How are We to Follow Jesus, Together, as a Local Church Family?


How are We to Follow Jesus, Together, as a Local Church Family?

Well, our starting place must be in the Person of Jesus Christ, Himself – the virgin-born son of God, The Jewish Messiah of Israel, God in Human Flesh, the Savior of the World.  And, we cannot separate God from His Revealed Written Word, the Bible, as well.  So our starting place must be God and His Holy Word, the Bible.  The following “snippet” is a snapshot of one of the articles of New LIFE Fellowship’s Statement of Faith:

The WORD of GOD

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the inspired Word of God, fully authoritativeinfallible and inerrant in their original writings2 Tim. 3:16-172 Peter 1:20-21  and they are complete as the Revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak.  Deut. 6:4-911:13-19Psalm 19:7-11;119:89-1041 Corinthians 10:8-12  (We approach the reading, studying, and applying of God’s Word utilizing the literal-grammatical-contextual-historical method of Bible Study. 2 Timothy 2:15 )

So, as New LIFE Fellowship – worshiping God together, serving God together, what we do, together, etc. – we stick to the Word of God, ALONE and ONLY – as the basis for our FAITH and PRACTICE.  Practice means ==>  What we do in our Trusting and Obeying of God, according to the Word of God, in the New Covenant in Christ.  We follow Jesus Christ according to His Holy Word, that which relates to us, who are truly born-again in Christ, in the New Covenant. We are not called to follow Moses according to the Mosaic Law of God, in the Old Covenant way of living.  This principle set forth very clear in Acts 15, the book of Galatians, and the book of HebrewsJeremiah 31:31-33 is also quite clear that the New Covenant is “not like” the Old Covenant of the Mosaic Law. Hebrews 7:12 is, also, quite clear, that since Jesus Christ is the New High Priest of the New Covenant, there is a “change of law”.  Thus, we as New Testament, New Covenant in Christ Christians, follow that which, only, applies to us in Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:20 – For ALL the Promises of God, in Christ, are Yes, and in Him, Amen, to the glory of God through us.

Thus, we must find all the Promises, Precepts (commands), Principles, and Patterns that are IN CHRIST – and Follow Christ accordingly.  That which applies to us, IN CHRIST, is what concerns us in our Trusting and Obeying of God, IN Christ.  I hope this makes sense.  I am NOT talking about never reading the Old Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament Scriptures are still part of the Holy Word of God, the Bible.  We need to know and understand all of the Old Testament to really understand the New Testament Scriptures.  We must see that the New Covenant in the Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ, is predicted within the Old Testament Scriptures.  So, they are very valuable, indeed. But, as to what we are to use as the basis of our Following of Christ, together, we need to use that which, only, applies to us in the New Covenant, which we are in, right now.  For example, there are certain laws in the Old Covenant, found in Exodus and Leviticus, that apply to the sons of Aaron as High Priest and how they are to officiate and perform certain duties within the Tabernacle, etc.  Those specific laws, rules, regulations, statutes, etc. did not apply to the normal, every day, Israelite, anymore than they would to anyone, today. They were specific, for a specific group of people, within the tribe of Levi, within Israel, while either the Tabernacle or the Temple was still standing.  Of course, today, the tabernacle or the Temple are no longer standing, the Levitical Priesthood has been disbanded, and thus, those laws do not apply to anyone, now.

So, even though we are to Stick to the Word of God, alone, we must stick to that which, only, applies to us, in Christ (per 2 Cor. 1:20). I hope this makes sense.

Also, and this is a BIG ALSO – we DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW anything that has its origins OUTSIDE of the Bible that purports to be “Christian”.  We are NOT Bound to such things.  Things like Celebrations, so-called “Christian Holidays”, Calendared Celebrations and Traditions (e.g.: annual), etc.  Many of the so-called Christian Holidays, which even many Protestant Denominations and Non-Denominations celebrate – have no origin in the Bible. That is, there are no examples, no prescriptions, no descriptions, etc. of the church during the time of the apostles, nor the apostles themselves participating in certain, modern, so-called “Christian” Holidays, Traditions, Celebrations, Rituals, etc.  I often ask folks that want to pressure me into Celebrating with them certain Celebrations, or Holidays, which are really Roman Catholic Traditions (non-Biblical, of course) – “So, I will participate with you, just like the apostles Peter, John, and Paul did … , etc.”   Folks tend to look at me kind of clueless.  Some even tell me that doesn’t matter, anymore.  What they fail to realize is that such things they are participating in, more than likely are really pagan-rooted traditions, with a thin veil of Roman Catholicism – masquerading as being “Christian” … they fail to follow the Word of God, alone.  If you Remember, we began this article with the following:

The WORD of GOD

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the inspired Word of God, fully authoritativeinfallible and inerrant in their original writings2 Tim. 3:16-172 Peter 1:20-21  and they are complete as the Revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak.  Deut. 6:4-911:13-19Psalm 19:7-11;119:89-1041 Corinthians 10:8-12  (We approach the reading, studying, and applying of God’s Word utilizing the literal-grammatical-contextual-historical method of Bible Study. 2 Timothy 2:15 )

Thus, if we truly believe this, then we would seek to, only, do that which is in-line with the Revealed, Written Word of God, the Bible. Of course, none of us are perfect in this.  But, we must understand these concepts.

We are to, ONLY, support, contend for, defend, and spread – that Set of  New Covenant, Biblical Beliefs (i.e.: The FAITH) that was, once and for all, delivered unto the Church – Jude 1:3 – Once and For All  -> for all Christians, for all time.  Thus, after the last apostle died (John the apostle, the son of Zebedee, brother of James, son of Zebedee) – there is no more new revelation, no more new traditions, no more new rituals, no more new holidays, no more new celebrations – for the whole church to be bound to, to obey and follow.  Upon the closing book, the Book of Revelation, the written Word of God is complete.  So, we are to NOT look outside of Scripture (i.e. the Bible) for anything that is “Christian” or for “things” for Christians to follow, etc.  Holy Scripture is enough:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 explains this well:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Thus, we have no need to look anywhere else, but to the Bible, for how we are to live and follow Christ.  We don’t need to listen to Rome, Hollywood, New York, Germany, or anywhere else.  We must stick to the Word of God, alone and only.

A few good questions to ask are: 
“So, did the apostles Peter, John, and Paul do ‘thus and so’?”
“So, how did the apostles Peter, John, and Paul celebrate this supposed ‘holiday’?”
“So, how did the apostles Peter, John, and Paul perform this ‘Christian tradition’?”
“So, how did the apostles Peter, John, and Paul perform this ‘Christian ritual’?”

Do you see, that by asking these types of questions, we encourage the person seeking to force us to participate in some so-called Christian Tradition, Ritual, Celebration, and/or Holiday – we encourage that person to go back to the Word of God and see, if, indeed, that is really something God wants us to be doing.

In 1 John 4:1 – God commands us to TEST any so-called “teaching” or anything that says it is Christian, or from God, if indeed, it really is from God.  We need to be more discerning and more focused on being SIMPLY BIBLICAL.
So, you’ve been warned, we, as New LIFE Fellowship will, only, Follow the Word of God – we are – Simply Biblical.

So, if there is an occasion that you might ask, “Why don’t we do ‘thus and so’ this time of year”?  You’ll know our answer – it will be formed in a question – “So, did the apostles Peter, John, and Paul do ‘thus and so’?”

🙂

God Bless y’all,

. . .

 

Pastor Andy Thomas

 

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