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Summary: Are you one of those people who thinks Christianity has become over-complicated? If so, then lesson may help.

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Christianity Made Simple

Hold To The Traditions Which Have Been Handed Down

Introduction

A. Hold fast to traditions.

1. In the following Scripture, Paul exhorts Christians to cling to the traditions that have been handed down to them.

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

2. In the following Scripture, Paul charges Timothy to commit to faithful men the things he had heard.

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2)

3. Timothy passed on the traditions (“my ways”) to the Christians at Corinth.

"For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church." (1 Corinthians 4:17)

4. The traditions of which he speaks are not those conceived by men, but the teachings of Christ.

B. Stability and change.

1. There are many things that have not changed since the beginning of the world:

a. Men and women still fall in love and marry.

b. The four seasons come and go as they always have done.

c. Jesus is the same today as was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

2. There are other things that do change:

a. The people in the world today are not the same people as yesterday, and a new generation is yet to be born in the world of tomorrow.

b. Due to the industrial revolution, the air we breath is not as pure as it was at the beginning.

c. Everyone’s judgment is now nearer than ever before.

3. Some things that are unchanging are a comfort, while other things that change bring distress. Some changes are necessary and good, while others are dangerous and sinful.

C. In the beginning.

1. The church of Christ was founded in A.D. 33 (Acts 2:1-47).

2. These disciples of Jesus came to be called Christians (Acts 11:26).

3. There were four traditions to which the early disciples clung…

I. A Simple Sole Dependence Upon The Word Of God

A. They depended on the word of God for faith, doctrine, and practice (Acts 2:42; 17:11; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Peter 3:2).

"And that from a child thou hast known 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" (2 Timothy 3:15-16)

B. They depended of the word of God to teach the way of salvation (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 8:4, 14; 13:48; 17:11).

"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." (Romans 1:16)

II. A Simple Form Of Church Government

A. In determining these roles, we shall be looking at relevant passages in the book of Acts and the epistles.

1. The Head. The human body is often employed to figuratively represent the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) and Jesus is the head of this body, the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).

2. Apostles. The apostles were men who had been chosen and named apostles by the Lord (The apostle Paul was the exception to the rule, in that he was not called by Him during His earthly ministry but was called to be an apostle, by Jesus, some time after His resurrection and ascension - Galatians 1:11-24). These men trained under the Lord for about three years, and it is to these men that He entrusted the keys of the kingdom and promised the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth (John 16:13). Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He commissioned the apostles saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you...” (Matthew 28:19-20). In Acts 2:14ff, the apostle Peter, using the keys, opened the door as he commanded the people what they needed to do to be saved (Acts 2:36-39). Following the immersion of 3000 souls, we read, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Thus the apostles began to fulfill the command of Jesus to teach the disciples to obey all that He had commanded (Matthew 28:20). The apostles were, under Jesus, endowed with the greatest measure of authority in the church of Christ.

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