Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Apostles and Prophets

The glorious company of the apostles praise Thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise Thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise Thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee.
te Deum

... built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, 
Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.  
Ephesians 2:20

Why are the apostles listed first?  In time, the prophets came first.  

Sometimes, facing problems allows for a sharpening of language.  Sometimes, dealing with controversy allows us to come to clearer understandings than we had before.  

Pastor pointed out recently that the apostles are listed before the prophets because they had been brought to clearer understandings.  The prophets were important; they taught the truth; they were God's messengers.  But the apostles were even greater. Because of the passage of time, they could see things the prophets hadn't.  They knew what the prophets had handed down, but then also knew more.  Ancientness is not necessarily the place where we find purest truth.   

Sometimes, we really do stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before.

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