"WHERE THE BIBLE SPEAKS, WE SPEAK, WHERE THE BIBLE IS SILENT, WE ARE SILENT".
1 Pet. 4:11
1. This statement became somewhat of a slogan or rallying cry during the Restoration Movement.
2. It is not used as much now as it was back in years gone by.
A. Maybe it should be used and adhered to more now than it is.
3. We will consider this saying from three different standpoints in the lesson: Source, Scripturalness, and Significance.
I. THE SOURCE OF THE SAYING:
A. The saying is attributed to Thomas Campbell, father of Alexander Campbell.
1. In 1808, there was a religious meeting being held in the home of one Abraham Alders, located between Washington and Mt. Pleasant, Pa.
B. The idea was not a new one. In a book called: "The Religion of Protestants, A Safe Way of Salvation", by Chillingworth, in 1637, he said: "The Bible I say, the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants".
1. Seemingly, this statement was in opposition to the Catholic traditions of that time.
C. But Thomas Campbell was using his saying in opposition to the creeds and manuals of denominationalism of his day.
D. Let us now note some of the reactions to what Mr. Campbell said in that meeting long ago. Mentioned in A. 1 above.
1. A man by the name of Andrew Monroe, a Scottish book salesman, said: "Mr. Campbell, if we adopt that as a basis then there is an end to infant baptism". He got the point intended quickly.
a. We have to realize that these were people that had been brought up under the teaching that infant baptism was just fine.
b. Mr. Campbell, in his reply, said: "Of course, if infant baptism is not taught in the Scriptures, we cannot have anything to do with it."
2. After a small silence, a man called "General" Thomas Atchison, not a bona fide general but a captain in the state militia, stood up and said: "I hope I never see the day when my heart will renounce that blessed saying of Jesus: 'Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven'" and he burst out in tears.
3. James Foster, another man in the audience, said: "Mr. Atchison, I would remark that in the portion of scripture you quoted, there is no mention whatever of infant baptism."
E. Take time to give some thought to these actions and reactions concerning this saying of 180 years ago.
F. From then on, preachers began to use this saying and applied it to all religious matters.
G. There were additional thoughts and ideas added to the saying, such as: "Where the Bible Speaks, We Speak, and Where the Bible id Silent, We are Silent. We call Bible Things by Bible Names, and Do Bible Things in Bible Ways."
II. THE SCRIPTURALNESS OF THE SAYING:
A. The Religion of Jesus Christ is a Revealed Religion.
1. Revealed from heaven. 1 Cor. 2:1-16; 1 Pet. 4:11; Rom. 1:16,17; Mt. 15:9,13.
B. There are two sources of wisdom from which men draw their knowledge and power.
1. The Wisdom of God.
2. The Wisdom of Men.
a. Men cannot know the mind of men unless men tell them.
b. Neither can they know the mind of God unless God tells them.
C. What about the silence of the Scriptures?
1. Note the following Scriptures: Deut. 18:18-22; Heb. 7:11-14; Lev. 10:1,2.
III. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SAYING:
A. The Preaching of the Word: Mk. 16:15,16; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 4:1-5.
1. Not Psycology, Sociology, or Philosophy.
a. Meetings are now held among brethren where hardly any Scripture at all is used.
B. The Practicing of that which is Preached.
1. In Worship: Acts 2:42;20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1,2; 2 cor. 9:6,7; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:20-34.
2. In the Work of the church:
a. Preaching the Word.
b. Edifying itself.
c. Caring for its own needy.
3. In the Organization of the church:
C. The Promises Made:
1. For Salvation of the Alien Sinner.
2. For Salvation of the Erring Child of God.
3. For Salvation of those living in Adultery.
1. Just how are we using and abiding by the saying: "Where the Bible Speaks, We Speak and Where the Bible is Silent, We are Silent"?
2. How do we answer the question: "Isn't God's Grace Greater than our Sin?" Titus 2:11-14.
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