Sunday School 2024: Lesson Twenty – THE GIFT OF APOSTLESHIP


And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:28

An apostle is duly commissioned by the Lord Jesus Himself to go and break new grounds for Him with the Gospel. Aside the early apostles, God still calls people into this special office as He wills.


Mon. May27: Apostles That See Jesus Physically (Mk. 3:13-19)

Tue. May 28: Apostle Paul Sees Jesus (1 Cor. 15:8-11)

Wed. May29: Apostleship Of Judas Withdrawn (Acts 1: 15-20)

Thur. May30: Appointment Of The Replacement (Acts 1:21-26)

Fri. May31: Apostles: Fully Sent Gospel-Carriers (1 Cor. 1:1-6)

Sat. June 1: Are All Apostles (1 Cor. 12:29)


The gift of apostleship is one of the key gifts for the growth, expansion and administration of the Church.


TEXTUAL SOURCE: LUKE 6:12-16; ACTS 1:15-26; 8:14-25; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:28; 2 CORINTHIANS 12:11-12; GALATIANS 1:11-17; EPHESIANS 4:7-11; HEBREWS 3:1

Last week, we were richly blessed by the LORD as He took us through an understanding of the gift of prophecy. By now, we have a wealth of understanding on what the prophetic gift and ministry are all about, as against the errors being witnessed today.

This week is another special moment as we are on to another wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit—the gift of Apostleship. This gift is the supernatural ability to function as an apostle. Who is an apostle? An apostle (Grk. Apostolos) is a delegate, specifically an ambassador of the gospel. He is officially a commissioner of Christ. An apostle is he who is sent, a messenger, mostly with miraculous powers. In another sense, apostleship (Grk. apostolate) is to function as an apostle, i.e. someone sent by God. May the Holy Spirit increase our understanding of this spectacular gift, in Jesus’ name.




THE EARLY APOSTLES (Lk. 6:12-16; Acts 8:14-25; Eph. 4:7-11; Heb. 3:1)

And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself: and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.

Luke. 6: 13

A) Eph. 4:7-11: Spiritual gifts are released to each believer according to the measure of Christ’s gift; and one of such gifts to the Church is the grace of an apostle (1 Cor. 12:28).

B) v. 11: And He Himself gave some to be apostles… Apostle is one of the gifts given to the Church, starting with the apostles of Jesus Christ. (cf. Matt 10:2). A living and balanced Church must have this gift in operation (cf. Acts 2:42).

C) An apostle is a messenger and an ambassador of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 4:1-2), with the power of God and signs that follow, to herald the Gospel (Matt. Mk. 16:17, 18).

D) Heb. 3: 1: Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, because of the role He played in our salvation, as God’s messenger. He is the Trailblazer of our redemption and salvation. This shows that apostles are trailblazers in spreading the Gospel (cf. Rom. 15:20,21).

E) Lk. 6:12-16: His 12 disciples were designated Apostles, the early Apostles of the LORD who saw and related with Him, face to face (9:1-6; cf. 1 Jn. 1-4). All of them, except the greedy Judas, lived for the gospel and the majority died as martyrs.

F) Acts 8:14-25: An apostle is able to assume and exercise general leadership over a number of churches, with an extraordinary
authority in spiritual matters. However, this doesn’t make it superior to other gifts.

THE LATER APOSTLES (Acts 1:15-26; 1 Cor. 12:28; 2 Cor. 12:11-12; Gal. 1:11-17)

Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For l am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

1 Corinthians 15:8-9

A) Acts 1:15-26: Apostleship continues. It never stopped with the Early Apostles as some erroneously claim. We know very little about Matthias. Obviously, he was one of the 120 disciples who waited for the Holy Spirit to descend at Pentecost (vv. 4-8).

B) Some also claim that he might have witnessed Jesus’ ministry, probably one of the 72 that didn’t desert Jesus (Jn 6:60-70). In any case, he wasn’t part of the original 12. He only replaced Judas.

C) 1 Cor. 15:8-9: Eventually, God got hold of Saul (Paul), converted (Acts 9:1ff), called and commissioned him an apostle (Gal. 1:11-17); the least of the apostles (1 Cor. 15:9), yet he performed the signs of an apostle convincingly (2 Cor. 12:11-12) and was not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles, (chap. 11:5).

D) 9: 1: Paul had the 2 major qualifications for apostleship: saw the risen Christ (Acts 9:5,6), and was specially commissioned by Him for the work of the ministry (26:15-18; Rom. 1:1).

E) Gal. 1:19: Another apostle is James, the brother of Jesus who didn’t believe in Him during His earthly ministry (Jn. 7:5), but later became a pillar of the Church (Acts 15:13, 19; Gal. 2:9; cf. 1 Cor. 9:5; 15:7).

F) Other later apostles are Barnabas (Acts 4:36,37; 14:14), Silas (Silvanus) (Acts 15:22; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2:6,7), Andronicus and Junias
(Rom. 16:7). Epaphroditus (Php. 2:25) and Apollos (Acts 18:25,26; 1 Cor. 4:6,9-10) were messengers, if ‘Apostle’ is used in a general sense of a messenger.

G) The Church continues to enjoy this grace till today. CAC recognises the apostleship of Joseph Ayo Babalola, the first General Evangelist of the Church.


  1. God gave apostleship as one of the gifts to edify and equip the saints.
  2. Apostleship is a unique and extraordinary gift to herald the gospel of Jesus, with signs and wonders following.


  1. What is the role of an apostle in the Church of God?
  2. Differentiate the early apostles from the later ones. Can we still have apostles in the Church today?


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