The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)



1.  We have learned that man will use his religious experience,
    a.  his church traditions or doctrines, and his own reason or opinions
  as the source of spiritual Authority.
2.  However, from the beginning of the Bible unto its end,
    a.  God has used an enormous amount of words
    b.  to make clear to men that the only belief or act (in religion) which is pleasing to Him
    c.  is one which is authorized by His word.
3.  Of the matter of authority, the apostle Paul said, "And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed,
            do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17).
4.  The expression "in the name of the Lord" means “by the authority of the Lord.”
    a.  Therefore, to do something “in the name of the Lord”
  is to do it by His authority - His word - the Bible.

5.  Please turn and read in your Bible Acts 4:5-10.
    a.  After the lame man had been healed, the Jewish rulers asked Peter and John,
            "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?" (vs. 7).
    b.  In Peter's reply, he said, "...By the name of Jesus of Nazareth...doth this man stand here
            before you whole" (Acts 4:10).
6.  After conferring among themselves,
    a.  the Jews charged Peter and John
    b.  not to teach any more in the name of Jesus (vs. 15-18).

7.  From this passage the following THREE matters are clear:
    a.  First, the Jews asked Peter and John by whose authority they had so acted.
    b.  Second, Peter told them they had acted by the authority or name of Jesus Christ.
        1.  And third, the Jews told them not to teach any more
        2.  the message which Jesus had authorized them to preach.

8.  How did the apostles respond to these Religious Leaders?
    a.  The Bible says, “But Peter and John answered and said to them, whether it is right
            in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.  For we cannot
            but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (vs. 19-20).
    b.  Later, before this same council, the apostles plainly said,
            “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

9.  Friends, this is the theme of all our teaching.
    a.  In each lesson we present
    b.  we are endeavoring to get each of you
    c.  to obey God rather than men.
10. We are NOT asking anyone to obey us, Billy Graham,
    a.  the pope, Joseph Smith, Jr., or your “reverend/pastor.”
  We want you to take God’s word, the Bible,
        1.  and make it your only Authority in matters of religion.
        2.  Then we want you to teach this message to the lost (cf. Ezra 7:10).

11. 2 John 9-11 states, "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ,
            hath not God: He that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son.
            If anyone cometh unto you, and bringeth not this doctrine, receive him not into your house,
            and give him no greeting: for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works."
12. In short, this passage makes clear
    a.  that anyone who does that which is not authorized by the word of God
  (the Gospel, the faith, the New Covenant, etc.) sins in so doing;
  and thus, does not have God's approval in that matter.

13. Friends, to be pleasing to God
    a.  one must have the proper authority for what he does in religion.
    b.  It is absolutely crucial that men walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7),
    c.  and that they recognize where faith comes from.
14. The Bible says, “faith comes by hearing...the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
    a.  No one's faith can "out-run" his knowledge of the word of God.
    b.  Everything that a man believes, does, or is in (a member of),
        1.  he believes, does, or is in either by God's authority
        2.  or by mere HUMAN authority.
15. The Bible makes clear that in matters of religious faith and practice
    a.  God NEVER accepts that which is believed or done
    b.  by mere HUMAN authority (cf. Mark 7:6-13).

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