What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 5 / No. 16”
What The Bible Says
Vol. V - No. 16 / January 15, 2023
MATTHEW 23 - ELEVATING MEN AND RELIGIOUS TITLES?
In Matt. 23:1-12, Jesus warns His disciples and the multitude concerning the religious leaders of that day, (the Scribes and the Pharisees) and their desires to be elevated above men. One way men were elevating themselves above others was the taking on of religious titles, titles like: Rabbi, Father and Master.
Matt. 23:5-7, reads this way, "all their works they do to be seen of men ... and they love the uppermost rooms at feast, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.”
Jesus went on to say, in verse 8, "BUT BE YE NOT CALLED RABBI: for one is your Master even Christ...." Do men call you Rabbi? Do you call men Rabbi? No doubt since it's wrong to call a man Rabbi, it's wrong to be called the same.
Matt. 24:9 reads, "AND CALL NO MAN FATHER UPON THE EARTH: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Does this remind you of most of the religious leaders of our day? We all have biological fathers. We wouldn't be here without them. When Jesus said, "for one is your Father which is in heaven", Jesus, no doubt had in mind, God the Father; i.e., their heavenly Father. ‘
Do you address anyone on earth as, "father" in a religious sense? Are you being called, "father"? Take, for example: Instead of being called Mr. Smith or Brother Smith, do others address you as "Father Smith?" Do you demand such a title? Certainly, since it's wrong to call a man, "father (as a religious title), it would likewise be wrong to be called "father" in the same way. If not why not? Jesus went on to say that we are not even to accept being called by a religious title’.
Matt. 23:10 reads, "NEITHER BE YE CALLED MASTERS: for one is your Master even (namely) Christ." Do you condone the use of religious titles when men and women address you? Do you practice things in religion just because it's what you've been taught? Or because, "it's the way we've always done it?" Have you sought approval from the New Testament for everything you say or do in religion?
The Bible teaches us that, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Col. 3:17
To do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, is to do all things by His authority. Do you have authority from Christ to call a man Rabbi, Father or Master? It may be that you've adopted the use of similar titles (Reverend, Pastor, Bishop, etc.,) when being addressed or addressing others? Jesus said that religious titles are used to elevate leaders above others.
Jesus went on to say, "BUT HE THAT IS GREATEST AMONG YOU SHALL BE YOUR SERVANT. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Matt. 23:11, 12.
Do you want to exalt yourself? Or do you want God to exalt you? If we want to be exalted by God, then we need to humble ourselves. Finally, We have this warning from Jesus, "He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the very word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." Jn. 12:48 —Jeremy Booker
What if you continually maintained a fever of 101 degrees? After going to the doctor, he prescribed aspirin or Tylenol to keep down the fever. However, after several days the fever returned but, upon checking with the doctor, he continued to insist on your using Tylenol. Surely it wouldn't take long for you to realize that the doctor was only treating the symptom of what might be something serious. Fever is often the body's way of indicating an infection. To continually take Tylenol, while it may help the fever, will not take care of the infection. To continually treat the symptom (fever) will never cure the problem (infection). Cure the infection and the fever will disappear.
What is true in the medical field is also true in the social realm. Illegitimate births, divorce, crime, etc. are social symptoms of a deeper problem--the lack of respect for a moral standard. That moral standard is not to be humanistic (“O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” Jeremiah 10:23) but rather a divine standard if our society is to be rescued from it downward spiral. We cannot continue to be sympathetic toward people who have ignored the standard of right and wrong. God's moral standard is for ALL our good. It is not being "bigoted" or “self-righteous" to insist on a moral code that EVERYONE must live by! Otherwise our society will continue to decay and fall into chaos.
The same is true of the confusion in religious matters. To see all the names that are being worn religiously, the different types of worship being engaged in, the numerous doctrines being preached, and the various ways for people to be saved from sin are all the symptoms of a much deeper rooted problem--a lack of respect for God's Word. To speak only where the Bible speaks (“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God….” 1 Peter 4:11) and respect the silence concerning things which God has not revealed His will, would get rid of the present confusion that exist.
The problem cannot be cured by treating the symptoms. Take care of the problem and all the symptoms will disappear! —E.R. Hall, Jr.
DON'T BE AFRAID!
Don't be afraid to visit us at the East Albertville church of Christ. We are not a part of any denomination (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). We are simply a local body of Christians (1 Corinthians 1:2) who meet together to worship the Lord (Acts 20:7) and to do the Lord's work collectively ( 1 Timothy 5:16) through the use of funds that are collected only from members of the church on the first day of each week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). We have no clergy (Matthew 23:8-12). The preacher is not called "Reverend" for that is a name and title that belongs exclusively to God (Psalms 111:9). Since we follow only the Bible, namely the New Testament, as the basis for our teaching and practice, we do not have a human creed or man-made doctrines. We strive to give book, chapter, and verse for all we teach and practice (Colossians 3:17). We do not worship according to human traditions for this renders worship vain (Matthew 15:7-9) but it is "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24). Members of the church are expected to live holy lives (1 Peter 1:15-16; Titus 2:12). We believe in one God, one Lord, one Spirit, one hope, one faith, one body (the body is the church - Colossians 1:18), and one baptism (Ephesians 4:4-6).
"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Bible Classes …………..….…………… 9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….……… 10:30 AM
Evening Worship …………………........ 5:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
Website: www. EastAlbertville.org