Matthias

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Acts 1:15-26 records the selection of Matthias as the replacement for Judas Iscariot's apostleship.

    I've read articles that state that this was a completely valid action and that Matthias was therefore the legitimate successor to the Apostle Judas Iscariot.

    I've also read articles that state that this was a presumptuous action and that Matthias was not the legitimate successor to the Apostle Judas Iscariot--most of which would contend that the Apostle Paul was the truly legitimate successor.

    What is your opinion on this matter?
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    I do not see how a person could say this was an illegitimate selection ... so I do not see how Paul could logically be the legitimate successor of Judas Iscariot.

    Drawing straws seems a strange way to make the selection, but that is another topic.
     
  3. Ron Wood

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    It is an example of what happens when man doesn't wait on the Lord and votes, within the church, to decide His will. Every example of men consulting with other men in the Scriptures ends up being a disaster. Moses listened to men and gave up part of his authority to other men and by it lost a great measure of the Spirit. Things were never the same for him after that. David listened to men and tried to bring up the Ark on a new cart and Uzza died because of it. Matthias was put in the place of Judas by men not by God. So we never hear of him again in the Scriptures.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    I'm not sure that we can say with certainty that the disciples drew straws to determine the successor to Judas. Giving forth lots does suggest an element of chance, though, whatever the method.

    But here's the key verse in Acts 1. V. 24 "And they prayed and said, Thou, Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which of these two men THOU HAST CHOSEN."

    Whatever the specific method was of giving forth lots, it is clear that the people in that upper room fully relied on God to guide that choice. They were also convinced that whomever the lot fell upon, it was God's choice, not theirs.

    The fact that we never hear of Matthias again means little to me. There were others of the apostles who also went off the radar.
     
  5. Ron Wood

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    Notice in verse 23 that they appointed 2 men on whom to cast the lots. They took it upon themselves to fill the position rather than to wait on God. And their prayer was that God show which of the 2 men that they had chosen was chosen by Him. They didn't pray that God show them which man He had chosen but which of the 2 men they had chosen. The fact that the lot fell on Mathias was not a stamp of approval from God of Mathias. Also notice that they did this before the day of Pentacost when they were filled with the Spirit. One more thing, and I don't usually argue from silence but in this case I think it is valid, we find nowhere that they were instructed to fill the position.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    Ron, You make some pretty good arguments, but I'm still not convinced.

    For one thing you are making some assumptions that are not at all clear to me. You suggest that they did not wait on God. You're reading something into the narrative that's not there. Not only that, they had been there for quite some time. I could argue just as much that they had been, in fact, waiting on God.

    Then, you suggest that the selection of the two men was not of God. Another assumption not warranted by the narrative, in my view.

    You do acknowledge that you are making an argument from silence. That in itself weakens your case.
     
  7. Ron Wood

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    That's fine. It certainly isn't an issue to fall out over. The only reason I even bother with it is how it realtes to congregational rule in churches.
     
  8. InTheLight

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    How do you envision God selecting a replacement apostle without action from the other 11?
     
  9. Ron Wood

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    Exactly the way He did when He made Paul an Apostle.
     
  10. Jerome

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    John Calvin has some choice words for those who would deny that God worked through the saints here:

     
  11. Scarlett O.

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    I really don't see anything wrong with what they did. I've heard both sides of the issue all of my adult life. This event of the choosing Matthias isn't something that should divide Christians, and I am only posting here to present one side and not to argue it.

    I'll just tell you why I believe what I believe.

    For me, David Guzik summarizes the major points very well. I have cited them below and his commentary in it's entire can be found here.

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/comm...horID=2&contentID=7954&commInfo=31&topic=Acts


    • "Peter’s words show a wisdom we did not often see in him before; he begins by noting that Judas didn’t spoil God’s plan, he fulfilled it (this Scripture had to be fulfilled). This is something that only the wise and mature can see when evil happens."
    • "For it is written: Peter, quoting from two separate Psalms, shows why God would have them choose another disciple to “officially” replace Judas."
    • Their reliance on God’s Word is notable; this wasn’t the wisdom of man at work, but a principle revealed in Scripture. Also, this is the first time in the New Testament we read that Peter quoted Scripture!
    • "Let another take his office: When David was betrayed, he desired that the betrayer would be desolate and that another fill the betrayer’s office. It wasn’t hard to understand that the Son of David - Jesus, whom David often pictured - would desire the same thing.
    • "Their desire for God’s will is notable; because of the principle of the quoted Scripture, they will replace Judas because they believe it is what Jesus wants, not because it is what they want."
    • "One of these must become a witness with us: The disciples were bold enough to make a decision because they knew from God’s Word that this is what He wanted. The apostles did not sense an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them; that was yet to come. But God did not leave them without guidance. They knew what to do from the Word. Even when we don’t “feel” the Holy Spirit, we still have God’s voice permanently established in His Word."
    • "Who have accompanied us all the time: Whoever replaces Judas must be one who had been with them since they were baptized by John, stayed with them during the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and they must have seen the resurrected Jesus. Their sanctified common sense was notable; it didn’t answer everything, but it did narrow it down to two men."
    • "And they prayed: They prayed first, and it was easy to pray because they had already been praying (Acts 1:14)Their doing what Jesus would do was notable. How did Jesus choose the disciples? He prayed (Luke 6:12-13), even as these disciples did, to see who the Lord would add to their number."
    • "Some insist that Matthias was the wrong choice and the use of lots was not right. The idea is that God would have chosen Paul if the office had been left vacant. But we must respect the testimony of the Scriptures; God did not want to leave the office vacant. If He did, it might be seen as a victory for Satan - Jesus picked 12, but one came up short and defeated Jesus’ desire to have 12 apostles."
    • "Even though we read nothing more of Matthias, we should not assume he was a “dud” as an apostle; except for Peter and John, none of the original twelve are mentioned again after Acts 1. Matthias was no more of a “dud” than Matthew or Andrew or Thomas or any of the others."
    • "No one can fault all the things they did before they cast lots. We must believe that all these things put them into the place where God would truly guide their decision. If we would put ourselves into the same place, we wouldn’t make many wrong decisions. How many wrong decisions would we make if we did all of these things before the decision? The disciples were in obedience, they were in fellowship, they were in prayer, they were in the Word, they wanted to do God’s will, they used sanctified common sense, they did what Jesus would do, and they did what they could do to rely on God.
     
  12. J.D.

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    Paul often speaks of his own apostolic office as supplemental rather than complimentary (After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 1 Cor 15:7,8).

    But if we count that there are 13 Apostles, which I believe is the case, then we have some reconciling to do with some other scriptures which seem to indicate that the Office of Apostle is limited to 12 and only 12. (references to "the twelve"; twelve foundations/apostles in Rev 21).
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Actually, there are many more than just 13 apostles. And I have no idea what scriptures you mean that indicate there were only 12.

    Note:
    1. Barnabas and Paul were both called apostles (Acts 14:14).
    2. Andronicus and Junia were said to be apostles (Rom. 16:7).
    3. James the Lord's brother (not of the 12) was one (Gal. 1:19).
    4. "Messengers" in 2 Cor. 8:23 is the Greek apostoloi, the plural of "apostle."
    5. Christ Himself is an Apostle (Heb. 3:1).

    There are others in the NT, but this is just a quick survey. Note also that the early church did not even limit the term apostle to those mentioned in the NT. A document called the Didache ("teaching") probably from around 100 AD mentions itinerant apostles.
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Thank you. This was a good summary. As for Matthias, according to an excellent and scholarly book called The Search for the Twelve Apostles, by William Steuart McBirnie (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1973, p. 243--still in print and available on Amazon.com), Matthias is one of the five apostles credited by the Armenian Christians for evangelizing them in the 1st century.

    Some early church fathers directly recognize Matthias as an apostle. Irenaeus said that he was "ordained" in place of Judas (McBirnie, p. 244).
     
  15. John of Japan

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    My view is that the selection of Matthias was right. Here they were right after the Ascension of Christ and right before Pentecost. Surely if the 11 were out of God's will at this extremely important point in church history, the Bible would have said so! But it simply says that he was numbered with the 12. If the Bible says Matthias was numbered with the 12, who are we to say he shouldn't be!

    Now, if you are a dispensationalist, there is a further consideration. At the time of Matthias being chosen most dispensationalists would say that the church age had not yet begun. So there was nothing strange in the apostles using an OT method of seeking God's will which had been blessed and even commanded by God in previous dispensations (Lev. 16:8, apparently in the case of Achan in Joshua 7, the story of Jonah, etc.).
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Maybe they were not specifically instructed to fill this position, but: Christ promised that 12 apostles would rule over Israel, there were 12 apostles names in the foundation of the New Jerusalem, etc. So 12 was still the right number after Judas, however you fill that number.
     
  17. TCassidy

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    Less time on the Baptist Board and more time reading the bible might help your understanding.

    It matters not what any man thinks, but it does matter what the Holy Spirit says, and He says that after the death of Judas the twelve were called "the eleven" in Matthew 28:16, Mark 16:14, Luke 24:9, Luke 24:33, and Acts 1:26. Then in Acts 6:2, after the selection of Matthias we read "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, . . . " That number could not have included Paul as he did not get saved until Acts chapter 9.

    The Holy Spirit considered Matthias to be successor to Judas, and it will be the name of Matthias which will be found on the foundations stones of the heavenly city.

    And there are 17 people in the New Testament called "apostles." But only 12 are "The Apostles." "Apostolos" is simply the Greek word for "messenger."

    Come on people, this is 4th grade sunday school stuff!
     
  18. sag38

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    One poster has suggested that this was all done according to man's plan. I very much disagree with him but he has a right to his opinion. He also stated that Moses was wrong in listening to his father in law and delegating some of his overwhelming responsibilities. I've never considered that to be wrong until J.Veron McGee suggested otherwise. Our poster here also suggested that Moses was wrong. However, no where do I see where it is stated or implied that Moses made a bad decision in listening to Jethro. Personally, I think it saved Moses a lot of gray hairs but I could be wrong. Dr. McGee and the poster here seems to be speculating more than stating Biblical fact. Am I wrong?
     
  19. Amy.G

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    Acts 1:21-23 Therefore of these men who have accompanied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 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 his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.


    Paul was not one of the disciples who was with Jesus from the beginning and did not witness His resurrection. So according to these verses Paul did not qualify as one of "the" twelve.
     
  20. Jerome

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    The poster's speculations stem from his aversion to biblical congregationalism:

     

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