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Did You Ever Notice?

Do people still read the Bible?  I ask this because I don’t see the evidence of understanding the Bible in many religious organizations and individuals where I live.  I know that they usually claim the Bible as the foundation of their beliefs and practices, but I don’t see the words of the Bible actually manifested in what they are doing.  Therefore, I offer a few questions intended to challenge some common practices that I see as conflicting with plain Bible teaching.

Did you ever notice that there are no denominations in the New Testament?  In fact, the Bible warns Christians against such divisions (1Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-7).

Did you ever notice that there were no musical instruments used in the church of the New Testament?  The only references to music pertained to singing only (Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 3:16).

Did you ever notice that there were no central organizations, associations, or conventions of churches in the New Testament?  Even though there was one meeting under the guidance of the apostles and the Holy Spirit at Jerusalem (Acts 15), this does not authorize such conventions as exist today.  Instead, each church was autonomous and had its own elders and deacons (Acts 14:23; 20:28; 1Tim. 3:1-15; Tit. 1:5-9; 1Pet. 5:1-4).

Did you ever notice that preachers (evangelists) and pastors had different and distinct functions in the New Testament?  Preachers were men who spread the gospel of Christ, while pastors (elders, overseers, shepherds, bishops, presbyters) were men (always plural in each church) who had leadership over local churches (Acts 20:17, 28; Eph. 4:11; 1Pet. 5:1-4).

Did you ever notice that Christians were not required to “tithe” in the New Testament?  Instead, they gave as they had prospered and as they purposed in their hearts (1Cor. 16:1-4; 2Cor. 8-9).

Did you ever notice that churches and Christians appealed to sinners through Christ and His gospel rather than through food, entertainment, or recreation (Acts 8:4-5, 12; 11:26; 12:24; 13:48; 14:1, 21; 16:5; 17:4, 12, 34; 18:8; 19:10; 1Cor. 2:1-2; 2Tim. 4:1-2)?

Did you ever notice that no colleges, orphanages, retirement homes, or hospitals were funded by the churches in the New Testament?

Did you ever notice that the New Testament church’s function was never to support the physical needs of the world?  Instead, the church was called “the pillar and support of the truth” (1Tim. 3:15).

Did you ever notice that baptism into Christ was for penitent believers to receive forgiveness of sins and salvation and not for initiation into a denomination or just a sign of salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-7; Gal. 3:27; 1Pet. 3:21)?

Did you ever notice that New Testament Christians were to have spiritual fellowship with one another and not with people of the world (Acts 2:42-47; 2Cor. 6:14-18; 1John 1:5-7)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible condemns the practice of divorce and remarriage with just one exception (Matt 5:31-32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:18; John 4:16-18; Rom. 7:1-3)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible commands a man to love his wife as Christ loves the church and a woman to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ (Eph. 5:22-33)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible commands children to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible places the responsibility for raising children on fathers (Eph. 6:4)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible commands older men “to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance” (Tit.2:2)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible commands older women “to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women” (Tit. 2:3-4a)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible commands younger women “to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Tit. 2:4-5)?

Did you ever notice that the Bible commands younger men “to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us” (Tit. 2:6-8)?

These are a few of the things that seem to have escaped the notice of many people, so it is a worthy endeavor to point them out to others (1Tim. 4:6).  Now that these points are brought to our attention, all we need to do is make the applications.

Stacey E. Durham



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