If we were to ask what this word means we wonder how would you define it? In the English dictionary Apostolic is defined as relating to the Apostles or relating to the Pope, especially when he is regarded as the successor to St. Peter. However, the word means to be sent. There are many places throughout the bible we can see this but I will focus on one and take us down a path of discussion to open our eyes a bit.
In John 9:7 "And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." This verse is a carry forward from the previous pot for consistency in understanding. What Christ did was send the blind man to the pool of Siloam.
What is Apostolic?
It started with Jesus (Hebrews 3:1). The first Apostle is Jesus, and of course, the Chief Shepherd is Jesus, the Great Evangelist is Jesus, the Prophet (priest & King) is Jesus, and the Rabbi, Teacher is Jesus. He commissioned Apostles out of His own authority as the first Apostle.
Its a mindset and behaviours which result from being under the influence of an Apostle. In John 17:18, Jesus says, “as the Father sent me, so I send you.” This phrase in the middle of what many call The Great High Priests Prayer, assigns to all who believe in Jesus that they are apostolic, for in the same prayer he declares that he didn’t pray just for these who are hearing but for everyone who believes on account of their words.
Every Kingdom minded believer is apostolic. The context of being sent, is following Jesus in terms of direction and purpose. He was sent from heaven to earth and so are we. Sent to expand the influence of King Jesus, therefore if we ‘think Kingdom’ then we are apostolic, not limiting our influence or focus to church but believing that as Habbakuk prophecies, the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God.
It means you are sent. As soon as the assignment and apostolic nature is accepted it results in believers knowing that wherever they work, whatever they do, and whatever their title they have been sent. Sent by Jesus to expand the influence of His Kingdom into every sphere of influence, geographical location and people group.
The Apostle’s job is to equip all the saints to be apostolic. Just as it is with the other 4 ‘office holders’ listed in Ephesians 4:11, the purpose is to equip the saints. It is not a title, or an office alone but an equipping mandate, accompanied by grace of Christ, to equip the whole body to do the works of Jesus and represent Him everywhere.
It’s cry is “On earth as it is in Heaven”. There is unlikely a better statement to sum up everything which is apostolic than the words of Jesus as he taught us to pray. Jesus has uniquely seen heaven before being coming to earth and we by faith pray for and pursue his passion.
It is fundamentally relational. The Apostle Paul teaches us in so many ways the relationship between us and Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, as well as demonstrating that in his relationships around him. Although he teaches structure he emphasises relationship not least in the phrase, ‘that you have many teachers but not many fathers’.
It carries and creates heavens culture. The word culture is not in the bible, but what it means most certainly is. Culture is the thoughts, beliefs, routines, traditions, and practices