The Apostolic Mission of the Church

By Joe Boot / October 14, 2012

Series The Church and Our Calling

Context Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic The Church

Scripture Acts 20:17-38

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Scripture: Acts 20:17-38; Ephesians 4:7-16

Sermon Notes:

  1. The purpose of pastoral and apostolic gifts in the church is that God’s people grow up into maturity of the full stature of Christ.
  2. The apostles were those who saw the resurrected Lord, worked miracles, wrote scripture, and founded the early church conveying the Word of Christ to the church.
  3. Miracles affirmed the authority of God’s messengers. We should expect that God will still work through prayer today.
  4. The apostolic calling for the church today is that we are being sent by God into the world to accomplish His purposes.
  5. God has privileged His people to do His work.
  6. The church is the mother of the godly. Families, nations, kings, etc. nurtured by God’s Word taught by the church.
  7. If we live in faith, we share the apostolic succession in a general sense; and yet new leaders in the church must be recognized by the existing church elders following apostolic example.
  8. The authority of the church is to be respected, and yet there is an important sense in which we are all Christ’s ministers; ministry is not restricted to within the walls of the church.
  9. The church is to equip the people of God to get into God’s Word and to serve the purposes of God wherever He has placed you.
  10. In Calvin’s Geneva deacons provided for all the social needs. Scotland became a missionary-sending nation.
  11. Paul warns the church to beware of false teachers, threats, struggles, and division.
  12. The gospel of the grace of God was Paul’s priority, and he was guilt-free because he had faithfully proclaimed the full message.
  13. Jesus Himself had to resist the Devil as one sent by God, relying on Scripture (Matthew 4, cf. Deuteronomy 6:16).
  14. By working hard we must help the weak. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
  15. As Paul departed for the last time they wept, showing the proper bond of love within the church. Christians are not stoics. We experience the reality of the affection of the family of God.
  16. Prayer is indispensable in the gospel mission; and at the same time we are to be an active, ministering church.
  17. If we are an apostolic church, we’re to have the face of an angel, ministering and serving one another.
  18. William Carey preached and lived the kingdom of God in India.
  19. The gospel brings the light of forgiveness of sins, and it also changes hearts and so it changes social orders.
  20. The gospel has made conquest of individuals and nations; it has given life to dead churches; it has revolutionized continents. It liberates captives.
  21. Militant Christianity is to spread the gospel as our supreme possession. It will replace both tyrants and spiritual darkness.
  22. Gentle messages that lull us to sleep lead to decay in the church. We’re sent in terms of the purposes of God as King.
  23. The faithful church is a foe of wrong, a friend of righteousness, and it brings light and life wherever it goes.
  24. If God be your partner, make your plans large. – D.L. Moody

Application Questions:

  1. What is God’s purpose in giving pastoral and apostolic gifts?
  2. How were the apostles unique? In what sense does the apostolic mission apply to us individually?
  3. In what way has God established succession in the leadership of the church?
  4. What is the apostolic calling of the church? In what ways is God calling us individually to serve?
  5. What is our priority? Are we willing to face trials, conflict, and prison in our calling in God’s mission?
  6. What are the marching orders Paul gives to the leaders in the Ephesian church?
  7. How might Paul’s warnings to the Ephesian church apply to us?
  8. Are we making everything we do absolutely God-centered?
  9. What are the implications of the gospel mission for the world?

Sermon Notes