You are here:Home-Resources-Counsel of Chalcedon Magazine-1998 Issue 2-The Authoritative Foundation of the New Testament Canon Part 2

The Authoritative Foundation of the New Testament Canon Part 2

The fundamental fact about the apostolate is that the apostles were specifically called by Christ to be his authoritative representatives. At every stage of their ministry, Christ "stands behind the testimony of the apostles." The apostle was "directly commissioned by the risen Lord to be His special messenger and personal representative." He who receives the apostle, receives Christ himself (Matt. 10:40; John 13:20; Gal. 4:4). The apostles thus stand in Christ's place to the church. They carry his authority, and ground their authority over the churches in Christ's calling of them to that office (Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1). They exist by virtue of the commandment, appointment, and will of God (1 Tim. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:1, 11). They have received their ministry directly from the risen Christ (Acts 20:24; Rom. 1:5; 1 Cor. 11:23; Gal. 1:12). The one who rejects the word of an apostle will endure greater judgment than will Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 10:14, 15). Moule went so far as to say that "the Twelve evidently constitutes the earliest Christian 'canon' or measuring rod - the standard by which the authenticity of the Church's message was to be guarded, for the duration of their lifetime."