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The Apostles’ Doctrine!

By Sam Shinde, Chiplun

In Acts 2:42, we notice that the first century disciples practiced four activities on a regular basis, and it’s mentioned about them that they continued in those ‘steadfastly’, meaning resolutely or in an unwavering manner. In layman’s terms, they followed these practices without fail. And they set an example for next generation believers to build the local assemblies on these four pillars, viz. apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer.

The ‘apostles’ doctrine’ is mentioned as the first activity, which indicates that it holds priority over the other three. Not that the other activities are less important in comparison, but, ‘apostles’ doctrine’ is essential to be at the first place so that we can follow the other activities in an appropriate way. Doctrinal errors could create problems in following the other activities the way they should be followed.

Talking about the ‘apostles’ doctrine’, it was not anything new that the apostles came up with, which is to say, that the apostles were not the source of the doctrine, rather they just taught us what they received from God. In 1Corinthians 15:3, Paul states that he delivered (to others) whatever he received, and in one of the earlier chapters of the same epistle, i.e., chapter 11 and verse 23, he clearly states that whatever he received from the Lord he delivered to others, which later came to us in the form of The Scriptures. The Lord Himself confirms about such revelation in Matthew 16:17, “… for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” So, we can safely conclude that the apostles’ doctrine is evidently ‘God’s word’.

In Luke 10:42, we read how the Lord appreciates Martha’s sister, stating, “… Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Here the good part that the Lord is talking is about sitting at the Lord’s feet and listening to His word, i.e., studying God’s word. Also, we notice here that this isn’t just restricted to brothers, but the Lord encourages sisters as well to study, for His glory.

Learning God’s word is never in vain, and God can use sisters for His glory too! We know that Priscilla equally contributed along with Aquila in explaining to Apollos the way of God, more accurately (Acts 18:26). We also have examples of Lois and Eunice through whom the faith trickled down to Timothy (2 Tim. 1:5).

The Lord has made the apostles’ doctrine available for us; however, are we interested in studying God’s word? The sad part of believers’ lives in many assemblies today is that the believers are so dependent on other Bible teachers for learning that they have given up on learning on their own.

While it’s true that only some are mentioned to have been given to be pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:11), all are called to study His word and learn. It is okay to listen to others’ messages or to read articles or books written by some good authors, however, the Lord expects us to be like the believers at Berea, who received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things (whatever Paul taught) were so (Acts 17:11). And in the same verse we read that they were mentioned to be fair-minded, compared to others.

 Thus, studying God’s word will also help us to discern the spirits as instructed in 1 John 4:1.  We can access the apostles’ doctrine through His Word, and God encourages us to learn, as in the case of Mary in Luke chapter 10. He also promised to give wisdom to all liberally and without reproach (James 1:5). Also, in 1 John 2:27, we read that the Holy Spirit is the best teacher and that we do not need anyone else over Him. So let’s not shrug off our responsibility of personally studying the Word, rather let’s give up depending on others to learn from the Word. Readily receive the word from others, yet search the Scriptures for yourself.


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Prepared by Bro. Sam Shinde as part of his teaching ministry. You can reproduce this article in any medium, provided it is unedited, and retain the original author / copyright information and reference to this website. Please feel free to write for details.     gracepeaceu AT gmail.com

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