Commands, Traditions, Expedients, Innovations

Four Questions for Our Assemblies:

  • Why do we do what we do in the assembly? … Commands — NT pattern, what has been revealed
  • How do we do it? … Traditions — custom
  • Is there a way we can do it better? … Expedients — improve what we do to be more effective
  • Are there changes we must not make? … Innovations — changes to the pattern, departing from the truth


  • It is essential that we follow the NT pattern (2 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 8:5)
  • Christ has all authority (Matthew 28:18) — therefore we must do what He authorizes (Colossians 3:17)

Traditions (3 types)

  • Traditions handed down by the apostles (2 Thessalonians 2:15) — these we must keep (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
  • Human traditions that are authorized — how we customarily do things; must be authorized (Colossians 3:17)
  • Human traditions that are unauthorized (Matthew 15:3-6)


  • Something that is expedient means that it is profitable, better
  • By NT definition, an expedient will always be authorized (1 Corinthians 10:23)


  • Often claimed to be expedient, but are not lawful (1 Corinthians 10:23)
  • Result of man trusting in his own way (Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12)

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