As we have examined the good kings of Judah in the book of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, it amazed me how often there were those who left the “faith;” then, under a new king dedicated to God, he would seek to rebuild and restore God’s temple and worship. The idea of restoration is doing things God’s way because God said this is what needed to be done. It is honoring God and his word by obedience to His commands. It is following His word in the plan of salvation, in our worship, in the leadership of the church, and in our service to mankind. It is doing God’s will according to what he has said needed to be done. It is showing God that we love Him by keeping his commandments (John 14:15-24). This is our proof that we are Christians.
We often try to do things our way, and expect God to condone our actions. The BETTER way is to do what God has commanded, because He has commanded it. We cannot expect God to condone our actions if they are not in keeping with His word. Hence, we need restoration, not reformation. We cannot and shall never seek to reform the Bible in our likeness and image, for then, we will be guilty of idolatry. When we create gods in our image, those “gods” will condone whatever sin we engage in, and will allow us to live by our desires and lusts of the flesh.
It no wonder that many will not be Christians, because there is no uniform standard as to what is a Christian without the Word of God. Hence, as in the days of the kings of Judah, we need to know, study and LIVE GOD’S WORD!
Consider the following ideas, and let me know what you think. TOMMY
THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT
ARE WE PRACTICING FIRST CENTURY CHRISTIANTY?
The question has been raised, “Is it possible for those of us living in the twenty-first century to practice first century Christianity?” In other words, is it possible to do exactly what the church of the first century did in worship, evangelism and in service to the Lord? This can be done, if all of us study and know Scripture and try to live our lives in direct accordance with Scripture. We do not need books of law outside of the Bible to guide us in how we worship or in how we live. The big question is, “ARE WE LIVING IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT CLEARLY TEACHES IN OUR WORSHIP, IN OUR THINKING AND IN OUR LIVES? DO WE OBEY THE COMMANDS OF THE LORD?
As we look about the brotherhood, we see many departing from sound doctrine. One might ask, what man decides what is sound doctrine and what is not? The answer is simple – the inspired word of God does — John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” 1 Peter 1:22-24 states, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;. . . “
Is it possible then to practice first century Christianity today? YES! If we stick to God’s inspired Word and practice what inspired men wrote in the first century.
When the winds of opinions and the clamor for change blow around us, let us stand fast and believe God. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word will stand forever.” (Matthew 24:35). Throughout the New Testament we are admonished to stand fast. Hold on to sound doctrine. Fight the good fight of faith.
Yes, we can practice Christianity just as the first century Christians did. They followed what the Word of God taught. So can we!
THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT – SOME RIGHT USES OF IT
The leaders of the Restoration movement pleaded for the word of God as the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice in religion (2 Timothy 3:16-17). They opposed all creeds and doctrines of men (Matthew 15:9). They preached Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2; Galatians 5:14). Sinners were taught to believe in Christ, repent of their sins, and upon confession that Jesus is the Son of God, to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin (Hebrews 11:6; Acts 2:22-38; Acts 8:35-40). They were taught that the LORD WOULD ADD the obedient to HIS CHURCH as he did in the first century (Acts 2:47). This is New Testament teaching and, therefore, a correct use of the Restoration plea.
The brethren in the Restoration movement admonished the disciples to work and worship as did the early disciples and to wear the name of Christ, being Christians only, and the only Christians, with no denominational affiliation membership whatever (Acts 11:26). As they taught the truth on these matters then, so must we now. This is a correct use of the Restoration Plea.
The brethren in the early days of the Restoration Movement taught that if men would follow the teaching of the New Testament faithfully, this would result in the unity for which our Lord so earnestly prayed (John 17:20-21). This teaching is as relevant now as when they taught it.
The faithful brethren of the restoration pleaded with men to be governed by the word of God in all things without addition or subtraction. This is the position which Christians should hold. This is the scripturally safe position (Jeremiah 6:16; 1 Peter 4:11 and 2 John 9-11).
The principle of restoration is right. Men might destroy all wheat plants in the world, but that would not have destroyed the wheat kingdom as long as they did not destroy the wheat seed. The seed could be planted, and it would reproduce itself – the same thing it produced originally. “Reproduction” is defined as “the process by which animals and plants bring forth AFTER THEIR KIND.” The kingdom, the church, therefore, is not destroyed as long as the seed (the word of God – Luke 8:11) remains. The seed will never be destroyed (Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25). When that seed is planted in good soil, in an honest and good heart,” (Luke 8:15), it will produce what it has always produced – the church of our Lord (Acts 2:1-47). We subscribe to no requirements of membership but those set out in the New Testament; we hold to no organization except that revealed by inspired men, and we engage in no worship but that required by divine revelation. Therefore the restoration plea is right, and there is no doubt that we constitute the church of the Lord.
Garland Elkins THE GET WELL REMINDER July 5, 1984
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!