4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
What is an apostle? What is a prophet? An apostle, according to Webster’s is, “one sent on a mission: as a) one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ’s 12 original disciples and Paul or b) the first prominent Christian missionary to a region or group.” A prophet has been defined as, “ one who utters divinely inspired revelations or one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight.”
Let’s start off by talking about Paul. He is continuing his thought on being revealed the mystery of his purpose and part of his validation of it is the fact that those he speaks to and more specifically here, writes to, clearly understands what he is saying. His purpose is to make known the gospel in a way that nonbelievers understand. As a result, he facilitates making disciples of Christ because it is by God’s authority that he carries out his mission. Do we remember “The Great Commission”? Jesus’ directive was, “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Mathew 28:19-20)”
What does this mean? It means that Paul isn’t the only one here who has the gift or who was revealed the “mystery” of the Gospel. Rather, we ALL have it, those of us who believe. It all comes together: Christ, aka “The Word” as gifted us by the Holy Spirit within us to go forth and spread the gospel. I think too often we revere the apostles and disciples too much in the bible. I’m not saying they weren’t great people, but I think we look at them as people who we can never emulate, however we forget that the Spirit they had in them is the same as the Spirit that resides in us.
We look at verse 5 where he says His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit and think “that’s not me.” It IS us! We are today’s apostles. Christ was the example we are to follow on earth and the apostles we read about in the bible are the example of how to follow Christ. Similarly, today we are here to be examples of the exact same thing! Look at the second half of the definition of an apostle as well as the definition for a prophet. We often think of missionaries as one who moves to a foreign land in a third world country to preach the Gospel. However, we don’t recognize that we can also be a missionary to a group of guys at work who don’t even know who Jesus is! We can be “the first prominent Christian missionary to a region or group, gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight.”
We need to activate this power, this gift, this revelation God has given to us. He has gifted us with it not so we can sit at home laughing to ourselves that the world is going to end and we don’t care because we are going to heaven, rather He has gifted it to us so we can do something with it! Take Action! Be Bold! “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)”
What can you do today to activate the apostle in you? How can you be a missionary in your part of the world? If the apostles of the bible acted in a way that makes us revere them for how they follow Christ, then why aren’t we (who are gifted with the same Spirit) acting in a way that inspires others to follow Christ as well?
The Gospel spreads by action, not words.