That phrase stands out to me as I evangelize to a world that knows what isn’t so. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and KNOWEST NOT that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev 3:17; emph mine seb).
While reading Ezekiel recently I was struck by the frequency of another phrase. “Then SHALL THEY KNOW that I am the LORD their God” (emph seb). Seventy-Six times throughout Ezekiel, God makes this statement at the heals of impending judgment, restoration, or prophetic statements about Christ. It’s spoken to people who have rejected, ignored, or otherwise “DO NOT KNOW,” but ought to have known, God.
The problem remains today. Many do not know, but think they know. What they know aint so. That’s why we preach. Here are just a few things we should KNOW.
We need to Know that Christ is KING and is reigning now. “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1Tim 6:15; cf Acts 2:34-36).
We need to Know NOT to love the world. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God” (Jas 4:4)?
We need to Know to OBEY His commandments. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say” (Luke 6:46-49)? “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Thess 1:8).
We need to Know how to WALK as Jesus WALKED. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1John 2:6).
Knowledge is power, but the right knowledge is the Power of God. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16).
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Every chapter of 1Peter has a reference to the suffering of Christ. By looking at these we can see the POWER of His suffering as we face similar difficulties in the Christian’s life.
P-PRECIOUS. 1:19 Precious Blood Shed.
Type Passover Ex 12:5; Joh 1:29,36; 1Co 5:7;
Purchased with Acts 20:28;
forgiveness, redemption Eph 1:7;
His own blood Heb 9:12,14;
O-OBSERVE (follow) His Example. 2:21 Example to follow.
deny self, take up cross Mt 16:24;
leaving an example Joh 13:15;
this mind Php 2:5;
living godly in Christ 2Ti 3:12;
walk as He walked. 1Jo 2:6
W-WATER. 3:18-22 Through Christ’s DBR, through Water.
DEATH. Ro 5:6 in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
BURIAL. 1Co 15:4 And that he was buried,
ROSE AGAIN, 1Cor 15:4; Ac 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
ANTITYPE. Noah’s Ark. saved by water.
E-EXCEEDING JOY. 4:12-16 Exceeding Joy when Glory revealed after suffering.
Ac 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
2Tim 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
The term ‘church’ (ekklesia) literally means, ‘the called out.’ It is a derivative of the word ‘kaleo’ which means a ‘calling out.’
I bring this to you attention because this is the word Peter uses in his 1st letter to us, the church.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath CALLED YOU OUT of darkness into his marvellous light” (1Peter 2:9; emph mine seb).
Peter’s inspired letter says much about being separate, set apart, and different from the rest of the world. The comparison in this verse is light vs darkness.
This calling is to be heeded, but how? To understand what Christian must do to stay out of the darkness and be in the light can be seen in a study of chapter two.
Before we begin, it’s important to remember that the calling by God occurs through the word preached. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Thess 2:14). We become Christians by obeying the Gospel. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4; 2Thess 2:8-9; 1Cor 15:1-4). After responding to this call, we can then continue to answer the call to walk in the light as He is in the light (cf. 1John 1:7).
With this background, we can now proceed to answer how to answer the call to come out of darkness.
Beginning at verse one of chapter two we read, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings…” From this we see that we are to CAST OFF worldly behaviors. The Christian that is walking in the light has nothing to do with worldliness and sin. Paul wrote, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph 5:3). Paul also described the putting off as a putting to death these worldly attributes.
APPETITE for the word
Continuing on, Peter gives the source of knowing what is to be cast off and what our attitude should be toward it. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2). The revealed word of God is the source book of information to teach us the difference between light and darkness, and that we need to develop an APPETITE for it as much as a newborn baby cries out for milk when it’s hungry. What a vivid description for us to see how vital the bread of life is to our growth.
From here, Peter describes who the called are. “To whom coming, as unto a LIVING STONE, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as LIVELY STONES, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1Pet 2:4-5, emph mine seb). This is important to understand for the Christian. Especially as we face persecution for being Christians. Peter will point this out in the remainder of this letter. We are the LIVING STONES of the Spiritual Temple of God.
Another thing to notice for those that walk in the light. We are to be LIGHT BEARERS to the dark world. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1Peter 2:9-12). Notice that we are to “shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out.” We can do this directly through preaching, and also through our actions in the world. Note verse 12, “they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” The Christian that is CALLED out of darkness shines forth the Light of Christ in their words and deeds (cf. Col 3:17).
This walking in the Light becomes an EXAMPLE for others to observe and to follow. Peter lists several areas in which the Christian can shine the Light, “which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1Peter 2:13-17)
Finally, those that are called out of darkness are to be DO GOODERS. People that continue to do good despite persecution. “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God” (1Peter 2:18-25).
But this is not a do as I say, not as I do command. It is a “do as I did” command. Jesus Himself being the standard for those called to follow. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1Peter 2:21-24, emph mine seb).
It’s interesting to note that chapter two is not the only place in this letter that talks about our being CALLED (see 1Pet 1:15; 3:9; 5:10). The last one is given just before the closing greetings.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
This gives us comfort as we suffer persecution because we walk in the Light. It comforts because the suffering is only temporary, but glory is Eternal!
Spencer is an evangelist of the church of Christ in Borger Texas. He has been working with the congregation on Franklin and Juniper since 2014.
“Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how GREAT THINGS the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” emph mine seb (Mark 5:19).
Jesus gave those instructions to the man he had just healed of the “legion” demon possession. This incredibly grateful man wanted to accompany Jesus wherever He would go. Jesus wouldn’t allow it, but gave him a personal mission, “tell them how GREAT THINGS the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee”
This verse impresses me as a method of personal evangelism. Before we can apply it, we must know what GREAT THINGS the Lord has done for us.
Here’s my personal list.
The Lord has been very GRACEFUL in the giving of Himself as a sacrifice, and Propitiation for sin. (Eph 2:8-9)
He has shown me how to REJOICE in times of trial. (Jas 1:2-3)
He has left EVIDENCE of His goodness. (Acts 14:17)
He demonstrated AGAPE style Love. (Rom 5:6-10)
He has delivered to us God’s TRUTH. (John 17:17)
He has given me certain TALENTS by which I can provide for the needs of my family and for helping others. (Matt 25:15)
He has given me HOPE. (Heb 6:19)
He has given me access to INTERCESSORY prayer which is unavailable to those outside of Christ. (Rom 8:34; Heb 4:16)
He has taught me how to love my NEIGHBORS. (Matt 22:39)
He has given me every GOOD GIFT & perfect Gift. (Jas 1:17)
Lastly, but not least, He has provided for me SALVATION through obedience to the Gospel. (1Cor 15:1-4)
This list is certainly not comprehensive, but it does represent some of the GREAT THINGS He has done. I have another more private and personal list of GREAT THINGS the Lord has done.
What about you? Do you have a list? We sing the song, “Count your blessings,” do you know what some of them are?
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Psalm 139:17-18).
Perhaps you would like to make a note of the many GREAT THINGS the Lord has done for you?
Children have not always been treated very well. They have…
Been Sacrificed; 2Kings 17:31; Eze 16:20-21
Caused to pass through fire; 2Kings 16:3; Jer 32:35;
Sold for debt; 2Kings 4:1.
Eaten. 2King 6:28-29.
Even now children are used as pawns in failing relationships, in manipulating the news, and in politics. These things ought not be so.
What does the bible say about children? Better yet, what does Jesus say?
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus uses the qualities of CHILREN as an illustration of those who desire to become CHILDREN of God. He makes it very clear, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” CONVERSION is the process of turning completely around. Comparing it to the CHILDREN, it speaks to our turning from trusting in our own abilities, and trusting fully in Christ, His sacrifice, His promises, His working through our faith. Without faith it’s impossible to please God.
Another quality of CHILDREN is seen in their HUNGER and their cries to be fed. Peter uses this quality to illustrate the need for the child of God to HUNGER for the word. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2).
One of the things we learn from Jesus as He uses CHILDREN for our understanding, is that children are INNOCENT. They do not have sin IMPUTED to them. Some claim that children are born wicked and totally depraved. Jesus didn’t see it this way. When asked about inherited sin, Jesus said it didn’t happen. (see John 9:2-3) When David’s son died in infancy, he desired to “go to him” (2Sam 12:23). Did David want to go to heaven or hell? Clearly, he knew that children are INNOCENT.
One quality every parent has experienced from children is their capacity to LOVE and our capacity to LOVE them sacrificially. Jesus uses that quality when He looked on with tears over Jerusalem (Matt 23:37). In Solomon’s day, he used this capacity for a mother’s LOVE for her child to determine the true mother of a child (1King 3:24-27)
Little children are especially unique in their ability to be DEVOTED to their parents regardless of their qualities. Consider Hebrews 12:4-11. We revere our earthly parents when they disciplined us (maybe not at the time). God wants this level of DEVOTION for His children.
Children are used to REPRESENT the NEW BIRTH of becoming a Christian. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This is very similar language He uses when He placed a child in their midst. The new birth REPRESENTS baptism in water (John 3:5; cr. Rom 6:3-4).
Then there’s the EXPECTATION of parents for the growth of the child. The New Testament writers make this comparison in Hebrews 5. “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (5:12-6:2; cr. 1Cor 3:1; 13:11).
Lastly, while children desire to grow and mature, they know that they are unable to do many things for themselves. They recognize their NEED for help from their parents and are ready to ask without embarrassment. Oh, if this child of God could be better at this quality. Children can teach us so much about how to grow, mature, work, and try to do, while simultaneously knowing their complete NEED for the loving care of their parents for their basic needs. “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him” (Matt 7:9-11)?
Let us think on the words of Christ about the example of CHILDREN. Despite how the world sees children, let us see them through the eyes of our Lord and learn the lessons that He has taught us through them.
It was a dark and stormy night that frigid evening in November of 1997. It was dark, and the storm was within our hearts, because we had just learned some things about our condition toward God.
By that time my wife and I had been engaged for a few weeks in some simple bible studies with Uncle Charlie.
The study had just ended having studied what God required of us to receive His grace. We didn’t answer at that moment. Uncle Charlie said, “Ok then, I guess I’ll be going.” I knew he wanted an answer, but none came.
After he left, we talked. We talked for an hour.
WHY WE LEFT THE WORLD.
We weren’t terrible people; we were just a young couple with 3 children trying our best to take care of ourselves. We both believed in God but never really knew about our responsibility toward Him. Until that night.
That night we realized the LOVE that God had toward us and the whole world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) We realized that this LOVE was demonstrated through the death of Christ on a cross. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) We realized that to LOVE God we must keep His commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15; 1John 5:3; Luke 6:46)
That night we heard a very clear EXPLANATION from the scriptures about our sin condition and the sin solution. There were no words without a passage to support them. The passages themselves are very EASY to understand.
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 10:32-33)
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt 24:13)
We knew that it was an all or nothing decision. Before we would do anything, we agreed that this was an all or nothing endeavor.
God would not take a half-hearted lip service. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov 1:7) We had a godly FEAR of the Lord. A mix of Reverence, Awe and Terror. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb 10:31)
We agreed together, but when? “Now,” we said. “TONIGHT.” To delay may mean death. It was well after 10:00pm when I called Uncle Charlie to tell him we desired to obey the gospel in water baptism. He asked, “when?” I answered, “TONIGHT.” He joyfully replied, “LET’S GO!” Had he tried to put us off, or schedule a TIME to be baptized we would likely never have done it. We knew that the TIME was right now, as soon as possible. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2Cor 6:2)
What is the biblical TIMING for baptism? Immediately upon understanding your condition toward God and understanding what HE requires of thee. “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” (Acts 16:33)
That night we put on Christ through baptism. That night we obeyed the Gospel. That night we began our newness of life.
We slept peacefully that night knowing that we had done what the Lord had commanded to be done. We rejoiced and continue to rejoice giving thanks to God for His indescribable gift.
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” (2Cor 9:15)
Living in Borger has opened my eyes to the enormous problem of STRAY dogs.
Multiple times a week there are social media postings about them. Most often the STRAY is afraid of the one trying to help them.
Whenever a good Samaritan approaches to help the STRAY, it will often run away in fear even with an offer of food or water! There’s no recognition that this person is trying to help. They have no idea they need help.
This illustrates a spiritual problem with those who are wandering the shadows of death outside of Christ.
They do not recognize that the Lord is calling them to come to Him with the Bread of Life. They seem to have no concern that they are spiritually starving and astray.
Many are lost, starving, headed for trouble, and in need of His help and rescue.
What do you know about STRAY sheep?
Jesus saw people as SHEEP without a shepherd (Mark 6:34; Matt 9:36). Some look at these passages and note that Jesus fed them. Yes, He did, but He fed them the bread of Life. “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” Stray sheep need to be fed the spiritual food of eternal life (cf. John 6:51, 68). Unfortunately, some will not take the spiritual food, but offer it any way.
On one occasion, Jesus looked upon the city of Jerusalem and shed TEARS over it, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37; Luke 19:41-44). Strays are in jeopardy. How do we feel about that? Does it move us to TEARS? Some of us want to get rid of the strays that wander onto our lawns. Let’s have compassion on the straying people.
Some stray intentionally. Peter refers to some who have gone astray as those who will “RECEIVE the REWARD of unrighteousness. “And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” (2Pet 2:13-15). Jesus is no respecter of persons. He died even for the unlovable. (cf. Rom 5:6-10)
Anyone who is off the path of righteousness, regardless of the reason, is ASTRAY. “All we like sheep have gone ‘astray’; we have turned, everyone, to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus went to the cross to make our salvation possible because we have all gone astray. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (1Peter 2:24-25). We need to remember that we once were straying and someone reached out to us.
He invites all to come to Him for salvation: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30). Being a stray may seem like freedom, but it’s actually bondage to sin. As counterintuitive as it may sound, submitting to the YOKE of Christ is freeing! “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom 6:16) Some of the straying want to be free to live how they want, but that’s a dangerous way to live away from the protection of the Good Shepherd. (cf. John 10:7-14)
As the Good Shepherd, He has set forth the rules of entry into His fold: Hear. Mat 7:24; Believe John 8:24; Repent Luke 13:3; Confess Mat 10:32; Baptized Mark 16:16; Faithfulness Mat 28:20. He is the door, the way, the truth, the life.
Jesus sees us in our sorrowful, starving, and straying condition. Without Him we are lost sheep, astray from His life saving blood. He is calling through the Gospel (cf. 2Th 2:14). He is offering us the bread of life (John 6:48). His is the door of the sheep, offering salvation (John 10:9). You have nothing to fear and everything to gain. Let Him comfort you with His staff & His rod (Psalm 23:4).
Paul calls love, “a more excellent way” [1Cor 12:31; 13:13].
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:29-31]
The best commentary on Love is found in the Scriptures. Let’s see love from four perspectives.
God’s Love for us
God is Love – 1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Titus 3:4-6
God Gave His son – 1Jo 4:9, 10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, John 3:16, 17; Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4,5
God blesses His children – 1Jo 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: Eph 1:3 every spiritual blessings
Every good thing – James 1:17 – comes from above; Acts 17:28
God sends sun & rain – Mt 5:45 for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Christ’s Love for us
Passes knowledge– Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
As Father loved Him – Joh 15:9, 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
He gave Himself – Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.; Eph 5:2; 1Joh 3:16; Rev 1:5
His own– Joh 13:1, 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Those who obey – Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Man’s love for God & Christ
Great command– 1Jo 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. Mark 12:28-30; Mt 22:36-40
Good thing for those that do – Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, 1Corinthians 2:9 ings which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Crown of life / Kingdom – Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? [1:12]
Love displayed through obedience – 1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:
2Joh 6; John 14:15, 21, 23
Love for truth – 2Th 2:10-12 because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Man’s love for others
Brethren – 1Th 4:9; 1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
John 13:34; 15:12; 1Pe 1:22; 2:17;
1Jo 2:10, 3:11, 14, 23; 4:11, 12
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
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]