Beloved in Christ,
A long period of common liturgical time already started on June 16th. Green is the color for these days, between Trinity Sunday and Advent Sunday. See our divine worship theme and portions; it’s a time to learn variety of subjects in the light of the word of God. We remember many apostles also the significant of stewardship, theological education and ordained ministry, in this month.
The word “disciple” refers to a learner or follower. The word “apostle” means “one who is sent out.” While Jesus was on earth, His twelve followers were called disciples. The twelve disciples followed Jesus Christ, learned from Him, and were trained by Him. After His resurrection and ascension, Jesus sent the disciples out to be His witnesses. They were then referred to as the twelve apostles. An apostle (“one sent on a mission”) is one whom God has sent with a message. An apostle is accountable to his Sender and carries the authority of his Sender. There are two primary usages of the word apostle. The first is in specifically referring to the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The twelve apostles held a unique position. In referring to the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:14 states, “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
The second is in generically referring to other individuals who are sent out to be missionaries of Jesus Christ. From the definition of the word, the closest thing today to an apostle, in the general sense, is a missionary. A missionary is a follower of Christ who is sent out with the specific mission of proclaiming the gospel. A missionary is an ambassador of Christ to people who have not heard the good news.
The twelve disciples/apostles were ordinary men whom God used in an extraordinary manner. Among the twelve were fishermen, a tax collector, and a revolutionary. The Gospels record the constant failings, struggles, and doubts of these twelve men who followed Jesus Christ. After witnessing Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit transformed the disciples/apostles into powerful men of God who turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).
The church moves and led with 5 groups of people obviously calls five-fold ministry. The concept of the five-fold ministry comes from Ephesians 4:11, “It was he who gave some to be (1) apostles, some to be (2) prophets, some to be (3) evangelists, and some to be (4) pastors and (5) teachers.” Through the theological education then with the ordained ministry church continue its mission to transform the world.
We are called to be the ambassadors of Christ. Paul urges all Christians to consider themselves as ambassadors for Christ. As we go through this world, we represent another Kingdom (John 18:36), and it is our responsibility to reflect the “official position” of heaven. We are in this world, but not of it (John 17:16). God’s ambassadors are to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we must take the message of our King to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Yours in Christ,