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Explain what the word apostle means.

Explain what the word apostle means. Today we think of an apostle as one of Jesus' followers. It simply means "people who are sent." Paul was not one of the original twelve, so there are examples of leaders beyond Peter, James, and John. They are representative.
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Caller:  In Ephesians 4:11, it says, 'and he [Christ] who gave gifts to men, he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets....' I know what prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers - what exactly does He mean when He says apostle?

Pastor Doug:  Well you know, this is a delicate subject.  I'll tell you why - because when I say 'apostle' today, what usually pops into someone's mind?  They think of the Twelve apostles.  Right?

Caller:  If they're around today, correct?

Pastor Doug:  That's what I'm getting at.  If I were to say that there were still apostles today Biblically, some people chafe against that but you can't argue with the Scriptures.  The word apostle does not mean Peter, James and John.

Caller:  Right.

Pastor Doug:  The word apostle means people who are sent by the Lord.

Caller:  ...as messengers.

Pastor Doug:  Right.  They're sent to deliver a message.

Caller:  But what exactly - if you could elaborate that would be great.

Pastor Doug:  Well I can't elaborate a lot more than that.  That's what the word means.  When Jesus picked 12 apostles, He never intended they should be the only apostles and let me prove that:

Paul calls himself an apostle, but he was not one of the Twelve.  And that sets a precedent that the office of apostle continued beyond the time of the First Century Church.

Caller:  I see.

Pastor Doug:  But the Lord didn't say there were to be only twelve apostles.  He ordained twelve to reach the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  But apostles are the ones who are the leadership: they're sent by the Lord, they're called, and they're representatives.  It means to represent the sender in business.  It could be political or educational.  The word apostle in Greek was not just used in a religious sense.  Ok?

Caller:  That's great.  Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug:  All right.  God bless.

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