Paul’s Apostolic Authority Over the Church
Bible Text: I Corinthians 4:18:21 | Speaker: Pastor James Zaebst | I Corinthians 4:18-21: Some of the Corinthians thought that Paul would not come to personally correct their behavior. They were bragging that he would not come. Paul says if the Lord is willing, I will be there soon. When I get there, I will see if you are as powerful as you think you are. God’s Kingdom is not just a bunch of words. God’s kingdom is power. When I do come, I can be gentle and kind; or I can be hard, if I have to be. The choice is yours, and you will determine just how I act by your actions. If you are bad, then I will have to be bad.
Paul had absolute apostolic authority over the Church, the Body of Christ.
The Twelve had apostolic authority too (Matthew 10:1-6).
They had authority to define sin (Matthew 16:15-19).
The authority of the Twelve was over Israel (Matthew 19:27 and 28).
They exercised their authority (Acts 1:15-26, 5:1-11, 6:1-7, and Acts 15:1-20).
The Twelve will exercise their apostolic authority in the future as well (Revelation 20:4).
But it is Paul alone who has complete apostolic authority over the Church, the Body of Christ (Romans 11:13 and I Timothy 2:7). Paul’s apostolic authority was validated by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:8 and II Corinthians 12:12), and attested to by Christ (Acts 9:10-15). Peter also validated Paul’s authority and position (Galatians 2:7-9). Paul did not lord his authority over the Church, the Body of Christ, but he certainly had it (I Corinthians 10:8).