by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Proverbs 30:5-6
I. Certain ideas get repeated in the religious world, often enough that people accept them as truth without stopping to ask if this is really in the Bible or not
A. “You are saved by faith alone” - despite James 2:24
B. “Baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace” - a statement by a preacher in the 1500's, it isn’t found in the Bible. Rather we find I Peter 3:21
C. It isn’t just misunderstanding of Scriptures, people often think things are wrong because of what they have always been told
A. When baptism is mentioned, a common response is “But that is a work!” as if all works are bad.
B. Is anything labeled a “work” bad?
1. Broad statements can get a person into difficult spots
2. What about working for a living - II Thessalonians 3:10-13
3. What about that last statement of doing good? Is that wrong?
C. God created good works - Ephesians 2:10
1. One of those works is faith - John 6:28-29
D. Oh, and baptism? - Colossians 2:11-12
A. Whenever someone is faced with an absolute, why, “You’re being legalistic!” as if all absolutes are wrong.
B. The words “legalistic” and “legalism” don’t appear in the Bible.
1. The definition is: Strict, literal adherence to the law or to a particular code, as of religion or morality. Or: excessive adherence to law or formula.
C. So is strict adherence to the law expected?
1. Love demands it - John 14:15
2. Why else call Jesus “Lord?” - Luke 6:46
3. Jesus commanded that we observe all that he commanded - Matthew 28:18-20
4. Paul talks about being obedient in all things - II Corinthians 2:9
D. What is condemned by God is acting without law - Matthew 7:21-23
E. Law keeping is a mark of being a Christian - I John 2:3-6
A. Whenever someone gets miffed at a congregation, one charge often levied against the group is cliquish!
B. What is meant by a clique?
1. “a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.”
C. It is true that not allowing others to join would be wrong.
1. We are to have the same mind toward all our brethren - Romans 12:16
2. It means we see all our brethren as equal - Philippians 3:16
D. But this does not translate to saying that we might associate with some people more closely than others
1. Jesus had his disciples, but he spent most of his time with twelve of them - Luke 22:15
a. Of those twelve, three were more often picked to accompany him - Matthew 17:1
b. And one was known as the disciple whom Jesus loved - John 13:23
c. Does this mean Jesus was cliquish?
2. David had his mighty men - II Samuel 23:8
a. But there was one man David loved more than his wives - II Samuel 1:26-28
b. Does this mean David had cliques or isn’t this a simple matter of friendship?
E. In any group of people, there are some you share more in common than with others. There are some who fit your personality like a glove.
1. It doesn’t mean you don’t love or care about others, but some people are just extra special.
2. They are friends, best friends.
3. There is nothing bad about having close friends, especially since the door is always open to others.
V. Sticking by the Scriptures
A. The Scriptures have all things pertaining to life and godliness - II Peter 1:3
B. Like the Bereans, we need to develop an attitude of checking out what we are told - Acts 17:11
C. Sometimes it is hard to remember that what we’ve always heard isn’t always right.