In 2 Corinthians 10:8, Paul was referring to the authority that pertained to his calling, that of an apostle. Notice he says the Lord gave apostles authority for building YOU [the church] up.
He mentions his authority again in chapter 13 also, verses 7-10,
7 Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we should appear unapproved.
8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.
9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.
10 For this reason I am writing these things while absent, in order that when present I may not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me, for building up and not for tearing down.
In verses 5, and 6 in chapter 10 Paul describes the ministry of an apostle.
2 Corinthians 10:5, 6,
5 We [apostles] are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we [apostles] are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
6 and we [apostles] are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your [the church’s] obedience is complete.
The ministry and life of an apostle are completely different from all Christians, for death works in apostles, but life in the church; and because of the authority given to the apostles they receive by giving.
2 Corinthians 4:5-12,
5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12 So death works in us, but life in you.
1 Corinthians 4:9, 10,
9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant
P.S. For those who believe apostles no longer exist, please read Ephesians 4:11-13. There you can see that all five ministries were given to the church UNTIL we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
So as long as there are prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, there will also be apostles. There are of course very few, as are ambassadors for countries when compared to the citizens of each country.
Prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers speak of Christ; apostles speak for Christ. Apostles of Christ are ambassadors for Christ chosen explicitly by Him and taught exclusively by Him. They are a different breed than all other ministries. They are most assuredly the last of all.
Please see Strong’s Concordance G2099 and G652.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org
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