This is installment four of our verse by verse study through the book of Romans. At this rate I calculate we will finish the study sometime in the course of eternity. If you have missed the previous portions of our study on verse 1, they can be found on the “Road Through Romans Page”
Today we are talking about the word “apostle”
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— Romans 1:1
We have learned quite a bit about this man named Paul in only seven words!
Today we learn that Paul is an apostle. The Greek word means Paul considers himself-a delegate, a messenger, one sent forth with orders.
The classical Christian definition of an apostle refers to the twelve apostles of Christ but in a broader sense it applied to other eminent Christian teachers such as Barnabas, Timothy or Silvanus.
There were four biblical qualifications for apostleship: (From WebBible Encyclopedia)
- that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 9:1; Acts 22:14-15)
- They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Gal. 1:1).
- It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus protected against error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess. 2:13).
- Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:8-11). The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders.