Eph 2:19-22 NLT So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God's holy people. You are members of God's family. (20) Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself. (21) We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. (22) Through Him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by His Spirit.
I am beginning a series on foundational apostles and prophets and what their function is in the kingdom of God. There is a debate that rages within the ranks of evangelical Christianity about the spiritual gifts and the five-fold ministry. Of course, when I refer to the five-fold ministry I am speaking of Ephesians 4:11-13. So then, this post will be dedicated to examining the legitimacy of modern day apostles and prophets.
First, let me say that there is an awful lot of questionable activity that takes place in the name of the five-fold ministry and modern day, present truth apostles and prophets. There are many self-proclaimed apostles and prophets that act much more like they are a part of the Old Covenant economy than the New Covenant economy. I mention apostles and prophets because no one in evangelical Christianity seems to have any problem with evangelists, pastors and teachers. So then, somehow, evangelists, pastors and teachers are still necessary gifts but not apostles and prophets. This seems unlikely to me; especially in view of the passages in Ephesians where Paul speaks of them. Let’s look at this in the NLT which presents very plain language.
(Eph 4:11-14 NLT) Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. (12) Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. (13) This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. (14) Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
Interesting, Paul says that the five gifting’s will continue until ALL come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord. OK, really? In an age with 30,000 plus denominations and all the division can anyone believe that there is no longer a need for foundational apostles and prophets? Let me say this… if evangelists, pastors and teachers are necessary, how much more are apostles and prophets needed?
Add to this, the beginning of Ephesians chapter four… one Lord, one faith, one baptism… and it should be painfully obvious that foundational apostles and prophets are extremely necessary. So then, what should they do? What is the function and mission of modern day foundational apostles and prophets… Tune into this series and I will try to give my answer on this important issue.