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Scripture Reading: Galatians 1:6-10

Bible Authority, Part 7


Aids and Additions



1.  God has revealed authority in Scriptures generically and specifically:

  a.  Generic authority includes choices related to the commandment.

  b.  Specific authority excludes choices, tells exactly what is wanted.

2.  How do we scripturally tell the difference between an aid (that helps us obey God’s word) and an addition that violates God’s word?



  A.  Definition (sumphero): “lit., to bring together…to be an advantage, profitable, expedient…” (Vine, 218). cf. John 16:7

    1.  “To bear together or at the same time; to carry with others; to collect or contribute in order to help, hence to help, be profitable, be expedient…” (Thayer, 597).

    2.  “Aid” is virtually synonymous with “expedient” here, since these terms are used to refer to things that assist or help in obeying God.

    3.  “In order for a thing to be a scriptural expedient in spiritual affairs it must facilitate in the accomplishment of God’s will and must be in harmony with His word.”  (Walking By Faith, Cogdill, 18, emp. added)

  B.  An Aid is a Lawful (helpful) Liberty, 1 Cor. 10:23.

    1.  Command:  Glorify God and cause no offense, 1 Cor. 10:31-33.

    2.  It was lawful to eat meats (even those which had been sacrificed to idols), however, it was not always expedient due to weak consciences.

    3.  Things that aid in obeying God’s will are expedients – expedite obedience to God. aids are lawful (approved) before God.

  C.  Aids (expediencies) do not Change the Force or Effect of the Authorized Action. (“Incidentals” or “non-essentials”)

    1.  Noah’s tools did not change the effect of God’s command to build an ark -- they helped him obey the command.

    2.  Song books, a pitch pipe and song leader are aids that expedite the command to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).

    3.  Trays and cups are aids to help obey command to eat LS (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

    4.  Application to the work of the local church:

      a.  Preach (1 Ths. 1:8): Pulpit, sound system, power point…

      b.  Edify (1 Cor. 14:26): Classes, material, bulletin, building, etc.

      c.  Relieve needy saints (Acts 2:44-45): Distribution (mail, by hand), etc.

 D.  Aids (expediencies) involve Choices (of liberty).

    1.  Because they are non-essentials:

      a.  May choose whether to use a pitch pipe to sing.

      b.  May choose whether to use power point, loudspeaker, bulletin to preach.

      c.  May choose whether to use printed material to edify.

      d.  May choose whether to hand deliver or mail relief to needy saints.

    2.  Aids are left unspecified (otherwise, they would be essential).

    3.  Their use involves liberty and judgment: “What tools would be best used to accomplish the authorized activity?”

  E.  Aids must Edify, not Cause Offense (stumbling), 1 Cor. 10:23.



  A.  Definition (prostithemi): “to put to, to add, join to, gather with any company” (Thayer, 549); “increase” - the “joining of a thing to another thing” (Webster).

  B.  Concerning Bible Authority, an Addition to God’s Will Changes the Force and Effect of the Authorized Activity.

    1.  Noah.  If he built another structure along with the ark, he would have added to God’s word.

    2.  Baptism (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12). When pouring is introduced as baptism, the force (action) and effect of baptism as a burial is changedit is an addition.

    3.  Instrumental music in worship (Eph. 5:19); When (playing) is introduced along with vocal music (singing), the force and effect of our command to sing is changedit is an addition.

    4.  Work of the local church.  When social and  secular works are introduced as works of the local church (like social enter­tainment, business enterprise, day-care, schools, health clinics, etc.), the force and effect of that church’s spiritual work (to preach, edify and relieve needy saints) is changed. These are additions to the work of the local church.

  C.  Additions are Forbidden, not Approved, (without Christ’s authority), 2 Jno. 9 (Gal. 1:8-9; Rev. 22:18).



    When we add to the will of God we turn away from gospel of Christ to a different gospel; we pervert His gospel and depart His grace, Gal. 1:6.