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OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew




A.    Last week, we began a two-part lesson discussing the subject:  “Following the Biblical Pattern.”


B.      In that lesson we noted three things:

1.      Some preachers among us despise the idea of the Bible being referred to as a pattern.

2.      There have been patterns to follow in every Bible age.

3.      The Bible contains 6 English words and 10 Greek works that indicate that there are patterns to be followed today.




A.    Example

1.      John 13:15


For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.


2.      I Timothy 4:12


Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


3.      Hebrews 8:5


Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things…


B.      Figure

1.      Speaking of the tabernacle (Heb. 9:9a)


Which was a figure for the time then present…


2.      I Peter 3:21a


The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…


C.     Pattern (Heb. 9:23)


It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heaven should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.


D.    Form

1.      Romans 6:17


But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.


2.      II Timothy 1:13


Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.


E.      Likeness (Rom. 6:5)


For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.


F.      Shadow (Heb. 10:1)


For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image, can never with those sacrifices which they offer year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.




A.    Jesus sets forth a pattern that was given at the beginning of the creation (Matt. 19:3-6)


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?  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife:  and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.


B.      Paul used the wilderness wanderings as a pattern for Christian living today.

1.      They were baptized unto Moses (I Cor. 10:1).

2.      They ate spiritual meat and spiritual drink (I Cor. 10:2-3).

3.      They did wrongs that are patterns we are not to follow (I Cor. 10:5-10)

4.      I Corinthians 10:11


Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:  and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.


C.     The apostle Paul said that he was a pattern for others to follow.

1.      His conversion (I Tim. 1:15-16)


This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.


2.      His Christian life (I Cor. 11:1).


Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.




A.    A pattern to follow in order to become a Christian

1.      By obeying the “form” of doctrine, we become free from sin (Rom. 6:17-18).


But God be thanked that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin ye became the servants of righteousness.

2.      The form of doctrine involves obeying the gospel.

a.      The gospel is contained in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord (I Cor. 15:1-4).

b.      We follow this “form” in our obedience to the truth. 

1)      We die to our sins (Rom. 6:6-7).

2)      We bury the old man of sin in the waters of baptism (Rom. 6:3; Col. 2:12).

3)      We rise to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).

c.       We see an example of this in Acts 2:38, 41.


B.      A pattern for living the Christian life

1.      That pattern is the precious gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27).


Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…


2.      We have positive patterns and negative patterns in the Bible.

a.      Jesus is a pattern for both service (John 13:13-15) and love (John 13:34-35)


For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.


b.      The Israelites in the wilderness are a negative pattern (I Cor. 10:6, 11).


The these things were our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.


C.     A pattern for church organization

1.      Titus 1:5


For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.


2.      Elders must meet the God-given qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9).

3.      There should be a plurality of them (Acts 14:23).

4.      These men rule (I Tim. 5:17) and oversee (Acts 20:28; I Pet. 5:1-3) the local church.

5.      They are to be the kind of men that set an example for the members to follow (I Pet. 5:1-3; Heb. 13:7).


D.    A pattern for worship

1.      In I Corinthians 11-14, Paul has reference to the assembly of the church for worship.

a.      “When ye come together” (I Cor. 11:17).

b.      “When ye come together in the church (I Cor. 11:18).  NOTE:  The word “church” here means assembly.

c.       “When ye come together in one place” (I Cor. 11:20).

d.      “Yet in the church” (I Cor. 14:19).

e.       “If therefore the whole church be come together in one place” (I Cor. 14:23).

f.        “When ye come together” (I Cor. 14:26).


2.      All acts of worship are mentioned in I Corinthians 11-16.

a.      The Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:17-34)

b.      Speaking forth the Word of God (I Cor. 14:1-13)

c.       Prayer (I Cor. 14:15)

d.      Singing (I Cor. 14:15)

e.       The contribution (I Cor. 16:1-2).  NOTE:  The first day of the week parallels the assembly of the church in Troas in Acts 20:7.


E.      Many other patterns could be discussed.

1.      Love (John 13:34-35)

2.      Patience (James 5:11)

3.      Service (John 13:14-15)

4.      Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13)

5.      Preaching (I Thess. 2:1-6)

6.      Faithful obedience (Heb. 11)




A.    The New Testament definitely teaches pattern theology.

1.      Without a pattern, there would be no church.

2.      Without a pattern, there would be no worship.

3.      Without a pattern, there would be not gospel “plan” of salvation.

4.      Without a pattern, there is no standard other than each individual.


B.      If we do not have a pattern:

1.      Where do we begin?

2.      What do we do?

3.      How can be sure?

4.      How can we please God?


C.     Only a false teacher would affirm that pattern theology is unbiblical (Rom. 16:18; Col. 2:4).


And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.


D.    There are definitely questions and difficulties that must be discussed when it comes to pattern theology, but we should not throw out the pattern just because there are some difficulties to overcome.


E.      II Timothy 1:13


Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me; in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.