Presumptuousness is defined as the condition or state of mind of "being overly forward or confident: arrogant". Arrogance is defined as the attitude of being "over convinced of one's own importance: haughty". Haughtiness is a demonstration of pride (vainglory). David prayer to God, "Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins: let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression" (Psa. 19:13). David himself acted presumptuously in numbering his people without authorization from God (1 Chron. 21:1-17), with severe consequences. Truly, "pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16: 18).
We, too, have a tendency to presume and an inclination not to be properly submissive to God. We are warned in the Scriptures that "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (Jas. 4:6). It is hard for those who are accustomed to liberty and considerable license to be properly submissive to God and to accept the complete and preeminent authority of Jesus Christ. Many have yet to comprehend the Scripture that says simply, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Col. 3:17). Among some churches of Christ today, prominent men have decided to expand upon the authority of Christ and to lead local churches into activities and associations for which they have no authority and do not feel that they need any. One prominent preacher, Max Lacado, doesn't like to identify the local church where he preaches as a church of Christ, and has decided that baptism is not essential to salvatrion. To some others, the form of worship has become simply a manner of "tradition", and they do not object to instrumental music and other unauthorized acts of worship. The very concept of the complete authority of Christ being exercised by Him is being cast aside in favor of new and more appealing human traditions.
In the denominational world, presumptuousness is prevalent. Every human creed book is a demonstration of it. For example, the Catholics teach that "Concerning truths we are bound to believe, the only authority to be consulted is the holy Church." The Standard Manual For Baptist Churches teaches that justification is "solely through faith in Christ," and that "baptism is not essential to salvation...", but it "is essential to obedience." The Methodist Discipline states that adult persons are justified by faith only. The Church Of The Nazarene Manual teaches the doctrine of original sin and that "original sin continues to exist with the new life of the regenerate, until eradicated by the baptism of the Holy Spirit." It teaches "that Christian baptism is a sacrament signifying acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ..." A multitude of rules and regulations are given in creed books concerning church government and offices in those churches created according to the wisdom of men. Other churches than those mentioned here also have produced books that contain their peculiar doctrines. All of these demonstrate the presumptuousness of religious people.
Let us pray that God will help us to be humble, submissive, and obedient to our Lord and Savior, honoring Him and respecting His authoritative Word.
By Gilbert Alexander.
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