Aug 15

Print this Post


In this final article in this series addressing the subject to authority, attention will be called to a number of things for which there is no law stating, it shall not be done! In other words, it might be said, “There is no law against it; therefore, if done, one has not violated the law.” It is so important when studying “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9), that we understand it is not a teaching of “thou shalt nots,” but a teaching which one must abide within!
Have you ever thought there is no command to use only unleavened bread in the Lord’s Supper? There is no law commanding that only fruit of the vine be used in the Lord’s Supper? Even when Paul writes what he was delivered in First Corinthians chapter eleven, he used the words, “bread” and the word “cup;” therefore, we do not have an explicit command as to unleavened bread, and fruit of the vine! Yet, throughout churches of Christ there is little disagreement on this subject. No, for the night Jesus was betrayed he used unleavened bread and fruit of the vine; thus, through implicit teaching we reach the conclusion that within “the teaching of Christ” we are only authorized to use these items in the Lord’s Supper.
It is this implicit authority that forbids taking the Lord’s Supper on any other day than “the first day of the week.” This has been noted in earlier articles, by implication no other day is authorized within “the teaching of Christ!” Take the subject of instrumental music in worship of God. There is no explicit commandment not to use instrumental music in worship of God in the New Testament. What we have is this: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). If we are looking for a “Thou shalt not use instrumental music in worship of God;” you are not going to find it! This is not the nature of “the teaching of Christ!” Yet, it is not authorized! It is not within “the teaching of Christ;” therefore, it is not within the fellowship of Christ! By implication, one reaches the conclusion “singing” is authorized in Ephesians, but instrumental music is not authorized as it is not found in “the teaching of Christ!” There is no explicit authority, no implicit authority, neither is it something allowed by any account of action approved by the apostles of Christ for instrumental music in worship of God!
Just before Jesus’ ascent from this earth, he said to eleven men who would be his ambassadors: “All power (authority, frw) is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). That authority is in his teaching, wherein also is fellowship with him! Paul wrote the Corinthians: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment “ (1 Cor. 1:10). The only way the churches of Christ can obey Paul’s words, is to abide in “the teaching of Christ!” In the earlier years of the history of the churches of Christ in America, these words were heard: “In faith, unity; in opinion, liberty; in all things, charity!” There is, just as Paul wrote, “one faith,” and that “one faith” is “the teaching of Christ” and the only way we can have unity is to abide within “the teaching of Christ” which is that “one faith!” In order to do so, we must understand both explicit and implicit authority and approved action by the apostles of Christ.
It is Christ who has the authority; he has all authority and he is head of his church; and we are the church who is subject to him. If we do not know how he authorizes what his church may do, we have no hope of unity! Our ability to reach the lost with the gospel is greatly diminished and we have failed him! How can we ever be the church of which Paul wrote we must be: “the fulness of him that filleth all in all?” (Eph. 1:23).
One last thought just here. If I give my son some money and send him the store and tell him to buy bread and milk; is he authorized to buy a bar of candy? I did not tell him not to buy a bar of candy, but he has no authority to buy a bar of candy. By telling him what to buy, I have also told him what not to buy. All things not in the authority are unauthorized! Silence does not authorize in such areas!

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/no-law-against-it-5/