Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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THE TEACHING OF THE APOSTLES
...built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
John’s whole purpose in writing his first epistle was to say to the early Christians, “Hold on to what I and the other apostles have told you.” You remember how he began. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1-2). He is referring to the apostles, and he says that he writes these things so that these Christians “may have fellowship with us” (1 John 1:3). Who are they? They are still the apostles.
Now this is something that is absolutely primary and fundamental. The claim of the New Testament is that it alone is authoritative in these matters. It teaches us that the apostles and prophets were the people to whom God, through the Holy Spirit, had revealed spiritual truth, and He meant them to teach it and to write it. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:20 that the Christian church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.” All teaching must derive from them, and so you have this extraordinary claim in the New Testament. These men claimed a unique authority.
Listen to the apostle Paul putting it again in writing to the Galatians; he uses strong language like this: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (1:8). “What egotism!” says someone. No, it is not egotism; it is the claim of a man who has been commissioned by God. God has set him apart; God has given him the revelation. And he goes on to argue in so many of his letters that what he preached was also the message that was preached by the other apostles. This apostle and all the apostles did not hesitate to say that they exhorted these people to test every teaching by their teaching. And you and I are still committed to the same position.
A Thought to Ponder
The apostles and prophets were the people to whom God revealed spiritual truth.
From The Love of God, pp. 30-31.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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