Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Call and Commissioning of the Apostles
“ And in the church, God has appointed, first of all, apostles”(V.28)
In today’s passage, the apostle Paul, using the analogy of the human body, emphasizes that we are the body of Christ. People have always been fascinated by the way in which the different parts of a healthy body function together. Similarly the characteristic of a healthy church is that everyone functions for the good of the whole. Unity does not mean uniformity and diversity does not mean chaos. Within the church are differing gifts and differing functions but every one of them is a gift of the Holy spirit.
Paul lists eight various forms of service in the Church and at the head of everything he puts the apostles.( 1 Cor.12:28). The word Apostle itself may mean “one sent as a messenger.” However when applied to the twelve apostles, it means that they were chosen by Jesus and sent into the world in His name to spread His message. When applied to Jesus, the apostle and high priest to whom we confess” (Hebrews 3:1), it means that He was sent from the Father to be the Savior of the world. (John 3:17.)
Paul provides his own explanation of an apostle as one who :
a. Accepted the call and commissioning to lifelong service by Jesus Christ and God the Father (Gal 1:1; Rom 1:1-5; 1 Cor 1:1; 2 Cor 1:1).
b. Accepted the call through a personal meeting with the resurrected Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:4-9; Gal 1:15-16).
c. Received the gospel message from the risen Lord Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:12; 1 Cor 11:23-25; 2 Cor 4:1-6).
d. Considered preaching and teaching as their primary task and often miracles accompanied their work (1 Cor 1:17; Rom 15:19; 2 Cor 12:12).
f. A steward of the "mysteries of God," which they reveal in their ministry (1 Cor 4:1; 15:51-57; Eph 3:1-6; 6:19).
The Great Commission from Jesus (Matt.28:19-20) was initially given directly only to Christ's eleven apostles. Today, this commission is a directive to all Christians of every time and place. Christ is no longer in this world in the body. So if He wants a task to be carried out in this world, He makes His appeal through us. We are His hands to do His work, feet to run for His errands and voice to speak for Him. So Christ is calling each one of us, irrespective of our distinctive capabilities, to function in unity.
How have we been called by God to serve others? What leadership roles have we taken in the Church and community? How, as a congregation, can we “earnestly desire” that the “best gifts” be manifested among us to glorify God?
Prayer: O Lord, thank you for all those who have helped us in our spiritual journey. Help us to understand our calling and bring glory to you. Amen.
Thought for the day: Are we living as His ambassadors (2 Corin.5:20) in all circumstances starting from our own home?
Philip Manuel & Laila Anie Philip. Carmel MTC, Boston,MA.