Apostles are builders of the Church of Jesus Christ. There is no other ascension gift that can match their consuming passion for the advancement of the Church in the world. Apostles will challenge anything that hinders the Church’s progress. This ministry, planted within the local church, and ministering locally and trans-locally, puts a demand on every believer to understand the importance of the local church. The apostle will appear to be obsessed with the importance of the local church and the need to plant one in every viable location.
The English word “church” is the Greek word ekklesia meaning “a calling out”, “the assembly” and “the congregation”. The word ‘ekklesia ’ is used 115 times in the New Testament. Ninety-two times the Word specifically refers to a local congregation. The other times the word is used to describe the Church in general or the Church throughout the ages.
The word church (ekklesia) when used in scripture has three contextual meanings. Examples include:
1> The whole company of the redeemed of all ages – Matthew 16:18 and 18:17
2> The Church, which is Christ’s body – Ephesians 1:22; 3:10-21; 5:23-32
3> Local congregations of believers – 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; Acts 4:31; 8:1; 13:1; 20:28; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 3:5
Jesus Himself is the Head of the Church. Jesus gave five different ascension gifts with unique and various graces to thoroughly equip every believer for the work of the ministry. First in rank (proton) among the ascension gifts is the apostle, who deals with structure, design, foundations, strategy, and concepts. He has the ministry of an architect. He sees the church as a place of spiritual government.
To an apostle the church is a gathering of called-out ones, sent-out ones and a place of spiritual government. The apostolic grace is always focused on building a strong local churches and strong and mature disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word states:
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Apostles are the spiritual representatives and instruments of the ‘increase of the government of God’. Apostles present the local church (ekklesia) as a place of spiritual government. To govern (kybernan) means to…
- Exercise continuous authority
- Direct the making and administration of policy
- Control the speed of
- Direct or strongly influence the actions and conduct of
- Exert a determining or guiding influence
- Hold in check
- Uphold a standard
- Carry a decisive influence
- Exercise authority
Apostles teach believers their blood-bought right to exercise authority (Luke 9:1). To govern in the local church is an exercise in spiritual authority. Authority is the…
- Power or right to command
- Authorization to enforce obedience
- Divine right to take action
- Ability to make and execute final decisions
- Right to challenge anything that opposes the will of God
- Power to influence
The apostolic grace will teach the Body of Christ and the local church how to exercise the authority that Jesus gave His people (Mark 13:34).