There is some controversy over the spiritual gift of apostle. Since it is listed, you can’t deny that it exists. The question becomes, “What does it mean?”
To most people the Apostles were the twelve disciples that made up the inner circle of Jesus. They were specifically chosen by him. We see the word used that way.
(Matthew 10:2 KJV) Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;Some people say that these twelve were the only real apostles and that the gift is not active any more. This group would also tend to say that other gifts are not given any more, such as tongues and miracles.
Others believe that all the gifts are still being given by the Holy Spirit and are active today. Since a person who now has the gift of apostle today cannot be one of the original twelve, what does the gift involve?
The word in Greek means “sent one” and goes back to the root meaning “to send.” We think of the Twelve as being followers of Jesus. We see how they were with Him for three years. All true, but they ceased being The Disciples and became the Apostles at what is called the Great Commission.
(Matthew 28:19-20 KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.At this point they became the “sent” or “apostles.” Beyond this we rely mainly on tradition, not history. Tradition tells us that many of them spread out across the known and unknown world, preaching the Gospel. Tradition says that Thomas got as far as India where a group of believers still exists that trace their roots back to the apostle.
What does that mean today? In reality, your opinion is as good as mine. It is probably as good as the greatest Bible scholar. I think that the gift of apostle is given today to people who are called to be missionaries or church planters. I think it is a special blessing of the Holy Spirit that enables some people to go into areas that are pagan, whether it be in Los Angeles or Delhi, and proclaim the truth in such a way that the church is established.
I believe the gift is alive and well.
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