Summary: I want you all to know that the importance to all of this relates very closely to the subject of “Authority in Religion” . . . It is impossible to maintain unity unless we can agree upon a ‘standard’ of authority. Funny thing is . . .
Following Jesus without Denominationalism
Part 5: “Determining Our Standard of Authority”
Now that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s can be put behind us, maybe we can start putting more emphasis on those things we should be working on through out the year . . . starting with the concepts in the remaining part of this series . . .
As I dealt with in previous messages, following JESUS without denominationalism begins by heeding the call of the gospel . . .
FIRST OFF . . . knowing the LORD “calls” us through HIS gospel . . .
2nd Thessalonians 2: 14:
“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
SECOND . . . as we respond to the call, the LORD HIMSELF adds us to HIS church (HIS ‘called out’ group of people). And this church is NOT a man – made denomination.
Acts 2: 41 & 47:
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
47 – “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Now I also suggested that if we are to be simply Christians, members of the LORD’S church as we read about in the New Testament, then we must follow the example of the early church who “continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,” . . .
Acts 2: 42:
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
I want you all to know that the importance to all of this relates very closely to the subject of “Authority in Religion” . . .
It is impossible to maintain unity unless we can agree upon a ‘standard’ of authority. Funny thing is . . .
THIS IS TRUE IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE!!!
Consider this . . . imagine the confusion if we did not have a standard of authority relating to weights and measures.
We would never be able to agree on the length of a line . . . the volume of a tank of gasoline . . . and so forth.
Confusion would reign supreme in the market place if we did not agree on one standard of authority in regards to weights and measures.
THE ESSENTIAL KEY TO HAVING UNITY ON ANY SUBJECT IS THIS . . .
WE MUST ACCEPT AND SUBMIT TO THE SAME STANDARD OF AUTHORITY!!!!
This becomes so especially true when it comes to matters of religion, for is people can agree on the standard of authority in religious matters, unity is possible when we submit to that same standard.
There are other elements necessary to have unity (which I will go over later) . . . but without a standard of authority upon which we all agree . . .
UNITY IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!
Reverend Sam . . . what should be the standard of authority for CHRIST’S church then?
That is a GREAT place to start, and I am sure those people that are professing to be true Christians would agree . . .
(1) Jesus Christ has been given all authority . . .
The Bible demonstrates this in two specific areas so that we might understand . . .
FIRST – Jesus claimed all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to HIM . . .
Matthew 28: 18:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
As a result, JESUS therefore expects us to observe all things HE has commanded . . .
Matthew 28: 19 – 20:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
SECOND – Jesus apostles taught this as well . . .
The Apostles taught us that JESUS is the HEAD of the BODY, aka: the church . . .
Ephesians 1: 22 – 23:
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
As a result, we are to submit to HIM in everything . . .
Ephesians 5: 23 – 24:
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”