X04.20..........Ten Thousand Teachers---Zero Apostles!!

 

7 ¶ For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
14 ¶ I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. (1Corinthians 3: 7-16)

Look carefully at this area of scripture (we suggest you read the first 3 chapters of 1corinthians--better yet--the whole book!) and notice certain points which are made.
This is speaking to certain problems the Corinthian church is having. They are dividing themselves up--they are following specific teachers of the word and saying that that person is the leader--the authority...

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 ¶ Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (Corinthians 2: 3-6)

This church has become rich. It has become wealthy in the world and bankrupt to the Gospel. this church is following teachers strongly--teachers who only teach other Christians--and are not reaching out to the world with the Gospel--as apostles do.

Pauls' message is plain--it is not the teacher that is important--it is God. The church should not enmesh itself in teaching--which only benefits itself. This is laying another foundation--it is not following the "fatherhood" of apostleship.

Giving to ourselves--giving that only benefits those who are already saved. operating in a way where certain people have power over others--so much so that we identify ourselves with that person.."I go to pastor so-and-so's church"--"I'm a (catholic--baptist--pentecostal--evangelical)"
The display of power we see in the church today is exactly the thing that
is holding the sheep down. They have accepted a covering; and operate under that fear; and not the reality that Jesus has for them; that we are all ministers of the gospel.

 

Did you know that dividing up christianity into parts is not supposed to be? There is not supposed to be a "correct"--"official" brand of Christianity?

49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us. (Luke 9: 49-50)

Jesus forbade sects within the church--simple as that.

The church is supposed to operate. Apostles are the way that Jesus operated--and so did the church in the Bible (and when a church didn't operate in apostleship--it was corrected--case in point). Apostles are simply groups of believers which carry the Gospel out to the world. You don't need a building to operate as apostles--you need to want to see people saved--healed--delivered--fed and set free.

Clearly the wrong direction for the church to follow--is to set up a strong teacher, spend most of our time listening to the teacher--so much so that we call ourselves followers of the teacher--instead of followers of Christ.

Jesus said "be ye not called teachers". Does this mean we should not have any teaching within the church?--Well, another place in the Bible scolds believers and says "by this time you all ought to be teachers" . Which is right?--What is the right Biblcal balance? We must read the bible in context and let IT be right--and not our pre-ordained ideas (which just might come from tradition!). Notice that Jesus says not to be "called" teachers. In context, he is referrring to the way the Pharisees and priests of that day operated. They believed that their minsitry gave them authority over other people. they beleived that "teacher" was a title of rulership over others--a title which gave authority over others. Do you believe that idea in your church? Maybe your ideas need a Bible makeover! "Teacher" is NOT supposed to be a title of authority or rule within the church---this is what Jesus is saying. When the Bible is speaking to the whole church, and saying that they all ought to be teachers by this time, it is saying that the people in the church are being lazy with regard to ministry. Biblicaly, "teacher" is the least of the ministry gifts. The church in Hebrews is being admonsihed for not advancing toward the higher calling and function in the Lord. The biblical order of ministry gifts are "first aposltes--second prophets--third teachers" (1Corinthians 12).

Apostles are supposed to be the first consideration of the church, in fact Paul reminds this to the church at Corinth later in this epistle...

 

 

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1corinthians 12: 28)

"First"--primarily--of first importance. that is what apostles are supposed to be within the church. There are many excuses for not operating apostolic ministry-----"it doesn't exist any more"----"it is presumptuous to think we could do what the apostles did". the problem with these excuses is that if we are not following the apostolic command of the new covenant--what are we following in our church operation? Best guess of the leadership? Who made the format we follow after? When was it developed? Study history--you'll find out--ask questions in your church--you'll be surprised. the format for church operation is so well accepted and burned into our tradition that no one really studies it-0-no one really knows where it came from. Study the history of your church--ask questions--the format for operation was probably "carved into stone" a few hundred years ago--look back a little further--and you will see that those folks back then didn't want to make waves--and they probably thought that everyone in the country was already a Christian--they were simply changing some small doctrines in he church--so they formed your denomination. As for the way things work, they stuck with the already existing tradition. Trace the tradition all the way back to Rome, and the emperors who established the way the church works....whic was very much the idea of following a strong teacher---and not believing that anyone could duplicate what the "saints"--the apostles did. those folks back then had already come up with the idea of worshiping the saints--especially he Biblical saints. They already had built cathedrals to them and loads of statues to pray to. Now, you don't do those things in your church--right--but you still follow the rules made up by people who believed there was no need of apostles--and no one could do that any way.

Well what is an apostles? Well remember what Paul said---?

10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

The apostles were not glamorous, wealthy, famous, leaders. They were hard working believers who did everything they could to get people saved. They went out to those in need--as Jesus had done. they went out and fought the battles in the streets, to get the Gospel out. The Gospel was there first consideration. Pulling people out of Hell was there mission. Just like Jesus had done.

15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

Paul beseeches the church--to "follow"--(Greek; mimeo---to imitate) his example. Imitate the apostles.

1Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Again, Paul tells the church later to imitate him--in the same way the he imitates Christ.

In what way?

Apostleship.