Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?
Thoughts for Today:The Greek word "apostolos" is translated as "apostle" and means "sent one". However, Biblical apostleship is much more than the simple generic term of "sent one." The following are Scriptural references for Biblical apostleship:
1. Able to testify about Jesus and His resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27, Acts 1:21-22, and Acts 22:14-15);
2. Called to the office by Jesus Himself (Luke 6:13, Galatians 1:1);
3. Perfect inspiration by the Holy Spirit and therefore protected against error in teaching (John 14:26, John 16:13, and 1 Thessalonians 2:13);
4. The power of working miracles (Mark 16:20, Acts 2:43, 1 Corinthians 12:8-11).
Therefore, Paul's assertion in Romans 1:1 that he is "a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God" is not insignificant. This fact, plus the undeniable signs and wonders of confirmation that accompanied his ministry, should command God-fearing respect for the authority of his instruction. Paul's epistles are Scripture -- that's a capital "S" -- and therefore reflect the Word of God. (2 Peter 3:16: "[Peter is speaking about Paul] He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.")
Questions to Ponder:Have you been reading the words Paul has written as if it is the Word of God? Why not? Are you confused by whose authority Paul instructs? 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."