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“ Is it a sin…”. Questions for the church. Is it a sin to send money from the church treasury to an orphan’s home? Is it a sin to send money from the treasury to another congregation to do a larger work? It is a sin to give money from the treasury to a non-Christian?. Questions for the church.

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questions for the church
Questions for the church
  • Is it a sin to send money from the church treasury to an orphan’s home?
  • Is it a sin to send money from the treasury to another congregation to do a larger work?
  • It is a sin to give money from the treasury to a non-Christian?
questions for the church3
Questions for the church
  • Central point
    • Where is our authority for what we do
    • What are the consequences of acting without authority
    • Matt 21:23-24 –“When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”
    • Did it matter in whose name Jesus cast out demons in Mtt. 12? By Satan or by the Spirit of God?
where did jesus get his authority
Where did Jesus get his authority?
  • John 7:15-18 – “So Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. … He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
  • John 12:48-50 – “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandmentas to what to say and what to speak.”
where did jesus get his authority5
Where did Jesus get his authority?
  • Jesus’ authority passed down to his apostles
    • Matt 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    • Does this leave room to teach those things NOT commanded by Christ?
did the apostles pass this on
Did the apostles pass this on?
  • 1 Cor 2:7-11 - but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, … (v. 10) For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.”
  • All scripture is profitable why? II Tim. 3:16
  • If it is not inspired, it is NOT profitable!
    • 1 Tim 6:3 – “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness…”
did the apostles pass this on7
Did the apostles pass this on?
  • Our doctrine must also be sound!
    • 2 John 9 – “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.”
  • Our doctrine and understanding of scripture must be the reason we serve as we do
    • Rom 14:22-23 – “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”
    • Is this faith in myself, in my opinion, in my goodness, or in the word of God? Rom. 10:17
when we determine the church s work
When we determine the church’s work…
  • We look for revelation of God’s word
    • Through Jesus
    • Through the apostles
    • Through those inspired by the Spirit in scripture
  • We look for approved examples
    • Examples do not necessarily condemn all other possibilities, BUT they do show us an approved pattern to follow
  • We prayerfully study and attempt to “handle aright” the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15), making appropriate judgments and inferences from the revealed word
are traditions a part of that work
Are traditions a part of that work?
  • 2 Thess 2:15 – “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”
    • Did the apostles teach human tradition? 1 Cor 2:13 – “…which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit”
    • 2 Thess 3:6 – “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.”
are traditions a part of that work10
Are traditions a part of that work?
  • We cannot follow our own traditions at the expense of or on the same level as God’s tradition!
    • “teaching as doctrine the precepts of men”, Mtt. 15:9 – relegates God’s word to stand alongside man’s ideas
    • Mk 7:9 – the Jews “set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition”
    • If we’ve “always done it that way”, has it always been done by the authority of Christ?
we act without authority
We act without authority…
  • …when we ignore scriptural teaching
  • …when we introduce new teaching that “goes beyond” or replaces what we are authorized to do
  • …when we determine the course of church action by anything other than the word of God
  • …when we bind certain traditions where God has not bound
are unauthorized acts sinful
Are “unauthorized acts” sinful?
  • The question is often not whether we are acting without authority, but whether authority has truly been established!
    • “Silence” can signal a lack of authority (Heb. 7:14)
      • Acts 15:24 – “Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls”
    • “Silence” can also signal license or permission
      • Acts 5:3-4 – “But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?”
    • How do we differentiate???
are unauthorized acts sinful13
Are “unauthorized acts” sinful?
  • Example: instruments of music
    • Eph 5:19 – “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;” OMISSION or PERMISSION?
    • First, is it a general command or a specific command? (Does God want music or singing?)
    • Do we insert additional specific commands in other contexts? Only when we KNOW it is a matter of indifference!
    • Whose wisdom seeks instrumental music? Is it based on faith? Or on personal preference?
are unauthorized acts sinful14
Are “unauthorized acts” sinful?
  • Back to the example of Romans 14
    • Rom 14:21-23 – “It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”
    • Is conviction established by the word or by my own feelings?
    • If I do not know “the thoughts of the God” (I Cor. 2:11), how do I know whether it is a matter of indifference to God or not?
  • Is there a specific command? Is there reason to believe God is indifferent? What is my reasoning for wanting to do it?
are unauthorized acts sinful15
Are “unauthorized acts” sinful?
  • When I act without authority:
    • I go beyond the commandments of God
    • I substitute my own judgment for the scripture
    • I show a greater desire to follow my own will than to ensure that I am right with God
  • Even when the result is “good”
    • “Matt 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
  • When I practice lawlessness, I practice sin!
are unauthorized acts always sinful
Are “unauthorized acts” always sinful?
  • “Is it a sin to give money from the treasury to a non-Christian?” (I Cor. 16:1, II Cor. 9:13-14, Rom. 15:26)
    • Matt 12:2-7 – “But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.“ But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? … But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent.”
    • Are we more concerned with judging and condemning a brother than we are in being compassionate? Mtt. 7:1-2
    • We should be slow to label an individual act as sinful that has not been labeled as such by God!
when the word plainly states
When the word plainly states…
  • Acts 8:35-38 – “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" [And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."] And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.”
    • Do we respond to God’s commands as the eunuch did? Or do we make excuses (Luke 14:18)?