Monday, December 12, 2016

Your Constitution? Or God's Word?

A preacher is brought in to the church to speak the Word of God into every area of church life. When the overseers or elders of a church reject the Word of God in any area in favour of the church's Constitution, or a particular Creed or Confession, that preacher should run fast and far from that church. 
"All Scripture is inspired by God [God-breathed] and profitable for teaching [what is right], for reproof [what is wrong], for correction [how to get right], for training in righteousness [how to stay right]; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Any church or denomination that places more stock in their Constitution (or Creed or Confession) than they do in Scripture, may that church or denomination be damned. When what a preacher can or cannot preach is dictated by what appears in a church's or denomination's Constitution (or Creed or Confession) rather than what appears in Scripture, may that church or denomination be damned. Scripture is our first, only, and final authority on all matters pertaining to faith and life.
"But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"" Matthew 4:4
Regardless of a church's or denomination's Constitution (or Creed or Confession), they need faithful men who fear, respect, and revere the Word of God and will study and preach it faithfully, honestly, and truthfully. No man should be a preacher who thinks he deserves it or has earned it! It is a holy calling. It is not a position for men who desire power over others. It is not a position for men who desire to earn good money. It is not a position for men who desire to be famous and well-liked. If you are not humble and do not have the character and attitude the Apostle Paul possessed, then you do not deserve to be and should not be a preacher!
"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Peter 1:20-21
The Word of God is not yours to twist and manipulate in order to suit your personal feelings or opinions. Men who have been called by God to be preachers must be faithful to the Word, honest with what the Word teaches, and to submit themselves to the truth of the Word—no matter what it may cost them. Regardless of how a man is raised, what a man is taught, or what a man may presently believe, he must always seek to submit and conform himself to the truths revealed in Scripture through thorough and honest study.
Our only rule of faith and practice is the Word of God. We have . . . 
     no creed to defend,
     no denomination to maintain, and
     no confession to bind our minds.
"What do the Scriptures teach?" That is and must be our only concern. If the plain teachings of Holy Scripture appear to destroy or contradict our understanding of any doctrine, then let us relinquish the doctrine, or acknowledge the fact that our minds are both depraved and minuscule, and bow to the revelation of God.
—Don Fortner