Know Your Bible
You have heard it...BUT IS IT IN THE BIBLE?
There are a number of things taught in religion today which are not according to the Bible. People are going into eternity believing these things to be true. If you believe these statements, check to see if they are to be found in the Bible.
1. "One church is as good as another" they say. The Bible says: "There is one body" and "He is the head of the body, the church", Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:18.
2. "One can be saved outside the church" they say. The Bible says: "The Lord added to the church" and we are "all baptized into one body" and again, "the body is the church" and "He is the Savior of the body", Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18,24.
3. "Join the church of your choice" they say. The Bible says, "The Lord added to the church" and we are "all baptized into one body" and again, "the body is the church" and "there is one body", Acts 2:41,47; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4.
4. "We are saved by faith only" they say. The Bible says, we are justified, saved, "not by faith only", Jas. 2:24.
5. "You can't fall from grace" they say. The Bible says, "he that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" and it is possible to "fall away",1 Cor. 10:12; Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26f; Jas.5:19,20.
6. "Baptism is not essential to salvation" they say. The Bible says, "baptism doth also now save us" and it is "for the remission of sins" and it is to "wash away sins", 1 Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:38; 22:16. Baptism is commanded for us all. Mt. 28:19,20; Acts 10:48.
7. "Any mode of baptism is alright" they say. The Bible says, there is "one baptism" and "we are buried with Him by baptism" and "buried with Him in baptism", Eph. 4:5; Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12.
8. "There's nothing in a name" they say. The Bible says, "neither is there salvation in any other: for there is not other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" and "whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus", Acts 4:12; Col. 3:17.
If you cannot find these eight statements in the Bible (and you can't) why believe or teach them???? Let us be honest with God and ourselves. We are going to be judged by the Bible, Jno. 12:48. You have heard these things and you will continue to hear them, BUT THEY ARE NOT IN THE BIBLE AND THEREFORE DID NOT COME FROM GOD.
The Work Of The Church
God has given directions concerning man's work and worship. Men have no right to take it upon themselves to decide what will please God. God tells us that in His word.
As with other features, the work in which the church may engage with God's approval, is limited to that which is outlined in the pattern. Any other arrangement becomes a violation of the pattern, therefore, is displeasing to God.
THE WORK STATED
In Ephesians 4:12, the mission of the church is briefly stated: "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Thus, those things for which the church is responsible are: evangelism, or preaching the gospel; benevolence, or ministration to the needy; edification, or building up the church. Outside of these, the church has no authority to operate. Even within them there are restrictions.
The church of the Lord has resting upon it the PRIME obligation to preach the gospel. Since there is no arrangement for a worldwide or universal organization authorized by the Scriptures, this work necessarily falls to the local church. (This does not mean that the individual Christian is not obligated to preach the gospel. But, as this article deals primarily with the church, individual duty is not here considered.)
The local church has the obligation to see that the gospel is preached, to the limit of its ability. This responsibility should not only be felt in the immediate environs of the local meeting house, but in areas far and wide - according to the ability of the local church. No one organization has a greater obligation to preach than has any other - each church is obligated to the extent of its ability. Paul spoke of the church as "holding forth the word of life" (Philippians 2:16). The church is represented as the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:14,15). The church is the support of the truth in that through the church the gospel is propagated.
New Testament churches cooperated in their support of gospel preachers. These were, at times, far removed from the supporting churches. The pattern from God demands that such support be sent directly to the man being supported. Such scriptural authorization can be found in 1 Thessalonians 1:3-8; Philippians 1:3-5; 2:25-30; 4:14-20 and 2 Corinthians 11:8,9. Nothing in the New Testament authorizes the supporting church or churches to channel the funds through some central organization or some "sponsoring church". The missionary society, or any arrangement parallel with it, such as the sponsoring church, establishes an agency unknown to the New Testament pattern, and is consequently a violation of God's will.
While it is perfectly clear that the sponsoring church and the missionary society are not identical - they are parallel in a number of points. One point they share in common is the lack of scriptural authority. That should be enough to satisfy the minds of God-fearing people.
The church also has the responsibility to render material assistance to certain ones, under certain circumstances. But, the New Testament church never used a "bread line" technique, however, to entice men to give attendance to the gospel. The church's primary obligation is to preach the gospel, and its resources should not be prostituted and misdirected into some activity not authorized by the scriptures. The New Testament shows that the church engaged in the work of benevolence, but this work was always directed toward needy saints. Note the incidence of the word "saint" or its equivalent in the following passages: Acts 2; 4; 6; 11:27-30; Romans 15:25, 26; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:1,12,13. In other words, the New Testament pattern limits the church in regard to the objects of its benevolence activity. The local church is obligated to needy Christians, and them alone. This, however, does not apply to the area of individual activity. There is no such restriction place upon the individual in regard to whom he may help. As a matter of fact, he is obligated to aid those who are not necessarily saints (Galatians 6:10; James 1:27). A sharp line of distinction is drawn between the individual and the church, so let no one seek to saddle the church with work which the New Testament does not authorize.
Whatever works of benevolence the local church is to perform, it can perform without ever making a contribution to a human institution. There is not any authority in God's word for the church to make any contribution to any human institution, however worthy its aims.
The local church must engage in the business of building up those who are members of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12,16; Colossians 2:18,19; Hebrews 10:25). This work, too, can and must be performed with the addition of some human institution. While schools and colleges have a legitimate and useful place, the church cannot contribute to these organizations. They are not necessary to the existence of the church, nor to the spread of truth. The church is not in any way obligated to them, nor any work peculiar to them.
The church must, to fulfill its duty, perform the works outlined in the pattern given from God. It cannot contribute to human institutions of any sort, and still act according to the pattern.
The church has no obligations to fulfill in the field of social activities, recreational activities, and a host of other things men are prone to "dump" on it.
As in all things - let us walk by God's rule and not overstep the doctrine of Christ (2 John. 9,10).
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