By Whose Authority? Does any Man Change it?
Last article we noticed the impact of the question the Jewish council asked the apostles in Acts 4. “By what power or what name have you done this?” They understood that religious acts could not be done without God’s authority. Today we make application of this question by asking several questions.
The Lord’s Supper
Consider these Biblical facts. (1) The Lord commanded observing the Lord’s supper—do this in remembrance of Me.
(2) The Lord’s supper was given as the primary reason the church assembled on the first day of the week—it was even placed above the preaching of Paul (Acts 20:7). Paul also shows in 1 Cor. 11:29-33 that the first century church came together to eat the Lord’s supper, and the Greek and later translations show they came together every Sunday (1 Cor. 16:2).
Now here is the question. Jesus put the weekly Lord’s supper in the church. By whose authority or in what name have denominations changed it? Think about this!
Baptism by Immersion
The Bible clearly shows that in baptism one goes down into the water (Acts 8:38) and is baptized. Paul states in Romans 6:3-4 that when one is baptized he is buried in the water. After baptism he comes up out of the water (Acts 8:39).
Here is the question. Jesus, the One who has all authority, taught that every nation should be baptized (Matt. 28:19), and the Bible shows that baptism was a complete immersion in water. By whose authority or in what name have denominations changed this? Think about it!
Baptism Essential to Be Saved
The Bible affirms that for one to be saved he must be baptized. The saved person is one who believes and is baptized (Mark 16:16), and that in baptism one’s sins are washed away (Acts 22:16). Baptism saves us (1 Pet. 3:21).
Now here is the question. The One who has all authority revealed that for one to be saved he must be baptized. By whose authority have frail humans changed this and substituted a sinner’s prayer in its place? Think about this!
Take this principle and apply it to every doctrine which separates one religious body from another. When the church was established there were no denominations for they all taught what Jesus taught (1 Cor. 1:10; 4:17). Denominations would cease to exist if they dealt with this question. Jesus taught only one doctrine, and there was unity. By whose authority have mortals changed His teachings? Think about it!