The Apostles, the Foundation of the Church
Ephesians 2:19-22 affirms, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
In the last edition of the Midweek eBulletin, we discussed the imagery of Christ as the Chief Cornerstone of this “spiritual temple” or “household of God.” Today we turn our attention to the foundation. The foundation in a building is set according to the cornerstone. It is measured, set against, and finds its course in relation to the cornerstone. Moreover, the entire structure must rest upon the foundation. In these ways, the foundation must be carefully laid, robust, and unrepeatable.
The New Testament affirms that the apostles are the foundation of the church (also see 1 Cor 3:10). The apostles are, specifically, those original men (minus Judas, plus Matthias, plus Paul) chosen and commissioned by the Lord Jesus Himself to be His authoritative representatives. The preaching of the apostles hurled the Gospel into the world and established the church of the living God. The uniquely inspired writing of the apostles and their close associates has given us the scriptural doctrines which have instructed the church for centuries and will until Christ returns.
Thus, we must look to the apostles for all matters of faith and practice. We tap into their authoritative ministries by engaging the Holy Scriptures. However, many ministries today have attempted to shift congregations off of their original foundation (Christ and His apostles) and onto a new foundation. This does not work but only leads to disaster. If one shifts the congregation’s foundation, or builds a new one, then that crowd has become just that, a crowd, and not the people of God, redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. There is only one, true foundation. So then, we must be a people of the Book. We must be a people standing to learn, believe, teach, and defend the Bible as the Word of God, delivered through His apostles, and serving as the unrepeatable foundation of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.