Copyright © 1997, by John Lankford, Fort Smith, Arkansas

  1. Mode of baptism? (New Testament written in Greek) Greek words are:

      * rhantizo = sprinkle

      * cheo = pour

      * baptizo = immerse

    Which word does God specify in the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20)?

  2. We follow Christ and His teachings and not the Old Testament teachings (Matt 28:20)?

      * OT points to Christ (Col 2:16, 17)

      * OT only a shadow of the true (Heb 10:1)

      * Hence, the first (OT) in order to set in place the second (NT) [Heb 10:9]

      * Apostles taught the teaching of Christ (Matt 28:20, Acts 2:42)

      * The Sabbath, special priesthood, instrumental music all were a part of the OT system and are replaced with what they pointed to.

  3. Instrumental music?

      * God specifically asked for it in the OT (2 Chron 29:25, 26).

      * God never asked for it in the NT. If so, where is the passage?

      * Pope Vitalian (a mere man) put it in about 500 years after the church was established and under much protest (this can be documented). This proves that:

      1. no one who read the NT for 500 years got the idea that God asked for it.
      2. the Greek Orthodox Church still hasn't found it even though they read the NT in the original Greek language like we read a newspaper (this can be documented). Hence, they sing acapella.

      * If God is our Father, then He would like our love and trust. Shall we trust Him and give Him just what He asked for or what we ask for and want? (see 1 Cor 4:6).

      * note the CONTRAST between what God asked for in OT worship and what He asked for in NT worship as per music.

  4. One-man pastor system?

      * Apostles put "elders" (plural) in churches (Acts 14:23)

      * Titus 1:5 gives qualifications for installing "elders" (plural).

      * Acts 20:17ff elders = overseers (NAS, bishops) = shepherds (Greek = pastor) therefore, all the same people = Group of pastors.

      * Church has teachers that ought to be paid (Gal 6:6). They are commonly known as "preachers." They are not the one-man pastor of the church. Yet, a teacher may be one of the pastors (1 Tim 5:17)

      * Elders are men not women (Matt 10:2, Titus 1:6, 1 Tim 3:2)

      * Men teach the assembled church (1 Tim 2:11ff, 1 Cor 14:34ff)

      * Men and women may work together to tutor a person (Acts 18:26)

  5. Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day is the NT practice?

      * LS is a memorial to the death of Christ for our sins

      * The first day of the week is a memorial to His Resurrection = Lord's Day

      * The two events (death + Resurrection) are tied together (2 Cor 15:3, 4 and Rom 4:25); therefore, the memorials that reflect those events are logically tied together. And this is the practice seen in Acts 20:7. What other practice reflects the gospel like this one ? What other day would fit?

      * Taking the LS each Lord's Day, 52 times a year will cause a person to focus on what Christ has done for him on the cross and its verification by the Resurrection. This is result in true worship.

      * Records from early church history confirm that the standard practice was to take the LS each Sunday (see E. Ferguson, Early Christians Speak)

  6. A "falling away" will occur. False doctrine will creep in and make changes?

      * Some will draw away disciples (Acts 20:30)

      * We must "hold fast" the traditions delivered to the early church (2 Thess 2:15). This means to contend for the faith that was once delivered (Jude 3).

      * There can be no fellowship with those who want to change the apostolic teachings (Rom 16:17-18)

      * THE CHURCH IS TO STAND FOR THE TRUTH as delivered (1 Tim 3:15)

      * Church history give dates when the above practices (1-5) were changed by human wisdom (and with much controversy).

  7. Jesus is the "way, truth, and life" and exclusive way to God, the Father?

      * statement made (Jn 14:6)

      * belief in Him is necessary or one will not follow Him as the way (Jn 12:46)

      * the way is not easy (Matt 16:24)

      * but Jesus gives an invitation to come and bring your burdens (Matt 11:28)

      * discipleship involves belief, repentance and is initially declared in baptism (Matt 28:19)

  8. Who is Jesus?

      * The true light (John 1:9)

      * He reveals God to us as God really is (Jn 1:18)

      * He is "one with God" (John 14:10, Col 1:19)

      * Full of grace and truth (1 Jn 1:14)

      * King of Kings, Lord of Lords (Rev 19:18)

      * Based on the above, He is ALL-AUTHORITATIVE in matters of religion (Matt 28:18)

  9. True Discipleship?

      * thinks like Jesus thinks (Phil 2:5).

      * follows His teachings (Matt 28:20, Lk 6:46)

      * His teaching = the very words of God (John 8:28)

      * Our goal = Jesus' goal = to always please God (Jn 8:29, Jn 6:38)

      * Seeks to glorify God and not self (Jn 8:50)

      * If one believes, he obeys (John 3:36)

      * But our obedience springs out from LOVE FOR JESUS (John 14:23). This is the bottom-line.

  10. Human wisdom is insufficient as a guide in matters of religion?

      * God's thoughts are not man's. It is best, therefore, to hear God on a matter or learn what pleases God (Isa 55:8-9).

      * In fact, what seems right to man may be that which leads to death (Prov 14:12)

      * It is not in man to direct his own steps (NIV, Jer 10:23)

      * Example: water won't cleanse leprosy but God told Namaan to dip in water to be clean (2 Ki 5: 1-4). Only faith and trust in God effected his cure. He obeyed God and the leprosy left.

  11. God wants man to respect His word and not change it?

      * do not put words in God's mouth or remove words from what He says (Deut 4:2, 5:32)

      * do not go beyond what has been written . . . God has spoken! (1 Cor 4:6).

      * those who speak for God expect their word to remain unaltered (Rev 22:18)

        Ex: if God specifies "baptizo," then immerse.
        Ex: if has a design for the worship of the church that contrasts with the design of OT worship, then respect the design.
        Ex: if God makes love for Him and love for man the basic foundation for our actions, then let's not make "mere duty" the basis.

  12. Jesus' Words = Apostle's Words?

      * They taught people how to do (observe) what Jesus commanded (Mt 28:18-20)

      * Jesus' Word = God's Word and He gave it to them (apostles) (John 8:28, 17:8)

      * The apostles would be guided into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13, 14)

      * Apostolic Word authority (1 Cor 2:11-13, 1 Cor 14:37, 2 Thess 2:15)

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