Presentation on theme: "Religion: Divinely Revealed or Humanly Devised? INTRODUCTION 1. The question of authority is fundamental to religion in deciding whether a thing should."— Presentation transcript:
Religion: Divinely Revealed or Humanly Devised? INTRODUCTION 1. The question of authority is fundamental to religion in deciding whether a thing should be done or believed. a. Is our concept of God from God or from man? b. Should man worship and serve God? c. Must God be obeyed? d. Will we be judged by God?
2. Differing attitudes toward religious authority result in different churches, ways of worship, organi- zation, nomenclature, beliefs and teaching. a. The Roman Catholic Church is vastly different from us; why? (1) The RCC has three sources of author- ity (the pope, church traditions and the Bible). (2) We have only one: the Bible. b. The Mormon church is uniquely different from all other churches because it relies on authorities (the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, etc.) that are not accepted by other religious groups.
3. Let’s define the terms we are using: a. “Religion” is from two Latin words that mean to bind together again.” It is a system that is designed to reunite mankind with God. (1) Worship (2) Beliefs (3) Ordinances and commandments (4) Commitment of one’s life b. “Authority” is the power or right to give commands and enforce obedience.
A Contrast Between Divine Authority & Human Authority Matt. 21:23-27 – “ Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven,’
He will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “From men,” we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus and said, ‘We do not know.’” 1. The Jewish leaders wanted to know what right or power Jesus had to drive the animal sellers and money changers from the temple, and to overturn their tables (see v. 12) a. Jesus believed he had authority from God to do this (see v. 13). b. But the leaders did not believe he had such power, because they didn’t believe in Him.
2. But Jesus wanted to know from them whether John’s baptism was authorized by heaven or by men on earth. a. The leaders had not believed John, nor had they been baptized by him. b. If John’s ministry and baptism were author- ized by God they should have obeyed it. c. But if his ministry and baptism were only authorized by man they knew they had no reason for submitting to it.
d. They would like to have answered “from men,” to justify their not having submitted to it, but the people held that John was a prophet of God. There Is An Important Implication In This Story! 1. Any commandment authorized by God (“from heaven”) must be obeyed. 2. No commandment authorized by (or, “from”) man needs to be obeyed! There Is Inherent Danger In Religion Authorized By Men
1. The Commandments of Men Make Our Worship Vain, Matt. 15:7-9 – “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the com- mandments of men.’” 2. Man-made Religious Rules Are of No Value in Living the Christian Life, Col. 2:20-23 – “ ”Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—’Do not touch,
do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the com- mandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self- imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. 3. Humanly authorized religion can cause us to be cheated, Col. 2:8 – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
We Must Be Sure, Then, That Our Religion Is Authorized by God 1. God Has Spoken to Us to Reveal to Us What He Wants Us to Believe and Do in Serving and Worshiping Him, Heb. 1:1,2 – “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”
a. Jesus spoke on earth with all authority, Matt. 28:18 – “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’” b. He is the one and only head of His church, Col. 1:18 – “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” c. To hear Jesus is the same as hearing God, Matt. 10:40 -- He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
2. What God has Revealed to Us Through Jesus Christ in the Gospel Must Not Be Changed by Human Tampering, Gal. 1:6-9 – “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
3. In our Religion We Must Always Speak as the Oracles of God, 1 Pet. 4:11 – “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.” 4. Everything We Believe, Teach and Practice Must Be Authorized by Jesus Christ, Col. 3:17 – “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” 5. Only by Doing the Will of God May We Expect to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Matt. 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
What About Your Religion: Divinely Revealed or Humanly Devised? 1. Each person is accountable to God for his religious service. a. Rom. 14:12 – “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” b. Psa. 96:13 -- For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.
2. Each person’s religious service will be judged by divinely revealed truth. a. John 12:48 – “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” b. Rev. 20:12 – “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
3. It is possible to be deceived in our religious service. a. Col. 2:8 – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, accord- to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” b.Prov. 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
4. Some, whose religion is based on human wisdom, will be disappointed. a. Matt. 7:21,22 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
b. 2 Tim. 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” c. Matt. 7:26,27 -- “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
5. Even a religious person can be lost. a. Acts 10:1,2 -- There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” b. Acts 11:13,14 – “And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.”
CONCLUSION 1. You cannot afford to stand before God in the Day of Judgment having served Him with a humanly devised religion. 2. Why not be sure that your religion in divinely revealed, and acceptable to God? 3. You can begin by obeying the gospel to be- come a Christian this evening. a. Believe in Jesus, John 20:30,31 b. Repent of your sins, Acts 2:38 c. Confess your faith in Jesus, Rom. 10:9,10 d. Be baptized in water, Acts 2:38, Mk. 16:16