The Authority of the Apostles

Text: Acts 2:41-47


I.         An argument that you frequently hear is “Jesus never said ____ was wrong.”

            A.        It doesn’t matter if the issue is thoroughly discussed in the New Testament, the focus is directed solely on whether Jesus directly made a statement on the subject.

            B.        The implication of the argument is that the teachings of the apostles do not hold weight unless there is record of Jesus discussing the subject.

                        1.         It is as if the apostles were only providing their commentary on Jesus’ teachings

                        2.         Some even go so far as to claim that the apostles teachings actually differed from Jesus’

II.        The source of teaching

            A.        Jesus’ teachings came from the Father

                        1.         God speaks through His Son - Hebrews 1:1-2

                        2.         Jesus spoke just as the Father wanted - John 12:49-50

                        3.         It did not belong to Jesus, but to the Father - John 7:16

            B.        The apostles would be guided by the Holy Spirit

                        1.         They would have an accurate remembrance of what Jesus taught - John 14:26

                        2.         The source of the Spirit’s teachings would be Jesus, just as Jesus’ source was the Father’s - John 16:13-15

                        3.         Thus Paul claimed to have been taught by Jesus - Galatians 1:11-12

                        4.         This is why the apostles claimed to know Christ’s mind - I Corinthians 2:16

            C.        It would not be their own words

                        1.         Words supplied by the Spirit - I Corinthians 2:7-13

                        2.         God breathed - II Timothy 3:16-17

                        3.         Not of private will - I Peter 1:19-21

            D.        What was passed on were God’s words

                        1.         Received the words of God - I Thessalonians 2:13-15

                        2.         Revealed by the spirit and passed on - Ephesians 3:3-5

            E.        If only Jesus’ words were binding, doesn’t that place those claiming it in a bind? After all, the reason we have Jesus’ words is because the apostles and prophets recorded them for us.

III.       The importance of obeying

            A.        The only way to God is through Jesus - John 14:6

            B.        If we love Jesus we will obey him - John 14:15

            C.        We will be judged by Jesus’ words - John 12:48

            D.        Listening to the apostles is the same as listening to Jesus - Luke 10:16

            E.        Imitate the apostles - I Corinthians 11:1

            F.        Be mindful of the commandments of the apostles - II Peter 3:1-2

            G.        Acknowledge that they are the commands of the Lord - I Corinthians 14:37

            H.        Must obey the words of the epistles - II Thessalonians 2:14

IV.      The significance of the apostles teachings

            A.        Peter calls Paul’s writings “scripture” - II Peter 3:15-16

            B.        Whether a person listens to the apostles, distinguishes them as followers of God or not - I John 4:6

            C.        They are ambassadors for Christ - II Corinthians 5:18-20

            D.        Able to save - I Corinthians 15:1-4

            E.        Judged by the apostles teachings - Romans 2:16

V.        Thus the importance of not altering the apostles teachings

            A.        Not even an angel can change it - Galatians 1:6-9

            B.        Withdraw from those who do not walk according to the teachings - II Thessalonians 3:6-7

            C.        There is no contrast between Jesus and the apostles’ teachings. They are a harmonious unit bringing to us the words of God

            D.        There is one faith - Ephesians 4:4-6