Summary: There were a lot of questions that came in from the last message, so hopefully in this message; I will be able to answer some of them . . .
Following Jesus without Denominationalism
Part 7: ‘Further Thoughts Related to Authority in Religion’
I never would have thought I would have gotten so many responses to the last message, but I thank GOD that so many of you have taken such an active interest to this Email Ministry, for if it weren’t for you, this Email Ministry wouldn’t be where it is today . . . so I say thank you to all of you!
There were a lot of questions that came in from the last message, so hopefully in this message; I will be able to answer some of them . . .
In the past two messages of this series, I have stressed that to be free from religious division; we all must have the same ‘standard of authority’.
Now please keep in mind that this standard is the Will of CHRIST! This is not me telling you this on my own accord, for the Bible reveals this in the ‘apostles’ doctrine’, which is the teaching of CHRIST’S apostles.
This doctrine was inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT, and preserved for us in the pages of the New Testament.
Other standards, both objective and subjective, are not suitable guides to lead us in the way of salvation . . . not the Old Testament, majority rule, parents, preachers, creeds, and traditions of men . . . nor conscience, human wisdom, or feelings . . .
But before we leave the subject of authority, I want to try to answer some of those questions that are worthy of consideration that you sent in to me . . .
(1) Exactly how does one use the New Testament to establish authority?
(2) Are there limitations placed upon how far we may go in matters of religion?
(3) Will having the same standard of authority ‘guarantee’ unity among the followers of Christ?
I know there were several other questions sent in, and I responded to them personally, for they were more of an individual need basis.
As for these top questions . . . let’s begin with:
(1) How authority is established . . .
When you really get down to it, authority can be established in one of three different ways . . .
One being a direct command or precept, such as a direct statement of something that can or cannot be done . . .
Take for example Acts 2: 38, where it refers to “Repent, and be baptized” . . .
“Then Peter said unto them, 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.”
Another example can be shown in John 13: 34 where JESUS commands us to “love one another” . . .
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
And finally, we can use the example of the ability to “abstain from fornication” as written within 1st Thessalonians 4: 3:
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:”
We can also look at an approved example, such as an illustration that shows a practice was done with the approval of the LORD’S apostles.