Building According To Bible Authority

  Since the Scriptures are the only source we have today from which to appeal for divine authority, let's make some applications. Let's build the Lord's church. Notice I said, the LORD'S church. We can go to the Scriptures and reconstruct the church today as the Lord would have it. He has left us the rule book to follow wherein are stated commands and approved examples for us to follow.

NAME: What name is authorized in the Scriptures? In Acts 11:26 we read that the name each individual member wore was "Christian". The church wore the name of "Christ" in Romans 16:16 and the name of "God" in 1 Corinthians 1:2. Where have all the other names, we so commonly hear today, come from, the Scriptures? If so, where are they in the Scriptures? Examine the name you wear? Is it a name DIVINELY authorized!?

FOUNDATION: The Lord's church is founded only on one thing: Christ and His being the Son of God. (1 Corinthians 3:11; Matthew 16:18). This foundation is the only one that cannot be shaken or changed but observe how churches today have changed so often from what things they use to uphold and stand for. As the tide of public sentiment changes so do churches that are not built upon the foundation of Christ.

LAW: The Lord's church is not directed by the dictates of men or groups of men but only that which has been written in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 4:6; 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The law of His church is not abridged nor revised on a regular basis but, instead, will last forever (1 Peter 1:23-25) without periodic updates.

MEMBERSHIP: The Lord has defined the terms of membership to His church. In Acts 2:38, as well as all through the book of Acts, the conditions are faith, repentance, confession, and baptism. In the Lord's church what it takes to become a Christian also adds the Christian to the Lord's church (verse 47). Compare this to the many churches that require something separate from being saved and being a member of their churches. Such is not found in the Scriptures!

ORGANIZATION: Compared to the organizational structures of other churches, the organization of the Lord's church is simple. Philippians 1:1 states bishops (elders), deacons, and saints make up the organization. The qualifications for elders and deacons are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 while "saints" are simply those who have obeyed the gospel and are Christians, sanctified. This is all there is revealed of the church's organization and we are going beyond the Scriptures and putting ourselves into the position of not having God (2 John 9) when we add anything to this organization. There is no Bible authority for anything different from that which has been revealed!

WORSHIP: Yes, the Lord even tells us what He wants us to do to worship Him. After all, He has all authority (Matthew 28:18) and He is head of the church (Ephesian 5:23,24). From Acts 2:42 we see the example of the church in Jerusalem engaging in worship that consisted of teaching, observing the Lord's supper, and praying. From Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 the worship is to include singing. From Acts 20:7, the example of the church in Troas, the Lord's supper is to observed on the first day of the week.

Only when we are able to find and give book, chapter, and verse are we proving divine authority for that which we believe and practice. Only in this way can we know for a fact that what we practice can be done in the name of Jesus Christ and, thus, with His approval.

--E.R. Hall, Jr.