“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
and apostle of Jesus Christ
An “apostle” was a special person in the foundation of Christianity. A person received the gift of apostleship directly from Christ (Romans 1:1). At His ascension, Christ appointed New Testament apostles (Ephesians 4:9-11). The apostles to Israel were different from the apostles to the church. There were some overlaps between the apostles of Israel and the church.
An apostle was also a personal eyewitness to the resurrection of Christ (Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8,9). God also endowed apostles with miraculous powers to demonstrate their authority for writing Scripture and founding the church (Acts 5:15; 16:16-18). These powers are no longer extant in the church today.
“Apostle” comes from two words: from and to send. An apostle was a sent one. The New Testament uses this word generally for all Christians as well. God sends believers out into the world as His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). As ambassadors, we represent Him to other people.
God calls every Christian to be an ambassador for Christ.
Every Christian is an epistle of Christ.
“Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3).
Being an epistle means people can read us. “I read you; you come through loud and clear. I get the message.” God’s design for our lives is that people read both what we are and what we say. Do you say something with your life? What kind of book are you? People may never read the gospel of John, but they will read you. They will read the epistle of Sue or the epistle of Sam.
Has God called you to serve in a full-time career? It is a great vocation, but there are significant obstacles in ministry. When we enter the ministry, that service may not end in “And they lived happily ever after.” The two greatest missionaries of the first century ended their careers in what man calls tragedy. These intrepid missionaries ended their ministries in jail and execution. Peter knew he would not die in bed (2 Peter 1:14). The Lord told him so. The call to ministry transcends the pleasant and the nice.