Ephesians: Prescript (1:1-2) – Qualifications of an apostle and how they apply to all believers, part 2.

Class Outline:

Tuesday August 28, 2018


Qualifications of an apostle:


1. They must have seen and heard the Lord.


1CO 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?


2. They must have been immediately called and chosen to that office by Christ himself. This was the case with every one of them


GAL 1:1

Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),


LUK 6:13

And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:


Peter attempted to elect a substitute apostle for Judas, which they did, and we are sure that Matthias was a good and devout man, but he was not the twelfth.


In his letter to the Galatians, Paul makes it a clear point that he was not chosen as an apostle by the other apostles. He was not appointed by Peter or John.


Again, as we apply our own calling in this light, it is of the utmost importance that we don’t lose sight of it.


2PE 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:


2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;


2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.


2PE 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.


2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge;


2PE 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness;


2PE 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.


2PE 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


2PE 1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.


2PE 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;


2PE 1:11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.


“diligent” - spoudazo = make every effort. More so, make every effort to make your calling and election the only mission in your life, i.e. the sure thing of your life.  


Some like to interpret this as proving to yourself that you’re saved. Yet, Peter in context is writing of being partakers of the divine nature within us. And due to that, we are to apply all diligence to supply the virtue of Christ in our lives. Therefore, we are not proving to ourselves that we are saved, we are confident of this eternal security, but rather, we are more diligent to make our election a sure thing in our life, meaning, the expression of our life. Paul put the same principle this way: Walk in a manner worthy of your election.

Php 3:1Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.   


Php 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;


Php 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,


Php 3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:


Php 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;    


Php3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.    


Php 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.    


Php 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,    


Php 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,    


Php 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;    


Php3:11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.    


Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.    


Php3:13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,    


Php 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 


3. Infallible inspiration was also essentially necessary to that office.


They had not only to explain the true sense and spirit of the Old Testament, which were hid from the Jewish doctors, but also to give forth the New Testament revelation to the world. which was to be the unalterable standard of faith and practice in all succeeding generations. They had to be secured from all error.


Christ promised them that the Spirit would lead them into all truth and disclose to them the things to come. While the Spirit leads all Christians in the truth, the future is not revealed to us. It is not fantastic to imagine that the Holy Spirit imparted to them a special gift of remembrance and insight. They would be the first to teach this truth, what Paul would term the musterion, and some of them would be the only authorities to write it down.


This qualification has no application to us. We do not add to the written word. Our writings or commentaries are not inspired. Yet, we know that the scriptures are inspired by God.


Let’s read 2TI 3:16 in context.


2TI 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.


2TI 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,


2TI 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,


2TI 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;


2TI 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.


2TI 3:6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,


2TI 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.


2TI 3:8 And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses [traditional names of the magicians who stood against Moses in Pharaoh’s court], so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected as regards the faith.


2TI 3:9 But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, as also that of those two came to be.


2TI 3:10 But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,


2TI 3:11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me!


2TI 3:12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.


2TI 3:13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.


2TI 3:14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them;


2TI 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


2TI 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;


2TI 3:17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


Unfortunately, to their own detriment, most people in the world do not believe that the Bible is inspired by God. Thus, not many are equipped for good work, and so, not much good work is done.