THE MINISTRY OF THE APOSTLES

Acts 1:8)

1. The personal ministry of Jesus Christ was to
the Jews, and to the Jews only (Matt. 15:24; 23:37;
John 1:11). He kept the Jewish law perfectly,
and not “one jot or tittle” passed away until all
was fulfilled upon the cross (Matt. 5:17, 18; Col.
2:14).

2. Limitations of preaching previous to the resurrec-
tion of Christ. The twelve sent to “the lost sheep of
the house of Israel.” They were not even allowed to
preach to the Samaritans, a mixed race of Jews and
Gentiles (Matt. 10:5-7).

3. The attitude of Jesus towards the Gentiles.

a. His reluctance to heal the woman of Canaan
(Matt. 15:22-28).

6. The first intimation that the blessing of citizen-
ship in the kingdom of Christ is to be extended to Gen-
tiles as well as Jews. In this passage is also indicated
the final rejection of the Jews (Matt. 8: 6-12).

c. It was God’s plan that the gospel should first be
proclaimed to Jews, and not until after the resurrection
of our Lord was it to be proclaimed unto the whole
world in fact. Why? The entire scheme of redemption
depended upon His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12-19).

Not until after His resurrection could He claim “all
authority in heaven and upon earth ” (Matt. 28: 18).

4. The last commission (Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:
15, 16).

a. Given during the period of forty days between
the resurrection and ascension, which time was spent
teaching the apostles concerning the kingdom (Acts
1:3).

6. Universal in its scope— 6 into all the world.”

c. The task given to the apostles — “to preach the
gospel,” “to teach all nations” (that is, those who are
capable of being taught). To preach is to teach God’s
will towards man, and vice versa. Note that the apos-
tles were divinely commissioned to teach first, and then
baptize. To-day we oftentimes make the mistake of
baptizing before we teach. Hence so many people in
the churches of Christ who can give no reason for the
hope that lies within them. Note, also, that the Lord
promised to be with them unto the end of the world if
they were faithful to the commission.

d. The effect upon men. “He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; he that disbelieveth shall
be condemned.” It would have been superfluous for
Jesus to have said, “He that disbelieveth and is not
baptized shall be condemned,” because the disbeliever
is already condemned, as faith must always precede
baptism.

5. The ministry of the apostles. Delegated unto
them by the Lord (Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:17-20).

a. “In Jerusalem and Judea,” The gospel preached
to the Jews on the day of Pentecost. Three thousand
hear, believe, and are baptized (Acts 2). Peter and
John at the Beautiful Gate. The number of believers

increased to five thousand (Acts 3 and 4). The church
at Jerusalem.

b. “In Samaria. ?? Philip preaching and baptizing
in Samaria. The eunuch hears, believes, and is bap-
tized (Acts 8).

c. “Unto the uttermost part of the earth. ” The
missionary journeys of Paul. The church at Antioch.
The churches at Ephesus, Philippi, Thessalonica and
Corinth. Paul in Macedonia. The journey to Rome.
In the writing of the New Testament, under the inspi-
ration of the Spirit, the apostles have become witnesses
of Him throughout all nations (John 20:30, 31).

The apostles were faithful to the commission. It has
never been changed nor another given. We are work-
ing under the same commission to-day. The Jews re-
jected Him; as a result, they are scattered among all
nations of the globe. We, as Gentiles, should be ex-
ceedingly glad that we are living under the gospel, for
“he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,”
whether Gentile or Jew (Rom. 1: 16; Gal. 3: 27, 28).