Topical Sermons Power Point Show
Scripture Reading: Acts 3:18-26
1. Change agents quote (Blackford).
2. Implications are false:
a. If you preach baptism & the church you are not preaching Christ;
b. Those who preach Christ do not preach baptism & the church, Acts 8:35-36.
3. How can we preach…
a. Jesus’ blood & not what it purchased (church, Acts 20:28)?
-Jesus’ blood & not how to be washed by it (baptism, Acts 22:16)?
b. Savior & not who He saves (church, Eph. 5:23)?
-Salvation & not what saves (baptism, 1 Pet. 3:21)?
c. Bridegroom & not His bride (church, Eph. 5:31-32)?
-Relation with Christ & not how to put Him on (baptism, Gal. 3:27)?
d. Captain of our salvation & not those He leads (church, Heb. 2:10)?
-Forgiveness of sins & not how it is removed (baptism, Acts 2:38; Col. 2:11-13)?
e. Head of the body & not the body (church, Eph. 1:22-23)?
-The body & not how to enter the body (baptism, 1 Cor. 12:13)?
f. The Father and Son & not the family of God (church, 1 Tim. 3:15)?
-Family of God & not how to be born into it (baptism, Jno. 3:5)?
4. Minimize baptism & the church – minimize Christ! Gal. 1:13; Acts 9:4
-The call for change and Bible answers.
(Rubel Shelly on change)
#1: Shelly: It has been a mistake to emphasize ‘the old paths’ because we need to be open to change. The church has got to change.
1. The “old paths” are established by God, Jer. 6:16-17.
2. To forsake “ancient paths” is to forget God; scattered, Jer. 18:15-17.
3. Gal. 1:6-9: What will you change…
a. How to enter the church? (Acts 2:47)
b. How to behave in the church? (1 Tim. 3:15)
c. The worship of the church? (Jno. 4:23-24)
d. The work/organization of the local church? (Acts 14:22-23)
#2: Shelly: It is a ‘mistaken assumption’ that we should ‘restore the church of the 1st century.’ The model we are to pattern after is Christ, not the New Testament church.
1. Quote: Which church do you want to restore?
2. Restoration is a Bible concept: To set in order according to the divine pattern… (Restore: return, refresh, repair; to set in order)
a. God restored Israel & Judah, Jer. 30:17 (1-3); Allusions of Messiah, 30:9.
b. Messiah’s work of restoration, Isa. 49:5-6; Acts 3:21; Heb. 9:10.
3. Restore & keep the “pattern of sound words” as our abiding standard, 2 Tim. 1:13 (2 Ths. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:14).
a. Set in order what is lacking based on truth, Titus 1:5.
b. Cf. Jerusalem, Corinth, Colossae, Ephesus, Laodicea & today!
#3: Shelly: The pictures of the church recorded in the New Testament are ‘only flawed attempts’ to follow Christ.
1. Our task:
a. Accept & demand the adequacy of the unflawed pattern, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
b. Learn & apply the pattern: what does the NT pattern bind & require of us; what do its statements, examples & implications actually teach? (2 Tim. 2:15)
2. Following Christ: Flawed attempts or worthy examples?
a. Some of both: cf. Sardis, Rev. 3:1-3 & Philadelphia, 3:7-11.
b. Follow NT examples: 1 Cor. 4:16-17; Phil. 3:17.
3. None of the failures of NT churches lessen the authority of the divine standard of revealed truth they were following! Jno. 8:31-32; 2 Jno. 9
1. The message of the cross is the message of Christ, salvation in Him and His church’s service to Him, 1 Cor. 1:18-25.
2. Preaching Christ has not & will not change with the passing of time, Jude 3.
a. How to be saved in Him, Mk. 16:15-16.
b. How to live in His kingdom, the church, Acts 2:47; 1 Ths. 1:9-10.
3. Follow the “form of doctrine” that frees from sin, Rom. 6:17-18.
4. Love Jesus by obeying Him now (Jno. 14:15; 15:14; 1 Jno. 5:3).
-Dick Blackford on change agents:
“Preach Christ, not baptism or the church” is the cry and feeling of those who are self-designated as “change agents” in the church, and their sympathizers. This comes from those who don’t want the church or gospel preachers to be militant and have grown soft and apologetic for the truth. It sounds noble – “Preach The Man, Not The Plan.” How does any man who claims to be a preacher of the gospel go about preaching baptism or the church without preaching Christ? (Dick Blackford, “Preach Christ, Not Baptism or the Church,” Guardian of Truth, XXXVIII:21, Nov. 3, 1994, p. 1)
-Rubel Shelly on change:
“The Spirit of God is still moving and acting in the church today and we must be more open to it. The result will be exhilarating changes in the worship and mission of the church. It has been a mistake to emphasize ‘the old paths’ because we need to be open to change.
“The church has got to change. If it doesn’t change, my kids are not going to stay with it. I’m probably not going to stay with it… Mine was the last generation that would tolerate indoctrination.
“It is a ‘mistaken assumption’ that we should ‘restore the church of the 1st century.’ The model we are to pattern after is Christ, not the New Testament church. Those are two different models. The pictures of the church recorded in the New Testament are ‘only flawed attempts’ to follow Christ.” (Rubel Shelly, “The Church In The 90’s: The Challenge Of Change,” a series given at the Richland Hills Church of Christ in Ft. Worth, TX, summer of 1990, cited in Behold The Pattern, Goebel Music, 284-322).
-Rubel Shelly on restoring the NT church:
“Which church do you want to restore? Jerusalem, with its lack of evangelistic zeal? Or restore Corinth with its open fornication and, and drunkenness in church services around communion time? What about Colossae with its heresy? What about Ephesus? What about Laodicea, that church that says, ‘We’ve go it’? And he said you’re dead as a hammer and don’t know it. They said, ‘We don’t need anything’ and He said, ‘You need everything.’” (Ibid., 296)