All AUTHORITY is in Christ

The

MANIFOLD wisdom of God pt 2

All AUTHORITY is in Christ, and His commands are written in the New Testament.

[Mat 28:18; Luke 6:46; 1Cor 14:37].

This single subject is actually the KEY subject on how to answer every question, objection and error you will face. A firm understanding of how to determine Scriptural Authority will arm you against all the fiery darts of the devil. [Eph 6:10-17]

There are two fundamental differences that separate truth from error.

ERROR: “We are at liberty to do anything not specifically forbidden.” This is the approach liberals and modernists use towards the Bible that leads to death.

TRUTH: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” [Deut 4:2; 12:32; Jos 1:7; Pr 30:6; Ec 12:13; Re 22:18-19]

As you can see, God limits our actions to what is contained in the scriptures. We cannot go beyond the word of the Lord. This is easily understood in our everyday communication. The easiest example is seen when one places an ORDER for a pizza.

We communicate our wishes when we place an ORDER, by Telling, Showing or Implying. If you can communicate your wishes without Telling, Showing or Implying, please explain it to me without Telling, Showing or Implying. [Luke 6:46; Col 3:17]

It is understood by our specific request that no REPLACEMENTS or alterations are allowed. If one orders a pizza, chicken wings would not be acceptable. If you wanted wings you would have Ordered them. [1Sam 15:22-23; Acts 15]

The person receiving our order understands they may only DELIVER what is Specifically requested, Shown or Implied. To add or remove any item is to go beyond the permission (authority) given. To say, “you didn’t say I couldn’t add black olives;” would be unacceptable to any logical thinking person. [2Sam 7:7; Heb 7:11-17]

It matters not what the server ENJOYS, likes, or otherwise wants. It’s not about them, it’s about the one placing the Order. They may say “But I really ENJOY black olives on my pizza,” or, “The majority of people ENJOY smoked oysters and pineapple.” None of these are legitimate reasons to alter the order. They are limited to the specific request.

The following words from Jesus should make it plain.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:21-23]

Any alteration to the given command under specific authority is to be REJECTED regardless of how good it may feel, what good we think it may do, or how popular it may be.

[Matt 7:13-14; Luke 13:24; Acts 26:9]

How do we use this? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” [Col 3:16; Eph 5:19] Instrumental music is an addition because it is not commanded nor is it necessary to complete the command. Song books (or other scriptural source material) are accepted under GENERIC AUTHORITY because we need something from which we could all sing. Generic authority is the liberty given to us to choose the means by which we complete a specific command. ie. Noah was commanded to build an ark, under generic authority he had liberty to choose the necessary tools. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” [1Cor 14:40]

To say that instrumental music makes things better, or more enjoyable is irrelevant. It’s not in the command. To say David used instruments is also irrelevant because he lived under the Law of Moses (more about that in Lesson 6). David also used incense and sacrificed bulls; would you suggest we do those too? [Gal 5:1-4]

Understanding what God Wants

Scriptural Authority in Acts.

One of the biggest questions of life is, What Does God Want? Along those lines comes the question, how do we find out?

Acts fifteen contains an event that will show us how God communicates, whereby we can know today what it is that God wants.

As we begin this study, we must recognize a few facts.

  • The New Testament was not yet written.
  • Miraculous gifts were to confirm what God wants. Heb 2:4; cf. Deut 18:21-22; 13:1-5.
  • Once the Written Word was completed, the signs and miracles were no longer needed. John 20:30-31; 1Cor 13:10; Eph 3:3-4; 2Tim 3:15-17.

These facts being established, we can learn how to determine what God wants by examining this passage.

God communicates in the same manner as we do with one another. We communicate our desires by TELLING, SHOWING, & IMPLYING. We also trust that our SILENCE on a matter is prohibitive. We can easily see these four concepts being utilized in Acts fifteen. The question the disciples wanted answered was, Are Gentiles candidates for the Gospel of Christ?

And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” [Acts 15:1]

Some claim that this was a council to vote on the question. This is wrong. The Apostles already knew the answer, as will be shown by their looking at God’s method of communication (Telling, Showing, Implying & Silence).

FIRST, Peter rose up and reminded them about the first Gentile converts (Acts 10 & 11). How the Holy Spirit fell upon them as He had them “at the beginning.” [Acts 11:15]. Peter Necessarily Infers (inescapably concluded) that God had implied, both through a vision and the falling of the Holy Spirit upon them, that God is accepting Gentiles. He closes by saying, “Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples…” [Acts 15:10] “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” [15:11]

NEXT, Paul and Barnabas “declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.” [15:12] This is God communicating through SHOWING. Another way this is stated is Approved Apostolic Example. This testimony agrees with Peter, and with what was said about miracles. (see opening statements). “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” [Heb 2:4]

THEN, James answered. His appeal is to the revealed written word from God. He quotes from Amos nine, verses eleven and twelve. His appeal is to the DIRECT STATEMENTS of God. From this command of God, he concludes that God had already planned and authorized for Gentiles to be included in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

James connects the testimony of Peter with these verses in Amos. Who are we to fight against God? He begins by saying, “as it is written.” [15:15] We know from both Old and New Testaments not to go beyond that which is written. [1Cor 4:6; Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18; Prov 30:6]

LASTLY, a letter is written and from it we find this statement about the prohibitive nature of SILENCE. “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:” [Acts 15:24. emph mine seb]

From this we learn that if there is no command, there is no permission. It is to speak presumptuously, something God has already condemned. [De 18:22; 13:2; 18:20; Jer 28:9] Silence is prohibitive is logically understood and demonstrated in at least two other places. Read & Study 2Samuel 7:1-7; Hebrews 7]

In conclusion, we see that the Apostles already knew what the Lord had commanded. They were guided into all truth [John 14:17,26; 15:26; 16:13]. They then declared to those in error the truth of the matter by appealing to God’s Direct Statements, Approved Examples, Inescapable conclusions along with the prohibitive nature of Silence.

We can do the same today utilizing “the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2Tim 3:15-17]

Here are some questions to ask ourselves and of any who still believe that miracles are happening, revelation is still being received.

  • We know that Gentiles that obey the Gospel are accepted by God. What further evidence beyond the scriptures do we need to prove this?
  • We know that Baptism is commanded by God, what further miracle do we need to show this?
  • We know what moral behaviors are accepted and which behaviors God abhors, what further miracle do we need to show this?
  • We know that there will be a judgment day, what additional miracle do we need to show this?
  • We know that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God and that we are to do whatever He commands [Luke 6:46], what additional miracle do we need to show this?

THEY’RE WATCHING YOU

Have you ever caught yourself doing or saying things your parents said when you were a kid? If I ever fail to notice, my wife is helpful to remind me by saying, “you sound like your dad” or “you’re stubborn like your mom.” We all do it, as much as we hate to admit it. We all pick up some of the mannerisms of the folks with whom we spend the most time, our parents, close friends, etc. Many of us can even mimic our close relatives, (and because we’re related, we look like them too) as we often do when we remember those who’ve left this world. This is why we need to heed the admonition of Paul…

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. [Galatians 5:9]

This verse is spoken as a negative warning, but picking up habits can also be positive, as Paul also wrote…

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. [Philippians 3:17]

The reality of life is this, we’re all watching people, not for any malice or to pass judgement, it’s just a fact of human nature.

However, have you considered what people are noticing about you?

Just as we pick up little mannerisms and phrases from others without thinking about it, others are doing the same thing with us. Have you stopped to consider what those little mannerisms or phrases are? We can all stand to take time to examine ourselves to see how well we conform to the image of Christ.

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: [Colossians 3:10]

Most folks aren’t really watching us to pick up good or bad habits, it just happens. Unfortunately, there are some watching us so they can see us fall. When David sinned, after listing all the horrible things David had done, Nathan said, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of Jehovah to blaspheme” [2Samuel 12:14]. There are some folks who just want to see us fall. All the more reason to take a look at our lives and work harder at transforming ourselves.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. [Romans 12:2]

IF JESUS CAME TO YOUR HOUSE

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two –

If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you’d do.

Oh, I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored Guest,

And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best,

And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have him there –

That serving Him in your own home is joy beyond compare.

 

But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door

With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly Visitor?

Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?

Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?

Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard?

And wish you hadn’t uttered that last, loud, hasty word?

 

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?

Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?

And I wonder – if the Savior spent a day or two with you,

Would you go right on doing the things you always do?

Would you go right on saying the things you always say?

Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

 

Would your family conversation keep up it’s usual pace?

And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?

Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read,

And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?

Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go?

Or would you, maybe, change your plans for just a day or so?

 

Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends?

Or would you hope they’d stay away until His visit ends?

Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?

Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?

It might be interesting to know the things that you would do

If Jesus Christ in person came to spend some time with you.

Lois Blanchard Eades

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. [Revelation 3:20]

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and shall come and serve them. [Luke 12:37]

I’m unworthy to serve

What do you do, as a Christian, when your life is a shambles?

We attempt to disappear, becoming invisible. By becoming less involved.
We feel we’re unqualified to serve, assist, give aid because we have been such a failure.
We feel we’re unqualified to evangelize. Why would anyone believe us since we’ve failed in so many ways?
The worst is we feel so dejected, thinking our lives should be better now that we’re saved. We begin to think and act as if saying, “What’s the point?”

Is that you? Don’t be shy, because many times it’s me also!

So what is a Christian to do when it seems that nothing is working?
  • We can look at Moses….
    • losing the ability to enter the Promised land, pleading to go in. De 1:37; 3:23-29;
    • yet at the transfiguration of Jesus, Mt 17:3-4
  • We can look at Joshua….
    • He and Caleb had to endure 40 years of wandering also, Nu 32:13,
    • yet entering the promised land to lead the people of Israel to serve God. Nu 27:18-23
  • We can look at David….
    • Committed adultery with Bathsheba, lied, caused another to get drunk, conspired to murder; 2Sam 11
    • yet still called, “..a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” Ac 13:22
  • We can look at Elijah….
    • requested that he might die; and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life;” 1Ki 19:4
    • yet continuing on passing his mantle to Elisha 2Ki 2:1
  • We can look at Paul….
    • made havoc of the church, Acts 8, persecuting, death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. Ac 22:4
    • yet becoming a great evangelist and Apostle, writing 13 books of our New Testament.
  • We can look at Peter….
    • Denier of Christ, cursing & swearing, Mark 14:70,71
    • yet a preacher of the gospel, preaching in spite of imprisonment, Acts 2 & 4

How sad it is that we fail to serve fully because we feel so unworthy, being so imperfect in our lives. I’ve got news for you, we are all unworthy! (Lu 17:10 We are unprofitable servants)

The reality is this, we are BETTER servants because of our failures. We are able to identify, have compassion and empathize with one another. As humans together, we can sympathize with one another, facing the same trials as everyone else.

Paul himself had a major “thorn in the flesh” that he pleaded with the Lord three times to have removed. Look at what the Lord said to him……

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2Co 12:9

Paul’s response gives us even further encouragement…..

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2Co 12:10

Let us serve in spite of our troubles. Through Christ, our weakness gives us strength. So let me give you a little PEP talk……(inspired from a talk given by Scott Futrell)

  1. Pray – ask God for strength, boldness, help. In 1Co 10:13, it says; There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
  2. Engage – get involved, become a servant of God despite your sorrows and your pains. An incredible thing will happen, you will get strength. From God, from other members, and you just may be able to help someone else. Mt 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
  3. Persevere – stick with it. Remain faithful, for a reward awaits you at the end of this life when the Lord comes to receive His own. Re 2:10 …be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

One more thing, we have a sympathetic Savior…..

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:15, 16

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10