MARKS OF TRUE APOSTLESHIP
Wednesday, 5 September 2018
1 Corinthians 4 : 1-13
This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1Corthians 4:1-2)
The Church in Corinth was divided in their allegiance to Peter, Paul, Silas and Christ (1 Cor. 1:10). In addressing this disunity and division among the believers, Paul appealed for all believers to be united in Christ Jesus, who is the Head and stop being judgmental of the service of God’s servants. True Apostle are the ones send by God. Romans 1:1- Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle separated unto the gospel of God.
Paul sets down the marks of a true apostle; one that every believer can learn from:
Servant Attitude: Paul addressed himself and the other apostles as ‘servants of Christ’. A servant is subject to His master and serves the master, not out of selfish ambition but as the master desires. Jesus said, ‘whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant’ (Matthew 20:26). Jesus Himself set the very example of servant leadership by compassionately ministering to the needs of the large crowds that gathered around Him, washing His disciples’ feet and sacrificially dying in our place
Stewards of the mysteries of God: A steward is one entrusted with the affairs of the Master’s household. The apostles and we today as disciples have received the revelation of the mysteries of God by the Holy Spirit. As one entrusted with the revelation of the deeper truths of God’s word, we are required to be diligent is sharing and teaching the truth in love. As stewards, we are also required to be responsible and trustworthy with the service that has been entrusted to us. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
Faithfulness: It is expected of God’s servants that they be faithful with whatever has been entrusted to their care - be it time, skills and abilities or resources. As we see in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14–30), we have a responsibility to utilize our talents wisely and faithfully for the Master’s glory and are accountable to the Master for it. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Paul urges the church to be united in Christ, not having a judgmental or boastful attitude, but labouring as one for the cause of Christ. Unlike what many believe to be a position of prestige, Paul acknowledges that the life of a true apostle is not one of earthly benefits and high reputation but forsaking all for the message of the cross. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor …. (1 Corinthians 4:10-12)
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. (1Corthians 12:27-28)
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