FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

"SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY!"

Authority:

Authority is the command or direction to guide, train, and enforce. To authorize something is to empower or direct by authority. In divine affairs, all authority originates with God!

Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

 

All Divine authority originates with God. It was God that gave the Christ all authority in heaven and earth.

Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Colossians 1:18 “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

 

Christ Jesus has all preeminence over the church as given Him by God. Before His departure from this world, Jesus spoke intimately with His chosen (minus Judas, who had gone out to betray Him). In the sad words the Lord shared with them concerning His leaving them, He would also comfort them by stating that He would not leave them orphans. He would send them the Holy Spirit that would remind them of all things, teach them all things, and guide them into all truth.

John 14:16-17 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

John 15:26-27 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

John 16:13-15 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”

 

In the work and life of the Apostles of Christ, the truth would be revealed in the written word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Peter 1:19-21 "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

 

In this we see, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the authority for all we do, as the church, resides permanently in the word!

2 John 9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

 

In an article dated July 9, 2009 ; from “One News Now”, which read:

“Six Episcopal bishops are pushing for greater recognition of same-sex marriages at a national gathering of church officials in California . Bishop Thomas Ely of Vermont says he and other bishops from states recognizing same-sex marriage will offer a resolution urging the church to adapt marriage rituals to include homosexual couples.”

 

Here is a perfect example of the complete dismissal of the established authority of Christ. Since the church is an organic representation of Christ (His body), it is not for the church to direct or demand the church adopt anything that the Lord has not already defined for the body.

 

So, how do we use the word to establish Christ's authority in the church?

 

1) Precept.

This is from the Greek, ‘ entole '; which refers to direct statement or positive command.

 

Example #1:

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

 

As the Lord commissioned His chosen, we can see a couple of direct precepts or commands. First, they were to go and make disciples of all the nations. Second, they were to instruct these disciples in all things that the Lord had commanded them.

 

Example #2:

1 Corinthians 11:17 “Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.”

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”

 

The Apostle Paul, in fulfilling his part of teaching all things that the Lord has commanded him, is correcting the Corinthians mistreatment of the Lord's Supper. After demonstrating that there present observance is detrimental (Vs.17-22), he re-establishes the original precept of the Lord. There can be little doubt that the Lord did not intend for this to be a meal for the flesh; but an observance for the spirit.

2) Approved Example.

As the Gospel of Christ is a teaching Gospel, we derive much of the authority for the practice of the church via the practice of the church under Apostolic guidance (they having received it by Divine appointment). Thus the New Testament of Christ is in many cases an illustrative guide.

 

Example:

Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Acts 20:7 “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”

1 Corinthians 16:2 “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”

 

On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 (which took place on the first day of the week), we see the first disciples of Christ engaging in acts of worship. Again many years later, we have an additional illustration concerning the day the disciples came together; “the first day of the week”.

Additionally, as Paul commanded the Corinthians concerning laying by and storing up, he gave this command for the first day of the week because that is when the saints came together.

3) Necessary Inference.

This embodies that which is not expressly stated or specifically exemplified; yet, is necessarily implied by clear meaning of language used!

 

Example:

1 Corinthians 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”

 

We know that it was the first day of the week that the disciples came together and engaged in acts of worship. In the inference of Paul to the Corinthian Christians, we see that this was something they did often. In other words, there is a first day of the week in every week and it is implied that it was each first day of the week that they came together.

4) All Authority is Given in Either Specific or General form.

This helps to define for us the fact that the doctrine of Christ is in fact a law of liberty. By this, it is understood that where there is specific commands concerning a practice we are to engage; it excludes any other way to accomplish the command. Where there is a general command concerning a practice we are to engage (defining that it first must be scriptural); it includes various ways to accomplish.

 

Example #1:

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

 

Specific Command: “Go” – This excludes any other option, such as staying in a cave or hiding from men.

General Command: “Go” – In this unique command of the Lord we find both a specific nature, but a general nature as well; as He didn't define how they were to go. So in the fulfillment of the command they can include walk, run, ride, or swim.

 

Specific Command: “Teach them to observe all things I have commanded you” – This excludes teaching opinions, human wisdom, philosophy, and engineering.

General Command: “Teach them to observe all things I have commanded you” – Again in this unique command exists both a specific and general expression; as He did express specifically the ‘what', but did not express the ‘how' (public, private, individual, or classes – which we can see in fulfillment illustrations that the Apostles did all of these).

 

Example #2:

Hebrews 10:25 “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

 

Specific Command: “not forsaking the assemblies of ourselves together” Here the Hebrew writer is specifically commanding that we assemble together, unlike those who were falling away. This excludes any other way of serving the Lord in worship. It was His specific intent that we do it as a collective.

General Command: “not forsaking the assemblies of ourselves together” Again we have the ‘ what' specifically commanded but not the ‘where' (home, rented hall, or owned building).

 

Example #3:

In the first two examples, we can clearly see both the specific and general nature of the commands. However, there are commands that are specific in nature without the freedoms; designating the Lord's intent that they be only this way.

Titus 1:5 “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you”

 

The eldership of the church as the only government approved by the Lord for His church is specifically expressed (see also: Acts 14:23; Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

This excludes any other form of government! Additionally, the specifics continue to express that they had to be men, the husband of one wife, able to teach, and only over the local flock to name just a few of the qualifications and realms of authority (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:2).

Where there are these kinds of specifics, there are no liberties to be taken.

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Now these are just a few of the examples of how we derive authority for what the Lord intends for His church to do. What we must appreciate is that where the Lord has complete preeminence (Colossians 1:18) and has given all things that pertain to life and godliness through His word (2 Peter 1:2-4); this specifically excludes councils, boards of directors, or any other way man may attempt to ascertain authority apart from the word. In addition, we must be extremely careful not to stretch the general nature of any command beyond the Lord's intent or beyond that which we have illustration or necessary inference.

This demands that we rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15), in order to determine the Apostolic training; as they taught us all that the Lord taught them!