Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
Thesis: Central to the capacity to "believe" is the question of trustworthiness.
Introduction: In our last study, we considered the reason for Paul's abandonment of his life-long identity as "Saul". We saw that Paul considered "Saul" to be both a name and an expression of a systemic problem that can warp everything that arises out of it. This is made even more potent when we realize that Jesus taught that if a person is a "Saul", he/she cannot be trusted (John 7:18). Thus, he wanted nothing to do with such an identity.
Additionally, we saw that the book of Galatians is, at root, a letter about the sharp distinction between the "methodologies" of Life of "Sauls" and "Pauls".
This evening we are going to pursue Paul's "self-identity" as it relates to his readers. He calls himself "an apostle ... through Jesus Christ and God the Father". What is the significance of this?
July 11, 2010
- I. Such Significance Begins With the Meaning of "Apostle".
- A. The word was originally coined to refer to a "substitute" for another.
- 1. This "substitution" was a way for a person to accomplish some action without being present to instigate the action personally.
- 2. This "substitution" was, fundamentally, concerned with getting something done.
- 3. At root, an apostle was someone commissioned to accomplish a task for, and in the place of, another.
- B. The word is given its biblical content by Luke's records (Luke and Acts).
- 1. In Luke 6:13 Jesus chose The Twelve and the text says He named them "apostles".
- 2. Then, in Luke 9 the "problems" of apostolic function were highlighted.
- a. The task was clearly identified in 9:1-5.
- 1) This task was to do what Jesus had been doing in places where Jesus was not physically present.
- 2) This task was to establish Jesus' identity by indirect declaration and demonstration.
- a) This was the heart of the "Herod" paragraph.
- b) This was the heart of the "whom say ... that I am?" paragraph.
- c) This was the heart of the "tell no man" restraint laid upon them by Jesus in both 9:21 and 9:36 (this "identity" has to be a personally perceived conclusion drawn by the one arriving at it in order for either Love or Faith to function).
- b. The overt requirements of the task were also clearly identified in 9:1.
- c. There are, however, some elements of the task that are only "suggested".
- 1) The major element should go without saying: an "apostle" must be in harmony with the one he represents at the "Love" level (identifying the objective).
- 2) A secondary element is given extensive treatment by Luke.
- a) In 9:3-5 there is an introduction to the question of "faith".
- b) In 9:37-42 there is an extended illustration of this factor.
- 3. Thus, we conclude that the biblical content for the concept of "apostle" is "legitimate representation" that begins at the internal levels of Love and Faith and extends outwardly to the declaration and demonstration of the claim that Jesus of Nazareth is God's Christ so that He is established as such beyond dispute.
- II. Such Significance Develops With the Direct Implications of Apostleship For the Objects of the Surrogate Activities.
- A. Luke 9:5 makes no sense whatever without the reality of people's response being in the equation.
- B. The most direct implication of apostleship is that those who are exposed to the activities of the surrogate are actually exposed to the Originator.
- 1. The connection is very tight.
- 2. The consequences are as solid as the Sender.