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To become like Peter, James, Paul, and John and the rest of the early apostles, we must do what they did. Christ left us with not only Himself as our example, but also His disciples. To become like them, we must learn of their actions leading up to and after their receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
We find out their actions in the book of the Acts of the Apostles in our Bibles. We find that Christ “through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen” (Acts 1: 2). Christ appeared unto them for forty days after His resurrection, teaching them about the kingdom of God (v. 3). He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem “for the promise of the Father.” And that promise was that the Holy Spirit would come upon them and that they would receive power to be His witnesses, preaching “repentance and remission of sins” to all nations (Acts 1: 4-8; Luke 24: 44-49).
The thing to take away from the above is that Christ kept on teaching them His teachings. He kept on teaching them His doctrines–even after the resurrection, for forty days. These teachings were and are His doctrines. No idle words were coming out of Christ’s mouth. He was freshly out of the grave, back from the dark and dank tomb. He was not light hearted. He was teaching them the information that they needed to carry on His work in the earth. And His work is ruling His kingdom, and He is sharing the rulership with us!
In fact, for 1260 days, 3 ½ years, Christ taught His disciples about His kingdom. The word “kingdom” is found in the four gospels 120 times and 30 times in the apostles’ letters to the churches. Moreover, the good news is the kingdom of God coming to this earth.
This was heavy stuff that He shared with His apostles concerning His kingdom. He was going into exile, and they needed His teachings in order to carry on His true ministry. Brethren, Christ and His apostles have left us these very same teachings that He shared with His apostles! We have those doctrines. They are called the “first principles of the oracles of God” (Heb. 5: 12-13). They are also called the “principles of the doctrine of Christ,” and they are listed for us (6: 1-2).
They are called one more thing, and this is the key to understanding how the early apostles grew into God’s power houses. Christ shared with them His teachings, His doctrine. These teachings became their doctrine. Christ’s doctrine became the early apostles’ doctrine.
One Verse Contains the Key
Here’s the key: What did the early apostles do to gain godlike miracle working power? “They continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” (Acts 2: 42). They continued in the teachings that Christ had taught them. For the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” that the apostles walked in. For the “doctrine of Christ” is the early apostles’ doctrine! If we go “all in” on these teachings, then the same wonderful things will happen through us. If we believe the same things with the same understanding as the early apostles, then the fruit will be the same. Isn’t that what we want? Is that not the law of harvest? Christ—the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Teaching these doctrines that Christ first taught His disciples is what this book is about. The Apostles’ Doctrine is huge. It is what we need to clarify God’s purpose, which is the Multiplying of Himself. Let that person who can receive it, receive it and remain steadfast.
So they continued in Christ’s teachings. Christ’s doctrines show us the thoughts of His mind. We are to have the mind of Christ. This is the way to get there. We must learn what these teachings are and what they mean. And they are lined out in Hebrews and elucidated in all the books: “repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgement, and perfection”/maturity (6: 1-2).
Learning the apostles’ doctrine is the only way to have the mind of Christ. It is the only way to have the “one Spirit” and “one body” of Christ. It is only when we put importance on the things our King cherishes that we will walk in the light of His smile.
And there is a reason that I am stressing the importance of all this. After almost thirty years of teaching high school and college, I know when I am losing my audience. In this case, all I have to do to is mention the word “doctrine.” It is as if it emits an ether-like sleeping potion, that when poured into the ear, the hearer falls into a deep slumber. But His teachings are what the sons and daughters of God need to be like Him.
Christ’s doctrine is there for us. The sections of this book address each one of His doctrines. Just enough understanding of each doctrine will be taught so that you can parlay the information into a deeper walk in His Spirit.
Just remember this. These teachings are Christ’s doctrines and were given to His apostles. Now they are ours to the glory of God.