Series on the church of Christ
Part 4THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:
HOW NT AUTHORITY IS ESTABLISHED
1. "Gods ways, revealed in Gods word, are sufficient to accomplish Gods purposes." (cf. Local church)
2. Col. 3:17 - Work of edification, benevolence & evangelism. How shall we know what is authorized in these areas, & what isnt?!
3. Heb. 8:5 - God has given us a pattern by which we establish authority in religious matters.
4. Divine pattern for work of church. First, we must know how to establish Bible authority.
I. HOW TO ESTABLISH NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORITY.
A. Command Or Express Statement By Christ Or Inspired Teacher.
1. Positive command - cf. Mk. 16:15.
2. Direct statement - cf. Mk. 16:16.
3. Illus. - Lord's Supper: How to observe - 1 Cor. 11:24-25.
B. Approved Example From The New Testament.
1. l Cor. 4:16-17; Phil. 3:17; 4:9 - Imitate in Christ follow my example.
2. Consistent practice of NT church under apostolic guidance, in obeying a divine command.
3. Illus. - Lord's Supper - When to observe.
C. Necessary Implication (Inference or Conclusion).
1. "That which, though neither expressly stated nor specifically exemplified, [yet] is necessarily implied by the clear import & meaning of the language used." (Walking by Faith, Cogdill, 14)
a. Not simply a reasonable inference - Jno. 21:21-23.
b. Nor what we would like to have included.
c. But, what is necessarily included by statement of scripture.
2. Matt. 3:16 - Nec. implication: Jesus went down into water!
3. Illus. - Lord's Supper: How often to observe (Exo. 20:8).
D. Are These Man-Made Rules Or A Divinely-Approved Pattern? - Acts 15:6-21
1. v. 7-11 - Example of Gentile conversion w/o works of the law.
2. v. 12 - Necessary implication - Miracles among Gentiles - They preached faith in Christ, not works of law -- (Gods approval).
3. v. 13-18 - Direct statement - Acceptance of Gentiles.
4. All three means used to establish Gods authority regarding conversion of Gentiles!
5. Doesn't require all three types before a thing is authorized (cf. Lord's Supper) -- Just one will do!
II. THE NATURE OF AUTHORITY: TWO KINDS
A. General Authority.
1. Inclusive: Includes choices of means & methods.
2. Judgment allowed in carrying out the authorized action.
B. Specific Authority.
1. Exclusive: Excludes everything except what has been specified.
2. Cannot add to or take from (Rev. 22:18-19).
C. These Two Kinds Of Authority Illustrated:
1. Everything authorized both general & specific in some respect.
2. cf. Ark - Gen. 6:14 - General (Build: tools, location); Specific (gopher wood, pitch, dimensions, etc.).
III. TWO EXTREMES IN APPLYING THESE BIBLE-BASED RULES FOR ESTABLISHING AUTHORITY IN RELIGIOUS PRATICES.
A. Everything Is Acceptable Which Is Not Specifically Condemned.
1. "It doesnt say not to!" Argument from silence: "Silence gives consent."
2. Heb. 7:14 - Silence does not give consent, it restricts / prohibits!
3. Looses where God has bound! - 1 Cor. 4:6
B. A Thing Must Be Specifically Mentioned To Be Acceptable.
1. Ignores general authority and necessary conclusions.
2. Inconsistent: "GO" - Couldn't use plane, train, car!
3. Binds where God has loosed!
C. All Things Stand Condemned Unless There Is Either General Or Specific Authority Revealed For It - Col. 3:17; l Cor. 4:6; 2 Jno. 9; l Ths. 5:21.
1. Church work has been authorized. By respecting the divine pattern of how to establish Bible authority we can know what that work is & how it is to be accomplished.
2. 2 Tim. 2:15 - We must rightly divide Gods word in order to be approved workmen of God!