Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: How to Establish the Pattern – God’s Silence

patternist-2.pngMen seldom fail to recognize the rightness or wrongness of an issue when God has revealed Himself. If God has explicitly condemned an action, they know it to be wrong. They may do it anyway, but they know it is wrong. If God has given a positive commandment, it is understood that man has permission (and is even obligated) to do what has been commanded.

But what if God is silent? Some suggest (for example) that it is acceptable to use mechanical instruments of music in worship because God “didn’t say we couldn’t.” They contend that where God has not spoken, we are free to follow our own opinions. They believe God’s silence is permissive, not restrictive.

Problem is, the Bible says otherwise. First, consider Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Man’s perceptions and opinions are not dependable. We can’t KNOW God is pleased with our actions unless He says so!

Second, Jesus clearly states that when we go beyond His expressed will, what we do is iniquitous (cf. Matthew 7:21-23). The one who does “the will of” God is acceptable. As for the other, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’” (vs. 23).

There is a slogan that has been associated with God’s people in the last 200 years. “Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent.” It is a good slogan because it expresses a scriptural principle. A proper respect for God and His will precludes our acting on our own authority. God’s silence restricts!

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