Thursday in the First Week of Ordinary Time

Acts 1:12-26

Built on the Foundation of the Apostles

Now that the Lord was taken up to rule his Church from the right hand of power, his Church had to begin her work.  And we read that the first task of that work was loving fellowship and unity (one accord), prayer, and as is evident in Peter’s sermon, obedience to God’s will revealed in Scripture.  They devoted themselves to these things; they were not matters they attended to now and then, but the matters they attended to most of all.  Church programs will never be as effective as obedience to God’s will revealed in Scripture, fervent prayer, and loving fellowship.  These are essential.  And please note that the Church was composed of a mere 120 believers.  Regardless of size, few or many, those things mentioned here are the primary tasks of any local body which goes by the name, “church.”

The rest of the passage concerns filling the office vacated by Judas.  Peter and the rest of the Church understood that those men who were “numbered among us” and “allotted a share” in the ministry (i.e., the apostleship) were essential to the foundation of that Church.  The office had to be filled.  And please note the requirements: He had to have been among the other eleven with Jesus from the baptism of John to the resurrection, that is, from the beginning of our Lord’s ministry to the end.  And, most important, he had to be “a witness to the resurrection.”  They cast lots and Matthias was taken.

I realize that someone will object, “What about Paul?  Wasn’t he an apostle?  Did he ever accompany Jesus?  Was he at the tomb?”  No, but God can suspend His rules when He sees fit; we can’t.  But the apostles are now dead, and if anyone tells you that their “church” has apostles or that they are one, well, you know that they aren’t and their “church” hasn’t, which is a good way to nip some false teaching in the bud.  But the apostles were a necessary foundation for the Church (Ephesians 2:20) and apostleship is listed first among the offices of the Church (4:11).  Why?  Because unto them was revealed that doctrine that was transcribed in the pages of Scripture upon which the Church is built, Christ Jesus being the cornerstone.  (For examples of revelations these men received which were peculiar to them, see Acts 10:9ff or 2 Corinthians 12 or Galatians 1:12.)  They were also gifted in such a way to confirm the word they preached (Mark 16:20).  Of course they were sinners, but they were made holy men by God who used them for holy tasks in the foundation of His Church.  And yes, God still speaks, but through the Holy Spirit breathing through the Scriptures.  We need nothing more, only a deeper understanding of what is already revealed.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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