Are We Patternists?
Most people rely upon patterns to complete many things. A builder uses a blueprint to guide his construction project. A seamstress uses a pattern to make a dress. A baker uses a recipe to bake cakes, pies or other pastries. A chemist uses a formula to make a particular substance. A driver follows the instruction signs and uses a route to get to his/her destination.
Patterns are all around us in every walk of life. Yet when we try to convince people that they need to follow the pattern set by God, they become upset with us for telling them that. The word patternist is usually hurled our direction. This is a derogatory term; much the same way that "legalists" or "fundamentalists" is used. Since many do not like to be called names, they usually back down and are not so animate to press their views. However, those who really believe we have a pattern to follow from God's word will not back down, and in a way will wear the title of patternist with pride.
The Bible tells us in several places that we are to see and do the patterns given to us in His word. In Hebrews 8:5 it reads."..., just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, 'see', He says, 'that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain". This is a quotation from Exodus 25:40. God gave specific instructions that Moses make the things just like God told him to. Even the shape and construction of the candlesticks was given to Moses on the mount as we read in Number 8:4. In 1 Chronicles 28:11, David gives to Solomon the pattern (blueprint) of the temple and palace construction, and warns him not to do things differently. In Ezekiel 43:10, the pattern is a standard that God holds his people to, and the prophet encourages the people to measure the temple and see if this is not what God had instructed.
In the New Testament Paul tells Timothy that his own life is an example of a pattern that others should follow in 1 Timothy 1:16. Paul also tells Titus to set a good example for others, and Paul uses the term pattern as the way to follow, the instructions on how to live. In Titus 2:7 Paul writes to Titus: "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,"
There are many people who do not want to follow the instructions found in the Bible. We warn others about staying within the guidelines of the Bible. Some believe we should follow God's word to the very best of our ability, and tell others we must have Bible authority for everything we do. This is called "book, chapter, verse" teaching or a "thus saith the Lord" teaching. Those who reject God's word will label those who hold to the pattern of sound doctrine with derogatory terms. No matter what we are called we should be willing to do God's things in God's ways and speak the words of sound doctrine and keep the doctrine according to God's words and not man's precepts. Some will say that there is no pattern in the Bible, because they do not intend to follow the Bible as their guide. Yet God has given us patterns in everything we do, and to ignore the pattern give to us by God through His word, the Bible, will be costly and dangerous for everyone's soul.
By Carey Scott
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