March 4, 2016

The Doctrine of the Established Word

Luke 16:16-17

The Word:

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.- Deuteronomy 19:15

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.- Matthew 18:15

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.- 2 Corinthians 13:1

Well I'd consider that an established Word, wouldn't you. There it is, not one, not two, but three times. ESTABLISHED. 

The Application:

If we want to confirm new testament doctrinal truths, consider the amount of times it has been repeated in the Word.

Wait, does this mean if it is written only once, we are not required to obey it? 

What does the bible say?
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.- Joshua 1:8

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.- 2 Timothy 3:16-17

All the Word of God is to be regarded. Every word is inspired by God to instruct us in righteousness. With that in mind, consider that there are approximately 613 laws that make up the Mosaic law. A large fraction of them, however, are not specifically singled out and reiterated more than once throughout the bible. Jesus instead summed up the obedience to the law in this manner:

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.- Matthew 22:37-40
In the new testament God shows us that
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.- Hebrews 10:1-2

So the law is not disregarded.  Instead, it is fulfilled and obeyed- by love of God and love of neighbor- through the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than the tedious observance of hundreds of different laws.

On the other hand, there are specifically emphasized laws and/or principles of laws that are repeated numerously throughout scripture. These principles are usually repeated both in the Old and New testaments alike. Believers in Jesus Christ must take heed that we obey these as doctrinal laws and principles, given to us from and through him directly,and through his apostles.
Here are some examples in the list below of specifically reiterated laws and principles. I invite you to search the scriptures personally,  for the list below is not meant to be exhaustive nor in any particular order:

There is only one God Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 4:2; Ephesians 4:5-6
Only one way to God Leviticus 10:1-3; John 14:6; John 10:1; John 10:9; John 3:5; Matthew 7:14; 2 Peter 2:21
The Lord thy God is one Deuteronomy 6:4 ; Mark 12:32; Ephesians 4:5-6
God is Holy Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; 1 Samuel 6:20; Psalm 99:5; 1 Peter 1:16; Revelation 15:4
God's people are to be Holy Leviticus 20:7; 1 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Peter 2:9
Blood is required for atonement  Leviticus 17:11; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:22
Homosexuality is sin Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 16:9; 1 Timothy 1:10; Romans 1:26-27
Male/female are distinct from each other Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:2; 1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Corinthians 11:14-15
Sexual Immorality is sin Leviticus 18:20-23; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 21:8
Water Baptism essential for salvation Exodus 14:22,30; 2 Kings 5:14; Mark 16:16; John 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21
Do Everything in Jesus name Deuteronomy 18:7; Acts 22:16; Acts 4:12; Colossians 3:17; Mark 16:17
Receiving God's Holy Spirit essential for salvation Exodus 13:21; John 7:39; Acts 1:8; Acts 8:14-15
Following God's Holy Spirit essential to salvation Exodus 13:21; Exodus 19:9; Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
God-induced language is sign of  Receiving Holy Spirit Numbers 11:26; 1 Samuel 10:6; 1 Samuel 19:20; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:4,33; Acts 8:17-18; Acts 10:44,46

While this list is not exhaustive, it is important to make sure the doctrine we adhere to, does not omit these doctrinal truths, neither oppose them. It is fine to adhere to standards and traditions that enable us to obey and live out these truths in our daily lives more effectively and perfectly, yet one must be careful that tradition does not replace the doctrine. We also have to be careful that tradition is not regarded as doctrine, rather as an enhancement to it. Mark 7:7. In other words the doctrine, like the daily food we eat to live, is the basic minimum for salvation It is also the instruction from God for living as a fully committed follower of Christ.  Anything outside of the doctrine, like a vitamin supplement, for example, should enhance not replace our daily living. If, for some reason, a doctrine is built from a verse in scripture that is found in only one place and no where else, it is necessary to consider if and where the verse is more perfectly expounded on. It is essential to search the scriptures to see if it is fulfilled in obeying it's  revealed summation.

For example:
1. The mosaic laws (unique to Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers) are summed up and fulfilled in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:33, Romans 13:9;
2. The commandment to the apostles unique to Matthew 28:19 is summed up and fulfilled in Acts 22:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 19:5, and 1 Corinthians 6:11.

 Studying, believing, and obeying the doctrine of Christ,-the Word-, over man-made doctrines or doctrinal interpretations, will shield the body of Christ from internal confusion and discord. Adherence to the same thing- the Word of God handled with Holy Ghost empowered wisdom and integrity- will result in one faith, and one baptism, according to the Word of the one Lord.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.-2 John 1:9

No comments: