Introduction: 1.Following His resurrection, Jesus gave His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). 2.According to Acts 1:8, Jesus gave a specific plan for accomplishing this mission. 3.As Luke showed in Acts how this plan was implemented, he wrote about a number of conversions that occurred. 4.In writing about these conversions, Luke also showed how many of the Lord's followers were involved in carrying out the Great Commission, including "the apostles." a.Apostle: a delegate, a messenger, one sent forth on a mission with authority to fulfill that mission b.A number of Bible characters were called "apostles," including: 1)Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) 2)Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:4; 13:1-3) 3)James the Lord's brother (Galatians 1:19) 4)the men selected by Christ to serve as His special representatives. Discussion:
A.The apostles are listed in Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:12-16; Acts 1:13. B.The original apostles were Simon (Peter), Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John (son of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael), Thomas, Matthew (Levi, the son of Alphaeus), James (son of Alphaeus, the less), Thaddeus (Lebbaeus, Judas), Simon (the Canaanite, Zelotes), and Judas Iscariot. C.Jesus delegated authority to the apostles to fulfill their responsibilities (Matthew 10:1). D.The apostles were responsible for fulfilling: 1.the limited commission (Matthew 10:5-8) 2.the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). II.INACTS,LUKEWROTEABOUTMANYOF"THEACTSOFTHEAPOSTLES"
A.Two men were added as apostles. 1.Matthias took Judas' place (Acts 1:15-26). 2.Paul was also added (1 Corinthians 15:8-9). B.The apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4; John 14:26; 16:13). C.As the apostles preached, they also performed many signs and wonders (Acts 2:42-43; 5:12-16). D.The purpose for these miracles was to confirm their teaching (Mark 16:19-20; Hebrews 2:3-4). E.The apostles were able to give a miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit by laying their hands on Christians (Acts 8:14-17; 19:6). III.THENEWTESTAMENTLETTERSPROVIDEINFORMATIONABOUTTHEAPOSTLES
A.God placed the apostles in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11). B.God used the apostles to provide the foundation for the church (Ephesians 2:19-20). C.God used the apostles in revealing His Word (Ephesians 3:3-5). D.We are to follow the apostles' teaching (2 Peter 3:1-2; Jude 17). E.The apostles' teaching is the Lord's teaching (1 Corinthians 14:37).