Presentation on theme: "1 Pet. 2:16. LOCAL AUTONOMY I. THE LOCAL CHURCH C. Is a complete & sufficient organization (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:23; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). A. Is independent in."— Presentation transcript:
LOCAL AUTONOMY I. THE LOCAL CHURCH C. Is a complete & sufficient organization (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:23; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). A. Is independent in organization & work (Acts 14:23; 1 Pet. 5:2; 1 Cor. 16:1-4). B. Provides a spiritual safeguard (Heb. 13:17; 1 Th. 5:12-14; Acts 20:28). E E E EE E X X “Self-Rule” E E E X
LOCAL AUTONOMY II.SOME USE AUTONOMY TO COVER ERROR 1. Sponsoring church; Hailey / Harrell apostasy, etc. A. Some think autonomy shields them when they stray from Truth in preaching, practice or fellowship… 2. If it works for one error, it works for all! 3. If cannot comment – why do they? B. “…Not using your free position as a cover for wrongdoing…” (1 Pet. 2:16). 1. Autonomy established by God’s word (1 Pet. 5:2). 2. God’s word is how grace is manifested (Ti. 2:11f). 3. Grace is NOT designed to further sin (Rom. 6:1f)!
LOCAL AUTONOMY III. AUTONOMY DOES NOT MEAN… C. While NO organization of churches; this does not mean no relationship with brethren in other places (1 Pet. 2:17; Col. 2:1-2)! A. Each church decides what TRUTH is (2 Tim. 3:16f; 1 Cor. 4:17; 11:1; 2 Tim. 2:9). B. Each church is immune from “outside” comment, communication, advice, criticism (Col. 4:16; Rev. 2:14-16; Acts 15:22-31, 16:4) E E E ? ? ?
LOCAL AUTONOMY IV. AUTONOMY MEANS… C. Each church warns against dangers it finds (Internal & external Acts 20:30, 29). A. Each church carries out its own work (Evangelism, Edification, Benevolence 1 Tim. 3:15; chp 5). B. Each church guards its local fellowship (Spiritual well being of its own members Rev. 3:1-3). D. Each church makes its own decisions & judgments in areas of liberty (Times of assembly, where meet, etc. 1 Cor. 14:26b). E. Is autonomy to protect us from TRUTH?
LOCAL AUTONOMY V. PARABLE OF AUTONOMY. A preacher preaches on autonomy, soundly condemning “those brethren” who “stick their noses in another congregation’s business”. They condemn brethren who are not in their congregation; thus they violate autonomy! He compares them to gossips, busybodies & meddlers on others personal lives. That evening, several brethren gather to visit at one house. Next door is the preacher’s house. As they chat, they see smoke rising from the preacher’s house… then flames.
LOCAL AUTONOMY V. PARABLE OF AUTONOMY. Without delay the brethren move into action. One calls the fire department, the rest grab water hoses and check to make sure everyone is out of the house… After the fire is out, the preacher thanks everyone for their help in rescuing him & his family. One brother then comments: “Preacher, if what you taught today is true, then we need to repent.” The preacher asks, “What do you mean?”
LOCAL AUTONOMY V. PARABLE OF AUTONOMY. The brother replies: “If local autonomy means we should not even speak Truth to brethren who are in danger in other places; then we need to repent of helping you since it was your house on fire, not ours. After a pause, he adds, And in order to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance, we all need to get lighters so we can put things back the way they were…
LOCAL AUTONOMY Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely bring them again unto thy brother. Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again. (Deut. 22:1, 4). Deliver them that are carried away unto death, And those that are ready to be slain see that thou hold back. If thou sayest, Behold, we knew not this; Doth not he that weigheth the hearts consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his work? (Prov. 24:11-12)
LOCAL AUTONOMY CONCLUSION: A. The local church is autonomous & independent in its organization & work. C. While independent, this does not mean TRUTH & LOVE stop at our doorstep! We still have a relationship with brethren where ever they are. B. The local church is designed for the tasks God expects of it & sufficient unto these ends. “…The word of God is not bound” (2 Tim. 2:9). Those that do Truth, come into the light (Jn. 3:19-21).