Does the Church Lack?

Text: Ephesians 4:16

The church, as God designed it, is fully capable of carrying out the work that He has given it to do. Yet it is apparent that many practices that have become common in the religious world are not done by brethren. Many might assume it is because the church lacks money, personnel, attendance, facilities, the proper attitude, etc. But it is not because the church lacks any of these things – it lacks Bible authority for the practices (Colossians 3:17).

Women Preachers

  • Women preachers are becoming more common in the religious world, yet we do not have them
  • Is it because the church lacks women who can teach? – no, we lack Bible authority for women preachers
  • Not that women are inferior (Galatians 3:28) – not that they are incapable of teaching (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15; Titus 2:3-4)
  • God gave different roles to men and women (1 Corinthians 11:3) – women are not to teach over men (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:11-12)

Fellowship Halls

  • Many churches have “fellowship halls” (or similar) for social gatherings, yet we do not
  • Is it because we lack the funds to build one? – no, we lack Bible authority for something like a “fellowship hall”
  • It is good for Christians to enjoy time together socially (Acts 2:46) – meals, etc.
  • But it is not to be mixed with the work of the church (1 Corinthians 11:22, 34)

Instrumental Music

  • It is very uncommon for a church to be without instrumental music in worship, yet we do not use it
  • Is it because we lack musicians who could play the instruments? – no, we lack Bible authority for instrumental music in worship to God
  • We have been instructed to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) – we cannot use the OT for our authority (Colossians 2:14)
  • God’s silence is prohibitive, not permissive (Hebrews 7:14)

Programs to Help the Poor

  • Many people, even non-religious people, believe churches are charities, yet we do not do charity work
  • Is it because we lack compassion for the poor and needy? – no, we lack Bible authority for using congregational funds to help the poor
  • In the NT, churches helped saints only (Acts 4:32-35; 11:29; Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:12) – even then, benevolence was not a primary work of the church (1 Timothy 5:16)
  • Individually, we can and should help as we can (Galatians 6:10; James 1:27) – but that does not authorize the church to do so

Youth Groups

  • Many churches in the religious world have “youth groups,” yet we do not
  • Is it because we lack young people? – no, it is because we lack Bible authority for the denominational-type “youth group” (groups that are segregated for worship and social gatherings)
  • The church is to come together for worship (1 Corinthians 11:33) – not be segregated from one another
  • As noted with the point about fellowship halls, the church’s work is not social (1 Corinthians 11:34)

Conclusion

  • Anyone can come up with a list of things that a particular congregation does not have – but we have everything we need to do the work God wants us to do (Ephesians 4:16)
  • Many things we don’t have are because we lack Bible authority for them (Colossians 3:17)
  • We must hold fast to the pattern (2 Timothy 1:13) – not copy the unauthorized practices of the religious world

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