There are two verses about obedience in Romans 6:17-18-NKJV that are significant:
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
We must obey “from the heart” that form [pattern] of doctrine that Paul preached and taught (1 Cor. 2:1-2; cf. Gal. 6:14; Philippians 3:7-10). What was the pattern? The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4). We die to sin, we are buried in the watery grave of baptism, and then we rise to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4).
What a beautiful picture of salvation!
Honor God’s Plan of Salvation
By Richard Mansel
A. Honoring God’s Word brings to mind two key issues:
1. Protecting the purity of the Word so that others can have the same opportunities.
a. 2 Kings 22:8ff – Hilkiah finds the Book of the Law. Josiah enacts it.
b. We can allow the same thing to happen today, if we are not diligent.
2. The sobering responsibility that we have as we teach and live God’s Word
B. We want to discuss these two themes in light of honoring God’s Plan of Salvation.
C. Our mindset is very important.
Today I received in the mail four copies of Phillip Owens’s booklet, “Is There a ‘Pattern’ in the New Testament that God Wants Us to Follow?” Though Owens is of the non-institutional persuasion, it is mentioned in passing only on the first page.
He has some good things to say, in the face of supposedly patternless people who disparage those of us who teach that the New Testament does present a pattern for faith and practice.
Here are a couple of quotes:
Though each [New Testament] letter was initially sent to specific individuals and churches concerning local circumstances (see I Tim. 1:1-2; Gal. 1:1-2), they were intended to be circulated among others, read in the assemblies (Col. 4:16; I Thess. 5:27), and applied to every circumstance that was related (see I Cor. 1:1-2; 4:17; 4:17; 16:1).
How do we know what to do, or “uncover this pattern”? First, Jesus’ teachings, attitudes seen in His actions and words, and His desires are examples for us to follow in every way (see Matt. 7:24-29; Col. 1:27; I Pet. 2:21). Since Jesus said that His words would form the authoritative basis of judgment for every person, He implied that His words were authoritative until the end of time (see Matt. 7:21-23; Jno. 12:48). We are to live as if Jesus were living in us by His teachings (Col. 3:1-4; Gal. 2:20). As we often and rightly sing, “He the great example is, and pattern for me.”
You can request a free copy of this 20-page booklet at this website.
How do you organize your prayers? Like Ron, there is no set organized pattern in my daily prayer life. The Montana Street congregation has a prayer list that contains all of the members who are in need of prayer, and we do pray for them as a congregation and individually as well. We do call and visit our members who are confined to their homes, plus make provisions for them to take the Lord’s Supper on the Lord’s Day.
If you’re talking about the organization of each individual prayer, I usually petition the Lord for helping us to reach the lost, for providing the needs of members who are sick and in the hospital, and for missionary efforts that we support as well as those efforts of other congregations world-wide. My prayer includes wisdom for our government and military leaders, not only in our country, but for every country, so that we might live in a peaceful environment.
This is another reason to thank God that we live in a wealthy nation where there are standards for how buildings should be constructed. In Haiti they build buildings without a plan or a pattern. As a result, they fall when pressure is applied. Far too many lives are like that, as well. It is all tragic.
The reason denominationalism exists is because men have departed from God’s pattern.
–Tim Arthur, Wadsworth church bulletin, via Streetsboro, Oh., church bulletin
Since we have been studying the book of Joshua on Wednesday nights, I’m amazed at the great detail in God’s plan of allocating the parcels of land to the various tribes. Not only is God the God of order, but the God of great detail as well.
When God lays out a pattern or plan, there’s no wondering about it – God lays it out in great detail, and then expects us to carry it out with the same detail.
It is claimed that there isn’t a pattern in the New Testament that tells us how we are to conduct ourselves as Christians in the work and worship of the Church. However, they fail to understand that the human mind naturally thinks in terms of patterns.
God gave explicit directions in the Old Testament and there is absolutely no indication that He would get to the New Testament and throw open the doors to anything that man could conceive of to do?
When has God ceded all authority to man?
God did give us instruction and guidance in the New Testament as to how to serve Him (2 Timothy 3:16-17, et al). But, why wouldn’t He, if that is how we think?
For more on the New Testament pattern see here, and here and here
What sighted person has not stared at clouds or wood paneling and tried to perceive patterns in the designs? Who does not seek structure in the movies, novels, articles and conversations that we engage in?
Here are some quotes from the secular world that show clearly the innate human need for patterns: Continue reading
Most of the Biblical doctrines that people claim are too difficult to understand are actually concepts that they have no problem with in everyday life. Everyone understands only having one right answer when it comes to a secular subject. But when asked to apply this simple fact to the Bible, their brains become scrambled.
Everyone knows why patterns are necessary but when the subject arises in terms of the New Testament, the very idea becomes hopelessly confusing. Being under one covenant at a time is so simple that a small child can understand it. But frame the same concept in a Biblical sense and the greatest minds in the religious world turn to mush.
These truths prove two things: First, the fleshly human mind will rationalize anything that contradicts its desires. Second, Satan’s lies are phenomenally successful.
Let us not allow Satan to cloud our minds and obscure the glories of God’s Word (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7).