Signs of A True Apostle
Signs of A True Apostle
As Paul closes his letter to the Corinthians, he writes: “since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you” (2 Corinthians 13:3). How would one ‘prove’ he is really an ‘apostle of Christ’, chosen and sent by Jesus? Paul laid his proof upon several things but notice his statement that “the signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles” (12:12).
Signs and Wonders – these were the confirmation of being ‘of God’ – confirming that the message being proclaimed was the Word of God.
So with Jesus:
· Acts 2:22-24 (attested by God); John 20:30-31 (so that you might believe).
The testimony / witness that Jesus was the Son of God was seen in His working of such miracles.
· John 5:36 (bear witness that the Father has sent me); John 10:25 (bear witness of me); John 10:37-38 (believe the works…)
People, upon seeing such works, DID believe in Jesus as the son of God:
· John 2:23 (many believed when they saw…); John 3:1-2 (unless God is with him).
This was the promise that Jesus gave unto the apostles in preparing them to take the Gospel into all the world:
· Mark 16:16-20 (confirmed the message by accompanying signs); Hebrews 2:3-4 (God bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles…); Acts 14:3 (bore witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done…)
This was seen in the early chapters of Acts as the Apostles began preaching the gospel:
· Acts 2:43 (signs were being done through the apostles); 4:33 (with great power the apostles were giving their testimony); Acts 5:12 (many signs and wonders were regularly done… by the apostles); Acts 6:8 (Stephen…was doing great wonders…); Acts 8:
Paul, on becoming the Lord’s apostle ‘unto the Gentiles’ was also validated by such working of God:
· 1Cor. 1:5-7 (testimony was confirmed…); 1Cor. 2:4-5 ( … in demonstration of the Spirit and power); Rom. 15:19 (by power of signs and wonders…); Acts 19:11-12 (extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul).
Hence Paul’s apostleship was confirmed by the Lord working through him. To accept him as an apostle is to recognize that the commands he gives are the commandments of the Lord (1 Cor. 14:37). To reject Paul is to reject the Lord who chose, sent, and confirmed him as an apostle.