Apostolic: This simply means to relate to Jesus and the original Apostles and to imitate them as we read in the Book of Acts and New Testament Books of the Bible.
When I use the phrase “Apostolic” I’m not referring to a denomination. I’m talking about the reality of who and what we are as the corporate Body of Christ world-wide.
The Body of Christ, or Church, or Kingdom is apostolic. There is no such thing as a non-apostolic segment of the Body of Christ. We all are founded upon the Apostles’ doctrine.
Whether local churches know it or not, they are all apostolic if they’re abiding by the New Testament.
Acts 2:42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer.
What is the Apostles’ Teaching?
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The Apostles’ teachings were whatever Jesus taught them. In other words, the apostles’ doctrine is simply the doctrine or teachings of Jesus or the Gospel.
Apostolic Foundation: Paul talking to Gentile Believers.
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
We are devoted to the apostles’ doctrine or their teachings today. Why? Every letter of the New Testament was written by an Apostle.
Paul wrote 13 (maybe 14… Hebrews), Peter wrote 2, James wrote 1, John wrote 4 and Jude wrote 1. Timothy, Titus, and Philemon were written by Paul to his spiritual sons. He was training them to be pastors (Timothy a pastor/evangelist) and training Titus to be an apostle/pastor. He gave them job descriptions, qualifications, church conduct, church discipline, and made sure they taught the apostles’ doctrine (Jesus’ doctrines). Example: Titus Chapter 1, 2 Timothy 2:1-2.
[Note: The apostles were able to operate in all five offices (just as Jesus did), so they could establish congregations and train others.]
An example of Paul training Pastors is Acts 20:17-36.
The attributes of an Apostolic Church are:
People on the go
Pioneers who are blazing trails
An advancing people
A progressive group
Those who understand “Kingdom Protocols”. What it means to be a part of the Kingdom of God.
A group of people who go forth into communities to colonize those communities with God’ Government or Kingdom or Righteousness (His way of doing things).
To understand the apostolic, we first need to understand the office of the apostle.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
The word first comes from the Greek word proton which is where we get our word prototype from. First also means: basic, foundational, and primary.
We should be reminded that God didn’t give the plan and revelation of His Church to pastors. He gave it to apostles. The apostles are the foundation. The apostolic must become the primary anointing (office) in the church not the pastoral or evangelistic. The church should be first and foremost an apostolic church. This means a sending church made up of apostolic disciples of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are under the “apostles’ doctrine”, which is the sound doctrine of Jesus given to the apostles.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Ephesians 2:20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.
What an apostle does is set the tone for those who come after him. It’s a pioneering anointing (office). If the first one does it wrong all the rest are messed up. The foundation must be good.
The Great Commission is an apostolic commission, not an evangelistic one. Evangelism is one aspect of the apostolic sending anointing. In an apostolic church the leadership thinks like sent ones (Ambassadors). They understand the job is to multiply and spread abroad preaching the Gospel EVERYWHERE.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus said make disciples OF nations, not in nations. In other words, turn whole nations into disciples. Colonize nations with the teachings of Jesus (Righteousness). This is a pioneering, apostolic mission. Transform nations into Jesus nations!