Return to the Old Paths
A. The plea for restoration is not new. Nor is it not recent. Noah - 2 Peter 2:5; Ezra - Neh. 8; John the baptist - Luke 3:3-4
B. Restoration is a constant need, a regular part of all preaching - 1 Peter 4:11; Jeremiah 6:14-16
C. Therefore, what does it mean to return to the old paths?
I. Restoration - Deut. 32:7; Rev. 2:1-5
A. Restoration denotes: the state of being restored to its former good condition
B. NT Christianity begins with the restoration of the New Testament.
1. Every group has the need of some document to give reason for its existence.
2. Today's religious groups have conventions to make new laws and enforce what they have before decided.
a. These documents have the force of a creed.
b. They are policy statements which not only identify sects, but promote them.
c. They are divisive and serve to affirm sectarianism
3. However, God's word demand something much different - 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1-5
C. To restore the NT as the only source of authority in religion, means we must return to BCV preaching.
1. It means we must earnestly contend for the faith - Jude 3
2. It means not only that we will accept no more than God's word, but that we will accept no less.
3. It means we will tolerate no substitution for the revealed word of God. Gal. 1:6-9
D. It is the good way - Jeremiah 6:16
E. Let us look at what restoring the NT as the only rule of faith and practice will do.
II. It will restore God's law of pardon.
A. Think about that! No more differences in how people are told to "accept Christ."
1. If we follow the gospel, there will be not more call to the mourner's bench, a call to the alter in another, a call to pray through or a call to merely "accept Jesus as your PS.
B. People would do what was done in the Acts of the Apostles!
1. People were taught about Jesus - Acts 8:5
a. Those who believed were called upon to repent of their sins, confess their faith and be baptized.
C. There would no longer be any hyphenated Christians, just Christians, followers of God's word.
III. It will restore the purity of worship.
A. People today seem to think that nay action extended as worship to God is acceptable to Him. It is not so.
1. No matter how sincere people are, the worship they extend to God must have His approval. John 4:24; Lev. 10
B. The NT church worshipped using only those acts approved by God in His word.
1. They sang praises to God, Eph. 5:19; they prayed, Acts 2:47; they gave of their means, 1 Cor. 16:1-2; they observed the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week, Acts 20:7; they studied together, Acts 20:7.
C. Would it not be a wonderful thing if everyone worshipped God in the way that pleases Him?
IV. It will restore the local church.
A. There is no record in the NT of the kind of organization present in most religious denominations today.
1. There was no central organization, no headquarters, no regional offices, no metropolitan overseers.
B. In the NT, each congregation was autonomous (self-governing)
1. Each congregation appointed elders and deacons
2. Operated by itself in the interest of its own membership
C. No eldership was given more jurisdiction than the local congregation. 1 Peter 5:2
D. No local church had power over any other local church, but each functioned under the headship of Christ in accordance with the will of God. Eph. 1:22-23
E. Their work was spiritual and not carnal. 1 Cor. 3:1-10
A. It is not merely idealistic to call for a return to the NT order, it is an absolute necessity. 1 Peter 4:11
B. Are you in need of restoration in your life?
By Randy Cavender
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