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.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST

THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF TRUTH-

LESSON 4.

 

 

1 Timothy 3:15 “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

Speak as the Oracles of God

1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.” Amen.

 

As we have established in the previous lessons, God's word is intelligible and infallible for providing the servant of God with all he or she needs to be complete and equipped to every good work – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Peter issues to the Christians that he is writing to, that they learn to speak as the “oracles of God” ; or literally from the Greek understanding, the “utterances of God”. One would think that this statement given by Peter to these Christians would be ‘a given' in light of the training in God's instruction they have received. However, due to the outside influences, and those that would come from within that Peter will be concerned with in the second letter; Peter knew that abatement away from the words of God would occur. This would not be a problem to just the Christians of the first century, but one that we today have come face to face with. It is in this lesson that we hope to achieve an understanding of the long used phrase, “Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent” .

In this lesson, we want to look at some phrases and words that have found themselves in use today, which have no foundation in God's word!

 

1. Reverend

As used in “Reverend John Doe”. We do not find this term used anywhere in God's word!!! In fact, God's word clearly states that none should wear titles and that only one has preeminence, and is worthy of our reverence; Jesus Christ!

Matthew 23:1-12 “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘ Rabbi, Rabbi' 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

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.”

 

The term ‘reverend' has its origins in the Latin, “Reverendus”; which was used towards early Roman Catholic bishops. It was a passive paraphrastic term, as ‘one who is to be' revered or respected. It would later be adopted by the Anglican church as well. The modern usage even goes further to detract from what God has taught concerning titles; by using it as a noun (a pure title form).

 

First century Christians never used elevating titles to speak of one another, note:

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

 

 

There can be little doubt concerning the submissive nature of Christians and that even the Apostles themselves understood the concept of servant leadership (see: Luke 22:24-30; John 13:12-16; 31-35). In addition, the scriptures never decree a separate priestly class; instead, God designates every Christian a royal priest (1 Peter 2:9), to proclaim the praises of Him, and we offer ourselves as holy sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1-2).

 

2. Christ as your Personal Savior

This is a denominational term (again, not found in God's word), which undoubtedly has its origins in the theory of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit.

 

The oracles of God clearly dictate that we are a possession of His and not the other way around – Romans 5:8-11; 1 Corinthians 6:17, 20; 12:13; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 5:30;

2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

 

3. Pastor

This is a term that has gained great importance in recent years among denominational churches; which is often used of a single individual who is usually the leader within these churches. It has even been given an organization, a hierarchy of sorts; such as senior pastor, youth pastor, assistant pastor, music pastor, etc…

 

The word ‘Pastor' is Latin, and has its origin in the Greek “Poimen” (overseer – pastor - shepherd), and “Episkopos” (overseer – bishop) which was used to describe those whom the Lord would appoint in each of the local bodies of Christ as ‘overseers' – Acts 14:23; 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:17; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5. It is used to describe the elders (Greek, ‘Presbuteros', which meant older) whom the Holy Spirit appoints over the sheep by the qualifications given in the oracles of God. It is never used in a singular sense, as mono rule; but always in plurality as elders, shepherds, bishops, etc…

They were always designated as equals in authority (no hierarchy!), each having been qualified by the Holy Spirit, and equally charged with shepherding the flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5); “that no flesh should glory in His presence” 1 Corinthians 1:29.

These men never created doctrine or law, but were subject to Christ and committed to the faithful word and sound doctrine – Titus 1:9; and charged with the protection, feeding, and general care of the flock of Christ by example and teaching (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Titus 1:10-11; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

 
4. Sacrament

Here is a term that has its origins in the Latin, “Sacramentum” which meant a “thing set apart or sacred”. Isn't everything God set apart for us to do holy in that regard (set apart is the meaning of “sacred” or “holy”)? How can one be listed as more so than others? In fact, [we] must first be holy before God or nothing is – Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:16.

 

Conclusion

There are many things spoken, that we find used in the denominational world, that have no root in the oracles of God, or is used in a way that the oracles of God do not intend! We could continue this list with terms such as clergy, laity, fellowship halls, ministry retreats, rapture, etc…

 

When true submission to God's word becomes the order of the day, we soon learn that the satisfaction of the teaching of God is all that we need!

2 Peter 1:2-4 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

 

We could then focus on the words that edify and build up; instead of that which confuses or has a form of godliness, but denies its power (2 Timothy 3:5)!

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

 

Let us learn to speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where it is silent!