Minimum Building Materials

The foundation of the Church, built with Jesus as its Cornerstone, includes prophets and apostles, as Paul described in Ephesians 2:18-22. There is debate whether the apostles and prophets he described there as part of the foundation are all deceased, but since there is no Scripture that declares that the time of needing apostles or prophets in the Church has come to an end, it is rational to presume that the time for their presence has not come to an end.

In contrast, to presume as some do, that the time for their presence has come to an end simply because I may not know someone with either one of those ministries, fits one of the definitive marks of a cult: basing core doctrine on extra-Biblical information or revelation. Someone said, “There are no apostles or prophets today.” Since there is no Scriptural statement declaring, “There are no apostles or prophets today,” only a cult would accept such a statement, basing it’s authority or truthfulness on something other than Scripture.

Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus (quoted above in verse 13) that Jesus gave apostles to the Church “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;”. Perhaps there was some period of time in the Church when that amazing condition was achieved, but I am not aware of it.

I am convinced, instead, that such a time has yet to appear, and that it is only going to become possible for it to appear when we not only allow, but approve and endorse and encourage, the Holy Spirit to give apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and teachers to the Church, so that all of the rest of the believers can be equipped for their ministries, empowered by the gifts the Holy Spirit wants to set each member in place with.

Based, then, on the fact that apostles and prophets are still required to be active in their ministries for the Church to function properly, and based on the fact that Paul took Barnabas and Silas with him as partners in Church planting, and that Paul called these two ministries part of the foundation on which the Church is built, I am deducing that a new congregation can be started with these two ministries as a minimum pair of foundational building blocks.

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