Is Apostolic Succession Biblical?


Is Apostolic Succession Biblical? Is there nevertheless a line of apostles these days that go back to the extremely initially ones?


When Jesus pick out the 12 apostles or disciples, He commissioned them to take the gospel into all the planet, and they did, nonetheless, lots of think that there has been a succession of apostles down to our day, but let me show you from Scripture why that can not be correct. Soon after Judas hanged himself, the remaining 11 apostles believed they need to pick out an additional 1 to replace Judas, and they laid down the qualifications for an individual getting an apostle in Acts 1. This is the only location in Scripture exactly where we’re offered the qualifications for getting an apostle or becoming an apostle…the only location! In Acts 1:21, the Apostle Peter says that the subsequent apostle…the 1 to replace Judas, need to be “one of the males who have accompanied us in the course of all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out amongst us.” Clearly, this would rule out every person living these days mainly because none of us exactly where there in the course of Jesus’ earthly ministry, “during all the time the Lord Jesus went in and out amongst us.” No human these days could be certified to be 1 of the apostles mainly because they have been not with “the Lord Jesus” when He “went in and out among” the other apostles.

Paul the Apostle, by Rembrandt. c. 1657

Jesus’ Baptism

As Peter was speaking about replacing the apostle Judas with a new apostle, Peter says they need to have been with them from “beginning from the baptism of John till the day when he was taken up from us—one of these males need to turn out to be with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:22). Once again, no human can qualify to say that they have been with the original apostles “from the starting of the baptism of John,” which means, from the time Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. And no individual alive these days on earth was a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. The Bible under no circumstances mentions other successors or that there will be a line of succession of the apostles. The 1 verse some use as a proof text, which is taken out of context, is the verse exactly where Jesus tells Peter, “Upon this rock, I shall create My church” (Matt 16:18), but what was that rock? That rock was the statement Peter had just produced: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16). Incidentally, the word for Peter “petra” implies rock, but the rock Jesus refers to is a lot more like a boulder that He says He will create His church on. Jesus is not telling Peter that He will create His church upon Peter, and upon an apostolic succession of males. If that have been so, the church would be in difficulty. Peter’s dead. In addition to, Jesus is basically the Head of the Church, not Peter, not Paul, or the Pope. The church is the Physique of Christ, but the Head of the church is Jesus Christ Himself.

Apostolic Succession

Apostolic succession is the belief that all authority has been passed down from the initially apostles, who then passed on their apostolic authority to the subsequent successor. This succession has lasted more than two,000 years, and these days there are nevertheless apostolic successors about. These “successors” have higher authority than any individual else in the church, and so in this view, Peter was the initially Pope or initially of the apostolic successors of the church, but they also view the newest apostle, Matthias, as 1 that had been offered the apostolic succession, but wait! Matthias was not selected by Christ but by the apostles casting lots. Jesus had told the apostles to wait at Jerusalem till the Father endued them with energy (Luke 24:49), but they didn’t wait. As an alternative, they sought to replace the 12th apostle, Judas, but Jesus under no circumstances instructed them to do that, nor does Scripture indicate that is what they have been supposed to do. A lot of think that the Apostle Paul would be the “successor” to Judas as the 12th apostle, but the dilemma there is that the 12 apostles are to Judge the 12 tribes of Israel, and Paul was sent to the Gentiles. We may perhaps under no circumstances know regardless of whether Matthias was the successor that God preferred, but interestingly, right after Matthias is selected, you under no circumstances hear his name described once more, but the 1 who is believed to replace Judas, the Apostle Paul, is about all you hear about in the church. Even the other apostle’s commence to fade in the Book of Acts.

A New Foundation

These who seek to lay claims that they are an apostle of God refuse to see just who can be certified to be 1 (Acts 1), and it is generally a matter of pride to have titles. I usually go by Jack and not Pastor Jack or Pastor Wellman. The foot of the cross is level ground that all of us stand on, and no self-proclaimed apostle stands any greater or any decrease than the rest of us. The cross shows we’re all equal chance sinners. Jesus ordained the apostles to be create the foundation of the church, when He Himself is the Chief Cornerstone. That foundation was laid two,000 years ago, and a new foundation of apostles on a structure that is been constructed upon for two,000 years, would be an unstable creating. You do not place a new foundation on an old and current creating, and so you cannot say that God has ordained a new set of apostles for the church, or that there are successors of the original apostles that are nevertheless in existence these days. Recall, unless they lived in the initially century, it is not humanly probable for them to be certified to be an apostle.


I’m not confident why a lot more and a lot more individuals are making use of the title of “Apostle” or “Prophet” or “Prophetess” in their name. Perhaps it is mainly because they want to have glory for themselves, nonetheless, God will not share His glory with any individual else (Psalm 115:1 Isaiah 41:17-43, 42:eight). I do not actually like titles anyway, and apart from, “Pastor” is not a title but a lot more of an workplace that God locations males into. In truth, at initially, I resisted this get in touch with, pondering that I was not worthy and not certified to be a pastor, but possibly that is the point. God does not get in touch with the qualified…He only qualifies the named. I am thankful for that mainly because what I lack, God tends to make up for in His grace. Of myself, I could do practically nothing (John 15:five), but with Christ, I can do all points, but it is not me. It is Christ Who strengthens me (Phil four:13), so once more, we know who deserves all the glory (1 Cor four:7).

Right here is some associated reading for you: Why Did God Decide on Jerusalem to be the City of God?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Regular Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English typical version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Employed by permission. All rights reserved.

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