What Does It Mean to Be Apostolic
We see direct and practical application of Jesus’ teachings in the lives and acts of the apostles. To put it simple, to be apostolic means to walk in the ways and teaching of Jesus the way the Apostles did. In other words, to be apostolic is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
They were apostolic in doctrine and preached one message with the Old Testament as the foundation and the New Testament its fulfilment. The Old Testament tells of the coming of the Messiah and the more perfect covenant between God and man. In the New Testament, we see Jesus as God in flesh, the way the Truth and the light, establishing a new covenant with Man with the indwelling of His Spirit and the remission of sins.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38 (KJV)
The message was consistent and its power pure and transforming. The results? Hundred, thousands and multitudes added into the Kingdom daily.
They were apostolic in identity. Untainted by the world. “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” Acts 2:40 (KJV) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) Though they lived in the world, they identified not with it. They identified themselves with the culture of Christ, holy, set apart for His glory.
They were apostolic in commitment. Everything belonged to the Lord. They went where the Lord told them to even when it meant their enemies and greatest persecutor. They gave sacrificially when they were instructed to. They used their talents for His glory. They lived in total abandonment to their Lord and Master.
They were apostolic in devotion. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42 (KJV)
Despite persecution, they neglected not their meeting together. Their worship was extravagant and with utter obedience. The word was their foundation and the final authority. All things were wrought by prayer and conquered with the power of the word and spirit.
They were apostolic in their mission. Their mission was the world. They were not satisfied with their home, town or city. They burned with a vision and desire to see the whole world evangelised.
They were apostolic in reaching the lost. Every day, they sought out the hungry and the thirsty. The Lord working with them, they expounded the word to some and to others, prayed and ministered to their needs. Everybody was a minister. There were not an elite few. The responsibility of reaching the lost belonged to every believer.
They were apostolic in demonstrating the power and the love of God. Signs, miracles and wonders confirmed the word. They preached with authority and demonstration of the spirit. Their life was lived with a passionate love for God and people. They allowed the Holy Ghost to live through them, exhibiting fruit for the world to see and taste the goodness of God.
Together, the believers in the 1st Century were united and in harmonious fellowship with each other provided that their doctrine was consistent and pure. As a church, they had a structure that empowered every believer to offer their God-given gifts and talents in service to His body. In small gatherings, they were cared for by fellow believers who were governed by the five-fold ministry led by Jesus Christ. Through the five-fold ministry, saints were equipped to do the work of the ministry. The church consisted of people belonging to different races and background brought together by one quest – to seek His kingdom and be a holy nation! Despite difficult circumstances, they knew they were not alone. The had the backing of Almighty God and that was all that mattered. Their attitude? If God is for us, who can be against us? Heaven is their home and earth their passing through.
The mission and the purpose of the church has not changed. God is looking for earth partners. Until His coming and till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, we continue the Acts of the Apostles with passion, purity and fervency.