By Jim Miller
Over the years the word of God has been so twisted and so many things have been taught as acceptable and practiced that on the surface look like good works that everyone simply accepts them as being authorized by scripture.
In reality if one is truly seeking to do only those things which God approves all one needs to do is look to the Bible for the truth. However, this way of establishing what is authorized is the most often ignored. It is NOT just the denominational world but even those claiming to be Christs church that are now doing things and teaching things that have NO authority at all but are accepted under the guise of Good Works.
Some still try to say God didn't say we could not do this or that and take it upon themselves to ad to Gods word. Others will say oh that is just an expedient used to help bring others to Christ so again they ad to Gods word.
Now days you have the Good Works folks running around justifying their actions and additions to Gods word because of course how could a good work be unacceptable to God?
Instead of looking for the way God authorizes a thing lets look at how His authority is NOT established.
1. We don’t establish authority by the silence of the Scriptures. Some believe that one way to establish authority is by the silence of the Scriptures. Some have said that where the Scriptures are silent that we are free to act. Some have written tracts and delivered sermons on what to do when there is no pattern. We must understand, however, that the silence of the Scriptures is not a means by which we establish authority. The silence of the Scriptures is not permissive. The Hebrew writer argued that Jesus could not serve as a priest under the law of Moses, not because the Scriptures said that he couldn’t, but because it never authorized it. Listen to the words of the Hebrew writer, “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning the priesthood” (Heb. 7:14). Some of our brethren today still act like the silence of Scripture is permissive. I hear brethren asking questions like “where does the Scripture say that we can’t do this or that?” When we ask questions like this we are asking the wrong question. We need to be asking “Where does the Scripture authorize it?”
2. We do not establish authority by expediency. Some of our institutional brethren want to list expediency as a means for establishing authority. An expedient is simply a means or method that one may use to accomplish a goal. We must recognize that for a thing to be an expediency it must first be lawful or authorized. Paul made this point in 1 Corinthians 6:12 when he said, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” We cannot claim an addition to God’s word or a substitution for God’s way as an expedient and think that it is then authorized.
3. We do not establish authority in a way different from first century Christians. Many are now calling good works authoritative. We are told that surely God will not frown on a thing we do because it is such a good work.We must recognize that Jesus and God have not changed (Heb. 13:8). We must establish authority today in the same way that the first century Christians did.
Men have failed to study and understand that there is a big difference in what an individual can do and what the church as whole in any local area can do. The church is there to meet the spiritual needs of its members to strengthen them and edify them to prepare them to go out into the world and teach others giving them the tools necessary to do so. But today so many denominational practices have been adopted and taught that the true work of the church has been lost.
The plea still rings out loud and clear for us to go back to doing Bible things in Bible ways but our call is falling on def ears and we are now accused of being the dividers because we seek proper authority for what we do. There was a time when this was the opposite case but not anymore because over the years men have failed to stand for the truth seeking rather to have peace with everyone not wanting to step on toes or hurt someones feelings.
Folks take a step back and ask yourself really how good is a thing if there is no authority for it? Is God really going to approve of what is being done just because we call it a good work?