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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7708 apostles, function of
7708 apostles, function of

7708 apostles, function of

In the NT apostles are servants, first of Jesus Christ and then of the church. Apostolic service embraces a wide range of specific functions.

The functions of apostles during the earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ

Being with Jesus Christ Mk 3:14 See also Mt 17:1; Mk 6:30-32 pp Lk 9:10

Learning from Jesus Christ Mk 8:31 See also Mt 18:1-4; Mk 4:10-12; Ac 1:2

Being sent out on a mission by Jesus Christ Lk 9:1-6 pp Mt 10:5-10 pp Mk 6:7-13 As Jesus Christ’s representatives their ministry was an extension of his. See also Mk 3:14-15

Being commissioned to witness to Jesus Christ Ac 1:8; Ac 10:39 See also Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:46-49; Jn 17:18; Jn 20:21

Apostles in the early church

They were witnesses of the resurrection Ac 1:21-22 See also Ac 2:32; Ac 3:15; Ac 4:33; Ac 13:31; 1Pe 5:1

They were servants of Jesus Christ 2Pe 1:1 See also Ro 1:1; 1Co 4:1; 2Co 11:23; Php 1:1; Tit 1:1

They were servants of the church 2Co 13:4 See also Ro 15:25; 2Co 4:5; 2Co 11:8; 1Pe 5:1-3

They were the foundations of the church Eph 2:20 Probably a reference to the apostolic preaching. The absence of the article before “prophets” suggests that “the apostles and prophets” represents one group of people, not two. See also 1Co 12:28; Gal 2:9; Jude 17 the prophetic ministry of the apostles

They preached the gospel Ro 1:1-5 See also Mk 16:20; Ro 15:19-20; 1Co 1:17; Gal 1:15-16

They were guardians and teachers of the truth Ac 2:42 See also Jn 16:13-15; Ac 5:42; Ac 6:2; Eph 3:2-6; 2Th 2:15; 2Ti 1:11

They founded churches 1Co 9:1-2 See also 1Co 3:5-6,10

They were authority figures within the church Ac 6:2-6 The apostles took the initiative. Whilst they did not themselves appoint the Seven, they confirmed their appointment.

They were called to suffer 2Ti 1:11-12 See also Ac 5:18; 1Co 4:9; 2Co 11:23-29

They were empowered by the Spirit Ac 4:8 See also Jn 20:22; Ac 1:8; Ac 2:4; Eph 3:4-5

They were able to bestow the Spirit Ac 8:14-18 Peter and John officially induct Samaritans as members of the body of Christ; Ac 19:6

See also

2351Christ, miracles
2363Christ, preaching & teaching
2375kingdom of God
3212Holy Spirit & mission
3224Holy Spirit & preaching
3257Holy Spirit, gift of
7734leaders, spiritual