Also, after the Apostle Paul’s ministry began, the twelve loosed themselves from their commission to go to Gentiles, for they understood God was now sending Paul to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7-9; cf. Acts 9:15,16).
Another, using Hebrews 3:1, might contend Jesus is our apostle, yet Jesus’ earthly ministry was Israel only (Matthew 15:24; Romans 15:8). Jesus was sent to Israel (Hebrews is written to Israel, therefore, Jesus is Israel’s Apostle).
Paul is God’s apostle (sent one) to us Gentiles (Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11). If we want to learn what God is doing and saying to us today, we go not to Israel’s apostles and prophets (whether Old or New Testaments), for they speak of what God did in time past and what He will do in the ages to come. Only Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, discuss what God is doing today in the Dispensation of Grace: only Paul mentions the Church the Body of Christ. We study all the Bible, Genesis through Revelation, but we bear in mind only Paul’s epistles deal with us.
Jesus Christ said if we are to accept Him, we must accept whom He sent to us (John 13:20). Frankly, we must accept the Apostle Paul, or we reject Christ (1 Corinthians 14:37).