I Cor. 16:9  “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

December 31, 2006

A Study of the Apostles

In Dec. of 2005 we had in BASIC a one page listing of the apostles and
highlights of them. This study will go over that and in more detail. It
will  also include tradition or history beyond the Bible. In this area beyond
Scripture we can not be sure of exactly what happened  to the apostles
like we can from the Word. I have used some internet resources and three
books to put this study together: “All the Apostles of the Bible” by Lockyer,
“Twelve Ordinary Men” by MacArthur, “The Search for the Twelve Apostles” by McBirnie.

The word ‘apostle’ is used of the twelve as well as of some others in
the New Testament. An apostle is one who is sent out. What a joy to see
ordinary men like these called by God to do His work, the most important task on
this earth. They would suffer as their Lord did. They would carry out that
‘greater work’ geographically going beyond where He walked. They are
examples for us of men who learned and then spoke the truth to any and
all without considering the consequences. For all but John it appears that
they died martyr deaths. The word ‘martyr’ means to witness and even in
their deaths they witnessed to us of the truth as Paul wrote, “But whatever
gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count
everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my
Lord…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies
ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in
Jesus.” Phil. 3:7-8, 13-14


Conclusion     Answers to the Exercize   1. This list on passages that portray the three persons together is not exhaustive: Mt. 28:19, II Cor. 13:14, Mt. 3:15-17, Gal. 4:4-6, Heb. 9:14, Acts 7:48-52, Is. 63:7-10, Rev. 1:4-5, Jn. 15:26, 16:13-15, 14:26, Eph. 4:4-7, I Pet. 1:2, Jude 20-21, Titus 3:4-6, II Thess. 2:13-14.    2. Resurrection appearances listed have only one Bible reference and yet some of them are recorded in more than one place.

  • Easter Morning – Mary Magdalene, Mk. 16:9 – the other Women, Mt. 28:9 – Peter, I Cor. 15:5
  • Easter Afternoon – the Two on the Way to Emmaus, Lk. 24:13-35
  • Easter Evening – the Ten in the Upper Room, Jn. 20:19-24
  • One Week Later – the Eleven in the Upper Room, Jn. 20:26-29
  • The Seven at the Sea of Galilee, Jn. 21:1-2,9-12
  • The 500, I Cor. 15:6
  • James the brother of John, I Cor. 15:7
  • At Mt. Galilee Giving the Great Commission, Mt. 28:16-20
  • At the Mt. of Olives in Ascension, Lk. 24:50-51

Conclusion There are always going to be heresies, false teachings that contradict the Word of God. So there need to be statements of belief that teach the truth and based upon these those who agree join together. While the three creeds are not Scripture, they are an accurate statement of what Scripture teaches and therefore can be used by us to state our faith. As we have seen, the creeds are drawn directly from the Word and are a true exposition of it. As Lutherans who must prove what we believe from the clear Scriptures, the creeds serve us well. It is a good practice to memorize and confess the Apostles and Nicene Creeds in our worship services. The Athanasian Creed can also be used in reading it at various times.   On the Creed next we will be reviewing some points with three articles by Pastor Mike Schierenbeck.

Church Year

Epiphany Season

January 6th is the 12th day of Christmas. It is on this day that we celebrate the coming of the Wise Men from the East to worship Jesus. On Christmas Day the shepherds worshiped Him, while days later the Wise Men came. We do not know how long after they came, but have traditionally set this date. The word ‘epiphany’ means manifestation. During this season we could have a series of sermons on how He manifested Himself, or of how He is  manifested as the Savior of all nations. The time of this season varies from year to year. It is between 4-9 weeks. This year there are four Sundays after Epiphany. The last Sunday in Epiphany is traditionally the Sunday on which we celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord. ·        1st Sunday – Jan. 7th – Ep.: Rom. 12:1-5, Gos.: Lk. 2:41-52 ·        2nd Sunday – Jan. 14th – Ep.: Rom. 12:6-16a, Gos.: Jn. 2:1-11 ·        3rd Sunday – Jan. 21st – Ep.: Rom. 12:16-21b, Gos.: Mt. 8:1-13 ·        Transfiguration – Jan. 28th – Ep.: 2 Pet. 1:16-21, Gos.: Mt. 17:1-9 Then there are three Sundays in preparation for Lent. Their Latin names basically refer to them being about 70, 60 and 50 days before Easter. ·        Septuagesima Sunday – Feb. 4th – Ep.: 1 Cor. 9:24-10:5, Gos.: Mt. 20:1-16 ·        Sexagesima Sunday – Feb. 11th – Ep.:  2 Cor. 11:19-12:9, Gos.: Lk. 8:4-15 ·        Quinquagesima Sunday – Feb. 18th – Ep.: 1 Cor. 13:1-13, Gos.: Lk. 18:31-43