OceanSide church of Christ
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERSW (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. There are several religious groups that have catechisms. These groups also have “catechism classes” for their children.
1. A catechism is a book maintained by a particular religious organization that summaries its doctrines and beliefs, usually in the form of questions and answers.
2. These groups believe that questions and answers are one of the best ways to impart knowledge.
B. When Jesus taught upon the earth, we find Him engaged in questions and answers.
1. Sometimes He was the one who asked the questions (Matt. 16:13).
When Jesus came into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?
2. At other times, Jesus was the one who received the questions (Matt. 19:3).
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
C. We have asked you to submit questions in the box in the foyer.
1. Thus far, we have received 21 questions.
2. Tonight, we want to begin to answer some of these questions.
3. We will try to use the first Sunday night of every month for Questions and Answers.
I. QUESTION #1
A. Are the 10 commandments still relevant today?
1. Relevant: bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand
2. Synonyms: applicable, germane, appropriate, suitable, fitting
B. In the strictest sense, the answer to this question is: “No.”
1. The 10 commandments are part of the Law of Moses which was given to Israel at Mount Sinai (Exo. 20:1-17).
2. In Romans 7:7, Paul confirms that the 10 Commandments are part of the Mosaic Law.
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
a. In the context, Paul is discussing the Law of Moses.
b. He notes that the law says: “Thou shalt not covet.”
c. “Thou shalt not covet” is the very last of the 10 commandments (Exo. 20:17).
3. The Law of Moses is no longer a law that is in effect (Rom. 7:4, 6).
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God…But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
4. This position causes some individuals to get very angry. Others just shake their heads in disbelief.
a. They believe the 10 Commandments are still operative.
b. The reality is that the Law of Christ is the binding law today.
1) Nine of the 10 Commandments are stated in the Law of Christ.
2) NOTE: We do not follow them because they are the 10 Command-ments. We follow them because they are the Law of Christ.
3) The only one that is not found in the Law of Christ is: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”
C. There is a sense in which the 10 Commandments are relevant today.
1. Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
2. As we stated, these commands were given by God to Israel. They reveal to us how God set the nation of Israel apart unto Himself.
3. In these commands we also learn about the nature of God.
a. He is supreme.
b. He is holy and pure.
c. The laws He gives to His people are intended to help them to reflect His nature.
II. QUESTION #2
A. Could you please explain the Scripture, Hebrews 13:17, in regard to participating in the works and activities that the elders of a congregation have put in place for the congregation (i.e., VBS, gospel meetings, involvement groups, dinners for friends and visitors, etc.). Do members have an option to participate? Will they be in violation of Hebrews 13:17 if they do not participate?
B. Hebrews 13:17
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief: for that is un-profitable for you.
1. Who are the ones “that have the rule over you?” I Timothy 5:17 provides us with this answer.
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labour in word and doctrine.
2. The word “rule” in Hebrews 13:17 is defined as follows:
a. Strong (2233): to lead, that is, command (with official authority)
b. Thayer: to lead, to rule, command, to have authority
c. Some believe that the elders can only command what the Lord has already commanded in His Word.
1) If this were true, there would be no reason to have elders to rule.
2) If this were true, the warning of I Peter 5:3 is not needed. The elders can only legislate what God has authorized, they could never be “lords over God’s heritage.”
3) If this were true, many decisions in the realm of option could not be made: Who will be the minister? What will be the times of services? What works will the local congregation support?
C. The question that we have before us is this: “What works of the church are commanded by the elders and which ones have they left to our discretion?”
1. The reality is that most elderships make very few rules that must be obeyed.
2. Why? They do not want to face the anger and the criticism that will come from the congregation is they do.
a. Brethren do not have to be challenged by Hebrews 13:17 because there is nothing to obey.
b. Everything is considered optional. Sadly, most will opt out of the spiritual for that which is worldly.
1) When we opt out of these things, it shows that we have a heart problem in our practice of Christianity.
2) When we opt out, we are not fulfilling our roles as members in the body of Christ as we should.
3) When we opt out, God knows exactly why we did it, and will judge us for that decision.
D. This speaker believes that elders need to set their demands firmly upon the congregation.
1. Members will then either obey or disobey. Hebrews 13:17 exhorts them to obey. If they do not obey, they will be violating a plain command of the New Testament.
2. Elders would then be challenged with the requirement of I Peter 5:3. Neither as being lords over God’s heritage…
3. What would happen if they commanded too much of the local congregation?
a. The members should obey (See Matthew 23:1-4).
b. The Chief Shepherd (I Pet. 5:4) will hold these men accountable for their oversight.
4. Experiment: Let’s assume for a minute that everything we do at OceanSide is “commanded” by the elders.
Bible study and worship (7 hours per week x 52) 364 hours
Labeling House to House (1-1/2 hours x 6) 9 hours
Adopt-A-Highway (1 hour x 4) 4 hours
VBS 13 hours
Gospel Meeting 11 hours
Men’s Retreat, Ladies’ Day, etc. 24 hours
Catch-A-Vision Day 3 hours
Clean-up Days (4 hours x 2) 8 hours
Clothing Drive (3 hours x 2) 6 hours
Involvement Groups (10 min. x 52) 10 hours
Meals at building (2 hours x 4) 8 hours
Special Classes (2 hours x 26 weeks) 52 hours
Service Hours/year: 512 hours
Hours/year: 8,760 hours
% in Service: .0584
% over worship: .0168
A. Question #3
1. It is possible to be baptized into the body of Christ twice?
2. It is essential to be baptized in order to enter the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13).
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…
3. NOTE: The Bible also teaches that there is just “one baptism” (Eph. 4:5).
a. Thus, there is only one baptism that puts one into the body of Christ.
b. Once this has been done, it does not ever have to be done again.
4. Two scenarios:
a. When a child of God sins, do they need to be baptized again in order to be forgiven? No. Acts 8 teaches us that when a child of God sins, he/she only needs to repent and pray to God for the forgiveness of that transgression (Acts 8:20-24). Confession of one’s sins is also part of this process (I John 1:9).
b. There are some people who desire to be baptized again later in life.
1) They usually say that they do not think that they knew enough and that they want to be “safe.”
2) The things I tell these people:
a) The Bible does not teach that one is baptized in order to be safe. Baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
b) These individuals need to understand that they have never been saved. They are lost, and that they are outside the body of Christ. In essence, all of these years they thought they were Christians, they were not.
3) If they understand these things, they can be baptized the one and only time in order to become children of God who have been redeemed from sin by the precious blood of Christ.
4) They were immersed twice, but they were only baptized for the forgiveness of their sins once (See Eph. 4:5).