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Lesson 10 - Matthias - Acts 1 15-26

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THE OFFICE

1.      Matthias AUTHORITY to become an apostle came from the Scriptures.

2.      Peter REMINDED the Jerusalem Church.

Acts 1:16  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spoke before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus

a.       He APPLIED the Scripture to the office vacated by Judas Iscariot.

Acts 1:20  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take

Psalm 69:25  Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.

Psalm 109:8  Let his days be few; and let another take his office.        

3.      These passages OPENED the door for someone to REPLACE Judas.

a.       Some may have OBJECTED to that action,

b.      NONE can find approval for their objection in the New Testament.

THE QUALIFICATIONS

1.      The ONE who replaced Judas Iscariot had to meet some STRICT requirements.

a.       Those requirements reflect the RESULT of prayer 

b.      Perhaps Christ had previously stressed them to His apostles.

2.      There were at least FIVE qualifications.

Acts 1:21  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,    

a.      The FIRST qualification

                                                              i.      Had to be in the church from the BEGINNING.

1.      That is the only way he could “have companied with us all the time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.”

2.      Peter, Andrew, James, and John were the very first ones in the Lord’s church (Matt. 4:18-22),

3.      Judas’ substitute had to be one who joined Christ SHORTLY thereafter.

4.      Otherwise, he could not meet the requirement of “all the time,” 

b.      The SECOND qualification

                                                              i.      Had to be in constant FELLOWSHIP with the Lord’s church.

1.      Being with them “all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us” required the man to be FAITHFUL during the public ministry of Christ.

a.       He could be NO quitter.

2.      He MUST be stable, dependable, and responsible.

3.      CONSTANT fellowship means he received ALL the teachings of Christ the other apostles received.

a.       He would need those teachings to CARRY out the duties of the apostleship

4.      A novice could NOT qualify for the position.

Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day· that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of the resurrection

c.       The THIRD qualification

                                                              i.      The baptism of John.

1.      The new apostle had to have THAT baptism.

2.      The baptism of John was both VALID and IMPORTANT.

3.      That baptism meant the new apostle had a PROFESSION of faith,

4.      John baptized only those who CONFESSED their sins 

Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.    

5.      That baptism meant the substitute for Judas had Heaven’s baptism 

 

Mark 11:27-33  And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.    

d.      The FOURTH qualification

                                                              i.      Had to do with the ascension of Christ.

1.      “Unto that same day that he was taken up from us

a.       Means the new apostle was with the church when Christ ASCENDED back to Heaven.

2.      Why THAT qualification so important?

a.       It placed the replacement of Judas with Christ in his post-resurrection ministry and with the CHURCH on the very DAY of THAT business meeting.

3.      To know Christ ascended to Heaven gave the SUBSTITUTE a RIGHT perspective of the PRIESTLY work of Christ 

Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

 

4.      To know Christ ascended to Heaven gave the SUBSTITUTE a RIGHT understanding of the SECOND COMING of Christ

John 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  

e.       The FIFTH qualification

                                                              i.      “To be a witness with us of his resurrection.”

1.      CANNOT imagine an apostle who did not believe in the RESURRECTION of Christ.

I Cor. 15:14  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain

2.      Even Thomas knew BETTER by then.

3.      The NEW apostle had to preach the LIVING Savior;

4.      The RESURRECTION of Christ became the very basis of the apostles’ message  

Acts 2:22-36 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by

wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. [33] Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. [34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, [35] Until I make thy foes thy footstool. [36] Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.    

5.      The new apostle certainly needed to preach the SAME message.

3.      Meeting all five qualifications would mean a man had a profession of faith, scriptural baptism, and scriptural church membership.

a.       Also, it meant he was faithful to Christ and sound in the faith.

THE NOMINATION

1.      Any man who could MEET those FIVE requirements was qualified to be an apostle.

 

2.      But what if MORE than one man should qualify?

a.       There was only ONE office to fill.

3.      There were actually TWO men who MET the requirements.

a.       Both became NOMINEES for the vacancy,

                                                              i.      NO restrictions were stipulated on the NUMBER of nominees.

b.      If fifteen men had qualified, each one WOULD have been a nominee.

c.       It is sad to think ONLY thirteen men,

                                                              i.      The ELEVEN apostles and the TWO nominees, could meet those requirements.

Acts 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias

4.      Joseph WAS the OTHER nominee

a.       He was known as a JUST man, denoted by his name “Justus.”

b.      He was capable of making SOUND decisions.

                                                              i.      He was NOT a com­promiser.

c.       He had a godly character.

d.      When he was NOT elected to the apostle’s office, the Bible says nothing of him throwing tantrums or other childish behavior.

                                                              i.      He ACCEPTED the selection of Matthias over him as the WILL of God.

THE SELECTION PROCESS

1.      The Jerusalem Church carried out the duty of NOMINATING those who QUALIFIED for the apostleship.

a.       Joseph and Matthias met all the requirements

2.      They have TWO nominees,

a.       They turned to God for HIS choice between the two.

Acts 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen

b.      PRAYER was the only wise way to make such a decision.

c.       They knew God had ALREADY chosen one of the candidates;

d.      They PRAYED and asked God to make HIS choice known.

e.       What a beautiful example of believers working in HARMONY with God.

Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles

.

f.       Some object to that election.

                                                           i.      They feel the use of lots was gambling.

                                                         ii.      However, that method decided solemn, doubtful questions in biblical times.

                                                       iii.      It was used to quell strife 

Proverbs 18:18 The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.

   

                                                       iv.      Joshua used it to divide the land of Palestine 

Joshua 18:10  And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.    

3.      The fact “he was numbered with the eleven apostles” means the Jerusalem Church considered Matthias to be God’s selection.

a.       The lot REVEALED God’s choice 

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.    

4.      No New Testament writer ever CHALLENGED that choice.

a.       No one in that day DOUBTED the apostleship of Matthias.

b.      Matthias BECAME one of the twelve apostles,

FINALLY - WHY A SUCCESSOR?

1.      What if NO one qualified to succeed Judas Iscariot?

a.       The work of Christ NEEDS many qualified workers who can step into a position.

                                                           i.      People move away.

                                                         ii.      Others just quit.

                                                       iii.      SADLY their number will grow,

1.      The Bible refers to “a falling away” 

2 Thes. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;     

2.      The matter of having QUALIFIED replacements is vital to churches of the living God.

a.       Perhaps an even sadder predicament is the fact some TODAY presume to be SUCCESSORS to the apostles.

b.      Paul WARNED the Corinthian Church about this.

2 Cor. 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ

CONCLUSION

 

1.  Thank you Lord for Matthias

a.  Thank you Lord for showing us the process

b.  May there ALWAYS be people found faithful

3.      The church of Ephesus had problems with this.

Rev. 2:2   I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

4.      If only two men could qualify at that business meeting, there could be no more later.

a.       Since Matthias was selected,  only one left who could qualify. 

b.      After he was gone, no one could qualify. 

5.      Consequently, apostolic succession is unscriptural 

a.       Anyone claiming today to be a valid apostle of Christ can be branded a liar.

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