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Scripture Reading: Numbers 14:39-45
Bible Authority, Part 11
The Silence of the Scriptures:
Does it Grant Permission or Set Limits?
1. We must have Christ’s authority for all we do (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17). His authority conveyed via inspired Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
2. Divine authority is revealed (and established) in three ways:
a. Direct statement or command, apostolic approved example and/or necessary inference (Acts 15:7-19).
b. Some say we are promoting “patternism” / traditionalism.
c. But, a failure to follow divinely revealed pattern is sin, Heb. 8:5.
d. Failure to have Bible authority for all things has caused division among God’s people.
3. False reasoning: “It doesn’t say ‘not to’, so we are at liberty to do it”.
I. OT TEACHES GOD’S SILENCE SETS LIMITS (Rom. 15:4).
A. Moving the Ark of the Covenant: God’s Law Revealed, Num. 4:1-6, 15; 7:9. (Kohathites to carry the ark on their shoulders.)
B. Moving the Ark to Jerusalem, 1 Chrn. 13:1-8.
1. The ark had remained in the house of Abinadab for 20 yrs. after being returned by Philistines (on new cart, 1 Sam. 6:3; 7:1).
2. Now, David proposes to bring it to Jerusalem, 1 Chrn. 13:1-4.
3. Preparation and procession; death of Uzza, 1 Chrn. 13:5-10.
C. God’s Displeasure, 1 Chrn. 13:9-14.
1. What displeased God? (“error” had occurred, 2 Sam. 6:7)
a. Was it moving the ark? Why? 13:2-3 Who? 13:4 How? 13:7
b. Was it David’s attitude of heart? 13:8
c. Was it Uzza’s good intention? 13:9
2. Because they did not follow God’s pattern for transporting the ark! 15:2, 11-15 When they did "as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord" (15:15) ... succeeded! (15:26)
D. Adding to God’s Word Violates the Silence of the Scriptures (Deut. 4:2; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18).
1. What God says is what God wants, the way He wants it, and all He wants!
2. Silence of scriptures is not license; silence restrains (Heb. 8:5).
3. Silence defines the limits God sets within which we act.
4. Presumptuous to change the pattern that God reveals for us to follow: going beyond the doctrine of Christ. Num. 14:25, 40-45
II. GOD’S JUDGMENTS AGAINST THOSE WHO ACTED WHEN HE DID NOT SPEAK (DID NOT TELL THEM TO ACT).
A. Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 8:36; 9:2-24; 10:1-2).
1. God’s pattern being followed: animals commanded and offered, “as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Lev. 8:36; 9:2-24).
2. Offered “profane (strange, foreign) fire” “which He had not commanded them”, 10:1 (Lev. 6:12-13; 16:12).
3. God’s judgment: Death, 10:2-3.
B. Priestly Tribe of the Law of Moses, Heb. 7:11-14.
1. If OT law still in force, Jesus is not a priest (Heb. 8:4).
2. Silence restricted the priesthood to the tribe of Levi.
3. God’s judgment: Priests only from Levitical tribe under LOM.
C. Judaizers, Acts 15:1, 24; Gal. 2:5.
1. Circumcision + gospel = Salvation, 15:1 (5).
2. No commandment given – Acting alone, 15:24.
3. God’s judgment: Subverting souls / bondage (15:24; Gal. 2:4).
III. ADDING TO GOD’S SILENCE IS GOING BEYOND HIS DOCTRINE AND AUTHORITY, 2 Tim. 1:13 (Col. 3:17; 2 Jno. 9).
-(False reasoning: “It doesn’t say ‘not to’, so we are at liberty to do it”!)
A. Music in Worship (Eph. 5:19).
-Sing + Play = Beyond Christ’s authority!
B. Water Baptism:
1. Action (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12).
-Immerse + Sprinkle = Beyond Christ’s authority!
2. Who (Mk. 16:16).
-Adult believer + infant = Beyond Christ’s authority!
C. Organization of Local Church, Acts 14:23; 1 Pet. 5:2.
1. Local and Independent + Regional/national/int’l alliances of churches (sponsoring churches) = Beyond Christ’s authority!
-Illus. “Key to the Kingdom” – “A weekly television program produced by the Churches of Christ in Canada” (keytothekingdom.ca).
a. Work of Strathmore Blvd. church of Christ, Toronto, CA
b. Promoted as “a weekly television program produced by the Churches of Christ in Canada”.
D. Work of Local Church (1 Cor. 14:26).
1. Spiritual Edification + Social activities = Beyond Christ’s authority!
a. Feed word of God to exercise senses (Acts 20:28, 32; Heb. 5:12-14).
b. Not feed food to grow and/or exercise the physical body (1 Cor. 11:22, 34).
2. Benevolence to needy saints + General = Beyond Christ’s authority!
a. Pattern of needy Christians with local church’s funds, Acts 4:32-35; 11:29-30.
b. Violation of the Lord’s pattern to add all men (the work of individuals, Gal. 6:10).
1. The silence of God’s word is respected when we do not add to its teachings: we abide in the doctrine of Christ; we hold fast the pattern of sound words.
2. Our salvation and fellowship with God hangs in the balance, 2 Jno. 9.